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Hasselblad reworks medium-format cameras with H5D

A new camera body from the high-end camera specialist will be easier to use and better protected against the elements. Also: a new 24mm lens and a macro converter.

Hasselblad's H5D medium-format camera
Hasselblad's H5D medium-format camera

Hasselblad, which so far has survived the culling of the medium-format herd, announced a new high-end camera, the H5D.

Members of the H5D series will come in 40-, 50- and 60-megapixel models, and Hasselblad will show them off next week at the Photokina trade show in Cologne, Germany.

As before, it'll also have a 50-megapixel Multi-Shot version that can take 200-megapixel images of stationary subjects using Hasselblad's sensor-shifting multiple exposure technique. The new line will start shipping in December, the company said.

The new model generally resembles Hasselblad's earlier H4D but adds a number of new features, including a new True Focus II autofocus system, a new focus confirmation option, an ability to capture print-ready JPEG files, bigger buttons, better sealing against difficult weather, and a safety lock to make sure the image sensor isn't removed from the camera back when it shouldn't be.

Medium-format cameras have larger, very expensive image sensors that sometimes can be removed so photographers can upgrade to newer models. The cameras and sensor backs can be very costly, with price tags reaching tens of thousands of dollars; they're geared for pros, who often rent them. Typical subjects include high-quality images of fashion models, cars, watches, and jewelry.

For these latter subjects, Hasselblad also announced a new macro converter that can bring close-focus abilities to the company's HC 50, HCD 28 and HC 35 lenses.

And the Swedish company also announced a new lens, the HCD 4.8/24, a 24mm lens that's equivalent to a 17mm lens on ordinary 35mm SLR cameras.

Hasselblad didn't announce pricing. Included with the camera is the company's own Phocus 2.7 software and Adobe Systems' Lightroom.

Hasselblad's HCD 4.8/24mm wide-angle lens
Hasselblad's HCD 4.8/24mm wide-angle lens Hasselblad