Hasselblad Launches H4D Camera System

Hasselblad H4DBreakthrough True Focus technology and Phocus 2.0 bring new ease of use.

On September 25, during Hasselblad’s special event in Florida marking man’s first moonwalk in 1969 – which was captured with Hasselblad cameras – the company announced the H4D-60 camera system, with groundbreaking True Focus technology.

CEO Christian Poulsen and Product Manager Peter Stig described for the gathering of some 200 Hasselblad international executives, dealers, photographers, and press members how the H4D, built upon the H3D platform and bundled with the brand-new Phocus 2.0 imaging software, will transform photographers’ shooting experience.

“The H4D-60 with True Focus with APL (Absolute Position Lock) makes auto-focus substantially easier and more accurate,” says Poulsen. “Like the rest of the H System, the H4D is designed to meet the most exacting demands of high-end professional photographers, who require superior image quality and performance.”

Adds Stig, “True Focus technology helps solve one of the remaining technical challenges that face serious photographers today: true, accurate focusing throughout the image. The new Absolute Position Lock (APL) processor, which is the foundation of True Focus, accurately logs camera movement during re-composing, uses these exact measurements to calculate the necessary focus adjustment, and issues the proper commands to the lens’s focus motor so it can compensate.”

The APL processor computes the advanced positional algorithms and carries out the required focus corrections so quickly that no shutter lag occurs. The H4D’s firmware perfects the focus, using the data retrieval system found on all HC/HCD lenses, so photographers can concentrate on composition and creativity.

“Traditionally, most DSLRs have had multi-point AF sensors, which allow photographers to fix an off-center focus point on an off-center subject, focused correctly,” says Poulsen. “But these multi-point AF solutions can be tedious, inflexible, and don’t really solve the problem. And because of the physics of an SLR-camera, the off-center focus points are clustered relatively close to the image center. To set focus outside this center area, the photographer still has to focus first then shift the camera to reframe, resulting in a loss of focus.”

Says Stig, “You can set True Focus to work by pressing the camera release button half way, or via any user button programmed to AF-drive when the camera is in manual focus mode. Keep in mind, this first release of True Focus only corrects the horizontal and vertical positions of the camera, not any focus shift resulting from larger lateral movements the camera makes during recomposing.”

Turning to Phocus 2.0, the big news is that the new user interface dramatically reduces the learning curve, enabling the average photographer to be up to speed in less than 30 minutes. Functionality has not been lowered, however. Phocus 2.0 matches or betters the speed, functions, and usability of Adobe Lightroom, Apple Aperture, and Phase One Capture One.

“We’ve increased speed, functionality, and the speed at which photographers can learn to use this advanced software,” says Poulsen. “In less than five minutes, an amateur photographer can learn to work with our images. In less than 10 minutes, a photographer can learn how to setup for production of high-res files for Photoshop. In less than 20 minutes, a photographer can learn how to shoot tethered. The new version of Phocus helps make complex functionality simple to use, so photographers at all levels can focus on shooting.”

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Text by Alice B. Miller