Yes, Alex Koloskov did prefer the H4D40 over the Nikon, but he gave the flexibility to use the back with optical bench cameras was the main reason for that preference. Mr Koloskov's test was well done and worth reading.
This is the conclusion from the first part of his test:
"There is a difference in IQ and very low difference in shadow recovery between both cameras, which was a surprise for me. Knowing the difference in sensor technology I expected to see more advantage of Hasselblad over the Nikon. And if we consider the price difference, the Nikon become a true hero: $3200 (body) and $1000 (lens) against $16900 (body+DB) and $ 5900 (lens) is a huge…
The only thing which stops me from getting Nikon instead of Hasselblad is a freedom to use Medium Format back in technical view cameras like my Cambo Ultima. Yes, there are adapters to mount 35mm DSLR to a view camera rails as well as DIY solution like this one I did myself, but none of them do not allow to use tilt/shift/skew angles possible with MFDB: the sensor is too deep in DSLR camera body."
And this is the conclusion of the second part:
I was pleased to see the performance of Nikon D800E. Despite the huge difference in a price, D800E was able to deliver the quality comparable to 5+ times more expensive Hasselblad. Great shadow and highlight recovery was actually a big surprise for me, considering 14 Bit small sensor vs 16 bit in Hassy (more bit depth means more colors and wider dynamic range).
Also, we need to keep in mind that it was not a true sensor-to-sensor performance test, as the glass was playing a big part of the resolution and details quality of the shots. Nikon had cheap, and most likely it would deliver even better sharpness and details if I’d use Carl Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar (or similar older Zeiss) lens for Nikon.
Also, I was using F16 and F11, which is quite tough for the lens, especially for Nikon’s. Yes, it would give me a better resolution at F6 or F8, but I rarely use such wide open aperture in my studio work, and this is why I’ve used F16 in the test: to see the real-life performance, not the best possible.
Well done Nikon! Cameras like D800 will shake medium format market, and I hope it will drop their pricing even more.
And what about Hasselblad? It is still a choice of hi-end professionals who can spend 5x more time more money to get that last 10% of quality for their images. Ferrari is in business, as well as Subaru, and both are pretty fast and enjoyable cars to drive, isn’t it?
My personal decision is to stay with Hasselblad and replace H1 P25+ with H3D39 or similar MF camera. Like I’ve mentioned before, I need digital back to be deatachable and mountable on any other rig such as technical camera. Plus, I hate to clean 35mm DSLR sensors, and every time I swipe dust off from my P25+ Phase One digital back i smile: it is so easy!:-)"
The above is cut and paste from Mr. Koloskovs articles.
I would add that I did some analysis of color reproduction on the color checker samples in Mr. Koloskov's test, using LR4. It may be that the Hasselblad colors were nicer but they had about twice the color error (calculated as DeltaE) compared to the Nikon D800E. To begin with, the colors were significantly oversaturated on both. Reducing the saturation to correct made the Nikon pretty good but the Hassy was still lagging.
Now, it may be possible that Phocus would yield more accurate colors, but my guess is that Hasselblad may be tuned to give more pleasant colors.
The way I see it you can build an excellent system with a combination of the best Nikon and Zeiss lenses using the Nikon D800E, and that will be a good investment for foreseeable future. You can buy an awful lot of fine glass for the cost of a low end digital back. So that is clearly an option. So you can get excellent performance for the cost of a used Toyota.
On the other hand you can also go for a high end back and high end lenses. So you get somewhat better performance for the price of a new Mercedes.
Diglloyd has done some comparisions between the Leica S2 and both Nikon D3X and D800. In my view the Leica S2 was slightly better at the center and the Nikon slightly better in the corners. The Leica was tested with the 120mm f/2.5 APO-Macro-Summarit-S and the Nikon with the Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar.
Here is a link to Diglloyd's test: http://www.diglloyd.com/prem/prot/DAP/NikonD800/compare-LeicaS2-mosaic.html
It is a pay site but if anyone is considering paying say 29 990$ vs 4842$ (Recent prices for camera lens combo at BH Photovideo) the fee att Diglloyd may be a good investment.
I also agree with "bcooter's' and Stefan Steib's comments. But I'm just in the progress of processing the raw files from week of shooting from the Yellowstone and Grand Teton, so I'm not in picture taking mode. The shoot in the US reminds me that it is not only about have good equipment bust also about making best use of it. Sometimes I botched it ;-(
Comparison? This was on Getdpi some time ago and posted linked by Fred in another thread http://www.photigy.com/nikon-d800e-test-review-vs-hasselblad-h4d40-35mm-against-medium-format/
Suggest you note that the gent preferred the image quality of the Hassy, and why.