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Top Photographers Put the H4D-40 Through Its Paces.

15/02/2010 Hasselblad recently asked three world-class photographers to test drive the H4D-40 on location shoots on three continents. Michael Grecco, USA; Steve McCurry, USA; and Kevin Then, Malaysia, share their reactions to the new camera system's performance in challenging conditions.

Michael Grecco, the Los Angeles-based celebrity portraiture photographer who has produced dramatic magazine covers, ads, and commercial images for 20 years, is known for his conceptual style and dramatic lighting and set-ups. Grecco loves working on location, so he brought the H4D-40 to Death Valley, for the "amazing scenery. The shoot was sort of fashion, sort of portraiture, but not. I had our model crawl over a ridge like the famous picture of Jerry Hall on the Roxy Music cover. It has an edgy, otherworldly feel."

Continues Grecco, "The sense of gravity you get when you pick up the H4D-40 is that what's in front of it is important. The camera is ergonomically amazing. I never have it on a tripod. I move quickly between vertical and horizontal, focusing fast and easily with True Focus. The camera goes well with my style, and is great to hold and run with. Three words that signify Hasselblad to me: quality, big, and reliability. I love it."

Photo by Michael Grecco

Kevin Then, of Malaysia, co-owner of SG Bridal House for the past nine years, shoots pre-wedding and wedding day photography. Known for making his couples look like stars, Then explains, "A wedding photo shouldn't be just traditional with the bride just standing around wearing a wedding gown. My style is to make it more dramatic, more romantic. Like a movie director, I want the picture a certain way, with everything perfect - the dress, veil, face, makeup, hairstyle. This picture will be with the couples their whole lives."

He adds, "When I first held the Hasselblad, I had the feeling this is the right camera for me. It makes my life easier. I call my H4D 'my baby.' When you look in the viewfinder, everything is huge inside. For the Hasselblad shoot, I used a very wide angle, everything in sunlight, to show details in faces, gowns, and flowers.

The lenses are the best I've ever used. Since you'll carry the same weight camera gear on location, you might as well carry the best. You'll never find a second camera in my camera bag."

Photo by Kevin Then

Steve McCurry, world famous photojournalist for more than 30 years, has captured portraits of local people primarily in Asia, South Asia, Burma, India, but "there's no place that doesn't interest me," says McCurry. "I consider photography the same treat I did was when I was 20. What interests me most is people and how we live our lives in this world. A lot of elements go into making a good portrait. Most of the time I look for people whose faces tell a story, or have a particular look or quality, a profound sense of humanity. With experience, you start to recognize those really special moments, understand what's really extraordinary."

McCurry explains, "When you're looking for optimum quality, you can't do any better than Hasselblad. The feature that distinguishes it from other cameras is the ability to enlarge your pictures and get the most incredible sharpness possible. True Focus is superb, but it's really the file you get with the H4D that makes it possible to create remarkable enlargements of your work."

Photo by Steve McCurry

For more insights from McCurry, Grecco, and Then on their H4D-40 test drives, click here.

Read more about the H4D-40, click here.

Text by Alice B. Miller