knocking back the highlights, and still
emerge with a fairly clean image. Skin
tones and color reproduction in general
Noise is fairly well contained in RAW files
through ISO 3200. You can remove noise
without undue loss of detail at ISO 6400, but
the extendable settings produced a surplus
of grain. The camera isn’t necessarily ideal
for very low-light conditions, but you can
definitely feel comfortable shooting at the
end of the native ISO range.
We suspect video recording won’t be the
primary objective of anyone buying the X1D,
but it’s possible. The video output tended
to be a bit over-saturated and contrast-y
when recording to SD cards, so be on guard
for the occasional crushed black and blown
out highlight. When in movie mode, the
camera disables autofocusing and we found
manually focusing can be a bit tricky due to
the very shallow depth of field, especially
for rapidly moving subjects.
When it comes to focusing speed, shutter
lag and continuous shooting mode, the XID
has much more in common with the bulkier
backs than it does with modern mirrorless
cameras. It doesn’t acquire focus all that
quickly and as of this writing, continuous
AF isn’t supported (though future firmware
upgrades could change that).
That said, you do have 35 AF points
to choose from. The camera supports
AF selection using the touchscreen, but
first you have to pull up the points on the
display and then touch them—you can’t
simply touch the display to have the camera
refocus. It’s a bit of a cumbersome process.
Manual focusing, on the other hand, is
quite smooth and is aided by focus peaking
and focus magnification (with a dedicated
control to magnify your subject).
shooting clocks in at a
pokey 1. 7 fps or 2 fps
in MQ (manual quick)
mode. Rapidly panning
the camera can result
in some live view
wobble, but otherwise
the refresh rate of the
EVF and rear display
And if its compact
body lulls you into
thinking you can be
discrete with this
camera, its clanging
shutter and noisy
aperture changes should disabuse you of that
notion. Exposure changes will definitely be
picked up on the mic during video recording.
Battery life hasn’t been rated by CIPA,
but we found ourselves enjoying close to
400 shots per charge (using mostly the EVF
and shooting very little video). Hasselblad
tells us you can expect between 200-400
shots per charge on average.
The X1D is a remarkable design statement.
Hasselblad deserves kudos for creating a
medium-format camera body that looks and
feels fantastic—one that isn’t a chore to lug
on location. The image quality from the X1D
is also, unsurprisingly, excellent. While the
50-megapixel sensor isn’t cutting edge in
2017, it still delivers image files that blow
away most of the conventional mirrorless
competition in terms of resolution, color
fidelity and dynamic range.
That said, you’re making some sacrifices
with the X1D. It’s far from speedy and
fluid. It’s noisy. It’s pricier than Fuji’s
new GFX 50S, with fewer features. Still,
it’s remarkable to have not one but two
relatively inexpensive, high-quality
medium-format mirrorless cameras to
choose from. Let the agonizing begin.
LEFT: While it’s a mirrorless
camera, the X1D performs
at a more leisurely pace.
DJI PHANTOM ; PRO
Spare a moment to pity the engineering and
production workers at DJI. The company has
been pumping out models at such a furious
pace that it’s impossible to imagine anyone
working there gets much sleep.
Still, their loss of bedtime hours is our
gain. In the case of the Phantom 4 Pro, aerial
enthusiasts gain a drone with enhanced flying
smarts and a significantly improved camera as
well. We turned it over to N.J. photographer and
director David Patiño ( www.davidpatino.com)
to take it for a spin.
PROS: Incredible design and build
quality; excellent image quality;
responsive and elegant menu system;
flash sync at 1/2000 sec.
CONS: Relatively sluggish AF; video
functions under-developed; camera can
be noisy; live view refresh can be slow.
PRICE: $8,995 (body)
The P4 Pro camera boasts a 1-inch,
20-megapixel image sensor—a nice step up
from the 1.2/3-inch 12-megapixel sensor that
is typically used in compact drone cameras.
The sensor supports 4K recording (4096 x
2160) at 60p and can encode in both H.264
and the newer, more efficient and higher-quality H.265 codec. 4K recording is capped
at 30p when shooting in H.265. It can also
capture 20-megapixel still images. The top
ISO setting has jumped from ISO 3200 on the
P4 to ISO 6400 on the P4 Pro.
The lens is also new. Gone is the
94-degree, 20mm lens. In its place is a slightly
narrower 84-degree wide-angle lens (24mm)
with a user-adjustable aperture range of
f/2. 8-11. It also sports a mechanical shutter to
minimize rolling shutter distortion.
Beyond the revamped camera, DJI also
enhanced the sensors on the P4 Pro to improve
obstacle avoidance and autonomous flight
modes. There are now a pair of rear-vision
sensors and two Time of Flight range imaging
cameras on board, giving the P4 Pro a nearly
complete “view” of what’s all around it—up
to 30 meters away in all directions. You can
also activate a new “Narrow Sensing” mode
that improves maneuverability in tight spaces
by narrowing the range of the sensors so that
they’re more responsive to closer objects.
An HD video signal from the drone can also
be beamed further—up to 4. 3 miles away.
For all the latest news and reviews on cameras, lenses
and filmmaking equipment, visit pdnonline.com/gear