Hasselblad H3D II: Megapixel madness

Hasselblad has unveiled the H3D II, a 39-megapixel monster of an SLR, with geotagging, a giant sensor and a suitably gigantic price tag

If you thought 12 megapixels was impressive, or that 21 megapixels was pushing the envelope, then prepare to run away in terror from the latest megapixel monster wading from the sea -- this Godzilla will crush you and your puny 7-megapixel cameras. The Hasselblad H3D II digital SLR is a 39-megapixel behemoth. Yes, 39 million pixels per image.

In order to process that frankly ridiculous 5,412x7,212-pixel resolution, the H3D II packs a 48x36mm image sensor. To keep that leviathan of a sensor cool, Hasselblad has jammed in a physical heatsink, which dissipates the heat generated to the entire camera body.

There's also a whopping 76mm (3-inch) screen for previewing images, and Hasselblad claims that handling is better than on the original H3D, as the controls have been moved to within thumb reach. The H3D II shoots raw footage -- imagine the size of those files! -- and also boasts a GPS receiver for geotagging your pictures. This embeds location information in the image file so that Google Earth, which the camera links directly to, or sites such as Flickr, can show where the image was taken on a map.

Of course, 39 megapixels is pretty ludicrous, and so is the £18,500 price tag. Hasselblad has taken this into account by offering two lesser versions of the H3D II, available to us lesser mortals that don't need to shoot photos the size of billboards. Well, kind of: they offer 22- and 31-megapixel sensors. We may need to save up. -Rich Trenholm

Update: The H3D II's sensor is 48x36mm, and not 28x36mm as a previous version of this post reported.

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