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Weekly Wash: the 5 biggest camera news stories of the week (22 June)

Weekly Wash: the 5 biggest camera news stories of the week (22 June)

Usually with camera news, it's a case of what's new is new. When it comes to this week, however, it's also a case of what's old is new! 

There's a whole host of exciting new products this week, including the latest medium format camera and a teleconverter that that quadruples the focal length of its master lens, but Hasselblad has also released a new camera back that turns 60-year-old cameras into 50MP digital imaging machines! 

We've also got news of the first 64MP camera phone and a new fingerprint-secured external hard drive. Without further ado, then, here are the five biggest news stories of the week…

1) Hasselblad's medium format frenzy

After it teased us with an announcement about "the next chapter in Hasselblad history", we went to see the legendary company this week to get hands on with its latest medium format products. 

First up is the Hasselblad X1D II 50C, the latest 50-megapixel mirrorless camera from the brand. What's that? You were expecting it to be 100 megapixels? Well, truth be told, so were we. Still, the X1D II remains a formidable medium format camera – with a much more agreeable £5,400 / $5,750 price tag.

The company showed us its new lens, too, the Hasselblad XCD 35-75 – the first ever zoom lens for the X system. Hasselblad told us that it's optically on par with any of its prime lenses, so check out our review to see if we agreed. 

If you've got a classic Hasselblad V camera from the 1960s, here's some news that might make you very happy: the Hasselblad CFV II 50C is a brand new digital camera back that makes your old camera a modern-day 50MP powerhouse. 

And, if you want to use the new back with today's XCD lenses, you can buy the modular Hasselblad 907X modular camera – arguably the slimmest camera ever, and certainly the smallest medium format camera ever!

2) Olympus' teleconverter quadruples focal length

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter MC-20 is, on the surface, your common or garden 2x teleconverter (albeit one with the most awkward product name imaginable). 

However, given that it's a piece of Micro Four Thirds (MFT) hardware, it becomes a whole lot more exciting. This is because MFT sensors, due to their 2x crop factor, inherently double the focal length of a mounted lens. So a 300mm lens automatically becomes a 600mm lens on an Olympus camera.

Add the MC-20 teleconverter into the mix, then, and it doubles that doubles focal length to a whopping 1,200mm. It's one of the unique properties of the MFT standard, and it makes this teleconverter a brilliant bit of kit. 

Read more: Olympus MC-20 review

3) Xiaomi to release the first 64MP camera phone?

Earlier this year, the Samsung Isocell Bright GW1 was revealed by the South Korean manufacturer. This is the first ever 64MP image sensor for camera phones, and it was thus assumed that Samsung would thus be the first company to bring a 64MP phone to market.

Well, you know what happens when you assume. According to reports from China, it won't be Samsung but actually Xiaomi that releases the world's first 64MP camera phone.

It'll certainly be a tightly run race, with the Samsung Galaxy A70s packing the sensor and apparently set to arrive within the next couple of months. Xiaomi is preparing to beat it to the punch with a new Redmi, though – at least in the Chinese market.

Read more: Xiaomi to launch the world's first 64MP camera phone?

4) Fingerprint-secure external hard drive

The ability to lock and unlock a device using a fingerprint is something we take for granted on many smartphones and laptops, but Verbatim is taking it to the next level with its Fingerprint Secure Hard Drive. 

In addition to the ability to biometrically secure your information, the external hard drive also boasts AES 256-bit hardware encryption that encrypts your data in real time. The only way to access and decrypt your drive is via the device's fingerprint scanner.

This makes the Verbatim Fingerprint Secure Hard Drive both faster and more convenient to use, as scanning your finger is much quicker than hammering in a password, as well as much better protected than traditional drives. 

Read more: Verbatim Fingerprint Secure Hard Drive protects and encrypts your data

5) Datacolor's new calibration kits… 20% off!

Datacolor has just released two new color calibration kits based around its latest SpyderX monitor calibrator. What's more, until 14 July 2019, both kits can be had with an introductory offer of 20% off.

The new SpyderX Capture Pro is a comprehensive kit containing four products designed to calibrate each element of a photographic workflow. Until the middle of July, you can pick it up for just £283 / $320 – a 20% saving of £72 / $80 on the £355 / $400 RRP.

The second kit is the SpyderX Studio. Like the Capture Pro kit, this also contains the SpyderX Elite monitor calibrator and Spyder Cube, but also adds Datacolor's Spyder Print printer profiling tool. Its regular RRP is £399 / $500, but until 14 July it's available for just £319 / $400.

James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James started working in the photographic industry in 2014 as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy – successor to David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus. In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus. An Olympus and Canon user, James was previously technique editor on PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine.