hello to everybody and thanks for all the information I read on this forum over time. this is my first post and I think I should start with a contribution.
last week I put my hands on a new H4D-40 for testing and I'd like to share some experience and give something back to the community.
first of all I want to say that I'm not biased towards any system or brand and will try to concentrate only on the new things I noticed. hopefully not in a too ironical/exagerated way..
BUT… (first I simply have to mention this)
I really asked myself WHO may have designed this camera and in which prison/cave he/she may rest/hide until the end of his/her life for delivering this to a heritage brand like Hasselblad. he/she may also share his/her cell/cave with the person (former Hasselblad employee) who approved it. :-) I mean seriously, photographers in general are aproaching things from a certain aesthetic point of view. At least I think so…
now for the things that might really matter:
once you put your fingers around the grip, this cheap plastic 80's japanese design from sweden turns out to be a truly well built ergonomic full metal machine you can immediately trust on. I am holding this camera shaking my head and just can't believe this diametral contrast of formal design aspect and functionality.
look through the viewfinder:
WOW !!! as you know this is maybe the best one, BUT… every camera manufacturer uses one and the same cheap solution for the digits inside the viewfinder. yellow/greenish or whatever high contrast digits on black background. immediately visible/legible.
hasselblad solution: some sort of lower contrast grey digits on separate greenish LCD…. why ???
does it work ? YES !! thank you hasselblad for having adressed and solved this focus shift problem using AF… BUT… you thought MF AF is slow ? now the process of AUTOFOCUSING got even slower. if you want to use True Focus: press the TF button, unpress the TF button, recompose, press the shutter… in other words, you missed the magic (worst case scenario). additionaly you have to take piano lessons to exercise your tactile finger coordination. why not implement true focus into the schutter release button and save one interface ? activate true focus in some menue, half press the shutter release, unpress, recompose and shoot. hey mr. hasselblad I am a phtographer not a piano player… and here is where I see the problem. looks like every department of hasselblad comes up with the very best ideas and skills but the whole thing does not find it's way into the final satisfactional clean product. (only my view on some minor presupposed shortcommings :-)) otherwise for architecture stills and landscape this might be what we've been waiting for. also more accurate than manual focusing especially after hours of looking through te viewfinder.
HTS 1.5 Tilt/Shift
it's available/real and it works. but be aware: this camera isn't the lightest one and it really becomes a monster with the HTS1.5 and lens attached.
this is the point where I really build up some serious aversion towards that camera. :-) how can such results pop out from that grey box ?? did I mention I don't like the design ? so image quality also on a pixel peeping level is the best I might have ever seen from any camera/sensor. tonality, color, microdetail… simply stunning. such a dreamy lifelike and natural rendering of detail and color… I think this new generation of sensors in combination with the software is a new evolutionary step. whether it is kodak with new sensor design or phocus software or the combination, I don't know. the files are very clean, so clean some might not like them :-) shooting iso100 or iso400 in the studio simply doesn't seam to make any difference… ISO… oh, by the way iso800 and iso1600 you woun't believe it until you see it. I would say: no more need for a 1DsIII in that respect and considering that resolution. Some of us have to deal with sensor plus and stuff… with this one I would say just shoot high ISO and use it at it's full resolution. I am really impressed. didn't shoot myself the P40 so I cannot comment in a comparative manner.
AWB: just spot on !!!
phocus software, what I noticed:
unless you got a supercomputer of the latest generation just forget it. it is deadly slow. i think there is no way to use these files/software even on a moderately pressured shoot with clients looking over your sholder using a macbook pro. hasselblad does recomend certain graphiccards to get proper performance even on a mac pro !! ... you CAN use C1 under any circumstances.
BUT… if you allready have a supercomputer or the time to spend on the files:
- you can lift the shadows so badly without getting noise or lets say too much noise.
- you can push the USM slider way up to nirvana without getting the surfaces, background or sky noisy. and this with all noise reduction set to ZERO ! you just get a sharper image while sliding the button. period. with the default setting the image is pretty soft.
I don't have acces to a P40/P65 generation back so I took some of Guys P40 files from his S2/P40 comparison. What i have to say is that compared to the hasselblad usm-tool the C1 usm-tool looks like a artifact/noise generator/chrystalizer. depending on the subject.
I also think that C1 has changed something whith its usm-tool becoming more aggressive and harsh. did someone noticed that ? the smoothness lacks compared to the hasselblad file. not shure one can transport this into the normal sized print and if then the C1 processed file will perform better in this respect and have more bite. but on the monitor this is obvious.
the third thing I noticed is the color correction tool. same thing here. it is really powerfull and in my opinion allows much broader and more accurate color manipulation than C1. all this is also valid for the H3DII-50 wich leads to the conclusion that these little miracles exist due to some new vodoo processing in phocus-software.
so to come to an end there is no real comparison between the two systems. regarding final image quality the H4D-40 may be one of the best and most complete system out there but with regard to versality speed of use/software there is one more player in the game.. and he has a what I call beautiful and basic peace of camera design…
Hope this might be helpfull for some. so why did I write this down ? maybe for some distraction… :-)
now that the sun is comming through, I have to follow my addiction and get out shooting some photos…