Gear Review

The Hasselblad X2D 100C – Why I Utilize a [slow] Medium Format Camera at Weddings

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Alex Everett • November 1, 2023

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We’ve all heard the mantra that gear doesn’t matter, which is true. Except for when it does matter. Enter the 100 megapixel, 200mb-per-image, medium format camera from Hasselblad.

There are PLENTY of camera systems on the market that do what a wedding photographer would need, all from a variety of different brands – but this is why my system works for me. The Hasselblad X2D 100C is the perfect tool, performing off the charts for those who seek true-to-life colors, a natural look, and an egregious abundance of detail and depth in their photos.

I’ve been using the X2D 100C for just under a year, primarily at weddings but also on other projects and in my day-to-day life. Up until recently there has no better tool (looking at you, Fuji GFX 100 II) to perfectly capture bright colors, falling shadows, or highlights strewn across a scene. Especially when dealing with inanimate objects – the ceremony space, the florals, the details – of a wedding day. Of course, it is wonderful when capturing people as well, but to be completely blunt: the autofocus is better than the previous generation (especially when paired with newer lenses), but leaves much to be desired having been able to sample the recently-released Fujifilm GFX 100 II.

True-to-Life Colors

One of the standout features of the Hasselblad X2D 100C is its exceptional color accuracy. Its 100-megapixel sensor, combined with Hasselblad’s renowned color science, ensures that every image reflects the true colors of the moment. This means that the bride’s dress, the flowers, and the sunset will all look as vivid and vibrant in the photos as they did in reality. Variances in hue and tone, however – such as differences in the exposure on different leaves on a tree, or even parts of a leaf itself – hold true. The camera’s ability to capture a wide color spectrum is a game-changer, especially when it comes to preserving the unique color schemes and aesthetics of each wedding.

When working near large amounts of greenery or a brick wall, both of which throw uneven color casts at an image, I’ll often lean on the Hasselblad to work past such problems – it recognizes and captures the true skin tones with ease.

Natural Look

If you’ve never shot with a medium format camera, either film or digital, I highly recommend it – even if just renting one for the weekend. I was nearly burnt out with photography when I picked up the first generation of this camera – the Hasselblad X1D 50C II. The medium format (larger than full-frame) captures images with far more depth than a traditional full-frame/APS-C/micro four-thirds. This results in a natural, three-dimensional look that makes subjects pop while maintaining soft and subtle transitions in colors and tones. It has since allowed me to revisit how I approach my work and, albeit much more slow to focus and operate than say, the R5, there are times in the day where I capture images on the X2D that just would not be keeper images if I had used my R5 to capture them. Not only does the camera produce fantastic colors and detail, but it also maintains an incredibly high amount of dynamic range, allowing for fantastic detail retention in both the shadows and highlights. There are parts of many images on this post that would have clipped on full frame cameras wherein the X2D was able to retain the detail I wished to enhance in post-processing.

Detail and Depth

The high-resolution 100-megapixel sensor in the X2D 100C is a dream to use. It enables them to capture the smallest details, from the intricate lace on a wedding gown to the layering in a forest canopy. Instead of just “trees”, there are leaves, and branches, and far more than a “green” blob outside of just the subject. This level of detail adds depth to the photographs, making them more engaging and emotionally resonant. You’ll see what I’m talking about when looking at the detail in the images below. Oh, and this extra detail provided by the large sensor allows for incredible flexibility when cropping, meaning one image easily becomes three.

The X2D 100C is the ultimate camera for photographers who aspire to deliver true-to-life colors, a natural look, and images filled with detail and depth. Hasselblad has always seemed to have a strong affinity for the photographer with a slower workflow, especially those who shoot in-studio – but advances in technology have allowed for portable medium format digital cameras such as the X2D.

Not to mention, the 65×24 X-Pan crop is pretty fun too.

Alex Everett is a wedding photographer based in Seattle, WA. He is always available via his personal phone (360) 201-2716. Interested in having Alex cover your wedding? Fill out the contact form here.

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