Hasselblad H4D-31

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Sweden’s Hasselblad has announced the H4D-31, described as the perfect digital medium format alternative for DSLR photographers and for V-customers who are ready to transition to digital. The H4D-31, says the company, delivers the same superior image quality, low noise colour filters, Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution (HNCS), with its single colour profile, and “exquisite” performance of the HC/HCD line of lenses.

Equipped with the same advanced technology as the H4D-40, the H4D-31, features Hasselblad’s True Focus, which provides focusing accuracy throughout the image field – even at close range with shallow depth-of-field.

Hasselblad’s innovative use of yaw rate sensor technology solves the challenge of having to focus and recompose to acquire a focus point outside the centre area of multi-point AF systems. True Focus ensures photographers quickly and accurately achieve the desired focus at any point.

The H4D-31 is available in two configurations, both with the latest version of Hasselblad’s Phocus 2.6 software. The first, designed for high end DSLR photographers comes bundled with an 80 mm lens. The other offers a digital medium format solution for V-System users by bundling the H4D-31 with a CF-lens adapter.

Hasselblad also has introduced two new HC lenses, the HC 50 mm-II and HC Macro 120 mm-II. Both lenses have a new optical design delivering significantly improved performance.

The HC 50-II provides higher resolution and more even performance over the image area. Close range performance has also been improved to deliver better performance while maintaining its minimum object-to-image plane distance of 0.6 m. The lens features 11 elements in 7 groups, a rear focusing mechanism and a broad aperture range of f/3.5-32.

The HC Macro 120-II lens has a minimum object-to-image plane distance of 0.39 m and a maximum image scale of 1:1, slightly longer focal length, higher resolution and better close range performance. The new lens offers improved colour correction, with cleaner unsharp areas that are free from colour cast. The front focusing lens utilizes 9 element in 9 groups, with an aperture range of f/4-45.

Transitioning from film to digital imaging is easy for V-System users thanks to the introduction of the CFV-50 – a 50-megapixel back with a sensor that is twice the size of the best full-frame DSLRs on the market today. The CFV-50 offers Hasselblad’s DAC lens correction technology for most of the V-System Carl Zeiss lenses.

Additionally, the CFV-50 takes advantage of the Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution, which uses one generic profile. The digital back offers flexibility as well, with square and horizontal format options. The CFV-50 offers a choice of CF card storage or tethered operation.

Phocus 2.6 offers improvements that expand the application’s capabilities and speed workflow. Available shortly for Mac and Windows platforms, Phocus 2.6 offers: a Dust Removal tool to remove dust spots on the sensor. This new tool can be utilized to clean up images individually or in combination with the Modify tool for batch processing, thereby saving time when retouching images. Star Rating and Filtering: Rating of images was previously only available via the IPTC core menu as numbers or via the camera integrated 3-colour Instant Approval Level system. Now, in addition, Phocus 2.6 allows users to rate, sort and filter images via star ratings from 0-5 stars. Once images are rated, they can be quickly sorted by star rating with the corresponding filter in the thumbnail bar. Import/Export of Image Adjustments: The photographer is able to use his or her personal adjustments, keywords, layouts, etc. between different other Phocus workstations. Windows support of TIFF and JPEG files: Like the Mac version, the Windows version of Phocus 2.6 now supports TIFF and JPEG files. Windows Support of third party RAW files: Hasselblad is currently developing a solution for third party RAW file support for Windows users.

Hasselblad has developed a semi-automated import and image processing application – Phocus Quick – that converts and brings files into your preferred image applications by the click of a button. Prior to the actual import, you can choose to have low resolutions generated and/or to have your RAW files imported and saved as back-ups for possible future use. Phocus Quick will automatically apply basic image adjustments, e.g., lens correction, upon import. Phocus Quick will be available free for Mac and Windows users in Q4.

Hasselblad has developed a mobile version of Phocus. Available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Phocus Mobile offers the option of connecting wirelessly to a computer running Phocus 2.6 and allow users to remotely browse, zoom and rate images. Phocus Mobile also allows users to remotely operate and trigger a tethered camera, providing control of exposure mode, f/stop, shutter speed, ISO, metering mode and other important capture information, all presented on a virtual camera display.  Phocus Mobile is expected to be available for free download at the Apple App store before year’s end.

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