Monday, September 19, 2016

Hasselblad Moto Mod is a Thorough Disappointment

I am a photographer.  Thus, I was pretty stoked to know when I purchased my Droid Z Force that there was a Hasselblad Camera Mod coming down the pike.

I waited patiently for nearly a month, and finally it arrived… and what a major disappointment it was.


Here’s the short of it: the Motorola Droid Z Force has a pretty decent camera with a 21MP sensor (some would argue the best camera phone currently available).  The Hasselblad has a 12MP sensor.  Pretty much the ONLY thing going for the Hasselblad Moto Mod is the “optical zoom,” but you can “zoom in” on a 21MP photo and have nearly the same amount of zoom as the 10x optical on the Hasselblad’s 12MP photo!

The Hasselblad has a 4.5mm to 45mm zoom (that’s why they call it a 10x zoom) which is basically a 25mm to 250mm 35mm equivalent.  The Droid Z Force has a 4.51mm lens, which is equivalent to 26mm on a 35mm camera.  So a 21MP photo can give you nearly the same “zoom” digitally at the Hasselblad’s max resolution of 12MP.  In other words, if you simply crop the Droid’s photo to half (crop a 21MP photo to the Hasselblad max pixel dimension of 12MP), you’re still at 10.5MP and your 35mm equivalent is 52mm (the Hasselblad optical zoom maxes out at 45mm).

Any positive review I’ve seen for the Hasselblad mod (they are never raving, only lukewarm) goes on and on about the zoom, but frankly… who cares when the zoom really doesn’t do much for you and everything else comes up short?

Hasselblad Moto Mod shortcomings:

  • Only 12MP sensor (phone has a 21MP sensor) and also physically smaller (1/2.3 inches vs. 1/2.4 inches)
  • minimum aperture of f/3.5 –are you kidding me?! Not only that, but it’s not fixed, and the variable goes all the way up to f/6.5!!!  By the way, the phone’s minimum aperture is f/1.8
  • Max ISO is 3200 (same as the phone)
  • lesser focus technology than phone (the Z Force utilizes laser and contrast auto focus with phase detection; the Hasselblad only utilizes contrast/phase detection)
  • bad 24fps video (choppy)
  • no video HDR (which the phone does have)
  • no optical stabilization for video
  • No 4k (which I don’t care too much about, but if this is an “upgrade” it should at least be able to shoot the equivalent of the phone to which it’s attached!)

And from what I’ve read in every hands on review I’ve seen, the focus is no faster than the phone (often the user says it’s slower), the shutter lag is much higher than the phone’s, and the quality of the photos isn’t really a bump since the phone already has a decent sensor and utilizes Moto’s “Deep Trench Isolation” technology to isolate pixel color.

Sure, the Hasselblad Mod can shoot RAW, but who cares, considering all the other shortcomings?

Please explain to me why I should spend $250-$300 on a “mod” that I have to carry around if it doesn’t IMPROVE the camera on my phone (or even come close to what’s already there!).  Just because it says Hasselblad?  If I’m shooting more than what the very capable Moto Z Force camera is capable of, I think I’ll just carry a REAL camera that actually gives me a reason to mess around with a second device.

Boo, Hasselblad.  You guys should be ashamed of yourselves for letting Motorola slap your name on a piece of garbage that doesn’t even work as well as the phone to which it attaches.