Falling prices mean it might not be too long before medium-format photography is back on the agenda for enthusiasts, but what can we expect from a digital medium-format camera?

Product Overview

Hasselblad H4D-40


Hasselblad H4D-40 review


Price as reviewed:


Studio Portraits Shoot Handling and Lightroom


It took some time to get used to a few of the H4D-40’s controls, as they are scattered around the side as well as the rear of the camera body. One button that is a little awkward is the True Focus AF button.

Its peculiar position requires you to stretch the thumb of your right hand.

It would be better placed nearer to the thumb’s natural resting place on the rear of the camera. Thankfully, nearly all the exposure-setting buttons are positioned around the H4D-40’s LCD top-plate.

When focusing on the subject’s eye, the extremely shallow depth of field sometimes makes it difficult to tell whether or not the True Focus AF has worked.

Often the pupil would be perfectly in focus, and at other times the eyelashes would be a sharper.

What is staggering is the sheer level of detail that is captured. Again, this is most noticeable in the subject’s eyes. With a 40-million-pixel image, the level of detail can be quite unforgiving – each eyelash and hair is clearly visible, making it a retoucher’s dream, or worst nightmare depending on how you wish to look at the images.

Images: The H4D-40 is capable of capturing a great amount of detail, which is further emphasised by the very shallow depth of field that can be created


Traffic Lights and Lightroom

Before importing the images into Lightroom 3, I used three ‘traffic- light’ buttons on the camera back to tag each image.

Once I had done this I was able to delete all the ‘red’, rejected images from the card, leaving only the green and amber images to be imported into Lightroom. Rejecting the images that weren’t needed at this stage helped to speed up the import process.

With such large file sizes I set Lightroom to create its own full-size preview files when importing the images., which saved time when browsing and cataloguing the images. Also impressive was Lightroom’s default sharpening, which I tweaked to reveal an amazing amount of detail.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Hasselblad H system
  4. 4. Medium-format options
  5. 5. Landscape Shoot
  6. 6. Landscape Shoot Handling
  7. 7. Landscape Shoot Image Quality
  8. 8. Landscape Shoot Conclusion
  9. 9. Studio Portraits Shoot
  10. 10. Studio Portraits Shoot Handling and Lightroom
  11. 11. Studio Portraits Shoot Conclusion
  12. 12. Still Life Shoot
  13. 13. Still Life Shoot Mirror-slap
  14. 14. Still Life Shoot Image transfer
  15. 15. Still Life Shoot Conclusion
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