Panasonic unveils its photographer-focused Lumix G flagship, Leica revives the classic CL badge for its new ‘APS-C’ mirrorless camera, Hasselblad upgrades the X1D and announces new XCD lenses, Olympus expands its M.Zuiko Digital PRO lens family, Sony launches the A7R III to challenge Nikon’s D850, and Epson extends its EcoTank economies to photo-quality A3 and A4 printers. There’s more, so turn to page 6 to get up to speed with all the latest developments.
HASSELBLAD HAS RECENTLY released a number of firmware upgrades for its digital mirrorless medium format camera, the X1D50c. Key new features include a sensor-based shutter (via Version 1.17.2) and touchscreen AF point selection (via Version 1.19). The sensor shutter (a.k.a. an “electronic shutter”) gives a speed range from 68 minutes up to 1/10,000 second and operates entirely silently. More importantly, it also eliminates any vibrations which can otherwise be a significant issue in digital medium format photography. The limitations are a maximum sensitivity reduced to ISO 3200, the possibility of rolling shutter distortion with moving subjects, and single-shot operation only.
Firmware upgrade Version 1.17.2 also adds re-sizeable AF points which can be set to 2.0 mm, 2.8 mm or 4.0 mm, creating 117, 63 or 35 measuring points respectively. In addition to ‘Touchpad AF’ operation via the camera’s touchscreen monitor, firmware upgrade Version 1.19 enables live view using only the EVF and allows for the customisation of three buttons from a list of 25 functions. It’s also possible to toggle the live view grid display via the display button.
Hasselblad has also announced new XCD lenses which will expand the system to nine by the end of 2018. The first of these is a 135mm f2.8 short telephoto (equivalent to 107mm) which will be supplied with a dedicated 1.7x teleconverter to create a 230mm f4.8 telephoto (equivalent to 182mm). Also new is an 80mm prime (equivalent to 63mm) which Hasselblad says will be the fastest lens it has ever produced. While this lens’s maximum aperture hasn’t been disclosed (it won’t be available until the second half of 2018); for the record, the previously fastest ’Blad lens was the Zeiss Planar T 110mm f2.0 FE for the 2000 and 2000 series 6x6cm SLR (which had FP shutters). The new XCD lens road-map also reveals that the previouslyannounced 22mm ultra-wide will now be a 21mm f4.0 (equivalent to 16.5mm) while the 65mm prime will have a maximum aperture of f2.8 and the 35-70mm zoom’s will be f3.5-4.5. All XCD lenses have built-in leaf shutters with a top speed of 1/2000 second.
Upgrades for the Hasselblad H6D models (50c and 100c) now allow for the V System lenses to be fitted via the CF adapter, plus increased control customisation.