Hasselblad's 200MP camera will set you back 32,000 plus tax

By on May 26, 2011, 4:00 PM

Hasselblad has released the H4D-200MS, a 200 megapixel beast that will set you back a whopping €32,000 ($45,000) plus tax. First announced at Photokina in September 2010, the camera builds on the H4D-50MS platform to create 200 megapixel files.

In fact, H4D-50MS owners have the option of upgrading their camera for €7,000 ($10,000) plus tax by sending it to the factory in Copenhagen, Denmark. While the camera is being converted, the service team will make sure that the firmware and hardware is properly upgraded and updated.

Hasselblad has been improving its multi-shot technology since 2000. In 2008, the company announced the first integrated multi-shot camera, the H3DII-39MS, which was quickly followed by the H4D-50MS. As a further development of the H4D-50MS technology, the H4D-200MS utilizes Hasselblad's patented piezo frame module, which now captures six shots before combining them into a 200 megapixel file.

The H4D-200MS includes all the functionality of the H4D-50 and H4D-50MS (True Focus, Ultra Focus, digital lens correction, and so on) plus a range of top of the line features that make the H4D such an outstanding camera system. It also provides three capture modes:

  • Normal single-shot capture for 50MP resolution images of live subjects
  • Four-shot, 50MP Multi-Shot capture for high detail images of still subjects
  • Six-shot, 200MP Multi-Shot capture for the ultimate in still subject capture

Designed for studio photographers whose work requires the ultimate in resolution, extremely fine details, and exact color information, the H4D-200MS is ideal for capturing images of stationary items such as cars, jewelry, artwork, and other high end products where there is no room for compromise in image quality. Hasselblad insists that the H4D-200MS is not just a single-use specialty camera.

"There are times when you want to get extremely close," Hasselblad explains. "Times when you want to get extremely large. Times when you want the absolute highest detail possible. Times when even the largest standard resolutions do not suffice. And that's where the Hasselblad H4D-200MS comes in."




User Comments: 20

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andreasf93 said:

Any example photos?

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

I don't think you would be able to appreciate the photo's taken with this thing on the average monitor.

perhaps Captaincranky can explain the use for this thing and what peripherals are needed to.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

One good thing about having 200mp, is that you would be able to blow up a single part of the image REALLY BIG, so it basically becomes a point-n-shoot for extremely rich newbs. Who cares about composition and framing, when you can just do that in post processing?

Another good thing about this, is that we are getting closer to the resolution of 35mm film (roughly 3500p resolution). With video camera's already closing in on 35mm with 4k cameras (over 4 times the resolution of 1080p HD), I doubt it will take much longer to get there. I look forward to the day when our monitors and printers catch up to that technology.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Another good thing about this, is that we are getting closer to the resolution of 35mm film (roughly 3500p resolution).

Hey R,

35mm film = 3500 Dpi? I had no idea it was that high.So to what resolution can you blow up this camera before significant loss of definition? (if thats even the correct term)

Emin3nce said:

So i heard techspot is honoring the retirement of Opera: giving everyone that posts a comment on this topic one of these cameras for free!

YAY OMG ITS SO AMAZING WE'RE GOOUN TO AWESSTRAAAYLIA!!

Win7Dev said:

I would think that if you can afford this camera, you better have a dual or quad processor server to be able to edit 200MP photos.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Hey R,

35mm film = 3500 Dpi? I had no idea it was that high.So to what resolution can you blow up this camera before significant loss of definition? (if thats even the correct term)

3500 DPI places the long axis of 35mm film @ about 5250 "pixels. So @ 24 x 36 mm, (roughly 1.5 x 1 inch), digital matching resolution would be about 18.4 megapixels. That's well within doable with modern sensors. (Actually "done-able", since there are 35 mm cameras with greater resolution than 18.4 MP).

Enlargements suitable for printing are generally accepted to be @ 300 DPI. So, all that need be done, is to divide the long side digital resolution by 300, to yield the enlargement size that could be made from a given capture, without resampling the image. In our example of 5250 DPI a print would come in at 17.5'" x 11.66" full frame, without resampling.

Absolute resolution of a camera resides with the lens, and is measured in "line pairs per millimeter". This is a simple black / white target. Very good lenses can resolve at greater than 90 LPmm. Resolution that high, isn't available at all F stops, or at all points in the focal plane. Generally there is a fall off toward the frame edges.

Here is a simple explanation of lens resolution. Take note that achieved resolution in a photo is rarely up to the ability of the lens or sensor's maximum resolution; http://www.dantestella.com/zeiss/resolution.html

Keep in mind this Hassleblad's native resolution is "only" 50 Megapixels, and higher resolution are accomplished via moving the sensor combined with multiple exposure; product page @ Hassleblad [link] So, while "200 megapixels resoltion may be spectacular ad copy, you aren't going to get this @ the Indy 500, photographing the pace car.

If this camera's sensor were square, (which it isn't), the resolution would be about about 7071 pixels a side, a single exposure capture, would yield an unsampled enlargement of approximately 24" x 24". A 200MP capture would have an equivalent printing area of 4 feet by 4 feet. The ad BS goes away in a big hurry, doesn't it?

But, with upsampling, you could probably print a really sharp mural on the side of the space shuttle hangar. And for 45K you should be able to.

aj_the_kidd said:

For $45,000 i expect the camera to take the picture for me

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

For $45,000 i expect the camera to take the picture for me
As is true with many so young people of this generation, I'm sure you expect most things to be done for you.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Do you need to carry a rack server with you to store the photos? Wondering how big of a file that makes :P.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Do you need to carry a rack server with you to store the photos? Wondering how big of a file that makes :P.
No, but NAS SCSI RAID would be the way to go. These are designed to be used tethered to a computer anyway, especially when using the 200 MP modes.

Keep in mind that most digital SLRs have multiple capture densities and resolutions.

When used at full res and in RAW mode, my Nikon D-90 (12 MP) yields files @ about 10 MB or less.

However, when an image is brought into photoshop and edited in .psd format, the file size increases to 3X whatever the resolution of the original capture. (1 Byte for every pixel, times 3 for the RGB layers) Should you increase the numbers of actual layers, that would double the MB count. (I,E. a 200 MP capture would become 600 MB in .psd. Copy the background layer, and you have a 1.2 GB image file).

Hassleblad is suggesting 8GB of RAM as a minimum for dealing with 200 MP captures.

Photoshop suggests a minimum of 3X the RAM of your largest file, so you see how quickly that leads to an optimum of 16GB (or more) of installed RAM

Guest said:

In response to the BS above about 35mm film comparison...

To fully cover the resolution of a 35mm film, one needs 24MPixels, which is a known fact. This is why leaders of camera manufactures were so eager to produce 24MPixel camears a few years back.

Today it's just history, and top digital cemars left 35mm quality far behind.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

In response to the BS above about 35mm film comparison...

To fully cover the resolution of a 35mm film, one needs 24MPixels, which is a known fact. This is why leaders of camera manufactures were so eager to produce 24MPixel camears a few years back.

Today it's just history, and top digital cemars left 35mm quality far behind.

Dear "Guest", in response to your bull s***, how does someone who can't even spell camera, know so much about them? I mean really, you only got it right 1 out of 3 tries....

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Very interesting Cap, thank you.

In response to the BS above about 35mm film comparison...

To fully cover the resolution of a 35mm film, one needs 24MPixels, which is a known fact.

This is what I was talking about originally. It is my understanding that the MP rating is irrelevant, or at least dependent on other aspects of the 'camears'. In other words, a quality 12mp camera is better than a cheap 'so called 18mp camera.

Keep in mind this Hassleblad's native resolution is "only" 50 Megapixels, and higher resolution are accomplished via moving the sensor combined with multiple exposure; product page @ Hassleblad [link] So, while "200 megapixels resoltion may be spectacular ad copy, you aren't going to get this @ the Indy 500, photographing the pace car.

Is the motion problem something that can ever be overcome with digital?....or does this fall under the laws of physics?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

This is what I was talking about originally. It is my understanding that the MP rating is irrelevant, or at least dependent on other aspects of the 'camears'. In other words, a quality 12mp camera is better than a cheap 'so called 18mp camera.
Well, "35 mm film" is an ambiguous term at best. It's probably folly to address any direct equivalency between the two media, given that even in B&W films, a very wide range of potential resolutions exist. These have run the gamut from Kodak 2475 recording film, (used in night surveillance) which had grain the size of bowling balls, to Kodak Technical Pan (ISO 25 on a good day), that you couldn't even find the grain. You can do all the s*** house figurin' you want, but the acid test is which media will produce the better outcome in the field, under the prevailing conditions. That's whether it be digital versus film, or digital versus digital. Every time I go to an airshow there's always some a**h*** with a 10 MP iPhone trying to take pictures of the Thunderbirds in flight. I've been stuck with a crappy 6MP D-70, and I'd bet the ranch that I have the better shots.

To be brief here, the smaller you make the pixel elements, the more noise they're likely to inject into the output. Hence, a full frame 35 mm digital sensor of 12 MP, is likely to produce a better image than an APS-C sensor of the same MP rating. Bigger pixels can collect more light, and need less lens correction to place the light stream a direct right angle to the plane of the sensor. As the pixel elements shrink, the angle of acceptance becomes quite critical.

Is the motion problem something that can ever be overcome with digital?....or does this fall under the laws of physics?
Well, they're moving the same sensor to different positions in between shots. So no, it seems a bit far fetched to think that 6 shots can be taken in succession and still maintain a workable overall shutter speed for action photography. (1/500 sec and above). Then there's the issue of data buffering and storage.

One might expect that these things could be done, but not at the 'paltry' price of 45 grand. I suppose you could glue 6 of these sensors together. Ah but then, you'd have to deal with lenses with a much larger coverage circle. That means way, way, bigger, way, way heavier, and staggeringly expensive. Especially if you expected low light capability, (F 2.8 800mm tele perhaps?), which would almost require a separate truck to bring it to the event.

At the end of the day, this camera isn't as big of a news story as it's being made out to be. There are other manufacturers that have medium format cameras, with very similar, if not higher, native base resolutions than this one. But then this is a Hassleblad, and it's priced accordingly.

The most resonant review of these medium format digital backs I've heard was at Phila Community College, from one of the instructors. "Jack bought a digital back for his Hassy, it's like a never ending supply of 2 1/4" slide film". Considering that 2 1/4 and larger slide films were the film stock of choice of the ad trade in NYC for decades, that's high praise indeed.

Guest said:

Love this camera

9kuuby9 said:

One word, LOL?

Only rich people can take super-high-res photo's :D

aj_the_kidd said:

captaincranky said:

For $45,000 i expect the camera to take the picture for me
As is true with many so young people of this generation, I'm sure you expect most things to be done for you.

Guilty as charged

Burned said:

Why the comparison to 35mm film when the old cameras were medium format (120mm film)

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Why the comparison to 35mm film when the old cameras were medium format (120mm film)
Unless you were a wedding photographer, commercial photographer, or really old like me, the 2 1/4" square format is probably not immediately identifiable.

Keep in mind that most weddings nowadays, are shot with 35 DSLRs anyway. With resampling, these cameras are adequate for the job.

The new medium format digital is mostly 6 Cm (2 1/4" x 4.5 Cm (1.5/8" .

35 mm format is immediately identifiable to most everyone, and I'm only wiling to type so much, in view of the amount of interest shown. That would be the direct answer to your question.

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