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Thread: H4D-50 vs H5D-50c Image Quality

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    H4D-50 vs H5D-50c Image Quality

    Hi all,

    I'm well aware of the advantages of the H5D-50c over the H4D-50 in regards to low light use and capturing moving subjects, but I wonder if there's any noticeable difference in regard to image quality at base ISO under good lighting conditions. I've been using the H4D-50 for a few years now, and the image quality at ISO 50 in good light, of stationary subjects, is outstanding. Is the H5D-50c capable of producing the same quality of photo at its base ISO of 100 as the H4D-50 at ISO 50?

    Just interested to know, if any of you have been able to compare their outputs directly.

    All the best.

    Richard Naismith

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    Re: H4D-50 vs H5D-50c Image Quality

    There is lot of subjectivity to this. You need to see for yourself and decide. The Kodak CCD is old technology and technically the CMOS has better color separation and lower noise, but look will be different. If you're a portrait photographer I would guess you prefer the CCD.

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: H4D-50 vs H5D-50c Image Quality

    Hi Anders,

    Can you elaborate?

    Best regards
    Erik


    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    There is lot of subjectivity to this. You need to see for yourself and decide. The Kodak CCD is old technology and technically the CMOS has better color separation and lower noise, but look will be different. If you're a portrait photographer I would guess you prefer the CCD.

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    Re: H4D-50 vs H5D-50c Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Can you elaborate?
    Statistics. If you love the image quality of your Kodak-equipped 'blad and shoot portraits, my experience of all opinions I've taken part of is that you're going to prefer that over the CMOS.

    The most accepting photographers concerning the CMOS seems to be landscape photographers, but they're more into long exposure, high ISO and high dynamic range than subtle details in the skin tone and skin texture. Some even use Lightroom instead of Phocus and Capture One, just crazy

    The only thing I know for sure is that they render differently, colors will not be exactly the same. I don't think the older system will win in any objective measurable aspect, but you might just prefer the look of the older system.

    Honestly I think there's some psychological aspect in it too, CMOS has a bad reputation from back in the days when it was not very good, and in later years that MF has been CCD based has become some sort of differentiator, use this more "film-like CCD" in MF rather than the "artificial looking CMOS" in 135. I know this from the HiFi audio work I've done, you hear what you want to hear and I think it's just the same that you see what you want to see. In the very rare blind testing I've seen of web-sized photos with skilled post-processing people just don't seem to be able to differ. That results are different everyone can see, because it's very hard to make two different cameras to look exactly the same, but which one is better...? But evenso, when the photographer works with one file or another he/she may feel that there's more or less struggle to get to a look that is preferred. So regardless if the "superiority" is real or imagined the look has relevance.

    Another interesting observation I've made that Leaf and Phase One owners tend to think the Kodak tech is not very capable and MF got just so much better with Dalsa, while the Kodak is working excellently in the Hasselblad camp. The Dalsa is a little better in those classic measurable aspects like DR and tonality, but the truth is that the Kodak is more than adequate in these aspects for most types of photography and then it just comes down to which look you prefer.

    I have raw test files both from H3DII-50 and CFV-50 (should be very similar to H4D-50) and H5D-50c, but not shot side by side on the same subject unfortunately. What is really needed here to help Richard is raw files of side by side shots of the type of subjects he's interested in, which he can download and process with his workflow. Anything less than that will just be some other photographer's opinion. Unfortunately it's hard to come by on the net, but we'll see in this thread. Otherwise a Hasselblad dealer should be able to provide this.

    If I was working with portraits I would be very careful not to mess with my workflow and look if I was currently very pleased with the results. So just upgrading because it's newer is probably not a good idea, you really need to check out how it renders.

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    Re: H4D-50 vs H5D-50c Image Quality

    I do a lot of location work, on one assignment this past summer I did have a chance to use both the H5D 40 and the H5D 50c side by side.

    From my short time shooting the two bodies I (IMHO) saw that the 50c is amazing at high ISO. The 40 starts to show noise at 800 ISO but the 50c is clean up to 1600 ISO.

    Otherwise the files from both cameras were very robust and the color especially the skin tones was very nice.

    You really need to shoot the cameras to know what you can achieve with them, all MFD cameras have their quirks, its really just a matter of what you are willing to put up with.

    The results are worth it for me.
    Ciao,
    Giorgio Niro
    www.giorgioniro.com

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    Re: H4D-50 vs H5D-50c Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    There is lot of subjectivity to this. You need to see for yourself and decide. The Kodak CCD is old technology and technically the CMOS has better color separation and lower noise, but look will be different. If you're a portrait photographer I would guess you prefer the CCD.
    Color separation is tricky. I will not be surprised if color separation was better on the old CCD backs. Noise at high ISO and dynamic range should be, on the other hand, far better on the new CMOS sensors.

    It seems that Hasselblad did a very good work with color (the strength of the CCDs) but we have to see if it matches.

    An area where the quality of color separation of the CCD sensors can be seen is in the eyes of people. The MF cameras have some kick to it that is difficult to describe.

    Best regards,

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: H4D-50 vs H5D-50c Image Quality

    I'm in the same boat. Whilst the Cmos version of the blad is out of my reach financially I do own the H4D50.

    And what a camera it is.

    I mainly use it for my actors headshots and some landscaping. The images are absolutely superb yet what I've seen of the CMOS is that it's 'missing' something.

    Despite shooting mainly with a Canon 1DX I last got this feeling when I edited someones D800 files. They looked....artificial.

    Maybe the higher number of pixels in CMOS is affording us the ability to see something we couldn't notice before. But it's made me hold off the thought of committing to CMOS Mf backs until a generation or two in.

    Or maybe it's just Sony sensors. I just don't know.
    Chris Giles Photography

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    Re: H4D-50 vs H5D-50c Image Quality

    Thanks to all of you who have responded so far. Some very interesting points, and I appreciate everything you've said very much.

    It seems it would be very good to see photos taken with both cameras of the same subjects, taken at the same time in the same place, if that were possible. I've done that with the H4D-50 mentioned above, and a D800E we also own, and it was quite clear that the Hasselblad is a different grade of camera, at least under optimum lighting conditions with stationary subjects. The detail and color were of a higher class.

    Any further input would be appreciated.

    All the best.

    Richard Naismith

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    Re: H4D-50 vs H5D-50c Image Quality

    I've noted that in the Phase One and Leaf camps users are overall very happy leaving the Kodak sensor behind and jumping on Dalsa instead (P45+ being the last for Phase One and Leaf never(?) had it), claiming better color and tonality and lower noise of the Dalsa. Trash-talking the Kodak (and thus indirectly Hasselblad) is not uncommon. In the Hasselblad camp however many seems very pleased with the Kodak sensors, and indeed the H4D-50 has a 50 megapixel Kodak. So I guess either Phase/Leaf users have some other taste concerning color or Hasselblad has succeeded better in their processing pipeline with these sensors.

    Personally I think everything looks good from the test files I've seen , both Kodak and Dalsa, and also the D800 and the new CMOS backs. I can see that it looks different, but I'm unable to see any advantages/disadvantages, especially if not pixel peeping. It's quite obvious that the eye is more sensitive to skin tones though, and if I had been specializing on portrait rather than landscape (where light conditions and post-processing vary so heavily that a camera signature if present is very weak for sure) I may have had stronger opinions about which system renders better.

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    Re: H4D-50 vs H5D-50c Image Quality

    Actually the DxoMark measurements of these two backs show that they have the same CFA. The small variation seen is due to limits in measurement precision and sample to sample variation. But there can still be differences, lens can cause some differences and IR filter etc, but again small.

    It's not impossible though that different type of CFAs can be applied to the same sensor technology though, it just doesn't seem to be the case here, and I don't know of any such case in the MF world, but maybe there is.

    I think if DxO compares the various Sony MF CMOS offers we'll see that the CFA is the same, but processing pipelines are still much different, even between IQ250 and Credo 50 which use different type of ICC processing while sharing raw converter.

    Even with a custom CFA you can't make the noise go away though, which is the basis of good (or bad) tonal response and color separation. The Dalsas and of course the new CMOS are no doubt better there, visually and measurably, but it will depend on shooting condition how much that matters. In portrait, not at all as critical regions are well-exposed, in high contrast landscape scenes without grads and aggressive post-processing - quite a bit.

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