I tested an $8,000 Hasselblad camera against a $1,000 Fujifilm — here’s what happened

A split photograph with the Hasselblad 907X + CFV 100C on the left against a gray background, and a black Fujifilm X-T4 on the right against an orange background.
(Image credit: Peter Wolinski / Future)

I love my job, in large part because I get to test out some of the best cameras around. Recently, I was even lucky enough to try out Hasselblad’s 907X + CFV 100C — the Swedish manufacturer’s latest retro-styled medium format monster. The 907X + CFV 100C costs a butt-clenching $8,000 (and that’s without lenses) and packs a 100MP sensor.

You can read more in our Hasselblad 907X + CFV 100C review, but to sum it up: it’s a camera aimed mostly at professionals or wealthy enthusiasts who value image quality over everything else. 100MP gives you the kind of detail you need if you’re shooting for Gucci’s next billboard campaign.

To see how much of a difference that 100MP sensor makes versus a “normal” camera, I took one of my spare cameras — a 26MP Fujifilm X-T4 that can be picked up used for around $1,000 — with me everywhere I went with the Hasselblad, photographing the same scenes.

The Hasselblad 907X + CFV 100C against a gray background

(Image credit: Peter Wolinski / Future)

I then showed both sets of images side-by-side to the Tom's Guide team, to see if they could tell which was from the $8,000 Hasselblad and which was from the $1,000 Fujifilm. Would the extra $7,000 be that obvious to casual viewers?

The results were closer than I expected. Here’s what happened.

Note: So you can have a go at guessing yourself, I've only noted which image is from which camera at the bottom. Use the jump links on the page to navigate back and forth if you want to see while you read.

The rules

Each photo had to be compressed to under 10MB in order to be able to load on this webpage. I adjusted exposure and made very minor edits in Adobe Lightroom, then exported both sets at 72 DPI — the dots per inch typically used for screen viewing. 

The test viewers ranged from no photography experience to lots, and comprised four Tom’s Guide staff members, one other journalist, plus my partner, Laura. None of them were allowed to look at image EXIF data, and had to tell me which image they thought was from the more expensive/”better” camera, and if they had a favorite then which they preferred. 

Either Fujifilm or Hasselblad is given a win based on whether more people chose that camera’s image as being from the "better" camera in each test. Simple!

Where possible, I exported using the in-camera color profile used when shooting. The exceptions are black and white images, where I had to convert Hasselblad images to Adobe Monochrome thanks to the camera’s single color profile.

Image 1 — Dog portrait

Straight out of the gate, Fujifilm takes the first round, although this was undoubtedly the trickiest image of the bunch and resulted in all of the viewers scratching their heads. These images are portraits of my dog, Luna. The Fujifilm image was shot in Fuji’s Acros black and white profile, while the Hasselblad uses Adobe Monochrome.

Tom’s Guide Senior editor John Velasco, an experienced photographer, immediately identified the Hasselblad image, recognizing that a medium format camera would need a much more versatile telephoto lens for the same framing, resulting in the appearance of a thinner depth of field and a more telephoto "look" with tighter background blur thanks to telephoto distance compression.

However, 4 out of 6 of the test viewers chose the Fujifilm as the more expensive camera. These were the people with less photographic experience, who appreciated the deeper shadows and contrast levels of the Fujifilm Acros color profile used. 

Winner: Fujifilm.

Image 2 — Woman portrait

Another black and white photo, this time of my partner Laura. 4 testers correctly picked the Hasselblad image as being shot on the more expensive camera. 

Interestingly, three of those people found it very hard to choose. Most people actually preferred the Fuji image — again thanks to the striking contrast of the Acros profile — while recognizing the Hasselblad image was from a more expensive camera, often without really knowing why. This was a close test.

Laura herself preferred the Fujifilm photo. It’s a win for Hasselblad, but only just, and once again demonstrates the effectiveness of Fuji’s black and white profiles.

Winner: Hasselblad.

Image 3 — Woman portrait in color

This is the same photo, but both using the color profile shot in-camera. The Fuji is using the Eterna Cinema profile, while the Hasselblad image is shot in the single Hasselblad profile. This was to test whether in-color results would be more one-sided. And they were. 

5 out of 6 people voted the Hasselblad image as being both their favorite and from the better camera, thanks to the more natural skin tones and lower contrast levels.

Hasselblad prides itself on its true-to-life color science, which renders “genuine, true-to-life colors with smooth, detailed transitions to restore the world of colours as perceived by the human eye.” As such, I left the Fuji photo in Eterna instead of converting to a less stylistic profile, to see if the natural Hasselblad profile would win out, and it did. This runs counter to black and white, where people tended to prefer the stylistic profiles and higher levels of contrast.

Winner: Hasselblad.

Image 4 — The Pierhead building

This one was a total blowout. To test out both cameras’ standard color profiles against one another, I shot the Fujifilm photo of The Pierhead building in Cardiff in Provia (standard). Each of the viewers felt the Hasselblad image was taken on a better camera.

Even at 72 DPI, the difference in detail from the large 100MP sensor is stark in this photo. Zoomed in, the brickwork is incredibly sharp in the Hasselblad photo, while the dynamic range captured in the sky, for example, is much wider. The test viewers felt that the color rendition of the Hasselblad photo was better, especially in the night sky. It’s another win for Hasselblad’s color science.

Again, the experienced photographer of the group, John Velasco, recognized that these were shot at wide angles and that the APS-C Fujifilm would have to use a much shorter focal length, resulting in more barrel distortion.

Winner: Hasselbad.

Image 5 — National Trust - Dyffryn Gardens

In a surprising turn of events, 5 out of 6 felt the Fuji image of the National Trust - Dyffryn Gardens was from the better camera, despite both being in color. These images are both shot in each camera’s Standard color profile.

I chose these images deliberately thanks to the lighting, to see whether the participants would still prefer the more natural Hasselblad colors, or whether the slightly more vivid Fujifilm colors would be preferable given the flat, relatively dull light. Turns out that was true.

T3’s Andy Sansom identified the higher levels of contrast in the Fujifilm image, which gave the paving slabs along the water better definition.

Winner: Fujifilm. 

Image 6 — Dragon Bowl Fountain

Here's another win for Fujifilm’s black and white Acros profile with this photo of the Dragon Bowl Fountain in Dyffryn Gardens. 5 out of 6 thought the Fuji image was from a more expensive camera, although again there was a lot of head scratching trying to come to a decision.

Both images are shot in relatively flat lighting, resulting in less contrast, making it harder to tell between the two black and white profiles. Once again, the experienced photographer John instantly identified the Hasselblad photo.

Hint: the giveaway in this one is the wheelbarrow!

Winner: Fujifilm

Image 7 — Cactus

For the final test, I applied Fujifilm’s Velvia color profile to this photo of a cactus, which tends to suit nature and landscape photography thanks to its vivid color rendition.

4 out of 6 felt the Hasselblad photo was better, thanks to the more natural coloring and higher levels of sharpness. Even at 72 DPI and without zooming in, the Hasselblad image is much sharper, especially around the super fine spines and the intricate texture of the inner walls of the cactus flowers.

Winner: Hasselblad.


A photo of the Fujifilm X-T4 against an orange background.

(Image credit: Peter Wolinski / Future)

OK, so I know this wasn’t the most rigorous or scientific of tests, and was mainly conducted for fun, to see if I could get some similar results with a much cheaper camera. It also proved the obvious point that an extra $7,000, 74 more megapixels and a whopping great big sensor will get you much higher detail when you pixel peep.

The Hasselblad’s images are much sharper, even when scaled down to 72 DPI, and the natural color profile comes up victorious in certain situations. It was telling that an experienced photographer was almost instantly able to tell the Hasselblad in most situations.

That said, the $1,000 Fujifilm did way better than I expected, and proved that normal people — i.e. not experienced photographers — viewing photos on a screen often can’t tell the difference. In most cases, people aren’t zooming in and pixel peeping, and are often swayed instead by creative decisions like stylistic color profiles, or striking contrast. Skirting Hasselblad’s legendary color science ended up being a super easy way to get people to think an image was higher quality, or at least make it more difficult to tell.

The good news, though, is that if you’re just shooting for Instagram or regular size prints and haven’t got any billboard campaigns booked, you needn’t remortgage your house to buy the Hasselblad.


1. A = Hasselblad; B = Fuji

2. A = Fuji; B = Hasselblad

3. A = Fuji; B = Hasselblad

4. A = Fuji; B = Hasselblad

5. A = Hasselblad; B = Fuji

6. A = Fuji; B = Hasselblad

7. A = Fuji; B = Hasselblad

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Peter Wolinski
Reviews Editor

Peter is Reviews Editor at Tom's Guide. As a writer, he covers topics including tech, photography, gaming, hardware, motoring and food & drink. Outside of work, he's an avid photographer, specialising in architectural and portrait photography. When he's not snapping away on his beloved Fujifilm camera, he can usually be found telling everyone about his greyhounds, riding his motorcycle, squeezing as many FPS as possible out of PC games, and perfecting his espresso shots. 

  • djcalligraphy
    I feel like it would have been much harder to tell the difference if you had used one of Fujifilm's medium format cameras instead of APS-C. The depth of field difference plus the crop made it pretty easy to tell.