Hasselblad has announced a new aerial camera that it says provides the 'ultimate' in image quality for aerial photographers. The camera, the Hasselblad A5D, has no moving parts and as such avoids unintentional internal mechanical movements that aircraft vibrations can cause.

Available in 40MP, 50MP or 60MP sensor options, the camera is said to have 'unrivaled' reliability, stability and low weight. With images saved to CF memory cards or transferred directly by FireWire 800, the new bodies accept a LEMO push/pull connector cable that allows up to eight cameras to synchronize exposure, with capture occurring across the network of multiple bodies within a 20 microsecond duration. Shooting with multiple synchronized cameras allows mappers to stitch images more easily - with less overlap and no missing areas.

The 40MP and 60MP sensors are CCD type, and the 50MP sensor is a CMOS variety. The 40MP and 50MP sensors measure 43.8x32.9mm, but the 60MP sensor is larger, at 53.7x40.2mm. The company claims that one of the sensors has a dynamic range of 14 stops, but doesn't say which – though the 50MP sensor in use is known to offer such a range.

Although Hasselblad was established as a company in 1841, its first ever camera was an aerial camera made for the Swedish government in 1941. The Swedes had captured a Handkamera HK 12.5/7x9 from a German plane that had been shot down, and asked Victor Hasselblad if he could copy it. He is said to have replied 'No, but I can make a better one.' After opening a new camera workshop in Gothenburg, called Ross AB, the company produced the HK7, which then developed into the SKa4 as was used by the Swedish military. The company’s first camera for civilians was the Hasselblad Camera (later called the 1600 F), a 6x6cm medium format body introduced during peacetime in 1948. It had a top shutter speed of 1/1600sec and a focal plane shutter – hence '1600 F'.

For more information on the A5D-40, A5D-50c and A5D-60 visit the special applications pages of the Hasselblad website.