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Thread: Hasselblad has been sold

  1. #51
    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Its Phase I would be worried about, not Hassy.

    Hassy has brand recognition and a huge installed user base or experienced pro photographers it can service through their CF backs, which feed in to H series upgrades. Their H4 series are integrated cameras allowing the use of innovative technology like the HTS 1.5 tilt/shift adapter, true focus, etc. and now they have additional financial muscle through their new owners, who most certainly will not be interested in diluting the brand or losing money.

    Phase / Mamiya on the other hand are a new and as yet imperfect partnership. Phase has nearly zero brand recognition outside of the small coterie of medium format users. Their current camera bodies are not up to snuff compared with the H4 series, although that may change shortly. It has some great products, but is it enough to compete successfully in the longer term against Hassy? Will Phase be around in their present form in 5 years time? I hope so, but I doubt it.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Here's my take on this.

    I've been expecting this for some time now. In many cases a strong distribution partner rarely makes a good long-term owner. They are often a source of a cash infusion, but their financial culture is usually too focused on regional skews and more immediate spread-sheet indicators as opposed to longer-term global market vision and product development.

    Global marketing, while ubiquitous is still something of a wild-west scenario. Again, cultural differences can and often do, make for strange bed fellows. This recent sale of Hasselblad bodes well because Ventizz Capital Partners AG is an investment firm that is: 1) Northern European based for a cultural synergy, and 2) specializes in growth strategies for mid-sized technology based investments. It also bodes well that Shriro will continue its involvement with its chairman serving on Hasselblad's supervisory board because Asia represents a powerful growth market potential.

    As to the antiquated notion of low/mid/high culture product orientations ... one need only look to the really successful global companies to debunk that "charming" myth. The Canon Rebels and P&S are what fund the EOS 1DsMKIII and will do so for the next EOS 1DsMKIV. Same for Nikon, Same for Sony (the game changer). I personally don't feel soiled when picking up a $8,000. Pro spec Canon because some house-wife in Nj has a $800 Canon with the same brand name on it ... nor does a Leica rebadged P&S sully my M9 I seriously doubt anyone else does either.

    So, what is quite interesting is the quote from Dr. Helmut Vorndran, CEO of Ventizz: " ... with solid financial support and a suitable growth strategy Ventizz can further strengthen Hasselblad's position as the first class producer of MFD systems. Furthermore, we plan to develop Hasselblad cameras that appeal to a wider circle of ambitious photographers." This speaks to a longer term mind-set.

    To me that doesn't mean a single minded drive toward 300 meg Multi-Shot or 100 meg single shot back and the narrow corresponding "rarified" circle of niche applications. It means a broader product offering with brand commonalities and practical innovations at various price-points ... but targeted to "ambitious photographers" ... which means maintaining the Brand essence and positioning as a top maker of photographic tools albeit for a broader audience ... not unlike what Leica has begun to do, and is about to unleash on the market, with an even more diverse product offering while maintaining its core Brand essence ... and who now is making enough money to do just that.

    -Marc

    BTW, a digital X-Pan sure wouldn't break my heart, nor would a smaller DSLR type dual shutter body like the S2 that took my HC lenses Lots of possibilities when you open it up beyond the narrow niche thinking and grip on the past that dominates MFD today. Time will tell.

  3. #53
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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by lance_schad View Post
    I think we are all in agreement that we want Hasselblad to continue to develop and stay focused in the Medium Format marketplace.

    I am agreement with David that this is a good thing, obviously the old regimen had some difficulties and decided to drop back and go back to their core competencies "to explore the huge potentials of the Hasselblad brand in the Chinese and other Asian markets”."

    I just hope that one of the things the new owners do not do try to exploit the established brand by going downmarket with point & shoot type devices or possibly worse other products.

    Look at the Polaroid brand these days you find it plastered on digital picture frames, dvd & blue-ray players, ipod docks etc (see here).

    Who knows maybe they will re-open their system and provide more options for us all.

    Anyway best wishes to Hasselblad and their team.



    Lance
    Polaroid is hardly a relevant example in any way. Literally over-night, their "one trick pony" product offerings were superseded technologically, socially, and culturally.

    I am curious as to why Hasselblad would now open their system? Only those stuck with a camera they don't like wish for that. Why doesn't Canon open their system to Nikon owners, or Nikon to Canon? Why didn't Leica open their S2 to other MFD systems? Or Pentax for that matter? IMO, "Open System" is an antiquated notion heralding back to yesteryear, and keeps MFD makers with one foot firmly planted in the fast fading past.

    Modular, yes! Open, why? So I can put an IQ back on a H camera? Why would Hassey want me to do that? To put my H4D/60 back on a Phamiya camera? No thanks. Let Phase bring their camera up to speed in their own unique way ... and let Hassey develop their backs in their own unique way. That is what provides us all with "choice".

    What Hasselblad can do is open their system innovations to a choice of other more versatile iterations of Hasselblad photographic tools ... imagine the afore mentioned X-Pan BUT with True Focus ... or a smaller 40 meg or so DSLR dual-shutter body like the S2, but also with TF and a mount that takes the HC lenses Hassey owners already have ... I'd be there with an open wallet in a NY heart-beat.

    Personally, I need more of that sort of innovation and consolidation of tools than I do another bigger bag of expensive pixels every two years.

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Might be an appropriate time for the Hassy guys to start a thread letting the new owners know what you'd like to see from them in the future. One thing that comes to my mind is that they need to do a better job of marketing. Whatever you may think about the relative merits of the two brands it seems to me (admittedly from a fairly narrow perspective) that Phase kicks their butt in this area.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Hasselbad versus Phase one - phase one versus Hasselblad..


    zzzzzzzzzzzz

    *I am sure I am not the only one thinking the same thing.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    Might be an appropriate time for the Hassy guys to start a thread letting the new owners know what you'd like to see from them in the future.
    Probably the most salient single sentence in this entire thread!

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Probably the most salient single sentence in this entire thread!

    That will happen on the Hasselblad Digital Forum that is a more direct conduit to Hasselblad through Nick T.

    I'm not sure their marketing is all that bad with-in their owner body, but their more global communication network sure could use some attention. Understandable now that what was going on has been more fully revealed.

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I am curious as to why Hasselblad would now open their system? Only those stuck with a camera they don't like wish for that. Why doesn't Canon open their system to Nikon owners, or Nikon to Canon? Why didn't Leica open their S2 to other MFD systems? Or Pentax for that matter? IMO, "Open System" is an antiquated notion heralding back to yesteryear, and keeps MFD makers with one foot firmly planted in the fast fading past.

    Modular, yes! Open, why? So I can put an IQ back on a H camera? Why would Hassey want me to do that? To put my H4D/60 back on a Phamiya camera? No thanks. Let Phase bring their camera up to speed in their own unique way ... and let Hassey develop their backs in their own unique way. That is what provides us all with "choice".


    -Marc
    There are a great number of Hasselblad platform supporters out there that are orphaned. They have been using the digital back of their choice on the H platform and have a wide range of lenses. They cannot purchase new bodies and are forced to look on the secondary market to find back ups and replacements.

    I think a simple gesture by Hasselblad of 'opening up'/'unlocking' the H2F body would go a long way. I am not asking that they give all the functionality of their H4 platform, but just the basics that were available on the original H2. Besides the mount, all you need is a flashsync for the most basic functionality. The original line of lenses suite most just fine as well.

    From my experience as PhaseOne reseller and I am sure others will agree we are still selling a number of systems on the H platform. The users who use it like it and don't want to change, but are being forced to and that is leaving a bad taste in their mount in regards to Hasselblad.

    Let people chose where they put their backs and reward those who want a complete systems with features they cannot live without.

    Lance

    btw a digital X-pan would rock.
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  9. #59
    Peter Lorber
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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    It is quite amazing how much interest it brings . Internet is full of guessings, comments and argument forth and back. Some comments allude that Hasselblad is on the way out, some are happy. Well - Hasselblad has been and remains a leader. Myself being a photographer, I could not wait to get my hands on my first Hassy in 1971.
    And I am a believer in Hasselblad ever since. H series of Hasselblad are designed so user friendly, that body shape is unchanged from H1. Functionality was improved and right now the true phocus is best focusing system in SLR cameras. No one has to worry about shimming lenses or back.... Anyone buying a Hasselblad system has no worry to fine tune it, just get your hands on it and shoot.
    That all being said, lets wish our new owners all the best and carry on tradition to continue to build the best medium format camera there is.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Being neutral in this and yes i am no matter what anyone thinks. Is everyone needs to up there game PERIOD. If not everyone will take a bath on our existing systems. Just that simple. You can argue every point on earth between the systems, frankly pretty freaking boring if you ask me but if these do not get in the hands of end users everyone will lose. If we only have 2 real players left they need to give us better products and improvements to succeed. Each system has there strengths and also weaknesses. Both companies need to balance that out better than they have. Hassy as it is today needs more R&D and a infusion of cash to build new and better product ( we can say that about anyone frankly) but no one really knows what these investors WILL do or NOT do as well. Its a guessing game plain and simple right now until they start having movement on there plans and WE can see what they are going to do. No guarantees on anything here.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member yaya's Avatar
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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I am geting middle aged now and am finding....
    Peter you're looking under the wrong light

    Middle aged men like us should be doing other things
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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by lance_schad View Post
    There are a great number of Hasselblad platform supporters out there that are orphaned. They have been using the digital back of their choice on the H platform and have a wide range of lenses. They cannot purchase new bodies and are forced to look on the secondary market to find back ups and replacements.

    I think a simple gesture by Hasselblad of 'opening up'/'unlocking' the H2F body would go a long way. I am not asking that they give all the functionality of their H4 platform, but just the basics that were available on the original H2. Besides the mount, all you need is a flashsync for the most basic functionality. The original line of lenses suite most just fine as well.

    From my experience as PhaseOne reseller and I am sure others will agree we are still selling a number of systems on the H platform. The users who use it like it and don't want to change, but are being forced to and that is leaving a bad taste in their mount in regards to Hasselblad.

    Let people chose where they put their backs and reward those who want a complete systems with features they cannot live without.

    Lance

    btw a digital X-pan would rock.
    I understand all the history Lance. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but didn't Phase reverse engineer to allow use of the Phase backs on the H1 and H2? Some years ago I asked if Phase was going to do the same with the H2F (which also takes film backs so the mount would work) ... and was told that it probably wouldn't happen because it most likely wasn't worth it.

    Perhaps the upcoming Phase One camera will make all this "open system" angst unnecessary? For those with H kits, it isn't like a HC lens system is worthless on the used market. IMO, if one wants to use a Phase One back the place to look for a systems platform is ... Phase One.

    My take on this is that it's like when Canon went to the EOS system which produced howls of protest ... look where it took them. To me Hasselblad doesn't make cameras, that isn't their business like in the past. They make an integrated professional MFD system ... take it or leave it. Frankly, I'm surprised they have continued to support the V system other than to capitalize on V lovers reluctance to let go (and rightly so I suppose). As far as I know the other CF backs are now history, and all of the focus is on integrated systems.

    With this sale, I now also understand why Hasselblad went from a history of punctual delivery to a slo-mo time warp. Hopefully, the on-time culture will return when the dust settles.

    IMO, it is time to move on ... if this new owner doesn't help make that happen I'd be very surprised, maybe a bit sad ... but really I don't care ... someone will make what is needed and for those that need it, they will buy it no matter what name is on the gear.

    Meanwhile use what you have in good health.

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but didn't Phase reverse engineer to allow use of the Phase backs on the H1 and H2?
    It's not really worth going into. But for the record that is wrong. In fact Phase was strongly involved in the actual development of the digital interface of the H platform as at the time Hassy was still 2-3 years from buying Imacon and cooperation between the companies at that point was quite high (see also: the rebranding of the Phase One Lightphase as the Phase One H5).

    Much of this is documented in the public record due to the recently resolved lawsuit for those who are really interested.

    But as you say, it really should matter less to the end-user what brand, or what the history of brands are, and rather the current and future of a product line.

    See also: Michael Reichman's initial review of the H1.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I understand all the history Lance. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but didn't Phase reverse engineer to allow use of the Phase backs on the H1 and H2? Some years ago I asked if Phase was going to do the same with the H2F (which also takes film backs so the mount would work) ... and was told that it probably wouldn't happen because it most likely wasn't worth it.
    Couple of things:

    Phase One was very active in the development of the H platform as Doug mentioned. When the H1 was released @ Photokina in 2002 there were two digital backs available for it, the H101 (11mp) and the Kodak Pro-Back. Both companies assisted with the digital interface to my knowledge.

    When Hasselblad discontinued the H2 , and replaced it with the H2F model they disabled some of the electronics to allow any third-party digital backs to be operated with it . Theoretically one should have been able to physically attach a back to it and then a sync cable to the flash sync (similar to using a back on a v-series or large format camera), but it was disabled.
    Phase One had this working in the lab, but since it involved modifying the firmware on the H2F it was not 'legal' or allowed.

    So the bottom line is Hasselblad locked others off the platform. Phase One was forced into finding a MF platform which was Mamiya, and here we are today. All behind us now.

    As I mentioned previously there is demand for an unlocked new H2 cameras to be used with legacy HC glass and whatever digital back people want to use. How many in numbers I do not know, but if the new company is listening do it. In my opinion this would go along way in re-building the professional reputation in the brand and who knows maybe when the people are ready to upgrade their backs, this act of good faith will in return open their eye to a Hasselblad digital solution.

    Anyway do not want to perpetuate any arguments here as to who is right or wrong. This is a great time for them to have a fresh start.

    Lance
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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Modular, yes! Open, why? So I can put an IQ back on a H camera? Why would Hassey want me to do that?
    Because if they don't, they run the real risk of rental houses switching over to Phase cameras and backs. Phase backs rule the rental world, and many people would rather avoid using a Hasselblad rental back if they haven't used one before and are unfamiliar with the post-processing of the files and how to get the best results. So by opening up the H platform again, people can continue to rent what they are most comfortable with - Hasselblad cameras and Phase backs. Just my $0.02.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    What might be better is how the get prices down. Open system or not, but if it is half the price of the competition and better designed, that is going to be a better strategy. Think Pentax 645D vs. IQ1X0+clunky body.

    Anyway, conversations like this are really just fun speculation. Hasselblad is going to figure it out. Business models have to change.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Mitchell View Post
    Because if they don't, they run the real risk of rental houses switching over to Phase cameras and backs. Phase backs rule the rental world, and many people would rather avoid using a Hasselblad rental back if they haven't used one before and are unfamiliar with the post-processing of the files and how to get the best results. So by opening up the H platform again, people can continue to rent what they are most comfortable with - Hasselblad cameras and Phase backs. Just my $0.02.
    But unfortunately this business model will not work, given that 90-95% of the cost are in the back and the rest in the camera. So how should Hasselblad then make business - means get the necessary revenue to fund their back evolution? With that model Hasselblad will disappear for sure.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    It's not really worth going into. But for the record that is wrong. In fact Phase was strongly involved in the actual development of the digital interface of the H platform as at the time Hassy was still 2-3 years from buying Imacon and cooperation between the companies at that point was quite high (see also: the rebranding of the Phase One Lightphase as the Phase One H5).

    Much of this is documented in the public record due to the recently resolved lawsuit for those who are really interested.

    But as you say, it really should matter less to the end-user what brand, or what the history of brands are, and rather the current and future of a product line.

    See also: Michael Reichman's initial review of the H1.

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Thanks Doug, no proof necessary, nor does it really matter what happened or when. That was then and this is now.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    But unfortunately this business model will not work, given that 90-95% of the cost are in the back and the rest in the camera. So how should Hasselblad then make business - means get the necessary revenue to fund their back evolution? With that model Hasselblad will disappear for sure.
    It's a great business model. Look how well it worked for Rollei and Sinar.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by hcubell View Post
    It's a great business model. Look how well it worked for Rollei and Sinar.
    ....ouch!

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by yaya View Post
    Peter you're looking under the wrong light

    Middle aged men like us should be doing other things
    yaya - this is a very 'sad' link - I make myself feel better by reminding myself the old saying - "you are as old as the woman you are with


    Pete

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    yaya - this is a very 'sad' link - I make myself feel better by reminding myself the old saying - "you are as old as the woman you are with


    Pete
    I've found that to be considerably more expensive than my photography

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Hasselblad has a seriously strong brand name.

    If there is one company that could go toe-to-toe with Canon/Nikon then it would be Hasselblad. Think about it

    Maybe they shouldn't try to compete with Leica, PHase etc...Maybe they should become the German competitor to Japanese Canon/Nikon. That might not mean a future in DMF...but rather a future in wherever canikon is going.

    Well, these types of threads always turn into speculation...so the crazier the speculation the better imho

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Being neutral in this and yes i am no matter what anyone thinks. Is everyone needs to up there game PERIOD. If not everyone will take a bath on our existing systems. Just that simple. You can argue every point on earth between the systems, frankly pretty freaking boring if you ask me but if these do not get in the hands of end users everyone will lose. If we only have 2 real players left they need to give us better products and improvements to succeed. Each system has there strengths and also weaknesses. Both companies need to balance that out better than they have. Hassy as it is today needs more R&D and a infusion of cash to build new and better product ( we can say that about anyone frankly) but no one really knows what these investors WILL do or NOT do as well. Its a guessing game plain and simple right now until they start having movement on there plans and WE can see what they are going to do. No guarantees on anything here.
    I think this is a very important set of comments.

    IMO, the MFD arena will come under increasingly heavy pressure to innovate ... what I call the Playtex strategy to "Lift and Separate"

    Many of us here on GetDpi are in rarified company ... use of a back on an Alpa and other similar types of niche applications will not sustain the MFD category as more players enter the fray.

    On one end of the spectrum, Pentax has innovated a decent feature ladened 40 meg camera at an attractive price point. On the other end Leica has modestly chipped away with their innovative S2 that saps some high dollar sales. Frankly in both cases, even for many experienced MFD shooters, 40 meg has reached the practical limits that they would ever need.

    However, the real challenge will come in the next few years as the 35mm DSLRs move into 30+ meg territory with newer sensor technologies and electronic innovations. There is also a very strong indication that Sony will unleash a 35 meg "studio" camera with a newly designed CCD sensor, no AA filter and a high speed sync shutter. We of the MFD faithful may not view these as suitable replacements for our MFD choices, but others do. In fact I think a lot of other photographers will do exactly that. While printing large landscapes, or certain commercial and institutional needs require the level of image performance we enjoy all the way up to 80 meg, or 200 meg M/S, the actual majority of photographic applications in the real world are swimming down-stream. So other types of innovations will become the criteria for choice once "practical" resolution reaches a tipping point. In the not to distant future, "Why MFD?" will increasingly become a question that is harder to answer.

    My take on all this from years as a marketing and advertising executive is that the major MFD players and their users had better stop slashing and bickering at one another in their competitive zeal and wake up to smell their companies burning in the flames that the future holds for them. The world of MFD needs more innovation and most certainly needs a broader based and unified educational thrust beyond just "hawking" their wares in the marketplace ... a strategy that IMO could well competitively put all of them out of business with-in a decade or sooner.

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by hcubell View Post
    It's a great business model. Look how well it worked for Rollei and Sinar.
    Exactly my point!

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post

    My take on all this from years as a marketing and advertising executive is that the major MFD players and their users had better stop slashing and bickering at one another in their competitive zeal and wake up to smell their companies burning in the flames that the future holds for them. The world of MFD needs more innovation and most certainly needs a broader based and unified educational thrust beyond just "hawking" their wares in the marketplace ... a strategy that IMO could well competitively put all of them out of business with-in a decade or sooner.

    -Marc
    Totally agree with your Marc. But then how do you reconcile this earlier comment, which seems to be contrary to your above unified statement:

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post

    Modular, yes! Open, why? So I can put an IQ back on a H camera? Why would Hassey want me to do that?
    My .02 is you cannot have it both ways. Hassy hurt itself when it totally closed off its system to third-party backs, just like Sinar and Rollei did. The only difference is Hassy had enough installed base to survive it. I remember when they did it, and we all started saying, "It's the Sony Betamax debacle all over again!" Seems to be a marketing strategy that has proven itself to fail time and time again. Hopefully the new owners are brighter than the last set were and realize that by working together you can make the entire pie larger before you divvy it up, and thus end up with a bigger single piece than the entire pie was before you started. I know Phase and Leaf get this...

    My .02 only,
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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
    Hasselblad has a seriously strong brand name.

    If there is one company that could go toe-to-toe with Canon/Nikon then it would be Hasselblad. Think about it

    Maybe they shouldn't try to compete with Leica, PHase etc...Maybe they should become the German competitor to Japanese Canon/Nikon. That might not mean a future in DMF...but rather a future in wherever canikon is going.

    Well, these types of threads always turn into speculation...so the crazier the speculation the better imho
    The problem is that Japs are very good at mass productions, especially no frill jobs.

    Here in India the Germans are trying to compete with Japs in automobile sector, but are failing miserably due to

    - Excellent technology, but low reliability and high maintenance cost
    - More than twice the price of comparable Japanese product.

    So who buys the German Automobiles? Those who want the prestige and can afford the maintenance costs! Not the general consumer, nor the fleet operator, and that is where the money is. Getting a German Automobile conforms to the old Indian saying "any one can get an Elephant, but few can feed it".

    I see quite a few similarity in the photography field. Europeans make the most sophisticated equipment which costs as much as a semi-professional Japanese DSLR to service, while the Japanese stuff requires service rarely, and then too costs a fraction of the European equipment. Hence no matter what Hasselblad does, in my opinion they should never try to compete with Japs, but stick to what they do best - top of the line equipment, and not low/middle end consumer stuff.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    My .02 is you cannot have it both ways. Hassy hurt itself when it totally closed off its system to third-party backs, just like Sinar and Rollei did. The only difference is Hassy had enough installed base to survive it. I remember when they did it, and we all started saying, "It's the Sony Betamax debacle all over again!" Seems to be a marketing strategy that has proven itself to fail time and time again. Hopefully the new owners are brighter than the last set were and realize that by working together you can make the entire pie larger before you divvy it up, and thus end up with a bigger single piece than the entire pie was before you started. I know Phase and Leaf get this...

    My .02 only,
    I also agree that all MFD players have to work together to get a bigger slice of the Whole Photography market.

    I also think that Hasselblad should incorporate a focal plane shutter, and a slew of new lenses, just as it did in the 200 series, to compete with Mamiya in future, else once Schneider introduces more lenses and the Phase camera evolves to a decent product, there will be no reason to buy Hasselblad.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by ajoyroy View Post
    The problem is that Japs are very good at mass productions, especially no frill jobs.

    Here in India the Germans are trying to compete with Japs in automobile sector, but are failing miserably due to

    - Excellent technology, but low reliability and high maintenance cost
    - More than twice the price of comparable Japanese product.

    So who buys the German Automobiles? Those who want the prestige and can afford the maintenance costs! Not the general consumer, nor the fleet operator, and that is where the money is. Getting a German Automobile conforms to the old Indian saying "any one can get an Elephant, but few can feed it".

    I see quite a few similarity in the photography field. Europeans make the most sophisticated equipment which costs as much as a semi-professional Japanese DSLR to service, while the Japanese stuff requires service rarely, and then too costs a fraction of the European equipment. Hence no matter what Hasselblad does, in my opinion they should never try to compete with Japs, but stick to what they do best - top of the line equipment, and not low/middle end consumer stuff.
    Let's refrain from the word Japs. To many it is taken as a insult. Thanks Guy

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Totally agree with your Marc. But then how do you reconcile this earlier comment, which seems to be contrary to your above unified statement:



    My .02 is you cannot have it both ways. Hassy hurt itself when it totally closed off its system to third-party backs, just like Sinar and Rollei did. The only difference is Hassy had enough installed base to survive it. I remember when they did it, and we all started saying, "It's the Sony Betamax debacle all over again!" Seems to be a marketing strategy that has proven itself to fail time and time again. Hopefully the new owners are brighter than the last set were and realize that by working together you can make the entire pie larger before you divvy it up, and thus end up with a bigger single piece than the entire pie was before you started. I know Phase and Leaf get this...

    My .02 only,
    The unified statement was in reference to spreading the gospel of MFD without getting competitive about it, Jack. I don't think the companies should become one with the cosmos or anything like that.

    I stand by the notion that had Hasselblad kept their camera open it would have been bad for their over-all business. Plus, Hassey has spent considerable resources on their camera itself ... lots of little stuff besides the more obvious innovations ... for what? So another company can sell backs for it?

    The money and profits are in the digital backs not the cameras, or probably even in the lenses either ... unless you are Leica

    So, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on the gear part of the issue, and rather than exchanging debatable opinions that probably will never bear any eatable fruit, maybe it'd be interesting to discuss ideas that forward the MFD category.

    For example, wouldn't it be interesting if there was something like a MFD Institute equally funded by all the players that promoted the Art and advantages of MFD photography? Sort of a Get Dpi on steroids with a far wider ranging display of results, styles and photographers. Less about brands and more about various ways MFD impacts the world of photography. A highly diversified resource for those interested without wading through all the brand debates and minutia. Just a thought.

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Just read an article about Audi's new $300+k sports car and how they are attempting to capture the market that's been dominated by BMW and Mercedes. The interesting part, and the one that I think relates to MFD, is that they aren't doing it because they expect to make a lot of money selling those super high priced vehicles. They do it because it adds to the prestige of the lineup and allows them to make greater markups on their more normally priced vehicles. If I'm not mistaken, this is also what Leica has done with their rebadged P&S cameras and is what I would do if I were the new owner of Hassy.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    maybe it'd be interesting to discuss ideas that forward the MFD category.

    For example, wouldn't it be interesting if there was something like a MFD Institute equally funded by all the players that promoted the Art and advantages of MFD photography? Sort of a Get Dpi on steroids with a far wider ranging display of results, styles and photographers.
    No argument here! One of the main reasons culture blossomed so heartily during the renaissance was the patronage to the arts. We do not have that in any substantive way today, which is sad. Would be great to get some VC money into the art market, but of course there is no tangible ROI for them, just a feel good for humanity which is a tough sale to the sharks.

    PS: I don't think we disagree on the "gear" at all Marc. We have our preferences and we each have our specific reasons for them, and we both have been known to totally abandon one system when another came along that we felt met our needs better than the previous system. In fact, when been each other's best customers for used gear a time or two . Moreover, I think either of us could pick up each other's bags and go get our respective jobs done on time. We would probably be cursing under our breath a bit at having to modify our work methods, but the reality is I do not think the end result would be significantly impaired either way. However I do think we disagree on what makes a sound business strategy in a very small, elite niche market.
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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    However I do think we disagree on what makes a sound business strategy in a very small, elite niche market.
    I don't believe there is a sound business strategy in the very small, elite niche market that is MFD. I'd worry about any manufacturer that believed there was.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    Just read an article about Audi's new $300+k sports car and how they are attempting to capture the market that's been dominated by BMW and Mercedes. The interesting part, and the one that I think relates to MFD, is that they aren't doing it because they expect to make a lot of money selling those super high priced vehicles. They do it because it adds to the prestige of the lineup and allows them to make greater markups on their more normally priced vehicles. If I'm not mistaken, this is also what Leica has done with their rebadged P&S cameras and is what I would do if I were the new owner of Hassy.
    This is partly what Phase is doing is having a 3 tier system approach . They do that by branding Mamiya , Leaf and finally Phase as there top tier product. If you look at the price structuring along with the technology on each brand everything has a slow build up. Just look at a Aptus 12 vs the IQ 180. Now this gives buyers many choices with the same shared system of parts. Hassy does not really have this kind of structure as it is only branded by the Hassy name. Sure they have the speciality Ferrari body but a different business model all together. Good points and bad points to each obviously but say a HD4-50 cannot be had in a different naming convention for a lower price. Phase on the other hand has 3 ways to get a IQ140 sensor actually 4.

    Now this is something for Hassy to look at as well and change and give the buyer maybe a 2 choice in a HD4-50 sensor. Add another naming convention that would equal the likes of Leaf/Mamiya with slightly less technology or different technology.

    BTW no knocks on brands here it is just the way Phase is now structured . To me it is a smart idea. Would it work for Hassy in such a scenario, maybe.
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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    FWIW I agree with Marc that there is no future for Hasselblad in making bodies for Phase One backs, which is exactly what most people would do if it were possible. However, changing strategy with a truck-load of customers in that boat already was a nasty move, and one which probably still has trust repercussions. I guess one day everyone will have forgotten about that, but it might take a while longer.
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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    FWIW I agree with Marc that there is no future for Hasselblad in making bodies for Phase One backs, which is exactly what most people would do if it were possible. However, changing strategy with a truck-load of customers in that boat already was a nasty move, and one which probably still has trust repercussions. I guess one day everyone will have forgotten about that, but it might take a while longer.
    Problem is what does that tell ya when Phase comes out with there new body. Two sides to a coin here. Seriously as i said before everyone needs to up there game or they will be eating dust.
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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Agreed, the bodies are all not really up to competing with the top 135 format cameras, and things need to improve there, at least with weather sealing and multiple focus sensors or True Focus, and so on.

    About the new Phase body, let's see when it comes out
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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    If anything like the tech of the IQ than I'm all in. Agree though let's see what they got.
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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    But unfortunately this business model will not work, given that 90-95% of the cost are in the back and the rest in the camera.
    You didn't mention lenses and accessories, which are worth more than the camera bodies. Besides that, the price has no bearing whatsoever on profitability. If Hasselblad sells their cameras at a profit, they should be fine. Finally, I would not advocate that Hasselblad stops making backs. Far from it - they should open their platform and start producing such good digital backs that people choose them voluntarily and not because a closed platform forces them to.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
    .Maybe they should become the German competitor to Japanese Canon/Nikon. That might not mean a future in DMF...but rather a future in wherever canikon is going.

    Well, these types of threads always turn into speculation...so the crazier the speculation the better imho
    That doesn't sound crazy at all, quite the opposite. Perhaps we'll see integrated cameras from Hasselblad similar to the Pentax 645D, pitched at a price to take on Canikon and offering an extra level of quality with a much coveted brand name.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
    Maybe they should become the German competitor to Japanese Canon/Nikon.
    Swedish + Japanese(Fuji) = German?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    HD4-50 cannot be had in a different naming convention for a lower price
    cfv-50

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by yossarians22 View Post
    Swedish + Japanese(Fuji) = German?
    The new owner is based in Germany.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Private Equity features quite prominently in the art market.

    Cameras aren't art though - unless they are made by Leica or Alpa - and these companies are owned by venture capitalists - the original venture capitalists- the family company. I think Arca Swiss is in the same category.

    Bespoke anything costs lot more than non bespoke an off the rack suit costs a lot less than one made by your tailor for example..

    I see MF digi back business as a little market delivering high megapixel count - that is it. These high megapixel counts don't produce art or better photographs or more interesting photographs or anything else of universal value.

    Just like fast cars ultimately get you from A to B - it is the individuals preferences for various attributes that allows for a range of margin from utilitarian to bespoke. The price points define the size of the market.

    There is nothing 'special' about these expensive cameras except in the eyes of the buyer. So we have digital elephant cameras with 80 megapixels which will be replaced by the new elephants delivering 100 or 200 or 5000 megapixels ...in good time maybe..

    however for the 2X3 foot print - the megapixel race is over - well and truly over @ 40 megaixels or lower - much lower.

    none of this has anything to do with 'art'.

    These discussions are geek discussions concerning the future viability of geek stuff - and there is nothing wrong that - for geeks.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Agreed. I'm a shooter. End of story . Lol
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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    This is partly what Phase is doing is having a 3 tier system approach . They do that by branding Mamiya , Leaf and finally Phase as there top tier product. If you look at the price structuring along with the technology on each brand everything has a slow build up. Just look at a Aptus 12 vs the IQ 180. Now this gives buyers many choices with the same shared system of parts. Hassy does not really have this kind of structure as it is only branded by the Hassy name. Sure they have the speciality Ferrari body but a different business model all together. Good points and bad points to each obviously but say a HD4-50 cannot be had in a different naming convention for a lower price. Phase on the other hand has 3 ways to get a IQ140 sensor actually 4.

    Now this is something for Hassy to look at as well and change and give the buyer maybe a 2 choice in a HD4-50 sensor. Add another naming convention that would equal the likes of Leaf/Mamiya with slightly less technology or different technology.

    BTW no knocks on brands here it is just the way Phase is now structured . To me it is a smart idea. Would it work for Hassy in such a scenario, maybe.
    Actually, there are three 50 meg H backs to select from ... H4D/50, H4D/50MS and the H4D/200MS (which is a different 50MS module) ... each one a completely different price point. Keeping in mind, not everyone shoots landscapes, and the MS cameras are pretty well known in commercial circles.

    Currently, Hasselblad offers the H4D system in 31, 40, 50, 50/MS, 60, and 200MS, and the CFV in 39 and 50 meg versions.

    The red Hasselblad isn't a version of anything nor is the stainless steel model ... those are just different cosmetic finishes, something Hasselblad has done for decades, so nothing new there (I once had a fun yellow 501CM) However, I think it is a huge waste of time and effort doing stuff like that ,,, more importantly it erodes the Brand's core positioning as a serious photographic tool ... something that also irritates me about Leica.

    As a user, I'd rather see them stick with their single Brand name convention and look to dual shutter camera that uses the entire system of existing lenses we users already have ... either as leaf shutter or focal plane shutter. That seems to be a no-brainer move which I've been harping about forever.

    AND, BTW ... allow current users to send their current back in to be fitted and calibrated to the new body without having to buy an entire new camera & DB. To me, that is where Phase kills Hasselblad ... If Hassey came out with a H5D and I wanted the camera why should I have to lose my shirt just to get the new camera? My current 60 back is all I need or want to pay for right now, but if I could use it on a dual shutter camera I'd like that option.

    IMO, if they could manage to make a digital XPan .... they wouldn't be able to make enough of them.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post

    I see MF digi back business as a little market delivering high megapixel count - that is it. These high megapixel counts don't produce art or better photographs or more interesting photographs or anything else of universal value.

    Just like fast cars ultimately get you from A to B - it is the individuals preferences for various attributes that allows for a range of margin from utilitarian to bespoke. The price points define the size of the market.

    There is nothing 'special' about these expensive cameras except in the eyes of the buyer. So we have digital elephant cameras with 80 megapixels which will be replaced by the new elephants delivering 100 or 200 or 5000 megapixels ...in good time maybe..
    As a professional, I went 100% digital in 1998 or 1999. I can assure you increases in the capabilities of succeeding generations of cameras have improved my product, allowed me to create new products and better meet the needs of my clients, and increased my studio business.

    I can also tell you adding medium format, in my case a Hasselblad, has given me new capabilities and improved my level of craftsmanship and increased that small percentage of my work that might be considered "art."

    I do believe the swordsman is more important than the sword. But if there are two swordsman, my money is on the one with the Samuri sword, not on the guy with the Swiss army knife or hunting knife.

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    I am almost there regarding forking out the cashola required to buy the big boy Imacon scanner....not as convenient as a digi version off my favourite camera - but still..there is just that something about film - even scanned film

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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Mitchell View Post
    I wish Hasselblad and their new owners all the best! Perhaps this will help them bring out some really exciting new products - I just hope it's not a brand-leaching exercise with the release of Hasselblad point-and-shoot cameras, etc.
    You are headed in the right direction with this thought, but have perhaps taken it too far...

    "we plan to develop Hasselblad cameras to appeal to a wider circle of ambitious photographers“

    How does one read this? One possible way is that the purchase was really for the brand equity in the name, not the camera lineup per se. To me, this reads like they have conceded the pro market to Phase/Leaf and will concentrate on the prosumer MF market and perhaps even the DSLR sector. They have form here - remember the Xpan? Perhaps they also have a crosshair on the little red circle .Unless the investors are prepared to invest a truckload of cash to catch up (someone said leapfrog earlier?!!) to the IQ technology, for which the global market is tiny, it makes more sense to capitalise on the brand equity in the name to attack the larger consumer/prosumer sector, where the development costs are likely lower and the potential returns larger.
    I guess we'll all know soon enough.......
    Last edited by goesbang; 2nd July 2011 at 23:21.
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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Quote Originally Posted by siebel View Post
    You are headed in the right direction with this thought, but have perhaps taken it too far...

    [...]

    To me, this reads like they have conceded the pro market to Phase/Leaf and will concentrate on the prosumer MF market and perhaps even the DSLR sector. They have form here - remember the Xpan?
    You may be headed in the right direction with this thought, but have perhaps taken it too far...



    There is absolutely no way that Hasselblad will take on Nikon and Canon in the DSLR market, who are just so far ahead, and have much cheaper manufacturing capability available, huge lens lineups, existing pro programs, and on and on and on, that they are all but unreachable. Even companies like Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic and so on cannot get there, although they have tried. Leica abandoned the boat completely, although they had a niche going.

    I do think that it sounds like Hasselblad will try to broaden their scope a bit. I don't know how viable it would be to reawaken the X-Pan digitally, but I could imagine that Hasselblad might introduce some kind of lower-end MFD system, a-la Pentax 645D, with some kind of path up to the H4D. I don't know exactly what form that might take, perhaps some cheaper lenses and a cheaper body with a less than 100% prism and a lower resolution back, perhaps 22MP or 30MP, but all compatible with the big system?
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    Re: Hasselblad has been sold

    Sheesh a couple of years ago a 30-40 megapixel camera was the top end - funny reading how professional photographers need the latest and greatest elephant gun to shoot rabbits and pigeons with !!!

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