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Hasselblad launches the limited edition 503CWD digital camera

In recognition of founder Victor Hasselblad's birth on March 8, 2006, the company unveils the 503CWD Anniversary kit, a prestigious high-end photographic system that offers state-of-the-art digital technology integrated with a classically designed Hasselblad 503CW body. The camera combines the black and chrome V body, with its central shutter-based lenses with the technology of the CFV digital back...


Hasselblad launches the limited edition 503CWD digital camera - digital camera and photography newsHasselblad Celebrates Centenary of Founder's Birth with Launch of Limited Edition Hasselblad 503CWD Digital Camera

In recognition of the centenary of Victor Hasselblad's birth on March 8, 2006, Hasselblad unveils the Hasselblad 503CWD Anniversary Kit, a prestigious high-end photographic system that offers state-of-the-art digital capture technology elegantly integrated with a classically designed Hasselblad 503CW body.

Combining the rugged reliability of the black and chrome V System body, with its range of high performance, central shutter-based lenses, and the technology of Hasselblad's new CFV digital back, the exclusive Hasselblad 503CWD perfectly melds the heritage of the old Hasselblad with the focus of the new Hasselblad on digital high-end photography to create a new digital workhorse. Of undoubted appeal to the Hasselblad connoisseur, the camera delivers the perfect blend of versatility and simplicity in a compact, professional tool that gives the user complete control over digital image capture and is a pleasure to operate.

Christian Poulsen, CEO of Hasselblad, comments: “Hasselblad's reputation for excellence and outstanding quality was built on the V System. Therefore the Hasselblad 503CWD – a truly professional tool that is fully compatible with the Hasselblad V system, offers great value for money, and is built to the same exacting standards that have become the signature of the Hasselblad company - is a fitting tribute to the design process that Victor Hasselblad started himself in the 1940s. Having been passionate about photography, Victor would also have loved the concept of digital photography, and in the 503CWD kit, with its stylish retro body and advanced digital capture technology offering the ideal balance of old and new
Hasselblad, he would recognize the culmination of his own work.”

The 503CWD Anniversary kit will be supplied as a limited edition of 500 cameras, each one numbered and engraved with Victor Hasselblad's signature. Reassuringly solid, the kit comprises a 503CWD body with waist-level finder, specially marked focusing screen and chrome winding lever, a Zeiss Planar CFE 2.8/80mm lens and a CFV digital back, and will be supplied with a beautifully produced book marking Victor's anniversary.

Not only does the Hasselblad 503CWD satisfy the aesthetic needs of V System fans, but it also boasts very advanced and, in some aspects, unique digital technology, such as Hasselblad Natural Color Solution, Instant Approval Architecture, and versatile storage and workflow, alongside files captured on a CCD 50% larger than a full frame 35mm DSLR.

Hasselblad Natural Color Solution

Color management solutions have in the past imposed limitations on professional digital photographers, because of the forced choice of a specific color profile to suit the job: for example, capturing various skin tones, metals, fabrics or flowers. To combat this, Hasselblad has developed the Hasselblad Natural Color Solution to be used with its FlexColor imaging software. Working with the powerful, new Hasselblad Natural Color Solution enables professional photographers to produce outstanding, reliable out-of-the-box colors, with skin tones, special product gradations, and other difficult colors accurately reproduced.

Instant Approval Architecture

Some of the potential benefits of capturing large numbers of images can be lost if the photographer cannot quickly review and select the best images to present to the client. Hasselblad's Instant Approval Architecture (IAA) assists by labelling images according to technical parameters and allowing the photographer to downgrade visually poor images, having previewed them on the clear, bright OLED viewing screen. Sorting the red, amber or green flagged images is then very quick. Audible and visible signals facilitate the selection process by giving instant feedback during a

Three modes of operation and storage

Optimum portability and image storage are critical for the professional photographer. Hasselblad 503CWD offers a choice of the portable CF card storage, the flexible Imagebank, or the tethered operation with extended, special capture controls. With these three operating and storage options, the photographer is able to select a mode to suit the nature of the work at hand, whether in the studio or on location.

For the studio photographer, the most accurate colours and highest degree of control can be achieved by using 3F RAW (3FR), Hasselblad's raw file format, in Hasselblad's workflow software, FlexColor. The file format also includes lossless image compression, saving 33% of storage space. In tethered operation tools such as live video and overlay masking bring increased productivity to advanced set composition. The newest FlexColor version allows the photographer to manipulate color temperature and compare image details across multiple images for precise image selection. Alternatively the 3FR files can be converted directly into Adobe's raw image format DNG (Digital NeGative), which can be opened directly in Adobe PhotoShop CS2.

CFV Separately Available

For existing Hasselblad V System users, the new CFV digital back, the successor of the V96C back, will also be available separately. Built to match the design and functionality of the Hasselblad V System cameras, it can be easily and elegantly integrated into an existing Hasselblad system, enabling the photographer to work in exactly the same manner and with their preferred equipment, but with the productivity benefits of digital photography over film.

The Hasselblad 503CWD will be available from Hasselblad's Digital Partners in March at a list price of $12,995 and the Hasselblad CFV will similarly be available at a list price of $9,995.

Additional information:

All about the Hasselblad limited edition 503CWD digital camera (PDF)
All about the Hasselblad CFV digital back (PDF)
February 24, 2006
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