Hasselblad X1D Video

 
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Hasselblad X1D Video Features, Specs & Analysis

by Jaron Schneider | Posted

The Hasselblad X1D is first and foremost a stills camera, but it is capable of capturing video in albeit a rather limited way. It provides an excellent depth of field that comes from its massive sensor at the cost of video recording options. That is to say, there is only one option:

  • 8-bit, 4:2:0, H.264 Compressed at 1080p25

That qualifies the X1D as the camera with the least number of video modes I've ever encountered.


ISO performance from the X1D is markedly worse in video than in stills. Though I was confident in every ISO available for taking a still image, that falters considerably when looking at the performance in video. ISO 3200 is pretty much where I would draw the line, as above that you start to see a lot of noise and some very intense color shifting. By the time we maxed out the ISO at 25600, the image was horrifically green with some of the worst noise and color flickering I've ever seen in video.

However, at ISO 3200 and below, I was surprised at how clean the video looks. Lines are sharp, colors are crisp, and the same love for greens I exhibited in the photos review carry over here with video. I really like how the X1D renders colors, even in video.

What's nice is that the crop factor from stills to video is not incredibly dramatic. Though I'm not sure what the actual percentage is, you can see below how the video stacks up to the still taken from the exact same distance with the same lens. The top frame is a video still, the bottom is a JPEG captured in camera:

Hasselblad X1D Review

Though you can see there is indeed a crop, it's not nearly as bad as I was expecting. For shooting video, you get a considerable amount to work with when it comes to the medium format "look." If you wanted to create a unique finished product, shooting a movie on the Hasselblad X1D-50C would indeed provide a very special feel that you can't get with nearly any other camera.

Physically, the X1D is pretty spartan when it comes to video

As far as hardware options go, there are scant few with the X1D. There is no benefit to an external recorder as the HDMI output isn't clean, and as mentioned you have only one frame rate option (25p). You can, however, use the Mini-HDMI to send video out of the camera to a television or monitor, and the X1D also includes both a headphone and microphone jack.

On-screen during recording, you aren't given a lot of information, either. You get get a visual level, you can see how long you have recorded, and you can tell that it is actively recording. That's about it. Bare bones, but enough to work with.

Sluggish contrast-detect AF; stick to manual focus

If you read our stills review, you probably noticed we mentioned slow autofocus as one of the main cons to the camera, and that hold true for video, as well. It's slow, it hunts, and it's generally not a good idea to rely on the autofocus at all except to perhaps land a starting point. For video, it absolutely will track poorly. Use manual focus.

In manual focus you do get focus peaking, however, and the colors can be customized. For those who have experience with video, manual focus is generally the way to go anyway, and the fact it includes focus peaking is great.

Hasselblad X1D Video: Summary

In summary, the X1D is quite clearly a stills camera first, second and third, with video being a much forgotten fourth. With only one recording option at 1080p25, it doesn't offer shooters much in terms of versatility. Though the quality of the 1080p footage is impressive, it's not enough to offset the extremely poor high ISO performance and bad autofocus. Though footage can look great, it's not at all a video camera.

Pros:

  • Excellent colors
  • Clean, sharp detail under ISO 3200
  • Only a moderate crop factor on video, which allows for that medium format "look" to translate to video
    Offers focus peaking
  • Headphone and microphone jack as well as Mini-HDMI

Cons:

  • Only one video recording option: 1080p25 (PAL); No 4K
  • Autofocus speed is quite bad; do not attempt to use to track subjects
  • Above ISO 3200, incredible noise and color shifting occurs

 



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