Hasselblad H2D-39 Announced

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*January 13, 2006 - *Hasselblad has announced the H2D-39, a medium-format camera with a 36.7 x 49.0 mm 39-megapixel sensor. The H2D-39 is the latest in Hasselblad's H-series, that company's medium-format film and digital offering. The H2D-39 accepts lenses from 35mm to 300mm, and is targeted at high-end commercial photography.

At $29,995, it's not a camera for everyone. Asked about its market, Jack Showalter, president of Hasselblad USA, said that among very high-end pro's, "there's a group that really needs the highest resolution they can get... and another group that wants the very best and most cutting-edge equipment they can get."

The H2D-39 is not the first 39-megapixel imaging device for sale, but matches the Phase 1 P45, which was released last year. The H2D-39's RAW file hits about 78 megabytes uncompressed, but Hasselblad offers a lossless compression routine that takes the file size down to about 50 MB. The company says that about 1500 shots will fit on an 80 GB hard disk. The H2D-39 can write to Compact Flash cards, a Firewire 800 drive, or to a computer in tethered mode.

The H2D-39 offers Hasselblad's own HB RGB color profile, and a new 3FR RAW file format. The camera includes Hasselblad's Flexcolor software, and a utility to convert from 3FR to Adobe DNG, the "open" RAW format. Showalter says there will be no data loss in the conversion. Noting that Hasselblad has cooperative relationships with both Apple and Adobe, Showalter expects that both Apple's Aperture software and Adobe's Lightroom will support 3FR.

Other advances in the H2D-39 include "Digital APO Correction," an in-camera routine to correct for color aberration, and "Instant Approval Architecture," which alerts the photographer to issues with images as they are recorded. IAA monitors exposure, focus and other parameters, and records a rating in metadata and the file name, as a tool for image management.

The 22-megapixel H2D will continue to be available for several thousand dollars less than the H2D-39.

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