There are reports going around on the Hasselblad X2D that are making me yawn. Years ago, Hasselblad wow’d press with their X1D. This is the medium format mirrorless camera that looked like the Mamiya 6 and that everyone wanted. But it was plagued by problems like autofocus, price, lens selection, and a lot more. Fast-forward to today, and the Fujifilm GFX series is far more attractive in every single way. That’s why I’m not hyped for the X2D. Instead, I’m holding out my hope for the Hasselblad 907x 100C.
According to Photo Rumors, the X2D is going to fix a lot of the problems the previous camera had. But in 2022, it’s not a form factor that seems particularly fascinating. If I really want a rangefinder-style medium format camera, I’m going to wait for the Fujifilm GFX 100R at this point. Fujifilm knows how to do ergonomics right. Plus they’ve got fantastic film simulations and lots of lenses available on the market. But instead, the Hasselblad 907x 100C, if it ever makes it to market, could be the special winner. Its predecessor, the Hasselblad 907x 50C, had a form factor I adored. And this is what Hasselblad needs to build on.
Earlier this year, I traded my Mamiya 6 for a Hasselblad 501C. Reviewer Brittany Smith waxed poetically about her love for her Hasselblad in a previous post, too. That’s where Hasselblad can do something unique. Imagine an LCD screen that flips up and can move all the way on top of the camera. (This way you can shoot top-down style.) Then imagine a loupe that can go over it that lets you shoot like a medium format film SLR with a hood finder. This is the variety I think the photo industry needs. The fundamental design of digital cameras hasn’t really changed in years. Most of them are SLR style or rangefinder style. Quite honestly, they’re boring.
I’m not saying brands should try something like Sigma did, with a totally weird design. Instead, I think Hasselblad should lean into their history. Why not mix that revamped autofocus with a new style of camera body? Why keep making the same thing everyone else does? Of course, this complaint is part of a larger body of complaints our staff has with the photo industry. I mean, if every brand is reaching for clinical perfection with their lenses, won’t all lenses look the same after a while? And if that’s the case, why buy Hasselblad over Sony?
Let’s be honest, the Hasselblad X2D will be playing catch up more than anything else. There’s too little innovation between companies when they’re all sharing the same components. So, for Hasselblad to truly stand out, they’ll need to release the Hasselblad 907x 100C sooner. Further, I honestly don’t know many people who own a digital Hasselblad anymore. The company has done a lot of work with diversity efforts, which they should be applauded for. But they also haven’t done anything to make their products unique. Let’s be thankful though that they’re not releasing Sony cameras like the Sony a99 or Sony RX100. Instead, they’re genuinely trying to make their own things.