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Hasselblad X1D versus Canon 5DS

The Hasselblad X1D-50c and the Canon EOS 5DS are two professional cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2016 and February 2015. The X1D is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the 5DS is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a medium format (X1D) and a full frame (5DS) sensor. The Hasselblad has a resolution of 51.3 megapixel, whereas the Canon provides 50.3 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Hasselblad X1D vs Canon 5DS

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Hasselblad X1D and the Canon 5DS is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the X1D – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Hasselblad X1D vs Canon 5DS
Compare X1D versus 5DS top
Compare X1D and 5DS rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 5DS is notably larger (20 percent) than the Hasselblad X1D. Moreover, the 5DS is markedly heavier (28 percent) than the X1D. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

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 the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Hasselblad X1D» 5.9 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 25.6 oz .. Y Jun 2016 8,995 i i
Canon 5DS« 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon 6D Mark II« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i
Canon 5D Mark IV« » 5.9 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 31.4 oz 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 i i
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i
Canon 5DS R« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Fujifilm GFX 50S« » 5.8 in 3.7 in 3.6 in 26.1 oz 400 Y Sep 2016 6,499 i i
Leica SL« » 5.8 in 4.1 in 1.5 in 29.9 oz 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450 i i
Nikon D850« » 5.7 in 4.9 in 3.1 in 35.5 oz 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 i i
Nikon D7200« » 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199- i
Pentax 645Z« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 4.8 in 54.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2014 8,499 i i
Sony A7R III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199 i i
Sony A99 II« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i i
Sony A7R II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.0 oz 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199- i

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 5DS was launched at a markedly lower price (by 59 percent) than the X1D, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Hasselblad X1D vs Canon 5DS

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Hasselblad X1D features a medium format sensor and the Canon 5DS a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the 5DS is 40 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 0.79 and 1.0. The sensor in the X1D has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the 5DS offers a 3:2 aspect.

Hasselblad X1D and Canon 5DS sensor measures

With 51.3MP, the X1D offers a slightly higher resolution than the 5DS (50.3MP), but the X1D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.30μm versus 4.14μm for the 5DS) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the X1D is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the 5DS, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X1D has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

X1D versus 5DS MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the X1D provides substantially higher image quality than the 5DS, with an overall score that is 15 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.5 bits higher color depth, 2.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Hasselblad X1D» Medium Format 51.3 8272 62001080/25p26.214.84489102
Canon 5DS« Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.712.4238187
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285
Canon 5D Mark IV« » Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.612.4230886
Fujifilm GFX 50S« » MF 51.1 8256 61921080/30p----
Leica SL« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188
Nikon D850« » Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100
Nikon D7200« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387
Pentax 645Z« » Medium Format 51.1 8256 61921080/60i26.014.74505101
Sony A7R III« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100
Sony A99 II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792
Sony A7R II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.9343498

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the 5DS provides a faster frame rate than the X1D. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Hasselblad is limited to 1080/25p.

 

Feature comparison: Hasselblad X1D vs Canon 5DS

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X1D has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the 5DS 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 and Canon 5DS in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Hasselblad X1D»2360 n 3.0 920 fixed Y 2000 2.3 n n
Canon 5DS«optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.5 n n
Canon 5D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 7.0 n n
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 16.0 n n
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n
Fujifilm GFX 50S« »- Y 3.2 2360 tilting Y 4000 3.0 n n
Leica SL« »4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 8000 11.0 n n
Nikon D850« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 8000 9.0 n n
Nikon D7200« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n
Pentax 645Z« »optical Y 3.2 1037 tilting n 4000 3.0 n n
Sony A7R III« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Sony A99 II« »2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 8000 12.0 n Y
Sony A7R II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y

Both the X1D and the 5DS are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. Neither of the two has a direct predecessor, so perhaps they will constitute the origins of new camera lines for Hasselblad and Canon.

Review summary: Hasselblad X1D vs Canon 5DS

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Hasselblad X1D and the Canon 5DS? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Hasselblad X1D-50c:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (15 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.5 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (2.4 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • More compact: Is smaller (150x98mm vs 152x116mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 205g or 22 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More prestigious: Has the Hasselblad luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 4 months after the 5DS).

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 5DS:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/25p).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 2.3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (59 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2015).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X1D emerges as the winner of the contest (12 : 10 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

X1D 12:10 5DS

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X1D or the 5DS. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Hasselblad X1D»rev---4/5 Jun 2016 8,995 i i
Canon 5DS«Rec83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon 6D Mark II« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i
Canon 5D Mark IV« »HiRec87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 i i
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i
Canon 5DS R« »Rec83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Fujifilm GFX 50S« »-85/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 6,499 i i
Leica SL« »-84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450 i i
Nikon D850« »HiRec89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 i i
Nikon D7200« »HiRec84/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199- i
Pentax 645Z« »--4.5/55/55/5 Apr 2014 8,499 i i
Sony A7R III« »HiRec90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199 i i
Sony A99 II« »-85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i i
Sony A7R II« »HiRec90/1005/54.5/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199- i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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