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Hasselblad sets a price for the H5D-50c: $27,500

The transition to CMOS image sensors in professional medium-format cameras takes its second big step after Phase One's IQ250 arrived in January.

Hasselblad H5D-50c
The Hasselblad H5D-50c will move the medium-format camera maker from CCD image sensor technology to CMOS technology. Hasselblad

Hasselblad has begun shipping its new H5D-50c, a high-end medium-format camera geared for professionals, and it's a notch cheaper than the $34,990 IQ250 from rival Phase One.

The Swedish company announced a pre-tax price of 20,900 euros on Monday, which is about $28,800 at today's exchange rate, but B&H Photo gives a $27,500 price tag. If you throw in the company's 80mm lens, the price hops up to $30,000.

Both the H5D-50c and IQ250 mark the shift to sensors made with CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) chip manufacturing technology. CMOS has some advantages over the older CCD (charged-coupled device) approach, particularly for low-light shooting or heat-sensitive situations like video and live-view shooting, but today at least the new sensors are smaller than CCD predecessors.

Medium-format cameras use larger image sensors for better detail, dynamic range, and color, and for high-end lenses that pro photographers often like. But that large sensor is tremendously expensive, so even high-end SLRs are vastly cheaper than medium-format cameras.

In other medium-format news Monday, Ricoh announced a $500 discount for March on its Pentax 645D, dropping its price to about $6,500. That's almost the exact same price as Nikon's top-end D4S -- not yet shipping -- and $300 less than Canon's EOS 1D X.