Hasselblad to Launch ‘World’s First CMOS Sensor Medium Format Camera’ in March


Every announcement out of Hasselblad recently has had the model names Lunar or Stellar attached, and as such has been more mockery than announcement. We’ll be honest… we’re not really Hasselblad’s target market where those cameras are concerned.

But Hassy has something new for us, and it’s not a Sony dressed in Hasselblad clothing: it’s ‘the world’s first 50MP medium format CMOS sensor camera.’

The camera will be called the H5D-50c, and we officially became aware of its existence this morning when Hasselblad released this teaser image alongside a short press release:


According to the PR, the CMOS sensor will give the 50c a faster capture rate, multi-shot capability, longer shutter speed capability and ‘much greater ISO performance.’ That last point in particular is very interesting, as the terms high ISO and medium format don’t frequently go together.

Speaking of the new camera’s appeal, Hasselblad Product Manager Ove Bengtson explains:

We believe this will provide a highly compelling option for professional photographers who prefer a more versatile camera that enables them to immediately embrace a wider range of photo-disciplines but still encapsulating the exceptionally high-end image quality associated with Hasselblad.

No pricing information is available as of yet — that info will arrive in March when the camera officially hits stores — but expect this one to go for a pretty penny or two. For more info, head over to the Hasselblad website by clicking here.

  • Genkakuzai

    That’s more like it. Stick to what you’re good at, rather than rebranding Sony products and selling them for ridiculous prices.

  • Morten Skjegg Hilde

    Sounds “kick ass” … but I fear that it will lack fast memory for the buffer, and the buffer will be to small … yea yea, I know, not a issue for most Hasselblad shooters

  • Enrico

    Mhh… Pentax 645D? Isn’t a medium format camera with cmos sensor?

  • Dominik

    It’s ccd.

  • daru

    Still using bayer-pattern cmos sensor? If not, i bet it is using fujifilm sensor?

  • Alan Klughammer

    Pretty sure the 645D is CCD. Having said that, I thought one of the characteristics of medium format cameras (other than their huge price) was the quality of the CCD sensor…

  • Alan Klughammer

    Does Fuji make sensors that big?

  • Enrico

    Right, i’m sorry! ;-)

  • Matt

    Ya, its a nice move, but a Fevron type sensor would have been killer. I would buy into that line…

  • A Sibahi

    You know, if the rumors ARE true, then this the sensor technology Sony and Hasselblad were working on, which was reported by sonyalpharumors a while back.

  • Genkakuzai

    Which is in no way the same thing as rebranding an existing camera and selling it for 10x its value.

  • Douglas

    Hasselblad has been notoriously slow to actually get products shipping after an announcement. If history sets a precedence then we’ll probably see a real product, and not only a rumour, by May-June 2014…

  • Mike

    At least they’re not dressing the sensor up in a suit of leather and shiny plastic, calling it some moronic name like “Spectacular”.

  • Ronald

    I wish Canon would produce the Canon EOS S1, using a square format sensor that takes advantage of the entire image circle of an EF lens. Let users crop to full frame via user settings. Sorry, I know that was off topic.

  • Emil Nyström

    Aww yea. Can’t wait to see the skin tones and ISO samples… I’m guessing I’ll have to start saving up.

  • Carl Meyer



  • Nate Parker

    and make it 45 mpixies.

  • Nate Parker


  • JoeNoName

    Sony sensor everywhere, ohhhh yea, just wait 2 years for exclusivity clause ends and Sony launches their own Medium Format camera AKA: 1AX, ohhhhyea!

  • JoeNoName

    rumors are true, SonyAlphaRumors are always right, Andrea TRIPLE checks his sources ;)

  • David Liang

    I don’t know much about MF sensors. Can anyone explain why that format until now has been using CCD chips while other formats have moved to CMOS?

  • David Liang

    Lol, that’d be sick but knowing Sony…they’d release it with one lens, and you’ll have to wait 3 years to get decent line up.

  • JoeNoName

    true true, but atleast it will be the best sensor (hopefully) for the best price, the rumor says itll be like Pentax 645 price and if they can manage to pull the same idea on Sony E Mount (multiple lenses with adapters) that camera will beat the heck of all the rest!

  • James

    Made me think of the 1020.

  • bingo

    Slow moving dinosaur technology. More sales numbers = faster technology progression, same as Leica M’s, they are about 10 years behind DSLR. But medium format and Leica run in a different race, where it is more about what your camera says about you(i.e. ‘I’m rich’ or ‘i’m overcharging you’) rather than what it can do.

  • Emil L

    Eh… NO – it isn’t

  • BertNewton

    Frank Ockenfels quote(he shot breaking bad posters, billboards e.t.c.)

    “Film was never this sharp…..we weren’t using the highest Mpix backs, people were complaining they were too clear….we had to photoshop the sharpness out”

    People shoot medium format because it impresses client who hand over thousands of dollars to photographers, “Oooohhh, big camera”. Just gaffer tape a brick to an old 5d (mk1) and that is how much fun shooting medium format digital is.

    Anyone can buy a D800, but it takes a certain level of self importance, and turning a blind eye to reason, to spend 10 times as much on a less capable kit.

  • aa

    that might actually be one of the best things in the last 10-15 years

  • aa

    the foveon, I mean

  • Barry Goyette

    Said the person who’s never used a hasselblad.

    I’ve been shooting with Hasselblad MFD for over 10 years and I can tell you I’ve never had a client say “oooh, big camera”. My first 22mp model I bought after spending a year transitioning from film to a canon 10d and feeling sick about it on every single job. That Imacon back gave me a look that was very similar to what I was used to 120 film and reinvigorated my interest in photography. Today’s 40 and up MP cameras are indeed sharper than the 120 film of yesterday, but they are not significantly sharper than 4×5 and less detailed than 8×10 film, yet they are tremendously easier to use, and you don’t have to wait for the lab tests and finals that were part of shooting large format back in the 90’s and before. If you’re shooting for the web, you don’t need a hasselblad. If you you’re shooting for magazines and billboards, you don’t need one either. I shoot fashion for large format retail POP, where the viewer is very close to very large prints, and that’s a place where the additional detail of MFD comes in very handy. That’s why I use it, not because of some ego driven “self importance”.

    Medium format digital wins (versus smaller digital formats) hands down in photographing fabrics and skin (and landscapes and artwork and….). Frank Ockenfels is an amazing photographer who shoots illustrative portraits, often on large format film. Often in black and white. And almost always in a style that seems to “reference” the film world he came from. He can choose any camera he likes. But his argument that less sharpness is better really him saying “film is better”. Which of course is just a point of view, not a fact.

    I used to think that with the end of print media, and the spread of digital displays, that shooting on a medium format digital would go the way of the past. That was until I got a retina screen macbook pro and realized that a 40mp vertical image fit on the screen widthwise at 100%. Within the next few years we will see 4k and 8k monitors that are capable of resolving 100% of the detail from these cameras, and anything less will simply look blurry.

    The history of photography has been a history of both the art, but also of the technology behind it. There have always been better films, better cameras, better lenses and more sharpness. This hasn’t deterred great photographers from doing their jobs.

  • CG

    well, if we are off subject…. i think anyone who owns an H series Hasselblad have wished for years that they (Fuji) when making the H series would have kept to the square format…. with rotating back?? but we are all talking to the trees on these subjects. there is no logic

  • David Liang

    Thanks for the reply. So really there wasn’t a technological advantage somewhere for MF to stay with CCDs…it was just the market didn’t demand that they do, so they didn’t. Very interesting…

  • LOL

    total bs right there … you have no freakin idea

  • BertNewton

    Interesting essay. I will agree that 10 years ago Hasselblad was a good buy because Dslr was rubbish at that point. But Dslr has surpassed where MFD was ten years ago, and the gap between the two systems today in practical image quality is insignificant for anything other than superfluous academic arguments, even for high res shop posters viewed at close range, or fine art printing for that matter.

    I have no qualms about people who have shot Hasselblad for the last 10 years, I only expressed my opinion of anyone who begins investing in the system starting now(this post is about a new release), considering that the price of a D800 with 24, 50, 85, and 135mm fast primes, AND 24-70 and 70-200 2.8 zooms, is still about 25000 dollars cheaper than a Hasselblad body and digital back with one prime.

    So yes shooting MFD has limitations DSLR doesn’t have even if only due to lens selection and price(not to mention low light performance), but obviously everyone is entitled to buy and enjoy whatever they want.

    People don’t buy a Rolls Royce for the handling, they want everyone to know they are rich and important.

  • Barry Goyette

    So you’re sticking with the “self important” thing?

    A D800e is “almost” equal to the entry level hasselblad (which by the way can be had for well under $20k with a lens, so you might want to check that math while you’re adding up all those primes and zooms you’re getting.) I say almost, because while it approaches the H5d-40 in terms pixel count, when you take a look at the quality of the skin tones and fine detail, you’ll find that there is a subtle, but significant decrease in quality. Crop that d800 image to a standard print format and now we’re looking at about 25% less pixels in an apples to apples comparison. (and this is only compared to the lowest resolution hasselblad, Your price comparison would seem to indicate that you are comparing the D800 to the H5d-60, which nearly doubles the pixel count of the D800). And then there those lenses you’re so proud of. Virtually none of them can resolve all that sweet dslr detail across the entire field of the lens. So you’ve got a problem, at least right now, until Nikon starts upgrading all those lenses to match their sensor. Should be just a year or two…or three. (Canon has wisely held off on their high megapixel camera until they get the bulk of their new lens designs to market). Hasselblad on the other hand already produces stellar lenses that resolve cleanly all the way to the corners at virtually every focal length they make.

    Look, I’ve no interest in a pissing match over pixels, sharpness, equipment, and you shouldn’t either. Nor should you make comments about the character or wisdom of anyone else’s photographic needs or purchases, especially when it’s obvious that you have no personal knowledge of the equipment (and people) you’re criticizing, and that all you think you know is what you’ve read on the internet. These are just tools, and the perfect tool for one person is not the perfect tool for someone else. Buy the one you need (and I do hope there is a D800 in your future…I know there’s one in mine), but please shut up about other photographers choice of equipment.

  • BertNewton

    Every successful person feels self important, in fact every single person has an ego and some level of self importance, I made no judgment call on that. A big ego is a key part of almost every person who resides near the top of their field, it is what tells us we belong there ahead of someone else.

    My first comment merely highlighted an interesting quote that was relevant to this article, and my opinion was not designed to offend anyone, it is merely my opinion. Your opinion is obviously that MFD is superior, and hence, worth the high price, so we have differing opinions, I’m not particularly bothered by that. If we all had the same opinions there would only be one camera brand.

    In summary,

    I stand by my opinion, I meant no offence, and happy shooting.

  • James

    Would be nice to see a Medium format camera that didn’t cry when you cranked the ISO.

  • adrian anbessa

    the number one reason cameras have become alot cheaper is due to CMOS sensors ,they’re alot less expensive to manufacture than CCD.
    Do you think the H5Dc will be less expensive than the H5D.if its more expensive its just a stealer.

  • yoda

    The world’s first to be announced maybe. Isn’t the new Phase One using the same sensor? And I am told it is now available.

  • Emil Nyström

    I’m a bit saddened over the fact its only 33×44 mm sensor

  • James

    I mean it still beats full frame