1. Having an A9 in my hands for just two weeks and 2000 frames, I’m still discovering new features, not necessarily advertised and often barely explained. The speed and flexibility of auto focus is amazing, even better than expected, and in light too dim to read the setting dials. One of the exposure modes (including multi, spot, etc) is highlight mode. The entire screen is utilized with emphasis on highlights. This is nearly perfect for stage and concert lighting, where the subject is against a dark background. I’ll have to try it in a jazz club. I’m not a sports photographer, but 20 silent frames per second is still useful. Used in short (10-20 frame) bursts, it gives me a choice of facial expressions and positioning of hands and arms. It’s very easy to get THE shot, even if 90% are left on the cutting room floor.

  2. Your photos came out amazing on both cameras. The texture, composition, and use of light made both manufacturers proud. I get the feeling that you could have used almost any modern camera, and taken pretty good shots.

    Would you use the Hassy as an all-around camera if you only had room for one?

  3. What beautiful low light rendition for the X1D Steve. I do wish you would make the same comparison for the Sony A7RII. After all, the A7RII is the comparable camera for landscape and portrait photography, with pixel count approximating the X1D.
    As a potential X1D buyer, with a lot of hesitation because of the high entry fee, I have been watching unboxing videos. I have also been searching on line for a comprehensive instruction manual. The box is certainly elegant. The inclusion of a 50 cent lens cloth is pretty laughable. But then, there is that small elegantly nestled flash drive, which the unboxers put aside without comment. Since I can’t find a comprehensive manual on line and the box contains only ‘getting started’ instructions, I wondered if the flash drive might contain that illusive ‘real’ manual. Since you unboxed your own X1D Steve, what can you tell me about this? Is the flash drive only another kitchy thing, or does it contain the real manual?

    • GREAT question! I set mine aside for the unboxing video as I had no idea what was on it. I have since learned it has the free Phocus software on it, which converts the RAW files better than ACR or Lightroom. As for a manual, yes one exists right here:


      I never read it, as the camera is simple to use and operate. Turn it on, set your ISO preferences (I use Auto all the way to the max), and set your mode (I use Aperture Priority) on the pop up dial, and you are set. You can go Manual Focus by hitting the manual focus button on top. You can set your ISO manually by using the ISO button on top. Same for White Balance (Auto is fabulous, and what I use). The menu is very simple, and easy to use, no manual needed. Takes only 30 seconds to check out the entire menu system. From there you can enable the electronic shutter or view your images with the touch screen.

  4. You see, I get excited about glass. Nothing breathes new life into a body that you have owned for a while like a nice piece of glass. This is where I am afraid the X1D is going to fall way short for me compared to my A7RII (or A9R ;). Today we see the first samples from the new Voigt Nokton 40 f1.2 and they are friggen gorgeous! Can wait to get one of those babies. 😉

  5. You pay double for the Hassey name. If Sony ever decides to get into the Medium Format game and with some superlative Zeiss glass, Hasselblad is going to have some very stiff competition to contend with.

  6. I’d like to see a Crazy Comparison wide open shootout between an A7RII outfitted with a Zeiss Otus 85MM f1.4 and X1D. NO LANDSCAPES! 😉 WIDE OPEN!

    • Well besides being MUCH larger and heavier the A7RII and Zeiss Otus would make for a horrible walk around setup, which is how I use them. As stated, I love the X1D for what it is, and for what it is not. Namely, a walk around, small take anywhere medium format camera that is also simple in use, and takes me back to what photography is about. An A7RII and Otus would not be for me, though I am sure it would be lovely. The Zeiss Otus would also be quite a bit more expensive. But the size is what kills it for me. I love the Otus line, almost bought one when I reviewed the 55 but the size…I couldn’t do it. My fave setup is the X1D and 45 right now. Love it. Does what I need, and want and the body is lovely to use. That A7RII and 55 Outs was astounding though for IQ. I could also put that Otus on the X1D via adapter but again, would ruin the experience of the X1D for me. Occasional use, sure, daily, no.

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