Hasselblad X1D vs Nikon D850
The Hasselblad X1D-50c and the Nikon D850 are two professional cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2016 and July 2017. The X1D is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the D850 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a medium format (X1D) and a full frame (D850) sensor. The Hasselblad has a resolution of 51.3 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 45.4 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-50c and the Nikon D850? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Hasselblad X1D and the Nikon D850 are illustrated 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 dimensions 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 Nikon D850 is notably larger (23 percent) than the Hasselblad X1D. Moreover, the D850 is substantially heavier (39 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 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 table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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||150 mm||98 mm||71 mm||725 g||..||Y||Jun 2016||8,995|
|2.||Nikon D850||146 mm||124 mm||79 mm||1005 g||1840||Y||Jul 2017||3,299|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||144 mm||111 mm||75 mm||765 g||1200||Y||Jun 2017||1,999|
|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 50S||148 mm||94 mm||91 mm||740 g||400||Y||Sep 2016||6,499|
|7.||Hasselblad X1D II||148 mm||97 mm||70 mm||766 g||..||Y||Jun 2019||5,750|
|8.||Leica SL||147 mm||104 mm||39 mm||847 g||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450|
|9.||Nikon D7500||136 mm||104 mm||73 mm||720 g||950||Y||Apr 2017||1,299|
|10.||Nikon D5||160 mm||159 mm||92 mm||1415 g||3780||Y||Jan 2016||6,499|
|11.||Nikon D7200||136 mm||107 mm||76 mm||765 g||1110||Y||Mar 2015||1,199|
|12.||Nikon D810||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||980 g||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299|
|13.||Nikon D610||141 mm||113 mm||82 mm||850 g||900||Y||Oct 2013||1,999|
|14.||Pentax 645Z||156 mm||117 mm||123 mm||1550 g||650||Y||Apr 2014||8,499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D850 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 63 percent) than the X1D, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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. 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 Nikon D850 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D850 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 D850 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 51.3MP, the X1D offers a higher resolution than the D850 (45.4MP), but the X1D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.30μm versus 4.35μm for the D850) due to its larger sensor. However, the D850 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the X1D, and its sensor might 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 Hasselblad X1D-50c has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D850 are ISO 64 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 32-102400.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many 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"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|1.||Hasselblad X1D||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||1080/25p||26.2||14.8||4489||102|
|2.||Nikon D850||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/30p||26.4||14.8||2660||100|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85|
|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 50S||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|7.||Hasselblad X1D II||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||none||..||..||..||..|
|8.||Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88|
|10.||Nikon D5||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88|
|12.||Nikon D810||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97|
|13.||Nikon D610||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/30p||25.1||14.4||2925||94|
|14.||Pentax 645Z||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/60i||26.0||14.7||4505||101|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the D850 provides a better video resolution than the X1D. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Hasselblad is limited to 1080/25p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X1D has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the D850 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Hasselblad X1D and Nikon D850 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Hasselblad X1D||2360||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||Y||1/2000s||2.3||n||n|
|2.||Nikon D850||optical||Y||3.2 / 2359||tilting||Y||1/8000s||9.0||n||n|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.5||n||n|
|4.||Canon 5DS||optical||Y||3.2 / 1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|5.||Canon 5DS R||optical||Y||3.2 / 1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||optional||Y||3.2 / 2360||full-flex||Y||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|7.||Hasselblad X1D II||3690||n||3.6 / 2360||fixed||Y||1/2000s||2.7||n||n|
|8.||Leica SL||4400||Y||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/8000s||11.0||n||n|
|9.||Nikon D7500||optical||Y||3.2 / 922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||8.0||Y||n|
|10.||Nikon D5||optical||Y||3.2 / 2359||fixed||Y||1/8000s||14.0||n||n|
|11.||Nikon D7200||optical||Y||3.2 / 1229||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n|
|12.||Nikon D810||optical||Y||3.2 / 1229||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n|
|13.||Nikon D610||optical||Y||3.2 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|14.||Pentax 645Z||optical||Y||3.2 / 1037||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
One feature that is present on the D850, but is missing on the X1D is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The Hasselblad X1D and the Nikon D850 both have 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 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D850 uses SDXC or XQD cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. The D850 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the X1D can use UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s).
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-50c and Nikon D850 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Hasselblad X1D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Nikon D850||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon 5DS||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon 5DS R||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Hasselblad X1D II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||-||3.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Leica SL||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Nikon D7500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|10.||Nikon D5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Nikon D7200||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Nikon D810||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Nikon D610||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Pentax 645Z||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
The D850 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the X1D has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the X1D was succeeded by the Hasselblad X1D II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Hasselblad and Nikon websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Hasselblad X1D better than the Nikon D850 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Hasselblad X1D-50c:
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.8 stops ISO advantage).
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More compact: Is smaller (150x98mm vs 146x124mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 280g or 28 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 heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2016).
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D850:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/25p).
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Easier setting verification: Features 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 (2359k vs 920k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 2.3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (63 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 1 month) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D850 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 7 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 and the Nikon D850 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X1D or the D850 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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||..||o||..||81/100||..||4/5||Jun 2016||8,995|
|2.||Nikon D850||4.5/5||+ +||5/5||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2017||3,299|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||4/5||+||4/5||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2017||1,999|
|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 50S||..||..||4.5/5||85/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||6,499|
|7.||Hasselblad X1D II||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2019||5,750|
|8.||Leica SL||4/5||..||4/5||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450|
|9.||Nikon D7500||4.5/5||+ +||4.5/5||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2017||1,299|
|10.||Nikon D5||..||..||4/5||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||6,499|
|11.||Nikon D7200||4/5||+ +||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2015||1,199|
|12.||Nikon D810||5/5||..||5/5||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||3,299|
|13.||Nikon D610||4/5||+ +||..||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,999|
|14.||Pentax 645Z||5/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2014||8,499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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.
- Canon 1D Mark II vs Nikon D850
- Canon 5D Mark IV vs Nikon D850
- Canon G7 X Mark II vs Hasselblad X1D
- Canon T100 vs Hasselblad X1D
- Canon T5i vs Nikon D850
- Canon T6i vs Hasselblad X1D
- Canon T7 vs Nikon D850
- Fujifilm GFX 100S vs Hasselblad X1D
- Hasselblad X1D vs Nikon 1 J5
- Hasselblad X1D vs Sony A68
- Hasselblad X1D vs Sony WX800
- Nikon D850 vs Olympus E-M5 III
Specifications: Hasselblad X1D vs Nikon D850
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||Nikon D850|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Hasselblad X mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||June 2016||July 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 8,995||USD 3,299|
|Sensor Specs||Hasselblad X1D||Nikon D850|
|Sensor Format||Medium Format Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||43.8 x 32.9 mm||35.9 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||1441.02 mm2||858.01 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||54.8 mm||43.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||51.3 Megapixels||45.4 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||8272 x 6200 pixels||8256 x 5504 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.30 μm||4.35 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.56 MP/cm2||5.30 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/25p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||64 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||32 - 102,400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||102||100|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||26.2||26.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||14.8||14.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||4489||2660|
|Screen Specs||Hasselblad X1D||Nikon D850|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||2359k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Hasselblad X1D||Nikon D850|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||2.3 shutter flaps/s||9 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC or XQD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Hasselblad X1D||Nikon D850|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Hasselblad X1D||Nikon D850|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
150 x 98 x 71 mm
(5.9 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
146 x 124 x 79 mm
(5.7 x 4.9 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||725 g (25.6 oz)||1005 g (35.5 oz)|
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