At the bottom of the press release about the Hasselblad X1D II 50C, there were a few lines about a new CFV II 50C digital back that’s in development. To be honest, I switched off at digital back. The X1D II 50 was the main event. However, yesterday I got to see an early sample of the CFV II 50C and the new 907X camera body and it made me sit up and take notice. The look like an exciting new addition to Hasselblad’s range that brings back some of what we loved about the company’s medium format film cameras.
The CFV II 50C digital back looks a lot like a Hasselblad film back and fits neatly onto a Hasselblad V system camera. It transforms it from a film camera into a digital camera and can be mounted on most V System cameras made from 1957. That’s exactly what the previous back, the CFV 50C did.
However, Hasselblad is also working on a new camera, the 907X. What’s interesting about this camera is that it’s only about 1cm deep. It’s basically a lens mount and a connector for the back with a few electrical contacts. Suddenly we have a very neat digital medium format Hasselblad camera that looks like a Hasselblad camera.
The 907X has the X lens mount but it can also be used with other lenses from the Hasselblad H and XPan system via adapters.
According to Hasselblad, the CFV II 50C will have the same 50-megapixel 43.8 x 32.9mm CMOS sensor as the X1D II 50C.
In a change from the CFV 50C, the CFV II 50C has a tilting touchscreen. That screen will display the same interface as the X1D II 50C and it’s set to be responsive to taps, swipes and pinches.
In addition, the digital back will accept the same fully-integrated rechargeable battery as the X System. This helps to reduce the overall size of the camera system. It can also be recharged in-camera via the USB-C port.
Build and Handling
Unfortunately, Hasselblad wouldn’t play ball and put a battery in the early production sample CFV II 50C while it was mounted on an early 907X camera body. So I can’t say much about how it performs. However, it has the build and feel that you’d expect from Hasselblad product.
The flip-up screen at on the back means the camera is most likely to be used at waist level. And thanks to the 970X’s incredibly slim profile, the camera sits neatly on your hand. With a traditional waist-level viewfinder, you can hold the camera tucked in against your body while you look down the chimney. As the screen needs to be tilted upwards, you have to hold the Hasselblad 907X and CFV II 50C a little further away. This is likely to make the camera a bit less steady than its film counterparts, but it’s still a pretty comfortable way to hold a camera.
As the image above shows, Hasselblad is also planning to introduce a 907X Control Grip and 907X External Optical Viewfinder. That will transform the camera into an eye-level camera. It’s bound to turn a few heads.
Hasselblad 907X and CFV II 50C Price and Availability
Hasselblad is staying tight-lipped about the price of the 907X and CFV II 50C. However, as it uses much of the technology of the X1D II 50C it wouldn’t surprise me if it was a similar price. The X1D II 509C has a price tag of £4,500 /$5,750 / €5,000 (ex VAT), in the UK, that’s £5,399 inc VAT.
The 907X and CFV II 50C are expected to go on sale towards the end of the year, possibly during the autumn.
I’ve still to see a Hasselblad 907X and CFV II 50C in operation, but I’m excited about the prospect. As the sensor is the same as is in the X1D II 50C and X1D 50C, we can be fairly certain of the image quality already. What I really want to know is how practical is it to use.