Hasselblad X1D II vs Leica S1
The Hasselblad X1D II 50C and the Leica S1 Pro are two professional cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2019 and August 1996. Both the X1D II and the S1 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a medium format sensor. The Hasselblad has a resolution of 51.3 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 26.4 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Hasselblad X1D II 50C and the Leica S1 Pro? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Hasselblad X1D II and the Leica S1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica S1 is considerably larger (405 percent) than the Hasselblad X1D II. Moreover, the S1 is substantially heavier (226 percent) than the X1D II. It is worth mentioning in this context that the X1D II is splash and dust resistant, while the S1 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The power pack in the X1D II can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Hasselblad X1D II||148 mm||97 mm||70 mm||766 g||..||Y||Jun 2019||5,750|
|2.||Leica S1||339 mm||214 mm||119 mm||2500 g||..||n||Aug 1996||21,490|
|3.||Canon R||139 mm||98 mm||84 mm||660 g||370||Y||Sep 2018||2,299|
|4.||Canon 5DS||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|5.||Canon 5DS R||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||161 mm||97 mm||66 mm||775 g||400||Y||Sep 2018||4,499|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||148 mm||94 mm||91 mm||740 g||400||Y||Sep 2016||6,499|
|8.||Hasselblad X1D||150 mm||98 mm||71 mm||725 g||..||Y||Jun 2016||8,995|
|9.||Leica Q2||130 mm||80 mm||92 mm||718 g||370||Y||Mar 2019||4,995|
|10.||Leica CL||131 mm||78 mm||45 mm||403 g||220||n||Nov 2017||2,795|
|11.||Leica TL2||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950|
|12.||Leica Q Typ 116||130 mm||80 mm||93 mm||640 g||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249|
|13.||Leica S2||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1410 g||..||Y||Sep 2008||22,995|
|14.||Nikon Z7||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||330||Y||Aug 2018||3,399|
|15.||Panasonic GH5s||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||660 g||440||Y||Jan 2018||2,499|
|16.||Sony A6400||120 mm||67 mm||50 mm||403 g||410||Y||Jan 2019||899|
|17.||Sony A7R IV||129 mm||96 mm||78 mm||665 g||670||Y||Jul 2019||3,499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X1D II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 73 percent) than the S1, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a medium format sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the S1 is 10 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 0.79 (X1D II) and 0.85. The sensor in the X1D II has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the S1 offers a 1:1 aspect.
In terms of chip-set technology, the X1D II uses a more advanced image processing engine (..) than the S1 (..), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 51.3MP, the X1D II offers a higher resolution than the S1 (26.4MP), but the X1D II has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.30μm versus 7.01μm for the S1). However, the X1D II is a much more recent model (by 22 years and 9 months) than the S1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Hasselblad X1D II implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X1D II for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 41.4 x 31 inches or 105.1 x 78.7 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 33.1 x 24.8 inches or 84 x 63 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 27.6 x 20.7 inches or 70 x 52.5 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica S1 are 25.7 x 25.7 inches or 65.3 x 65.3 cm for good quality, 20.6 x 20.6 inches or 52.2 x 52.2 cm for very good quality, and 17.1 x 17.1 inches or 43.5 x 43.5 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Hasselblad X1D II 50C has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica S1 Pro are ISO 50 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Hasselblad X1D II||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||none||..||..||..||..|
|2.||Leica S1||Medium Format||26.4||5140||5140||none||..||..||..||..|
|3.||Canon R||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.5||13.5||2742||89|
|4.||Canon 5DS||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.7||12.4||2381||87|
|5.||Canon 5DS R||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.6||12.4||2308||86|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|8.||Hasselblad X1D||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||1080/25p||26.2||14.8||4489||102|
|9.||Leica Q2||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/30p||26.4||13.5||2491||96|
|12.||Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
|13.||Leica S2||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||..||..||..||..|
|14.||Nikon Z7||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/30p||26.3||14.6||2668||99|
|15.||Panasonic GH5s||Four Thirds||9.9||3680||2700||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|17.||Sony A7R IV||Full Frame||60.2||9504||6336||4K/30p||26.0||14.8||3344||99|
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X1D II has an electronic viewfinder (3690k dots), while the S1 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Hasselblad X1D II and Leica S1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Hasselblad X1D II||3690||n||3.6||2360||fixed||Y||1/2000s||2.7||n||n|
|5.||Canon 5DS R||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||3690||n||3.2||2360||tilting||Y||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||optional||Y||3.2||2360||full-flex||Y||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|12.||Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||n||Y|
|17.||Sony A7R IV||5760||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the X1D II is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Hasselblad X1D II has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The X1D II writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the S1 uses external storage.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Hasselblad X1D II 50C and Leica S1 Pro and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Hasselblad X1D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||-||3.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Canon 5DS R||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony A7R IV||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
It is notable that the X1D II has a hotshoe, while the S1 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Hasselblad X1D II (unlike the S1) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the X1D II has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.
The X1D II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Hasselblad. In contrast, the S1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the S1 was succeeded by the Leica S2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Hasselblad and Leica websites.
So how do things add up? Is the Hasselblad X1D II better than the Leica S1 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Hasselblad X1D II 50C:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (51.3 vs 26.4MP) with a 42% higher linear resolution.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (.. vs ..).
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Rear screen: Has a backside LCD (3.6") for image review and settings control.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.7 vs 0.01 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (148x97mm vs 339x214mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 1734g or 69 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (73 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 22 years and 9 months of technical progress since the S1 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Leica S1 Pro:
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 1996).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X1D II is the clear winner of the match-up (18 : 2 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Hasselblad X1D II and the Leica S1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X1D II or the S1. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Hasselblad X1D II||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2019||5,750|
|2.||Leica S1||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 1996||21,490|
|3.||Canon R||4/5||o||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2018||2,299|
|4.||Canon 5DS||..||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|5.||Canon 5DS R||5/5||+||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||5/5||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2018||4,499|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||..||..||85/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||6,499|
|8.||Hasselblad X1D||..||o||81/100||..||4/5||Jun 2016||8,995|
|9.||Leica Q2||..||..||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2019||4,995|
|10.||Leica CL||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2017||2,795|
|11.||Leica TL2||3.5/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950|
|12.||Leica Q Typ 116||5/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249|
|13.||Leica S2||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2008||22,995|
|14.||Nikon Z7||5/5||+||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2018||3,399|
|15.||Panasonic GH5s||..||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2018||2,499|
|16.||Sony A6400||4/5||+||85/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jan 2019||899|
|17.||Sony A7R IV||5/5||+||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2019||3,499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
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Specifications: Hasselblad X1D II vs Leica S1
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Hasselblad X1D II||Leica S1|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Hasselblad X mount lenses||Leica R mount lenses|
|Launch Date||June 2019||August 1996|
|Launch Price||USD 5,750||USD 21,490|
|Sensor Specs||Hasselblad X1D II||Leica S1|
|Sensor Format||Medium Format Sensor||Medium Format Sensor|
|Sensor Size||43.8 x 32.9 mm||36.0 x 36.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||1441.02 mm2||1296 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||54.8 mm||50.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||51.3 Megapixels||26.4 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||8272 x 6200 pixels||5140 x 5140 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.30 μm||7.01 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.56 MP/cm2||2.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||50 - 1,600 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Hasselblad X1D II||Leica S1|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3690k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.6inch|
|LCD Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Hasselblad X1D II||Leica S1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Manual Focus|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||2.7 shutter flaps/s||0.01 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/10000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||external|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single SSD|
|Connectivity Specs||Hasselblad X1D II||Leica S1|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||no USB|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Geotagging||GPS built-in||no internal GPS|
|Body Specs||Hasselblad X1D II||Leica S1|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
148 x 97 x 70 mm
(5.8 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
339 x 214 x 119 mm
(13.3 x 8.4 x 4.7 in)
|Camera Weight||766 g (27.0 oz)||2500 g (88.2 oz)|
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