A Viewfinder Darkly

Photography tips and tutorials

Hasselblad’s High End DSLR HD3-II

October 4 2007

by Philip Northeast

The legendary Swedish camera maker’s new fourth generation DSLR, the HD3-II, provides an integrated solution for photographers seeking the ultimate in image quality.

medium format camera

Hasselblad H3D II

The careful combination of camera body, software and their own lenses builds on the company’s reputation for unsurpassed image quality.

With CCD image sensors starting at an impressive 22 megapixels through to the top end of 39 megapixels there is potential for producing quality images. The sensors are larger than even the new full frame 35mm DSLRs, as they are 48x36mm medium format devices.

In the new model Hasselblad have concentrated on functionality over simply impressive megapixels counts. There other 39 megapixel sensors for Hasselblads, including the Phase One range of digital camera backs for medium format cameras.

The Hasselblad produces significantly less noise because there is improved sensor cooling by using the whole camera body to dissipate heat.

medium format rear view

Hasselblad HD3-II rear view

Hasselblad stress the integration of their own digital capture hardware allows them produce better image results and with intuitive controls, the operation of the digital camera is easier and more efficient. A combination of digital menus and a thumbwheel on the handle control all the camera’s main functions.

Another improvement in the H3D-II is the new a large, bright 3” display, providing better image viewing and lower power consumption, an important consideration in cameras that stop working without power.

One area where the benefits of this integration surface is in the relationship between Hasselblad’s HC and HCD lenses and the camera’s on board computer system. The combination offers full digital lens correction through DAC-Digital Auto Correction, which, in addition to chromatic aberration and distortion, now corrects for vignetting.

The integration approach extends to the digital darkroom where Hasselblad’s own image processing software, Phocus. One aspect is the cameras own Global Image Locator (GIL) an in camera GPS system that records the geographic location as part of the image data. Then a link to Google Earth in Phocus, allows searching through images based on location. The main benefit is that every image has accurate location data in the metadata automatically.

Man on the moon

Man on the moon photo by Hasseblad

“We continue to address the needs of professional photographers and to reassure them that, by investing in Hasselblad, they’ve made the right choice. The H3D-II continues the evolution of the world’s most advanced DSLR camera system and, will set a new standard for digital photographic quality,” said Christian Poulsen, CEO of Hasselblad.

These medium format jewels are at home in studio or for outdoor ventures where there is time for the photographer to optimise lighting conditions and composition. Hasselblad’s reputation for reliability earned them a place in the NASA space program, including trips to the moon.

In the USA, the price for the top model, the H3DII-39, is expected to be around $33,995.

originallypublished by suite101.com


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