H2D-39, the 39 megapixel digital camera

Written by Geoff Richards

January 16, 2006 | 12:26

Tags: #ccd #cf #compact-flash #digital-camera #dslr #firewire #flash-memory #hard-drive #lens #resolution #slr

High-end Swedish camera manufacturer, Hasselblad have announced a 39 megapixel digital camera, the H2D-39. That's right: thirty nine million pixels.

You'd be forgiven for jumping around the room like Christopher Lloyd in Back To The Future shouting "1.21 gigawatts!" at this news. Thirty nine megapixels. Yes, we know, that's rather a lot.

Once you have picked yourself off the floor, let's talk about the details. It is, of course, a dSLR camera but it features a new CCD sensor that is more than twice the size of a regular 35mm camera's sensor at 36.7mm x 49mm. Consider for a second that the 12.8MP Canon EOS 5D has a 35.8mm x 23.9mm CCD and you begin to appreciate how insane the H2D-39 really is.

Hasselblad don't list a specific resolution on their website, but considering the EOS 5D produces photos at 4368x2912, we estimate the H2D-39 is good for something in the order of 8000x5000 in round figures in order to produce 39 megapixel images.

The basic camera starts at some US$32,000 though just like buying a BMW, expect to shell out plenty more for accessories like lenses, battery packs and no small amount on storage. Sure, Flash memory is pretty cheap these days, but a single photo taken at full whack on the H2D-39 will chew 78MB, or "only" 50MB with lossless compression applied. That's just ten shots on the 512MB card you got for Christmas that will hold over 200 photos at 5MP.

In fact, Seagate very kindly provided us with their latest 8GB Compact Flash card recently, good for over 3,200 photos at 5 megapixels. Use the same card in the Hasselblad, and you're looking at just 160 shots. Happily, the H2D-39 has a FireWire 800 interface and an optional 80GB external hard drive is available, allowing you to snap away to your heart's content.

You might want to invest in a tripod though - at 2.175KG (4.8 pounds) the H2D-39 rivals some notebook computers in terms of weight.

You can read the full specification PDF on the Hasselblad website, and post your comments on this loony camera in our News Discussion forum.
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