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Reader Question on Hasselblad X1D II: Overheating?

Cheng C writes:

Thanks for your review and posts about Hasselblad X1D II 50C.

I’ve heard talks about the system got overheating easily, but some people also say the all metal camera body is designed as a “heat sink” to dissipate heat.

I use Canon 5DM4 and I’ve never experienced any overheating before. I can understand that as a mirrorless system with a large sensor the power assumption is much larger than a normal full frame small format DSLR, thus possible overheating, but this still concerns me.

What’s your in-field observation and opinion on this overheating thing? Do you think the heat will affect image quality and eventually wear down electronic parts? If so, what do you suggest to do to minimize this side-effect.

DIGLLOYD: my understanding is that the Hasselblad X1D II body is designed as one large heat sink (according to Hasselblad is my recollection)—it had better, since it has tightly-packed components in its compact form factor. But note that much of the X1D II camera body is not bare metal and thus is not effective as a heat sink. Add on an L-bracket and there is another layer over it, and if there is sun exposure that heats everything up—keep it out of the sun.

For the manner in which I have been shooting the Hasselblad X1D II, heat has not been an issue so far. But most of my shooting so far has been in the 50°F to 70°F range so that an adequate temperature differential exists for the camera to shed heat to the environment.

Hasselblad X1D II

However, the weather is now hitting 80°F at 8400 feet elevation and 100°F at 4400' elevation. And if the camera is in the sun, the camera body temperature will skyrocket from the sun beating on it, which is why I try to keep it out of the sun. Along with a high ambient temperature, heat dissipation from critical camera internals to the environment is greatly reduced by this much-narrowed temperature differential, so that the sensor and internals will be operating at far higher temperatures—at a minimum no less than ambient temperature.

My recollection is that baseline noise roughly doubles about every 10°F (fact-check me on that please) which has major implications for noise, even at base ISO. In other words, operating at 50°F vs 90°F will result in far more noise and perhaps in a non-linear fashion, because the less the temperature differential, the more difficult it is for the camera to dissipate internal heat.

So yes, I do think that the Hasselblad X1D II could “overheat”, by which I don’t necessarily mean that it would stop functioning. But it would definitely produce images of lower quality due to increased noise. How much the Fujifilm GFX100 is affected in similar conditions is hard to say, but it is a much larger camera body and uses less power from what I see, so the issue should be less.

Power consumption ===> heat

A key point is that the X1D II (and X1D) chew up battery power far faster than other cameras, and all that battery usage ends up as heat inside the camera. So power usage relates directly to the ability of a camera to keep its operating temperature reasonable.

With my shooting style I would say that it eats batteries at 3X the rate of the Fujifilm GFX100, at least (while the GFX100 has two batteries, I rarely drained more than one battery). If so, the X1D II needs to dissipate considerably more heat from a smaller camera body with more tightly-packed components. How that interacts with its natural heat sink capabilities, I don't know, but much of the X1D II camera body is not bare metal and won

With the Fujifilm GFX100, I could shoot most days on one battery. With the Hasselblad X1D II, I shut the camera off frequently in order to cut power usage—a bit of a nuisance since its startup time is much longer than the Fujifilm medium format cameras. Even so, from 1/3 to 1/2 the battery is drained after 80 shots or so because I spend a lot of time with the EVF for careful composition and focusing, and doing so consumes a lot of battery power.

CLICK TO VIEW: Hasselblad X Medium Format

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