Hasselblad Releases CFV-50c CMOS Back for V-System Cameras


Today, Hasselblad launched the CFV–50c, a 50-megapixel CMOS back – identical to that found in the H5D–50c – capable of being attached to any existing V-system camera.

Designed with simple operation in mind, the back requires zero cables for connection, a first of its kind. As for the technical details, the CFV–50c is capable of up to ISO 6400, 1.5fps, 16-bit color, features a 3” 24-bit color display and uses a CF card for storage, when not tethered to a computer.


Additional features in the CFV–50c include a proprietary live-view mode, a ‘Classic Hasselblad’ square crop option, a ‘modernized’ user interface and programmable buttons for easy personalization. Also available is the ability for remote control option from Phocus, using a 500EL-type or 503CW with winder.


Priced at roughly $15,000, the CFv–50c packs in quite a punch at a rather decent price point. For more information, you can head on over to its product page and view Hasselblad’s press release. If you’re concerned about compatibility with systems you might have lying around, Hasselblad has also provided a documentation of compatible devices.

  • Brad Trent

    A couple of obvious questions would be, 1.) Why not go all the way and make it a 6×6 square format? Yes, it would cost more to have a square sensor made, but it would be more in the spirit of old-school Hassleblad to have a square format digital version of the camera, and 2.) I thought Hassleblad nuked the V System a few months back? So why market a digital back for a dead camera line?!!

  • Peter “Pots”

    I am still in shock about the price! Never mind anything else!!

  • derekdj

    It’s a great idea but hardly affordable at $15k. Hasselblad’s decision making has been confounding in recent years from their so called premium digital camera that was nothing more than an ugly re-skinning of a Sony NEX camera, to this.

    Hasselblad should really do more research into who is keeping alive their V-system cameras, it’s not so much the high end pros who can afford 15k, but the mid-range artists and enthusiasts who are snapping up 2nd hand models for $800 on ebay. Hasselblad should’ve taken some notes from Lomography and Impossible Project, and created a truly affordable $1,700 to $3,000 digital back to breath new life into their old cameras (which could be a path way into introducing a fully digital V-system). There is no reason in this day and age where Nikon, Canon and Sony can produce and sell full sensor DSLRs for $3k, that Hassleblad can’t produce a digital film back in a comparable price point.

  • Sid Ceaser

    I would be standing in line for an affordable digital back for my 500C/M. It doesn’t even have to be huge MP. Give me 16 and I’d be happysauce.

  • Chang

    Clearly they realized giving 2/3 (or more, no one but wealthy amateurs or successful pros use the H series) of their user base the shaft wasn’t a great business model. I’m enormously pleased with this news.

  • Chang

    Seriously. I’d figure out a way to pay 5k-6k if it was a square format 6×6 with 16-24MP. I’d sell every other camera I own for a back like that.

  • Brad Trent

    But the fact is, they DID kill off the V cameras, so is this back just a way for all those people with old cameras to shoot digital? It seems ridiculous to make a $15K digital back for an ‘analog’ camera that isn’t manufactured any more. And design-wise, because this isn’t a revolving back, slapping a 6×4.5 horizontal digital back on a camera like the 500C series Hasselblad means you hafta always use a prism if you want to shoot vertical images. If Hasselblad truly gave a damn about their history and if they wanted to really make a big splash, then a 6×6 square sensor would have been the way to go.

  • Chang

    True. Maybe their recent financial difficulties have them rethinking the wisdom of killing off the greatest portable camera system ever. While they probably won’t make any money off me with this, perhaps they’ll make enough to warrant resurrecting a system from the days when “Hasselblad” didn’t mean “overpriced joke”.

  • Rob S

    So for 46% less you can get an entire Pentax 645Z. What a bargain!

  • Quaresma Vieira

    And probabily with the same sensor…

  • Brad Trent

    Not the same sensor if you can believe the bit about “16-bit color”….

  • Patrick Downs

    And I’d be crying in my beer, after having sold my 500CM and 50/150. I still miss it. :(

  • Knickerless Knickleby

    Tons of pros are still shooting with the V system… Many, especially in high fashion, swear by a 503CW and a P65+.. Just because they’re professionals doesn’t mean they use the latest and newest stuff. Lots are afraid of the color rendition of the CMOS sensor.. I know plenty who still shoot film on their 500C/M. The Zeiss T* glass is just too damn nice for some to let go..

  • carnagex2000

    $15k thats an amazing price! :) (Don’t know why people are saying its so expensive, when you break down the price for a 2 year loan, it comes out to be around $800 a month, paying around $20k total with the interest, thats like taking on 2 extra jobs each month. (and of course once your paid off, companies usually have a trade in program to upgrade at a cheaper price for a new model). Im just hoping they release the CFV-50c in a mamiya mount!

  • Rob S

    The sensors are identical – all from Sony. Pentax allow you to push the ISO to 204800, shoot 3 FPS, shoot video and does it in a WR package. Or you can pay almost twice as much for a back………

  • derekdj

    I know a lot of pros are still using the V-System, hell I’m still using a Hassy TLR, it’s a wonderful system. However the largest demand for Hassy V’s aren’t at the pro-level, a few quick searches on camera forums, ebay and art schools will tell you that. From a market standpoint they’re missing the biggest trend with their cameras, the enthusiasts, collectors, educational and mid-level creative sectors. They’re trying to emulate Leica’s marketing and sales tactics without putting in the effort to support the enthusiasts and collectors market.

    I’d argue that if Hassleblad was to create an affordable digital back for their V-systems you’d see not only very respectable sales of the back, but a spike in the 2nd hand market for V-system camera, and a real demand for a fully digital 500 series camera. But instead we’re stuck with a $15k back for a camera system they killed off and the Hassleblad Stellar.

  • Anomouse

    I love my Hassy TLR too!

  • Anomouse

    Hasselblad can’t make sensors, they have to buy them. And so far nobody has made a modern CMOS sensor in quantity any larger, especially square. (I think there are larger arrays for astronomy but then we’re into the six figures….)

    The earlier rotating back MFDBs were a smart idea though, that would be pretty slick for the V-series.

    I don’t think it’s a bad idea to make a new back for an out of production V-series. There are fifty years of used inventory, hundreds of thousands of cameras, and you can buy a mint late model one for peanuts ~ newly manufactured ones wouldn’t be as well made and cost thousands more.

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  • CurrentCo

    Same here. I’d sell my 5d today! take notes Hassy!

  • docholliday666

    Gotta love the product shot on the press release page with the beat up WLF! Looks like mine on my 205FCC…

  • Ian

    I live in a city, where would I put a big cat?

  • Fred Ogg

    There is no such thing as a Hasselblad TLR, morons.

  • Niles

    I love my 500CM and the lens. I have been looking forward to a digital back for years and was so excited to hear the news, that is until I got to $15,000. It simply is out of my league. $1,500 or $2,000 is about right.

    Hasselblad should consider the Walmart business model to success. Massive volume at a low profit margin. There are more enthusiasts out there than pros. A large untapped market.

  • docholliday666

    They already do the walmart model…it’s called the Lunar and Stellar branded with the (original) Sony label. Oh, wait. You meant price.

    $15K’s a pretty good price considering the cost of an H5 or Phase back. And, to not have to use a flash sync cable is even nicer. It’ll truly make V bodies field usable instead of being confined to a tripod in studio. Plus, it’s CMOS – “new tech” in the MF world, so they could have charged a ridiculous amount (and it’d sell). For the target market, this is pretty nice. 50mp, Zeiss lenses, and a WLF is perfect for studio product work! (Ever tried shooting tabletop with a 35mm finder? My neck still hurts from the other day.)

    The other problem is that nowadays, the majority of the “enthusiast” is anybody with a camera who calls themselves a photographer. They’d have no idea how to use a Hasselblad, let alone a light meter. At least back in the day, amateurs dreamed of getting a Hasselblad (or LF) and were willing to learn the necessary skills to eventually own one. So sad nowadays that their criteria is more like “2000mp, auto-everything, focus for everything or auto-HDR, instant wifi upload, GPS to tag where they were”. Their goal is not be better and create their vision, but rather to post as many turds to instagram or pinterest as possible so that their friends can stroke their ego as to “how good that shot” is.

  • docholliday666

    …and get better optics, ability to shoot film if needed (B&W!), go to LF with all the movement when necessary, have a waistlevel finder, have native movements (Flexbody), use the gear that you already have, not care about video (get a RED or C300/500), and have X-Sync all the way up to lens max.

  • docholliday666

    Really? I’d love to see what lens you have on that Hasselblad TLR. What series is that body anyways, T-Series? Is there an adapter that I could mount two of my Sonnar Superachromats on it?

  • matsography

    I still dream of shooting digital medium format with an “affordable” (yes Hasselblad, remove the first digit, the cost of this sensor produced on a large scale is NOWHERE near what you ask for it) 6×6 WHO DOES VIDEO!
    645 format never has been a good format anyway (very limited benefits compared to a technically much better 35mm) 6×6, 6x, 6×9 or more, then we are talking!

    Why the hell they didn’t enable video on this back? with a system like this, they could surpass everything else!

    Hasselblad, PhaseOne, Leaf, Mamiya, Rollei, Sinar, can’t you hear us ??? if not then go to hell, it would be a tragic but deserved and inevitable loss for photography…

  • BenHillPhoto

    “We own lights”. Damn straight.

  • Chris B

    The first part about optics is nullified when you realize you can mount any V-mount lens to the Pentax 645 system, INCLUDING the 200/2000 series lenses. When I’m not shooting film (which I do 90% of the time), I shoot the 645Z with both the 80mm 2.8 C* and the 110mm f/2 T* , and both are absolutely beautiful on the camera. :)

    Oh – and you can still easily find the Pentax 75mm LS, allowing a sync speed up to 1/500th as well.

    That being said, I still love my 500CM to death, and that’s because it shoots square. And – as you mentioned – BW film. :)

  • docholliday666

    …and we know how to use them!

  • docholliday666

    Well, not really, the adapter doesn’t let you get full LS sync. And the 75mm LS, well it’s only one lens. What about 40mm, or 250SA, or 120Makro? The Mamiya 645 had quite a few LS lenses, but it sucked because you had to manually cock the lenses apart from the body (unless you had the rare little cable) and it was stiff enough that you’d lose precision alignment (try macro work).

    Working with the 250SA in bright sunlight and a studio strobe needs that LS!

    The other thing is Bay filters – no need to try and tediously thread filters on, slap and go!

  • Chris B

    You can still use the V-mount lenses on the P645, though, including the 40mm, 250SA, or 120Makro. Sure, you’ll be using them without 1/500th flash sync, BUT it allows you to use the 1/4000th focal plane shutter,so that’s give and take, IMO.

    Obviously, for your uses with the 250SA is quite specific, and the 645Z doesn’t sound ideal. That being said, I imagine holding the camera + looking through it sideways isn’t the best for shooting portraits either.

    Give and take in both systems. Hard to beat the $9k pricetag of the Z, though, especially when you slap those Zeiss lenses on it. Would still allow you to buy a 500CM and an older P-series back (ie. P25 or P25+) with the amount that you’d save, so you could have the best of both worlds!

    I’ve seen many a test showing that the Pentax 35mm 3.5 handily beats all but the newest 40mm FLE IF Zeiss lenses for the V system. That being said, I completely love the way Zeiss lenses render, which is why I use them on my Pentax 645N/645Z. I’d buy the used Zeiss lenses before new Pentax lenses almost any day. :)

  • docholliday666

    Yes, but that 1/4000 FP still only syncs at 1/125, defeating the purpose of the sync. I don’t shoot portraits, so that don’t matter. I had the Pentax for about a month…went back to my 1Ds Mark III for “portable” usage. And, with the CF to EOS adapter, I use my Zeiss lenses on the Canon just fine.

    And, yes, the CFE FLE IF is the 40 I have. I use the 250SA for everything tele – no fringing, better color. As far as specialty, that would have to be the 105 UV.