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The world’s first 39 megapixel digital SLR camera

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January 21, 2006

The world’s first 39 megapixel digital SLR camera

The world’s first 39 megapixel digital SLR camera

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January 22, 2006 Hasselblad is creating a new standard of digital image quality for professional photographers with the announcement of a new camera and three camera backs based on the combination of Hasselblad’s new, true 39 megapixel CCD sensor and its unique Digital APO Correction (DAC) technology. This new line of products features the new Hasselblad Natural Color Solution, which takes digital photographic color reproduction to an entirely new level. The new products also deliver images of unsurpassed sharpness and resolution and at the same time reduce any moiré effect to a minimum – a first in the history of digital photography.

Based on the Hasselblad H2 camera with its range of high performance, digital central shutter-based lenses, and featuring extended features, such as DAC lens optimization and Instant Approval Architecture, the Hasselblad H2D-39 is the world’s first high-end, 39 megapixel, digital auto-focus camera. Compatible with the entire range of Hasselblad H System lenses, the world finest digital lenses, as well as the Hasselblad V camera lens system, the H2D-39 brings the highest level of integration and flexibility to the professional photographer.

The new Hasselblad 39 megapixel digital back products include the Hasselblad CFH-39, CF-39 and CF-39MS, and have been built to meet the needs of professionals who require the best, for both mobile and studio shooting. The 39 megapixel digital back products match the design and functionality of the Hasselblad H2 camera and the Hasselblad CFH-39 digital back fits onto view cameras using the H-system interface plate for mechanical attachment and flash sync connection to trigger digital capture. The CFH-39 also fully integrates with the power system of the Hasselblad H2, so that both camera and digital back can be powered by the H2’s Li-ion battery.

The Hasselblad CF-39 line of digital backs offers 39 megapixel digital capture with Hasselblad’s interchangeable camera interface, the i-Adapter, and the option of true color multi-shot capture. In a studio environment, the color resolution of captures can be increased by means of a unique multiple-exposure technique controlled by the optional Multi Shot Module (patent pending). The result is unique color resolution and absolutely moiré free images.

Christian Poulsen, CEO of Hasselblad comments: “We are constantly striving to create the optimum photographic tools that will enable our customers to take the best possible pictures. With the new, 39 megapixel-based Hasselblad products, we are confident that the outstanding image quality of the captured files and the subsequent and substantially reduced need for post-processing work will be of significant benefit to our customers. In over 15 years of working with the most advanced digital camera solutions, the combination of the 39 megapixel CCD sensor and the Digital APO Correction delivers a first for me - images files in which any moiré effect is reduced to a minimum, combined with superb sharpness and resolution on a single shot camera.”

Digital APO Correction (DAC) – fine-tuning superb quality images

Based upon the capture of an extended set of metadata, the Hasselblad H2D-39, CFH-39, and CF-39 line perform an automated correction for color aberration effects with every shot. This means that digital captures are, by default, optimized with regards to the finest detail the lens can resolve. This feature is called Digital APO Correction (DAC) to signal ‘digital-capture-APO-chromatic’ correction of the images. Implementation of the feature includes highly detailed mapping of each H system lens, resulting in head-turning image quality.

Hasselblad Natural Color Solution

Color management solutions have in the past imposed limitations on professional digital photographers, because of the forced choice of a specific color profile to suit the job: capturing various skin tones, metals, fabrics, flowers, etc. To combat this, Hasselblad has developed the Hasselblad Natural Color Solution to be used with its FlexColor imaging software. Working with the powerful, new Hasselblad Natural Color Solution enables professional photographers to produce outstanding, reliable out-of-the-box colors, with skin tones, special product gradations, and other difficult colors accurately reproduced.

Christian Poulsen explains: “It has always frustrated me that users have had to choose between different input profiles, i.e., specific portrait and product profiles. Most compositions contain more than one element, so optimizing for one element will always have a negative effect on the colors of all other elements. With the inclusion of the new Hasselblad Natural Color Solution, we have to the best of my knowledge solved this issue.

To implement its unique Hasselblad Natural Color Solution, the company has developed a new Hasselblad raw file format called: 3F RAW (3FR). The new 3F RAW file format is designed to ensure that images captured on Hasselblad digital products are quickly, effectively and safely stored on the available media (CF card, Imagebank, etc). The file format includes lossless image compression, saving 33% of storage space. Combined with the architecture of the Hasselblad digital camera, this allows for capturing up to 35 images per minute.

A 3FR file defines the colors in the Hasselblad RGB color space with its out-of-the-box quality and, used in FlexColor, it removes both the need for experimenting with different color profiles to get optimum colors and the need for selective color corrections.

3FR files can be converted directly into Adobe’s raw image format DNG (‘Digital NeGative’), bringing this new technology standard to the professional photographer for the first time. The DNG file format enables raw, compressed image files to be opened directly in Adobe PhotoShop, allowing photographers to operate quickly and efficiently and reducing the “downtime” taken to process image data. Hasselblad image files carry a full set of metadata, including capture conditions, keywords and copyright, facilitating work with image asset management solutions. For specialist commercial photographers, the full productivity and creative freedom offered by Hasselblad’s FlexColor workflow software is also available via importing the DNG file.

The new Hasselblad products will be rolled out worldwide through Hasselblad’s national subsidiaries and channel partners in Q1 2006.

An extensive upgrade program is available to existing Hasselblad customers to enable them to take advantage of the full benefits of the new products.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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