After teasing the H5D-50c in January, Hasselblad has now officially launched its first medium-format camera equipped with a CMOS sensor. This means the new 50-megapixel – and US$27,500 – camera features improved high ISO performance, better capture rates, and faster Live Video than its predecessors.

When the H5D-50c was initially announced, it was due to be the world's first medium-format CMOS sensor camera. But, since then, Phase One started shipping the IQ250 medium-format camera back, which also boasts a CMOS sensor. As such, the H5D-50c officially launches with the slightly long-winded title of the "world's first fully integrated medium format camera system to use CMOS sensor technology."

At the heart of the camera is a 50-megapixel CMOS sensor which measures 32.9 x 43.8 mm. While this is almost twice the physical size of that in 35-mm DSLRs, it's still considerably smaller than most other medium-format cameras, including the CCD-sensored H5D-50 it's based on. That said, the adoption of a CMOS sensor brings a number of benefits which are likely to be welcomed by medium-format shooters.

One of the key improvements is lower-light performance. An ISO range of 100-6400, up from ISO 50-800 in the H5D-50, means the H5D-50c will not have to be confined to the perfect lighting conditions of a studio. Shutter speeds also now range from 1/800 sec up to 12 minutes, where they previously maxed out at two minutes. The H5D-50c can shoot at 1.5 fps compared to the 1.1 fps of its predecessor.

Improved read-out times of the CMOS sensor also allow for a faster Live Video frame rate (10-15 fps), which should make it easier to use when setting up shots with the Phocus or Phocus Mobile Hasselblad image processing software. The H5D-50c also has an impressive high dynamic range (up to 14 stops) for preserving detail in shadow and highlight areas of images.

Measuring 153 x 131 x 205 mm (6 x 5.2 x 8 in) with the HC 80-mm lens, and weighing 2,290 g (5 lb) with the HC 80-mm lens, a battery and a CF card, the H5D-50c features a familiar design. It consists of the new 50c sensor unit, the H5D camera body, and the HVD 90x viewfinder, though others are also compatible. On the rear there's a three-inch screen with 460k dots and, being part of the Hasselblad H System, the H5D-50c takes those lenses.

The Hasselblad H5D-50c is available now for $27,500, or $30,000 with the HC F2.8 80-mm lens. While that might sound like a lot, it's still pretty much the same as the current price of the H5D-50.

Product page: Hasselblad H5D-50c