Sunday, March 25, 2007

Hasselblad H3D

I have recently upgraded my camera system to a Hasselbald H3D, which has a 39 megapixel digital back. I previously had a Hasselblad H1 with a 22 megapixel digital back. The main difference with new H3D is that I can now shoot to a CF card that inserts in the back, and no longer have to connect the back to an external imagebank via a cord. This makes the camera system lighter and easier to hand hold. In addition, the high resolution of the 39 megapixels allows me to create 30x22" sized prints with no upsampling of the original image file. Paired with the high quality Hasselblad lenses, I think this system represents the current state of the art in single capture digital photography. I have posted a few recent images taken with the H3D in the photo gallery. I have enlarged the Winter Sunset shot to make a 40x60" canvas print with no loss of image detail or clarity. I have reached the maximum size my Epson 9800 can print, and am looking forward to their introduction of a 60" wide printer in the future. I currently think that I have no real need to ever increase beyond 39 megapixels for fine art printing purposes. In the future I think digital capture can improve in the areas of light sensitivity of the sensor. It would be great to dial in an 800 ISO setting and get the same image quality that I currently get from 50 ISO. This would allow me to use higher shutter speeds and still keep the aperture setting optimized for maximum depth of field. This would allow freedom from constant use of a tripod. I have dialed up to ISO 200 and handheld shots with the new H3D - the Clearing Winter Storm image was handheld in soft morning light since I had to ski to this location and did not want to lug my tripod. The clarity of the large print is great, so I am pleased with the results even though I had to do a little noise removal from the higher ISO setting. I am considering just taking a light monopod in the future if I do not want to lug a tripod when I am on foot or on my mountain bike. There are new ones out that have 3 little tripod feet that pop out of the bottom to give more stability. If anyone has found one they like please let me know.