by Christoph Tilley | 6th April 2017
In this guest review, Vienna-based filmmaker Christoph Tilley takes a close look at the Hasselblad H6D-100c – a 100MP, 4K Raw-capable medium format camera. Intrigued? Read on for his hands-on impressions. Christoph Tilley reviews the Hasselblad H6D-100c Shooting Medium-Format Video Not too long ago DSLRs revolutionized the way we make films. These days, we are seeing the emergence of the first medium-format stills cameras capable of shooting video. What would it be like to shoot video on an such an extremely large sensor? Enter the Hasselblad H6D-100c, a 100 Megapixel Full-Frame Medium-Format Stills Camera. The resolution is absolutely incredible on this thing – each Raw image has a file size of 216,3 Megabytes. But why in particular is this interesting for us filmmakers? Well, this thing can also shoot 4K Raw video. But what kind of results will you get when shooting video? And how does this large sensor compare to Super35 in the real world? To find out, we shot a typical interview scene on the RED Dragon with a 50mm lens wide open at f/1.4. Right alongside we had the Hasselblad H6D-100c with a 100mm lens at an f-stop of f/4. Note the difference in background blur and depth compression When comparing both shots side by side, the first thing we notice is that the background is much more out of focus on the H6D, even though the lens was stopped down three full-stops more than the lens on the RED. We also notice that the image looks more compressed. It’s a subtle difference, no doubt, but medium format certainly produces a really beautiful look by expanding the field of view. But why would anyone want to shoot video on a sensor more than twice the size of traditional Super35? In fact this means that your 85mm – a rather telephoto lens on the average camera – would be more or less equivalent to a 40mm on a sensor this size, making it quite wide. Hasselblad H6D-100c Hands-On But enough about the why, let’s talk about the how. You turn on the camera on the top, wait for it to boot up, and then switch to video mode by pressing and holding a button on the top. You can switch into live-view mode and from there you can start your recording. The shutter button starts and stops recording as well. You can choose different qualities for your recording in the video settings, giving you a choice between recording in Raw or H.264. When choosing H264, you have the option to shoot in 1080 or 720, while Raw is always 4K. It is not possible to choose different frame rates or bit rates: the camera always shoots 24fps, though you can change ISO and color temperature. Just like the Alexa Mini, the camera shoots 4K Raw only on CFast memory cards, so put one in and you’re good to go. Post Workflow The camera records Raw video to an unorthodox file-container with an .3fv extension, so you need to convert these files in Hasseblad’s own Phocus software. Simply navigate to the desired clips, where you can get a quick preview of what you shot, although you can’t change anything like white balance or ISO. Your only option is to export the clips to a CinemaDNG sequence, but you can choose some naming presets. This process takes some time, but once it’s finished, your converted shots will be split into folders along with a small .mp4 proxy. Since this proxy is called audio.mp4, I suppose this is the way you get reference audio out of the camera. Limited file naming options for the .dng sequences in the Hasselblad Phocus software Though the export process allows you to choose naming presets, this just applies to the parent folder of all the single .dng frames. This is too bad, as all the single frames are named the same, making it extremely difficult to re-conform and link the clips in a grading software like Davinci Resolve. Nevertheless, we somehow managed to grade the footage but we discovered something very disturbing. Hiding in the shadows we found some serious artefacts and strange noise. It seems as though the sensor data gets heavily compressed when shooting video. Not good. Compression artifacts in the shadows? Levels boosted for demonstration purposes Verdict Some people say medium format mimics how your eyes actually see the world better than the smaller Super35-sized imagers thanks to being able to shoot an extremely wide scene but still have the “real-world” look of a lens with a longer focal length. The subject remains flat and not ‘stretched’ out. The large sensor is clearly the one and only reason why anyone would want to shoot video on the Hasselblad H6D-100c. Well, that and the absolutely incredible performance of the Hasselblad lenses. They offer pleasing colours, nice bokeh and great contrast. The downside? Well, this is not a videocamera. It is just a stills camera which takes 24 images a second, and downscaled, compressed images at that. Also, before receiving the camera, I thought that rolling shutter on a CMOS sensor this size would be really awful, and I was absolutely right. The Hasselblad H6D-100c has the worst rolling shutter I’ve ever seen. This is not something you would ever want to shoot with, unless you really are after the medium format look… which is quite nice to be honest. Above, Hasselblad H6D-100c 4K footage What do you think about the Hasselblad H6D-100c? Will medium-format sensors be the next must-have in video camera tech? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!Read more
by Richard Lackey | 8th April 2016
In a bold move from Hasselblad, the new H6D-100c looks set to include some impressive video capabilities in the form of 4K Hasselblad RAW video up to 30fps.While it’s been clear for some time that a move beyond super 35mm and even full frame sensors would materialise at the high-end of digital cinema acquisition, the likes of Arri’s Alexa65 reaches a niche demographic among the world’s top cinematographers, and is rental-only. It’s never been totally clear where a more mainstream offering would come from. At EUR 28,900 the H6D-100c is hardly mainstream in the sense of the average DSLR, but it will be a commercial production camera, stocked by dealers, and accessible by anyone willing to part with the cash. If you are craving the ultra shallow depth of field, and the commanding imaging aesthetic of the ultra large format look in video (think Lubezki’s arresting cinematography with the Alexa65 in The Revenant, and Robert Richardson’s work with Ultra Panavision 70 in The Hateful Eight), it looks like the new Hasselblad H6D-100c might give you just that. Now let’s be clear, the Hasselblad H6D is primarily a tool for professional photography, and it’s not in any way, shape or form an answer to the Arri Alexa65 or RED’s VistaVision 8K Weapon. It’s clearly not a cinema camera – it’s a Hasselblad, a descendant from a long line of Hasselblad medium format bodies. It’s not intended for rods and matte boxes and all the cinema add-ons. However, it is interesting that a camera of any form capable of recording 4K UHD RAW video from a massive 100MP 53.4mm x 40mm medium format sensor at this price point would come from a stills camera manufacturer, and not Arri, RED, or Sony. In a sense, it’s not at all surprising. The worlds of photography and videography have been colliding for some time now; RED Digital Cinema coined the term “DSMC” (Digital Stills and Motion Camera) to encapsulate this direction. This collision is coming from two different perspectives and technological histories. From the standpoint of the digital cinema cameras we all know and love, super 35mm has been the standard. Up until now, the love-child of the photo and video worlds has been the full frame 36mm x 24mm (or thereabouts) video from DSLR’s, and RED, of course, have taken this format and run with it in the VistaVision 8K Weapon. What Hasselblad have done in this sense is a natural progression of that technological confluence. If anyone knows medium format, it’s Hasselblad. Go Big or Go Home Let’s look at a quick comparison of some of the largest video capable sensor sizes to date. This is sensor size only, I’m not getting into comparing overall resolution or pixel pitch here. Full Frame DSLR: 36mm x 24mm RED Weapon 8K VistaVision: 40.96mm x 21.6mm Phantom 65: 52.1mm x 30.5mm Arri Alexa 65: 54.12mm x 25.58mm Hasselblad H6D-100c: 53.4mm x 40mm It’s still early days, and of course, we don’t have any footage to share and haven’t touched or seen the H6D in the flesh yet. There is much more of this story to be told in the coming months, there’s a lot of specifics and details we don’t yet know. All we can say is it looks very interesting on paper, this is a camera worth keeping an eye on. Hasselblad H6D-100c Video Specifications Here’re the important highlights of the Hasselblad H6D-100c’s video capabilities. Sensor Type: CMOS, 100 megapixels (11600 x 8700 pixels, 4.6 x 4.6 μm) Sensor Dimensions: 53.4mm x 40mm Video Size: HD (1920 x 1080p) and UHD (3840 x 2160p) File Format: H.264 Compressed (30 fps) (HD only), Hasselblad RAW (HD & UHD) (24fps currently) Color: 16 bit Dynamic Range: 15 stops ISO Speed Range: ISO 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800 Lenses: Hasselblad H system lens line with integral central lens shutter HDMI Out: Clean 1080p output Download the full datasheet here. There are of course important questions to be asked. The most important one in my mind for any high end video application is the performance (read-out/reset time) of the rolling shutter. If it’s fast enough, fantastic, if it’s too slow, there’s the possibility that jello might kill the H6D-100c’s potential appeal. Of course, with a maximum frame rate currently of 24fps in 4K RAW, it’s not going to be attractive to high frame rate aficionados but for some, 24fps and perhaps 30fps to come is just fine (30fps is currently available only in 1920x1080p H.264). It’s also important to consider lensing options, Hasselblad offers a fantastic line-up of H system lenses ranging from 24mm to 300mm and 50-100mm, and 35-90mm zooms. You can see the whole lens line-up here. It’s important to remember however that these are photographic lenses with electronic aperture. Coming from a 35mm background, you’ll also need to be aware your field of view is a lot wider with a medium format sensor for any given focal length. Note: Hasselblad will be offering a similar model (H6D-50c), with a reduced pixel count (50MP) and a slightly smaller sensor. The 50c model offers 1080p H.264 video capabilities only. While we don’t yet have full international pricing details, the price in Europe for the H6D-100c body will be EUR 28,900 (ex VAT) and B&H are taking pre-orders, it’s listed at $32,995. For more information, please visit the Hasselblad H6D site: http://www.hasselblad.com/h6dRead more
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