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Hasselblad to Announce a 100-Megapixel X2D Soon?

The discounts on the Hasselblad X1D are now very large. See my in-depth medium format camera and lens reviews.

The only reasons I can think of that Hasselblad would offer such deep discounts are (a) poor sales (which I deem unlikely to result in such deep discounts), or (b) the imminent announcement of an X2D with a 100-megapixel sensor (or at least a successor of some kind). Fujifilm also has discounts on the Fujifilm GFX system, though not as deep.

As a Hasselblad X1D owner, I’d not be terribly pleased to have my X1D resale value plummet by $3500, but these days many vendors have such practices. For those looking into the system, these discounts means that used X1D systems should sell for about half the original asking price, a nice way to get into the system.

I’ve asked Hasselblad for a loaner of the new and exciting Hasselblad XCD 21mm f/4, but it seems that I am well down the priority list, alas. I might have to use dependable B&H Photo, but at this point, I’d really prefer to review a 21mm on a 100 megapixel sensor.

Continues below...

CLICK TO VIEW: Deep Discounts on Hasselblad X1D

Who wants 100 megapixels, and why bother?

I am hoping that sometime this year that both Hasselblad and Fujifilm will both release 100 megapixel camera bodies, which would be an exciting development in today’s jaded market. IMO, getting to 100 megapixels solves a bunch of issues, including:

  • Unprecedented resolution in a relatively small package. At 100 megapixels, there are things to see that the naked eye will easily miss. I find this fascinating for landscape photography in particular, but it also applies to portraiture (clothing, hair, iris of the eye, etc).
  • A large reduction in aliasing and color moiré as compared to 50 megapixels. A boon to product and fashion photographers, not to mention guys like me shooting stands of aspen—red and green speckles everywhere are a ugly mess. 100 megapixels won’t make these issues go away, but diffraction will mean that they should be minimal by f/5.6.
  • As compared to 50 megapixels, hugely increased pixel quality (excepting noise on a per pixel basis) meaning that if 100 megapixels is downsampled to 50MP, aliasing and moiré and other Bayer matrix errors largely disappear, which for years I have discussed as oversampling, an idea familiar to any student of sampling theory, e.g. Nyquist Theorm. The ignorant say “we don’t need that many pixels”, which translates as a lack of understanding of what determines total image quality.

Jason W writes:

I entirely agree 100 megapixels is a useful resolution. The amount of color aliasing / moire in the GFX images I've seen really drives me nuts. The Fuji and Hassy lenses often seem to be way ahead of the sensor tech. Do you feel 100 megapixels is your end game?

DIGLLOYD: moiré and aliasing are indeed a serious issue at 50 megapixels. Diffraction damps down the issue by f/11, but by going to 100 megapixels, f/8 will do so.

IMO, 100 megapixels is not an end game but it is surpasses my “wow factor” by some amount. I think that ultimately if the sensor tech can support it (noise control), that 200 megapixels is a fairly hard upper bound. That this is viable and useful derives directly from work I did back in 2012. The question is yields on a 44 X 33mm sensor with 200 megapixels. So I’ll call 200 megapixels the “end game”.


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