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Hasselblad CFV-50c

The Hasselblad acquisition of digital-back maker Imacon in 2004 began a turn in Hasselblad's design from traditional medium-format cameras with replaceable backs—be they film, digital or othewise—to a tightly integrated digital package. The Hasselblad H-series had already shifted from the 45-year old 6x6 V series's film-focus to a smaller (comparatively cheaper-sized) digital sensor at a 4:3 ratio but smaller than 6x4.5".

With the older V series at a dead-end, there has been brisk trade on used markets, but until now now hope for a modern, high-end digital back. Surprising many, who had assumed Hasselblad forgot who their market had been following debacles like the Sony-rebranded Lunar, Hasselblad has made a digital back available for the V-series based around the same industry-leading Sony-made 50MP CMOS sensor found in their latest H5D-50C and the economical competitor, Pentax 645Z.

Each of these camera systems (H, V, and Pentax 645) are very different, although it's possible that the trickle of former V-shooters to the 645Z (like Ming Thein) may have had as much to do with the design and release of this back than any major shift in company philosophy. Maybe that's not entirely a bad thing, either, if it can put Hasselblad back on track.