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Reducing Hasselblad X2D File Size via Hasselblad Phocus Copy/Import, eg Converting Original Capture 3FR to FFF Format

re: Hasselblad X2D

Hasselblad X2D

In reference to yesterday’s post re the huge X2D uncompressed files, reader Howard C writes with a helpful suggestion:

The efficient way to download X2D files form the SSD or a card is to use Phocus to import the 3FR files into the desired folder,  which converts them into .fff files.

You can then import the .fff files into your LR catalog. The 3FR files are 220 MBs, but the .fff files are, in fact,  losslessly compressed at 160 MBs. 

DIGLLOYD: maybe some Hasselblad users will find this perfectly acceptable. I don’t.

Having to use proprietary software (Hasselblad Phocus) to download/convert files and wait while conversion is done seems like the least efficient method compared to what I do (Finder copy, after data integrity guarantees).

  • I do not and never have allowed my original captures to be altered*. As a longstanding policy for all cameras.
  • I will not change my workflow working around a broken camera design.
  • I will not spend my time doing extra work for a broken camera design.
  • I will not insert a layer of complexity for what is a trivially simple task.
  • I will not forgo data integrity checks.
  • I do not use Adobe Lightroom, but the idea of having to use Phocus to download/convert and then import into LR seems like a comedy of inefficiency and complexity.
  • I refuse to use proprietary niche software** that might disappear within a few years.
  • I have no need for software with a feature set radically at odds with what I need.
  • I will not use software from a company over which the CCP has control. DJI owns Hasselblad and DJI is a Chinese company. All Chinese companies do whatever the CCP tells them to do, which could include spyware in software. Serious security questions for which the truth is nearly impossible to learn are thus extant for Hasselblad Phocus.

* Some conversions (eg Adobe DNG Converter) destroy the original capture date and time of the file, which is data loss. Even though dates are intact and hidden inside the EXIF, the extra workload of using exiftool to fix the file dates of the all-new non-original and non-evidentiary derivative files is unacceptable for all those reasons.

** Downloading Phocus requires a login. And internet and bandwidth which I often lack while traveling. On my trip, I downloaded Phocus, only to find that the latest version did not support macOS Mojave, which I run on my 2019 iMac 5K. I then had to download an older version. I will not be forced into an operating system update for some software I will use only for fixing a design bug. Adding software always increases the maintenance burden as well as possibly shutting me down if I were to rely on it and it barfed without internet, or some OS update, etc. I run a tight ship on software.

Adobe DNG Converter

Another option is to convert with Adobe DNG Converter, which gives a choice of embedding a medium or full-size JPEG and/or the original raw file. If the original file is included, then the files become ~370MB each, so that’s not too appealing.

CLICK TO VIEW: Hasselblad X2D 100C and Lenses

Savings with lossless compression as used by Adobe DNG Converter always will vary file-by-file due to varying compressibility (eg smooth areas compress much better than highly detailed areas). Savings here are limited due to the high level of image detail; other images would compress better, and some a little worse.

23% size savings plus the bonus of a full-size embedded JPEG, or
32% space savings with a medium-dize embedded JPEG (or no JPEG)

Hasselblad X2D: size of uncompressed 3FR files from camera vs Adobe DNG Converter sizes


Nothing beats the efficiency of copying files right off the card right where I want them with the folder name I want to use without any special software.

Nothing beats the confidence of using IntegrityChecker to update hashes right on the storage volume in the camera, so as to guarantee data integrity, verifying the files after transfer and anytime after whether originals, backups, or in the Cloud.

I 'get' that some people have a photo studio with everything set up and plugged in and so on and it works for them. Some might find this “solution” acceptable and even desirable. But I see it as a kludge that burdens my workflow. Fix the file size problem and make my life better, not worse, Hasselblad!

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