JUST FOR FUN! Here is an image I shot with the new Sony A7RMKIV and the new Hasselblad X1DII. With the Sony I used the 24-70 G Master lens and with the Hasselblad I used the 30 f/3.5 (my fave XCD lens).

Take a look…

The first image is shot with the Hasselblad X1D II and the 30mm f/3.5 lens wide open at f/3.5.  THIS is one heck of a combo and my fave XCD lens. MUST click the image to see it correctly. It is the resized image with the 100% crop embedded. What I notice right off the bat is the dynamic range is stunning here as well as the natural colors and feel. The cost of this setup is around $9250 at B&H Photo but as expensive as it is, this camera and lens feels like every penny of that when shooting with it. 

The image below was shot with the new 61MP Sony A7RMKIV and the 24-70 GM at f/2.8. ALL G Master lenses are stunners and this one is no exception. How does the Sony at 61MP and using a new full frame 35mm format sensor compete with the medium format X1DII which uses a much larger sensor, also made by Sony? Click the image below to see. What I notice is the X1DII appears to have a slightly better DR out of the camera but the Sony combo is $5700, which is about $3500 cheaper than the X1DII kit above. 

I have more images with both cameras but they will be in my review of each camera (first look for the Sony, tomorrow). The Sony is impressive and shows they are playing serious. Compared to the Nikon Z7 or Canon EOS-R this new Sony just kicks them both to the curb, and this is me being 100% honest. Sony has upped the game in full frame 35mm and this comes from a guy who has Canon, Panasonic and Leica cameras on hand at all times.

Two from the Sony – first with the 85 1.4 GM and second with the 24-70 GM. 

When it comes to medium format, the Hasselblad takes the prize for me. I just LOVE the body, design, and output. So natural, so much depth and DR and the 30mm lens is extra special. A “dream” combo for sure.

Two more from the X1DII and 30mm f/3.5. The 1st one shows the power of the X1DII DR. The original image had the background blown out and the models face in almost full shadow. After a slider adjustment or two it was brought back to life. 

Exciting times right now and I have a feeling it will get more exciting really soon in the camera world. Stay tuned for more as it’s coming this week!


  1. Hi Steve,

    what looks the first Sony picture like when you rise the shadows. I mean if you try to equal them as much as possible. what ist the difference then?

    I have at the moment the EOS R and the X1F II and I will sell one of them once the decision is made.
    I took also pictures with both camaeras and the X1D images looked better. BUT, when I tried to bring the canon image to same like the X1D (not so sharpended, lower clarity, higher shadows) then the differnce is very very small. in some cases — to be honest — the EOS R image was more pleasing to me.

    Greetings from Munich

    PS: Thank you for your videos and stuff.

  2. Kudos sony pushing sensor tech photo tech.

    Now if only sony would dig what I want from a camera body style handling :-))

  3. How about the Sony with Zeiss Prime Lens as a comparison, as a zoom will not stand a chance against a Prime Lens.

  4. Thanks, Steve for great reviews
    What about 45 and 65 lens comment as you mention 30 is your favorite lens

    • The 45 is nice as well but the 30 offers nicer IQ all the way around. I feel the 45 is the starter lens, and it’s the lens I used with my VI X1D but the 30, for me, is a nicer lens. The 80 1.9 is stunning as well. I have no experience with the 65.

  5. Makes me want to go out and buy a second-hand Pentax 645D and a few lenses for much less money that either the Sony or the Hasselblad. Same image quality as the Hasselblad . Yes , not being mirrorless it’s a ‘look backwards’ but a good deal for still-tops image quality (not resolution).

    • I’ve had a 645D here for a while and guess what? Never ever used it due to its size. In fact I did not even want to review it as I found it cumbersome and limited (as most MF cameras always have been). The X1DII operates more like a normal 35mm mirrorless. Small size, light weight and take anywhere so it gets used which is important. A camera is worth nothing to me sitting on a shelf but when it gets used ever day, then it’s worth every cent I spent on it. Old style MF cameras were more setup for studio work and the size, speed and performance (645D ISO performance is no where near these newer cameras) make them more of one trick cameras than anything. Nice IQ in good light but slow, cumbersome and limited compared to todays cameras. Thanks.

    • True in the old days when you didn’t have a sensor only film. Not so much anymore, it’s the whole chain.

  6. Hi Steve!

    Thx for that comparison. A bigger sensor is a bigger sensor is a bigger sensor.
    For me, looking at the model, the couch and the two lamps in the background the Hasselblad still is the better choice for that kind of photography.

    best regards

  7. A few (rhetorical) questions.
    Isn’t it right that a good prime lens will deliver better IQ than a good zoom?
    Isn’t it right that a good zoom will be more expensive than a good prime?
    Isn’t it right that, when this comparison would be about both camera’s having a zoom (or both having a prime) the IQ would be closer to one another and the prise difference would even be bigger?

    • Not really. Not in all circumstances. What I am showing here is more the DR, the color, the way each camera renders. But this was just for fun. I am working on a write up of each camera now, going through images carefully at home. I can state that the ISO performance of the 7RIV is nothing like the III or the X1D. More noise at lower ISO which is to be expected from packing 61MP on to a FF sensor.

  8. As you say, the dynamic Range at the Hasselblad is better. You beautiful pictures indoor shows that quite well. Sony, while itself fine pictures, looks much more contrasty in comparison. The pictures of the hasselblad look a little more muted but very natural and pleasantly.
    This shows that not only there is a visible difference between MF and FF but also shows that tons of Megapixel don´t necessary make a better picture, i think.

    • I think the comparison is a bit unfair as the rendering of the Hasselblad image is largely a factor of the mapping Hasselblad uses for its defaults. Sony, OTOH, sets its images up with snappier contrast as the amateurs using the body prefer that rendering.

    • I am not a fan of the GFX50 (the original) for a multitude of reasons. I’d take either the X1D (used at a great buy) or the II at $5750 over a GFX. I’d never use the GFX as it’s bulky, huge and more of a studio type of camera. The X1D is slightly taller than the Sony but same width and thickness (maybe thinner). I have to have something light, easy to carry without a bag, and can do well in any situation, light or dark. The smaller fuji 50 doesn’t feel anywhere near the same nor does it have the same MOJO (for me) as the X1D series. I’ll have more with each soon.

  9. Sony appeared to have a brighter exposure. Or maybe just the more contrast and sharper image in the crops. However when I look at the total picture, I like the look of the X1 DII better. I know that is not part of the comparison really. But something is to said got a pleasant looking shot. imo

  10. Hasselblad: Absolute dream of a camera in every way! How about running a monthly Hasselblad blog, Steve, for those of us whose bank balance will never come anywhere near the real thing?!!

    • I may…

      I am sitting here after a 13 hour flight home from NYC (storm has us sitting on the plane for 8 hours before take off) going through images from the X1D and new Sony. I just adore the Hasselblad and not due to the name, but the design, feel, build, simplicity, and of course the IQ. Size and weight is really not much more than the Sony. Anyway, the X1DII is $5750, the Sony $3500 and I am asking myself which I would buy if I had to make a choice of getting ONE of these. I am still saying the Hasselblad but the Sony is chock full of crazy cool things (full time video eye af is amazing). More soon!

  11. This is exactly the type of tests many of us want to see. Medium Format vs High Res FF. I prefer a punchier image so to my eye the Sony pops it more but the Hasselblad has a more gradation of tones. The real question that I struggle with is this. Is High Res FF ‘good enough’ and possibly overkill for 90 % of clients.

    • Depends on your “clients”. In advertising they’ve not noticed a file size issue since the H Series 40MP backs and the FF Canon 50MPs. But as we normally only deliver fully corrected and most often wildly “retouched” files approaching 500Mb or more no one asks, specifies or cares any longer.
      20-25 years ago was a very different story.

  12. No difference to me between Sony 7RIV and probably 7RIII and 7RII as well to the now Chinese brand DJI(Hasselblad)that uses Sony sensors and sells cameras for at least twice the price than others. 43,8mm X 32,9mm to 36mm x 24mm don’t seem a large difference to me either.
    There is no informaton about what F stop was used.

  13. Assuming both camera’s image adjustments e.g. saturation, sharpness and contrast etc., were left in the neutral stock position, the SOOC jpgs do look a bit more pleasing coming from the Hassy. That said, I’m guessing the 61 MP files coming from the new Sony will be extremely versatile in post making this kind of comparison nearly useless in real life unless you’re a jpg only shooter.

  14. I like in particular the first one of “Two more from the X1DII and 30mm f/3.5” with the skyline in the background – impressive performance for the X1DII!

  15. Hasselblad sensor shows its perks , the image on the x1d ii is more detailed , better fall offs… just better in general. Are the settings close to each other for the these pictures ? The difference is more noticeable than I thought.

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