August 24, 2005 - Hasselblad, the historic Swedish manufacturer of high-end medium format cameras, has unveiled the 22 megapixel digital manifestation, the H2D. Building on last year’s H1D, the world’s first fully integrated digital medium format camera, the H2D adds improved connectivity and storage features, as well as numerous advanced workflow tools. Along with the H2D, Hasselblad introduced two medium-format digital backs, the Ixpress CF and Ixpress CFH, which utilize the same sensor technology, as well as the film-based H2.
"With these new products, we are underlining our mission to work hand in hand with loyal Hasselblad users and new customers to help them take full advantage of the potential that digital technology holds for them, creatively and commercially," said Christian Poulsen, CEO of Hasselblad.
Utilizing a 37 x 49 mm CCD sensor, which is more than twice the size of a 35mm frame, the H2D is able to produce 22 megapixel images that are saved in Adobe’s Digital Negative raw file format (DNG). This will enable users to easily open and edit raw image file directly in Adobe Photoshop. In addition to support for the DNG raw file format, Hasselblad has introduced a number of features aimed at improving the user’s workflow.
The H2D features a unique feedback system that allows users to immediately assess the quality of a captured image. Hasselblad’s Instant Approval Architecture (IAA) works to issue audible and visual cues as to the quality of an image’s exposure, with red, amber or green light indications. This information is also recorded in the image file and file name, allowing users to quickly asses the image’s exposure value when editing.
Hasselblad has equipped the H2D with a 2.2 inch full color OLED display, functional in playback, as well as providing shooting information under all lighting conditions. Histogram feedback is displayed on the camera’s rear LCD and informational screen located on top of the camera’s grip.
While the H1D relied on an integrated 40 gigabyte hard drive, Hasselblad has augmented the H2D’s connectivity, adding support for compact flash cards. The camera will also connect to a computer via firewire, for tethered shooting and further image control.
The developments featured in the H2D are in part a result of Hasselblad’s acquisition last year of Imacon, a Danish manufacturer of "reproduction-quality" scanners and digital camera backs. "In the year since Hasselblad and Imacon joined forces, we have been inundated with constructive feedback from professional photographers worldwide, eager to see Hasselblad’s legendary quality evolve with developments in digital technology," said Poulsen. "When we reviewed their wishes, we were able to distil them into five key areas: format, storage, open standards, image approval and selection, and image color refinement. This gave us a clear blueprint for the next phase of our product development."
The new backs, which offer the same imaging capabilities as the H2D, are designed to work with the H2 film camera announced today, as well as a wide range of medium format cameras made by other manufacturers. Through a Hasselblad adapter, the Ixpress CF can be used with Contax, Mamiya, Rollei and Fuji cameras, as well as older Hasselblad models. The Ixpress CFH has been designed to integrate seamlessly with the H2 film camera, even drawing its power from the camera’s rechargeable Lithium-ion battery.
Pricing for the H2D, Ixpress CF and Ixpress CFH digital backs and the H2 film camera has not been announced. The new products are expected to begin shipping in the third quarter of 2005.