Hasselblad yeahhhh



Hasselblad has set a new standard for digital cameras with the launch of H3D-39, the world’s first Full-Frame, 48mm DSLR camera system.

Photo: Laurence Laborie

More than just a DSLR

The H3D has been developed around a brand new digital camera engine producing increased lens performance and a new level of image sharpness. By focusing solely on digital camera architecture, Hasselblad is able to offer photographers the full benefits of professional medium-format digital cameras as well as the ease of use of the best 35mm DSLRs.

The H3D design has also made possible the launch of a completely new 28mm lens, designed and optimized solely for digital image capture. Image quality is lifted to a level yet unseen in digital photography, including digital correction for color aberration and distortion (check the image quality out at the Star Quality page). The result is flexibility for the professional photographer, including the freedom to choose between eye-level and waist-level viewfinders, digitally APO corrected lenses, and on-the-fly classification of images. The H3D offers photographers the freedom to work with film to allow shooting under extreme conditions, and Hasselblad’s Natural Color Solution delivers out-of-the box
image quality only achievable in a true digital camera system. The H3D camera is currently available with three different sensor models, offering Full-Frame 48mm image capture with a resolution of 39 Mpixel/22 Mpixel, or near Full-Frame capture with the new 31 Mpixel model.

Sensors for all types of shooting

The H3D-22 and its nearly double-resolution H3D-39 counterpart are both Full-Frame 48mm DSLR’s using the sensor format 36×48mm. These cameras operate up to ISO400 with a capture speed of up to 1.4 seconds per capture. The H3D-22 and H3D-39 are the preferred choice of professional commercial photographers.

The H3D-31 features a 31 Mpixel sensor measuring 33×44mm enhanced with micro-lenses to boost ISO rating by one stop to a new maximum of ISO800. As with its fellow H3D models, the H3D-31 makes use a new high speed capture architecture for the fastest possible operation, with the H3D-31 capturing at the rate of 1.2 seconds per capture, working either mobile or tethered to a computer. These features make the H3D-31 the natural choice for the professional mobile photographer.

Large format 48x36mm digital capture

Today’s digital photography demands higher resolution, less noise, and improved compositional choice, all of which the CF backs provide. The sensors are 22 or 39 megapixels in size and they are both more than twice the physical size of today’s 35mm sensors. This means more and larger pixels, which ensures the highest possible image quality and moiré free color rendering without gradation break-ups – in even the most subtley lit surfaces.


Four modes of operation and storage

Optimum portability and image storage are critical for the professional photographer. On the digital front, the H3D offers a free choice of the portable CF card storage, the flexible Firewire driven Hasselblad Imagebank, or tethered operation with extended, special capture controls. On the film front, an optional 120/220 magazine is offered for those occasions where film is preferred. With these four operating and storage options, the photographer is able to select the best mode to suit the nature of the work at hand, whether in the studio or on location.

H System lenses

The specifications of the specially designed HC/HCD lenses exceed the demands made by digital capture. The central lens shutters of the lenses add flexibility by allowing flash to be employed at shutter speeds up to 1/800s. Thanks to the large format, the depth of field range is considerably shallower making it much easier to create a perfect interplay between sharpness and blur. The H3D design has also made possible the launch of a completely new 28mm lens, designed and optimized solely for digital image capture. Image quality is lifted to a level, yet unseen in digital photography, including digital correction for color aberration and distortion (DAC).

A choice of bright viewfinders

One of the important traditional advantages of medium format is the extra large and bright viewfinder image. The H3D comes with a new HVD90X viewfinder designed for full performance over the large 36x48mm sensor. It is interchangeable with the HV90X and the new waist-level viewfinder, the HVM.

Unique Hasselblad Natural Color Solution

Normally troublesome subjects such as various skin tones, metals, fabrics, flowers, etc. are easily captured by using the new, powerful color profile – the Hasselblad Natural Color Solution (HNCS). It works invisibly in the background in conjunction with the FlexColor imaging software, producing outstanding and reliable out-of-the-box results. In order to support our new unique color system, we have developed a custom Hasselblad raw file format called 3F RAW (3FR). The file format includes lossless image compression, which reduces the required storage space by 33%.


DNG workflow

3FR files can be converted into Adobe’s raw image format DNG (‘Digital NeGative’), bringing this new technology standard to the professional photographer for the first time. In order to optimize the colors of the DNG file format, conversion from the 3FR must take place through FlexColor. The DNG file format enables raw, compressed image files to be opened directly in Adobe Photoshop. Hasselblad image files carry a full set of metadata, including capture conditions, keywords and copyright, facilitating workflow with image asset management solutions.

IAA – helping you classify and select images

Building on the success of its Audio Exposure Feedback technology, Hasselblad has created Instant Approval Architecture (IAA), an enhanced set of feedback tools, designed to liberate the photographer from the selection process and to concentrate on the shoot. Audible and visible signals as well as recorded information in the file and in the file name all promote a quick and easy classification in the field or in the lab. Sorting becomes automatic, accessible and very fast, facilitating reviewing the best images for immediate client presentation.

FlexColor workflow for the specialist commercial photographer

FlexColor enables you to create an image processing workflow that gives you the highest degree of control for your studio photography. In tethered operation, tools such as overlay masking help bring productivity to advanced set composition. The latest version of the FlexColor software enables you to manipulate color temperature and compare image details across multiple images for precise image selection. FlexColor uses the 3FR files and runs on both Macintosh and Windows computers. The software is licensed to allow you to provide free copies for all your co-workers and production partners.

Last, but not least

Naturally, as with all Hasselblad products, a new H3D affords access to the full range of Hasselblad service and support, ensuring that your investment will last for a long time to come. And the latest firmware updates are always just a download away.


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