How to take a 400MP photo

Hasselblad released its latest high-end camera, the H6D-400c, this week, which is capable of taking 400MP photos.

This is possible thanks to an array of features and hardware the camera packs – including its CMOS sensor and Multi-Shot technology.

The camera sports a 53.4 x 40 mm 100MP CMOS sensor with a wide ISO range, 16-bit colour data, and 15 stops dynamic range.

This 100MP sensor – 11,600 x 8,700 – is not the only standout hardware feature on the H6D-400c, which also packs a 60-minute to 1/2,000 second shutter speed, UHD video recording capabilities, and a 2kg weight.

Multi-Shot technology

While the 100MP sensor can be used to take single-shot stills, the real magic happens when 6-shot Multi-Shot is enabled.

Hasselblad said Multi-Shot technology involves “moving the sensor very accurately by 1 or 1⁄2 a pixel at a time with a precision piezo actuator”, This allows the camera to capture more colour information and data than in single-shot mode.

“In 400MP Multi-Shot mode, six images are captured. The first four involve moving the sensor by one pixel at a time to achieve real colour data. This cycle then returns the sensor to its starting point.”

“A further two exposures are made moving the sensor by ½ a pixel horizontally and then ½ a pixel vertically. These six captures are then merged to give the equivalent of a single 400MP image.”

The captured images are merged in Phocus, Hasselblad’s dedicated desktop software, to produce a single finished file with “staggering amounts” of detail and colour information.

The Multi-Shot data is immense, and the finished 23,200 x 17,400 pixel, 16-bit TIFF file for one photo takes up 2.4GB of storage.

It also requires the camera to be connected to a PC, a static subject, and controlled studio environment.

Results and features

The images the camera produces “set the bar” when it comes to image quality, said Hasselblad.

This is evident in a demo photo the company posted, which is embedded below.

The image is 2.3MB, nowhere near the maximum file size of the images the camera captures, but shows the level of detail which is taken in.

Bug Image

The H6D-400c also packs an array of handy features, including:

  • USB 3.0 Type-C connection for tethered shooting, data transfers, and live view.
  • CFast 2.0 and SD card slots.
  • 3-inch touch display.
  • HD and UHD video.
  • Wi-Fi.
  • HDMI and Audio I/O.
  • True Focus II.

The H6D-400c will start shipping in March, with a recommended retail price of $47,995.

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How to take a 400MP photo