Swedish medium format camera maker Hasselblad has added electronic shutter and resizable AF points to its X1D mirrorless camera via a new firmware update: Version 1.17.2.

The newly added electronic shutter can operate between 68 minutes and 1/10,000sec—extending the short exposure range of the camera from 1/2000sec. It also takes away the vibrations of a mechanical shutter, which should reduce the risk of shutter shock in moderate exposures, and the silent nature of the electronic shutter makes it possible to shoot without disturbing your subject.

These benefits don't come without some drawbacks, though.

Hasselblad acknowledges that the 300ms it takes the sensor to read from top to bottom could have an impact on the way moving subjects are recorded, and might lead to banding under flickering light sources. ISO will be limited to 3200, and image quality will be slightly lower than in exposures recorded with the mechanical shutter. Finally, continuous drive mode is disabled when using the electronic shutter, as is flash and the camera’s True Exposure feature (as the lens shutter won’t be in use).

In addition to the electronic shutter, the new firmware also adds resizable AF points to the mirrorless medium format X1D—there are now three AF point sizes selectable instead of the single size of the original firmware. The new points measure 4mm, 2.8mm and 2mm, and there are 35 of the largest, 63 of the mid-sized points and 117 of the smallest available to you.

The new firmware is available to download from the Hasselblad website.

Manufacturer Information

Hasselblad X1D Firmware Update 1.17.2

Firmware release 1.17.2 for the Hasselblad X1D-50c adds two important features that extend the shooting envelope of the camera: resizable autofocus points, and an electronic shutter function.

By popular demand, three sizes may now be selected offering 35, 63 or 117 points by holding down the AF/MF button and pressing the display [] button to cycle through them. The focus point may be reset to center easily by pressing the X button.

The electronic shutter allows for shutter speeds up to 1/10,000s and is silent, allowing use of the X1D-50c under conditions that require absolute discretion or completely zero vibration. It allows the production of images with extremely high quality in situations that might have previously been challenging – both when silence is needed such as during live performances, or when working handheld in extremely low light conditions. Furthermore, this opens up the possibility to produce adapters for an extended range of lenses beyond the already wide range of native Hasselblad XCD and HC offerings should you have an extremely specific requirement.

User Guide version 1.6 for X1D contains further information for these new functions.

Please note that the electronic shutter has some limitations due to the nature of the current generation of medium format sensors: rolling shutter effects may be present during camera or subject motion; sensor read time is 300ms. Furthermore, under phased light sources (fluorescent, LED) some striping may occur at higher shutter speeds as these sources are not truly continuous.