Hasselblad HV Announcement

I was wrong – Hasselblad seems to be determined to continue its partnership with Sony in ways we find somewhat…questionable. They have recently announced their third rebranded Sony camera, the Hasselblad HV. This time it is not based on Sony’s mirrorless system, however, but is built around their flagship DSLR/SLT camera, the A99. As with Hasselblad Lunar, which we failed to understand, the changes are purely cosmetic – the sensor and all other internal bits are exactly the same between the two. And, as with Lunar, the new HV carries a premium price tag of, wait for it, around $11,500 for the camera body with the Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. Interested?

Hasselblad HV_Front

Overview and Key Specifications

Let’s now forget about the price for a little bit and run through the official specs derived from Sony’s website. At the heart of the camera there is a 24.3 megapixel full-frame sensor courtesy of Sony. It is exactly the same as in the SLT-A99, Sony A7 and the RX1, and very similar to that found in the Nikon D600/D610 cameras. This sensor is among the best full-frame units in the industry, so high image quality is a given with the new Hasselblad HV. What is important to mention is that, much like the rest of Sony’s current SLT camera range, the HV is not actually a DSLR. Instead of a traditional DSLR mirror mechanism from manufacturers such as Nikon and Canon, the camera features a translucent mirror (also known as pellicle mirror). Which means part of the light coming through the lens is reflected towards the phase-detect AF module, but the bigger part goes straight through towards the sensor whilst the mirror remains static during exposure. This also means there is no optical viewfinder – an EVF is used instead. The OLED EVF is, no doubt, one of the best units in the industry and is as sharp as you would hope it to be with 2,360k dots. The magnification is 0.71x, so it is not as big as newest EVF cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-T1, but still pretty impressive in its own right.

The rest of the specifications are as impressive. You can set the ISO sensitivity from 100 all the way up to 25,600, whilst the shutter speed is as you would expect from a high-end camera – 30s-1/8000s. The camera can fire up to 6 frames per second and the fully articulated 3″, 1,229k dot screen at the back makes reviewing images a pleasure. There is dust and weather protection as well as built-in GPS. Naturally, Hasselblad HV allows you to record 1080p60 videos, but the more important bit is the built-in, sensor shift-based image stabilization that works with all lenses.

Hasselblad HV_Rear

Up until now every single detail about the Hassy HV has been identical to the Sony SLT-A99 down to the lens mount. But Hasselblad had to change something, and they have – the materials that you’d end up touching are more premium than A99’s magnesium alloy, like titanium and high-grade aluminium with PVD coatings. Now, presumably and according to Hasselblad’s brochure, the Physical Vapor Deposition coating is supposed to be second to only diamond in its hardness. This should make the Hassy HV somewhat tougher than the “stock” Sony SLT-A99. But, of course, it is not for banging into a wall, rather for admiring the craftsmanship. And, naturally, the design is also somewhat different, although the shape of the camera is much more reminiscent of the one it is based on (unlike the Hasselblad Lunar with its extravagant grip). Whether you like the design or not is a very personal matter, but this time I think they’ve done a much better job. It did not appear to me as ugly as the Lunar when I first saw it.

What We Think

I did my best to keep the irony out of the above paragraphs, but it was a very difficult task, which I do not fear to admit. Perhaps it is only fair if I get a chance to…spill it out. If you’ve watched what Lee has to say about the Nikon Df and how it might become a poser’s camera, Hasselblad might just have taken this to a new level. That is a sad thing because, as with Nikon Df, there is actually some clever technology underneath the fancy body materials and that stupendous price tag. The Hassellblad HV is a good camera if you look at it as if it is a camera. Its biggest problem, apart from the existence of the Sony SLT-A99, is Hasselblad’s press release. I have to say, they’ve made a complete mess out of it. Let me explain.

When most manufacturers announce new cameras, they talk about how they are better at delivering images, at high ISO settings, at autofocus performance. They talk mostly about the performance of the tool you are buying, because that is, first and foremost, the reason for buying it in the first place. If you do not actually need better performance and are happy with your old Canon 5D, why would you buy a new camera? You shouldn’t, unless you’re suffering from the need to buy new gear for the sake of buying it. Hasselblad, on the other hand, only briefly mentions the quality of the images that the HV can deliver, and that is understandable. After all, it is no better than the Sony A7 that costs several times less. What the Swedish manufacturer claims is that the HV is, and I quote, a “brand new ‘elite’ camera”. The first part of the statement is a blatant lie. It is a Sony SLT-A99, it is not brand new. The second part is absolutely puzzling and, combined with the rest of the interesting statements in the press release, makes for a very entertaining image of a person who’d buy the Hasselblad HV according to the manufacturer. As the CEO Ian Rawcliffe said, the HV is for those who “love taking them [pictures] in real style”. At this point I have a very vibrant flashback from Lee’s entertaining video review of the Nikon Df.

But this is not the worst part, it gets “better”. You see, the camera ships in a very durable, high quality case that has dust, water, impact and chemical agent protection. What’s more, it does not fear cold (as in – will not fall to pieces in temperatures ranging from -40°C to 80°C). Alright, nothing wrong with that. The problem is in another part of the following quote, and I am pretty certain you will guess which part exactly in first try: “The HV ships with a specially designed, extremely robust and high performance ‘super resin’ case (like the pros use) guaranteeing extra protection from dust, water, chemical agents and impacts and shocks.” Let me repeat that just to make sure it sounds as silly as it does. “Like the pros use”. Correct me if I am wrong, but that ridiculous statement sounds much like something you would say to an eight year old kid if you were trying to sell him a plastic Ferrari F1 car. “It’s exactly like the one Michael Schumacher used!” That would work for the kid. Me? Sorry, no. So this camera is for those who do not understand photography, but think professionals pay enormous amounts of money for cameras (read – toys) that are built out of exotic materials just because they are built out of exotic materials, and who also want to look somehow stylish with that camera in hand. It’s like an accessory that you boast about in a bar to your friends, because it is similar to those “the pros use”, but also very expensive. Made of titanium, see? You don’t use it, just boast about it.

I love old Hasselblads. They are beautiful. Don’t think I do not appreciate design – I really do. I’ve studied design and find it very intriguing in all its forms. But these new Hasselblads, they are…sad. “Finally, a DSLR with style, spirit and soul”, the brochure says. But you do not start to love a camera because it is built out of nice materials. What makes one love a tool, what gives the tool “soul” is how it becomes a part of your daily life. You can’t craft sentiments – they come with memories. That is why I like my dad’s Zenit E so much. It was never designed to be special. Even as an old film camera it’s not actually very good, certainly not a Leica. But I grew to like it despite all those things, because so many of my childhood photographs were taken with it.

I am sorry, but if you really want style and both spirit and soul in your camera, grab a Leica MP, a Rolleiflex or a Hasselblad 500cm of old. This is just a Sony SLT-A99 in a fancy frock – a good camera, but only as long as it is honest. The HV just isn’t. It is made for posers and mostly because of that terrible press release. What Hasselblad should have done, in my opinion (and if they are so determined to rebrand Sony cameras after all), is be honest about the HV. Say it is for people who like newest technology and enjoy photography, but want a tool that feels a bit more premium, is a bit less bland than the rest. For people who can appreciate daring design and do not much care for the cost. Then the HV would have a niche, or at least be targeted at a reasonable, understandable niche. Now though, it is for someone who likes words such as “elite”, “ultimate”, “premium”, “exclusive photo-icon”, “exceptional” and so on. Someone who wants to use what professionals use for the sake of it. Just a shallow way to show off by flashing the name Hasselblad and not realizing it might just loose its credibility if the Swedish manufacturer is to keep this up at such a pace.

Official Press Release

Here is the official press release by Hasselblad:

Hasselblad makes a brand new style statement with its latest camera for photo-enthusiasts

Hasselblad, the iconic camera-maker favoured by many of the world’s most accomplished professional photographers, has launched a brand new ‘elite’ camera – and this time pointed it at amateur photo-enthusiasts who demand the ultimate in both style and performance.

The sleek new Hasselblad HV, which is available immediately, will retail at € 8500 (excl taxes) and boasts some of the most advanced camera technology ever engineered for the enthusiast marketplace.

Announcing the launch Hasselblad CEO Ian Rawcliffe said: “The new HV is the latest model in our rapidly expanding portfolio of consumer cameras that seamlessly blend beauty and chic with performance. This camera is aimed squarely at people who don’t just love taking pictures – but love taking them in real style. And the HV doesn’t just look good; it feels good to hold too. We maintained a sharp focus on ergonomics and we used only premium materials like titanium, high-grade aluminium and latest ‘tough as nails’ PVD coatings.”

He added: “There are growing numbers of very keen and often extremely talented amateur photographers and photo-enthusiasts all over the world that are willing to invest in the kind of high performance capture products that elite professionals enjoy. Our brand new HV DSLR will completely satisfy all those who wish to not only treat themselves to an exclusive photo-icon but also revel in crafting exceptional pictures and video with an exceptional camera.

The new and easy to use HV has a 24.3 megapixel full-frame sensor and comes with a legendary Carl Zeiss 24-70mm lens – for extreme sharpness and outstanding contrast. The camera also has 35mm full-frame HD moviemaking capability for outstanding performance, even in dark conditions.

The HV ships with a specially designed, extremely robust and high performance ‘super resin’ case (like the pros use) guaranteeing extra protection from dust, water, chemical agents and impacts and shocks.

It can also deal with extreme weather conditions (from minus 40°C up to 80° C). This lightweight case doubles as an integrated organiser to hold not just the camera, all cables and chargers, memory cards and photo-literature but also an iPad and a regular size laptop.

For more information visit: www.hasselblad-hv.com


  1. 1) Peter
    February 4, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Well, with the amount of money they spend on the rebranding and the marketing of this, maybe they’re really smoking some ridiculously good stuff.

    Then again, they might have hired some really thick-skulled people. Why would any brand say “like the pros use”? That’s just so pretentious.

    What’s going on at Hasselblad?!

  2. 2) Gerry C
    February 4, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Hasselblad: How DARE you introduce a camera at this price point that you claim is designed for “very keen and often extremely talented amateur photographers and photo-enthusiasts all over the world that are willing to invest in the kind of high performance capture products that elite professionals enjoy”

    …WITHOUT *rich Corinthian leather*!?!?!

    I’m speechless.

  3. February 4, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    It’s OK to be wrong Romanas, I had $10 on the Raiders for the Super Bowl this year.

    • February 4, 2014 at 10:54 pm

      John, nice! :) You can imagine what I felt like watching that darn Superbowl! That was a total disaster for Broncos!

      • February 4, 2014 at 11:04 pm

        Well I could only read about it :-( Much like this crazy camera! :-)

        But I suppose everyone collects “something” and I am guessing now that the world economy is just peaches and cream, Hasselblind feels that they NEED to release this for the thousands and thousands of photographers who collect expensive gear like kids collection bottle caps in the 1950’s. At this price, the average Ukrainian family of 4 could live off the money wasted on this camera for 5 years.

        • Peter
          February 4, 2014 at 11:11 pm

          The scariest thing is that there were likely enough collectors (or wealthy idiots) who bought the first two rebranded Sonys that Hasselblad thought this one would sell…

  4. 4) Mark
    February 5, 2014 at 1:06 am

    I think you’re missing the intended market for these cameras. They are for the same people who buy Vertu phones and select a car for their garage based entirely on the 0-100 times. They are the extraordinarily wealthy, for whom $11,000 is the cost of a week’s salary for their chefs. They don’t care about photography and absolutely don’t care about value for money in something so trivial as a camera. Their focus is on multi-million dollar deals in their business and things like a Hasselblad are pretty paper weights for their office and knick-knacks to show their similarly loaded friends. Whether Hasselblad is smart going after this niche can certainly be debated, especially given their history of producing cameras that were actually good, but it’s an intentional and entirely plausible strategy.

    • February 5, 2014 at 1:49 am

      I would agree with all of that, Mark, had they actually designed the camera from ground up by themselves, if it were a real Hassy. As it is now, however, I’m not missing the intended market and you nailed it yourself, too. It’s posers to buy just because they can, just because the camera bears the name Hasselblad and is expensive. It’s an accessory and, as such, diminishes my respect for Hasselblad. Thanks to that frankly idiotic press release, much more so that the Lunar did. I mean, how did they actually approve of that press release?? I can’t get my mind around that, it’s just so ridiculous. You do not say “pros” in an official press release, damn it.

      I’ve no idea why, but Hasselblad’s recent strategies are really pumping my blood. It’s like Mamiya starting to sell rebranded Lensbaby optics. Good in their own right, but much, much too different from what Mamiya is about.

  5. 5) Peterw
    February 5, 2014 at 1:29 am

    Are we now seeing the demise of anything original? There is nothing new in fashion, furniture, music, writing etc . It is all reinterpretatation.
    We are all harking back to the good old days. Look at the rise of vintage fashion, the popularity of tv shows such as mad men, downton abbey etc, the reemergence of vinyl records.

    Basically we have hit a brick wall. There is no new wow factor in photography equipment. Nikon seems to have backed off from the pixel race with the d3 and d4, digital photography is now a mature technology. As this technology trickles down into the cheaper entry cameras eg rx 100 , there is relatively little to discriminate between the brands technology wise. Cameras are now following the printer model where they are conduits to selling the lenses that attach to them.

    So is it too far fetched to admit that hasselblad can no longer innovate past the big guys who have the added benefit of being able to tap into the lens ecosystems and their revenues?
    Hasselblad is fighting for its survival. It hopes that a rebranded quality camera will sell enough units and become collectible/fashion statements. At the same time, it sheds all the development costs associated with these rebranded units.
    Rather than being critical , we should just accept it for what it is…. Reinterpretation. For those who can afford it and want the style statement that goes with it, who are we to critisize? Is it any different to the follow the leader mentality in the film/tv industry? The fashion industry?

  6. February 5, 2014 at 3:56 am

    This is PR stupidity. If they were to produce a premium version of the A99 and charge a sensible premium for it, nobody would think any less of them. But showing the world that they consider their customers to be stupid and gullible loses them all credibility.

    How does this make their genuine high level products look?

  7. 7) andrew
    February 5, 2014 at 5:15 am

    Thanks to Mark and Peterw above for their balanced opinion.
    Hope Hassleblad prosper for long to come.
    Why? Because the camera industry needs other, non-Japanese, equilibrium. Sweden have long produced style with function.
    Fail to see what everyone is grousing about. Its a rich persons’ camera. Get over it.

    Nothing un-“pro” about a hard case that won’t break in cold conditions. As for Romanas having the whip hand about what words people are allowed, or not, to say in a press release merely demerits his input. If they wanted him to proof read their PR they would’ve asked him.

    • February 5, 2014 at 5:29 am

      Andrew, it is not the product itself, not even the targeted audience that, in my opinion, makes this camera difficult to understand. Not at all. As I’ve mentioned, I am all for design. I think that every single object that we use should be beautifully designed according to its function, including cameras. I even think good looks plays a big part when choosing such a tool. So I have nothing against luxury products and their high prices. A Hasselblad is supposed to be very, very expensive. But, first of all, this is not really a Hasselblad. That’s my first gripe. I don’t mind them taking the SLT-A99 as a base, it is a very good starting point, that camera is seriously capable. What I mind is that the only changes Hassy made were cosmetic ones. But that is also not the biggest gripe. The biggest problem is the press release and all those shallow words that I’ve listed in the article, meaningless and unsupported. The biggest problem is the claims that Hasselblad HV and the case is “what the pros use”. It just sounds silly. It sounds like the camera is targeted at accessory collectors with more money than brains so that they can say “I have a camera that pros use”. Professionals, not pros. This is a press release by a very serious, very highly regarded medium format camera manufacturer. And they made their product sound shallow. I find that to be different from what we’ve learned to expect from Hasselblad. Rich persons’ camera, yes. But he’s supposed to want it for different reasons, for genuine reasons, not because it’s like “what pros use”. As I’ve mentioned, they should have been honest about it:

      “Say it is for people who like newest technology and enjoy photography, but want a tool that feels a bit more premium, is a bit less bland than the rest. For people who can appreciate daring design and do not much care for the cost. ”

      In any case, I am sorry to hear that you think me expressing my opinion that is different from yours somehow demerits me. I do not think it does. I think Hasselblad is falling not because of the products it is releasing, but the way they release them, how they present them, what sort of audience they are trying to attract.

      Thank you for your opinion.

      • 7.1.1) andrew
        February 5, 2014 at 5:56 am

        Thanks Romanas.

        Sony will surely be delighted with Hassleblads HV.
        Hassleblad users (hobbyists) will surely be delighted with a rebranded SLT.

        Your opinion is valid possibly for the fact it is different.
        But nothing strikes me as dishonest with “what pros use” in connection with a hard case.

    • February 5, 2014 at 6:08 am

      “As for Romanas having the whip hand about what words people are allowed, or not, to say in a press release merely demerits his input. ”

      Why do you feel that you have the whip hand about what words Romanas is allowed?

      • 7.2.1) andrew
        February 5, 2014 at 9:52 am

        Good point, accepted.
        Only I am not going around shouting ‘foul’, as Romanas.
        I had heard it civil to chide in private and praise in public. In other words if you haven’t got anything good to say, then don’t say it.
        Joke about a product ok. However the vein of the thread that Romanas has whipped up is, for all the knee-jerks to squeal, “you have to be stupid to buy that”.
        Not so. The purchasers have got their reasons. Not least is that it’s a good camera, as are Hassleblad a good company.

        • February 5, 2014 at 10:02 am


          it does seem a little bit as if you are somehow personally offended by my articles. Sorry if that is the case. And I do not believe in statement that one should chide in private and praise in public. No. I did not even chide. What I did was offer what I hope to be constructive criticism. An opinion supported by arguments. I, too, hope Hasselblad succeeds. I, too, like the company and its previous products. But just because they made some good products in the past does not mean I will like everything they do now, blindly. The Lunar and HV are not bad cameras. They are bad decisions for Hasselblad in my opinion for reasons I stated very clearly in the article. It is also not about the people who will buy the cameras, I would never go and say such people are stupid. But what I will say is that Hasselblad is targeting such people, yes. Hasselblad is deliberately targeting people with more money that sense (or brain), people who want to show off, and not because of the camera itself, but the words that were spoken, officially, as the camera was released. For a company as well known as Hasselblad that is truly degrading and desperate.

          Perhaps you see as if this whole article is there to bash the new product. That is also not true. The first half of it is what I think a reasonably objective (given the circumstances) evaluation of Hasselblad HV as a camera, not as a product (and the accompanying press release of that product) that damages the image of the company.

          • andrew
            February 5, 2014 at 10:53 am

            No offence given or taken. Thanks anyway for your work.

            • Profile photo of Romanas Naryškin Romanas Naryškin
              February 5, 2014 at 10:57 am

              And thank you. Don’t ever think different opinion is not welcome here, because it is, very much so. It’s the fascinating bit of every discussion, isn’t it?

              Good luck!

        • plevyadophy
          February 5, 2014 at 11:47 am

          To chide in private and praise in public is to me the kinda attitude that I despise; a rather two-faced attitude.

          As far as I am concerned, you should chide in public and praise in public. These companies advertise in PUBLIC and want the PUBLIC to spend their hard earned money on their products so it’s only fair that any flaws in their products should be highlighted in PUBLIC.

          This kinda “chide in private, praise in public” attitude has led to all kinds of abuse from politicians, health care professionals, and manufacturers with important matters swept under the carpet.

          No, Romans was correct 1,000,000% correct to say what he said

  8. 8) Shawn Young
    February 5, 2014 at 5:22 am

    Wait a minute: they haven’t glued any wood on it, covered it in genuine cubic zirconia, or draped it in real, Corinthian leather?

    No sale. For $11K, I demand some glued wood.

  9. February 5, 2014 at 5:39 am


    When I first saw this, I honestly thought it was a joke. Like Hasselblad was actually just copying the A99’s design, and using it as their own. Now I know from reading this and other sources that it is (obviously) not true. Sony and Hasselblad have created this “brand new ‘elite’ camera.”

    Well to me, that’s BS, for lack of a better word. The A99’s a great camera (mind you I’m a Sony user), and changing the look of it doesn’t really make it “‘elite'” in my mind. Romanas is right in that they should have unveiled some amazing pictures, or talked of the super high ISO that you can use, “much higher than any other camera! Better than any other camera!!.” but they didn’t.

    And the price tag is what takes the cake, $11500! That’s just around 6 TIMES the amount of an A99! So without any better features, other than a redesigned look, and the Hasselblad logo (which goes for $5000 in itself :D ), I’m afraid this won’t fair well in this world. Maybe some hardcore Sony and/or Hasselblad users will give it a go, but I won’t be expecting spectacular results from this endeavor.

    • February 5, 2014 at 5:40 am

      It’s a good idea, but (at least to me) the price is just too high, and the features are too small.

  10. 10) plevyadophy
    February 5, 2014 at 6:22 am


    This piece and your previous one on Hasselblad lunacy, or “lunar-cy” as I always spell it when referring to Hassy, are spot on and should be read by the Hassy board at their next board meeting.

    My understanding is that the new CEO doesn’t come from a photographic background. Well, he’s gonna need to swot up real quick on Hassy history and photography in general if he’s not to lead the company into bankruptcy or a hostile take-over bid, and reading your two recent blog posts on Hassy should be a great education for him.

    Thanks for telling it like it is.


  11. February 5, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Hassy does it because people buy it. Hasselblad aren’t the crazy ones in that relationship.

    • 11.1) andrew
      February 5, 2014 at 10:44 am

      Well said

    • February 5, 2014 at 11:04 am

      I disagree. This is a company with a long history of producing the very finest high-end products.

      Rebadging someone else’s product and charging a huge, huge premium for it, just because there are a few people who will pay it, is extremely short sighted and is exploiting the well deserved reputation that Hasselblad has built up over the years. I fear that Hasselblad’s reputation as a serious player is being exploited irresponsibly and will soon be in tatters.

      I wonder how long Bentley, Mercedes Benz or Rolls Royce would be successful if they sold re-badged Fords at huge prices.

      I think it is actually very sad and I sincerely hope that these rebadged cameras aren’t the last desperate acts of a dying company.

      • 11.2.1) Gerry C
        February 5, 2014 at 1:09 pm

        John, You’re spot-on here… @David Campbell: Hasselblad is, in fact, at least as crazy those buying this camera because they’ve decided against creating a product that’s truly worthy of their brand, and pursue a “there’s a sucker born every minute” market strategy.

        Imagine if the current members of the Stradivari (Stradivarius) family decided to:
        – re-badge Yamaha student violins and cellos
        – package them in a extremely robust and high performance ‘super resin’ case
        – slap “Stradivarius” decals on the back of them
        …while also charging Stradivarius prices for them

        They’d be laughed right out of the music industry.

        In addition, anyone who would show up at a performance and tout their re-badged violins and/or cellos as “real” Stradivarius instruments (even if it was Yo- Yo Ma) would be branded a fool.

        Such is the case with Hasselblad and their new Hasselblad HV, and it’s sad to see.

        • David Campbell
          February 5, 2014 at 4:33 pm

          The analogies you’re making are specious, mainly because the A99 is actually a very good camera, unlike . But to play along, people pay exorbitant prices for relic’d Stratocasters and NASCAR Les Pauls every day. Nobody’s laughing Fender and Gibson out of the music industry. Nor have they laughed Leica out for sullying their good name with re-badged Panasonics.

          Don’t get me wrong, guys. I’m not applauding or advocating what Hassy is doing. I’m simply saying that as long as there are people dumb enough to buy this crap, there will be companies happy to take their money.

          • plevyadophy
            February 5, 2014 at 7:31 pm

            @David Campbell,

            The thing is, with Leica, when they rebadged Panny cams, whilst there was something of a premium added (they claimed because they offer a better warranty), they didn’t hike the price to the heavens and claim that the cams are luxury items.

            These three Hassy cams, Lunar-cy, Stellar, and HV are just appalling trailer trash/chav type products that Hassy should have had nothing to do with in the first place even if they did want to sell hyper-expensive products. Collaborating with Sony isn’t the issue (well actually it is (I will save that discussion for another day)), rather the problem is what they have ended up producing as a result of this collaboration: tacky rubbish.

            This recent offering is for a non-Hassy mount; so where’s the logic in that?!!

            This mount, a Sony mount is something that, on the face of it, Sony themselves are abandoning; so where’s the logic in that?!!!

            I look at these three cams and I can see no Hassy DNA in any of them, except perhaps for the vivid imagination of their management team after a drunken night out. I wasn’t too keen on their so-called Ferarri Edition H series cams, but at least they were clearly Hasselblad cams.

            I am seriously concerned that with far far far too much involvement with Sony, we are witnessing the beginning of the end of Hassy (Sony Ericsson tie up, and the Sony Minolta tie up should be a warning)

            • David Campbell
              February 6, 2014 at 7:50 am

              Actually, the Leica D-Lux 6 is about 100% markup over the Panasonic LX-7 on which it’s based. To me, that’s exorbitant.

              The logic is crudely simple. (And once again I’m not advocating it; I’m saying this is the way it is.) Most businesses exist to make a profit for shareholders. If there’s a market for “trailer trash” cameras, then some business is going address that market. It might gall us that it’s a storied name like Hasselblad, and it might ultimately be a completely flawed strategy. But business strategies based on tacky, crass assumptions often work, sadly.

              My point is this: If we as consumers don’t buy this junk, then businesses will eventually figure out there’s no market in it and stop selling it. Consumers have played a key role in making this monster.

          • Gerry C
            February 5, 2014 at 10:50 pm

            @David Campbell, I think we fully agree that there are people dumb enough to buy something like the Hasselblad HV and companies happy to take advantage of that. Where I respectfully disagree is when you wrote that Hassy (isn’t) the crazy one in the relationship; Hasselblad *is* just as crazy as the ones buying this camera; continuing to produce these re-skins will just eventually destroy their premium reputation.

            Re: Stratocasters & NASCAR Les Pauls
            I don’t know much guitars them so I can’t comment. Maybe a better and more familiar analogy than my Yamaha violins & cellos would be Bentley taking Toyota Avalons (a very good car), changing the exterior sheet metal only (leaving *everything* else the same) then charging $250K for those re-badged Bentleys. I think you’d agree that laughter would ensue for both Bentley *and* anyone dumb enough to buy that car. (I could definitely see folks like the Kardashians as the spokes-people for that car, but I digress).

            Re: Leica
            @plevyadophy hits the nail right on the head — Leica charged a *percentage* more than its Panasonic equivalent (and gave some things [warranty, firmware, and a Lightroom license]) to effectively narrow the price gap between the Panasonic models). Hasselblad is charging a *multiple* for simply a new skin, a “super resin” (aka plastic) box, and an extra battery.

            I’m sure many people did, in fact, laugh at Leica when they started to re-badge Panasonics… but because the difference wasn’t nearly as exorbitant as it is with the Hasselblad and these recent cameras… I’d say it’s a _chuckle_ with Leica. This HV, on the other hand, is pure, gut-busting laughter. We might as well start calling this “Hasselblad-level, crazy laughter” because they (Hasselblad) truly are crazy.

            • David Campbell
              February 6, 2014 at 8:10 am

              A note to self: Short, pithy comments often leave people with the wrong perception about how you really feel about something.

              As I said above, the markup on the Leica is about 100%. For me, that’s ridiculous. The extras thrown in are case candy and hardly justify the price difference. Lightroom is $150 at full retail and Leica will get a significant OEM discount from Adobe on it. Warranties are nice, but considering that technology products tend to fail early in their life if they fail at all, Leica probably isn’t taking on much cost burden with that one. And I’ll just say that I’m very skeptical about the value of whatever firmware enhancements Leica added. Net-net, I posit that the markup is really about that red logo they put on the case and has very little to do with window dressing extras. A 100% markup for the Leica red dot.

              What I hear you saying is that a premium brand re-badging a lesser brand’s product and charging a mark-up is okay, you just object when the *amount* of the markup passes a threshold you see as excessive. Fair enough, although I’d say in that case we’re just arguing over degrees not a fundamental difference in philosophy. As I said above, my point is simply that Hasselblad is doing what companies have always done and should always be expected to do: take advantage of a perceived market. Maybe they’re terminally wrong about the existence of that market. I don’t know. But I do know that, by definition, that market exists or doesn’t exist based on whether consumers are willing to buy over-priced products for prestige. And so that’s why I think consumers are the crazy ones.

            • Gerry C
              February 6, 2014 at 10:50 am

              Ah, my mistake. I only looked at the D-Lux 5, which was (roughly?) about $300 (I don’t remember the exact amount)… I had figured that the $150 cost for Lightroom at the time knocked the difference to roughly $150 for the firmware (I agree, was it really better than Panasonic’s?), extra year warranty, and the (definite) higher resale value. Still, was the mark-up worth it? Not for me. And yes, 100% mark-up for the D-Lux 6 or any re-badged camera with a red dot is ridiculous. In the end, I think we agree here. :-)

              I will do my part not buy any of these over-priced re-badged “premium” cameras…

              However, I will stick to my first post — Hasselblad should have used real Corinthian leather, LOL!

              BTW, I know there might be many out there who are wondering “WTH is the deal with Corinthian leather???” This might help:

            • cgw
              February 6, 2014 at 1:13 pm

              The worst rebadge/sucker bait job in the auto industry–which the Hasselblad fiascos recall–was the Cadillac Cimarron which was just a Chevy Cavalier with alloy wheels, leather seats, tons of fake wood interior trim and a bloated sticker price.

  12. 12) Dvir Barkay
    February 5, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Any chance you guys will get to review the A99, the real A99 and not its ridiculous Hassy cousin?

  13. February 5, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Is it Possible Sony has secretly purchased Hasselblad?

    • 13.1) Peter
      February 5, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Even if Sony bought Hasselblad, do you think they would do something so pretentious as to rebrand an A99 and charge 5-6x as much for it?

      They would just keep the Hasselblad line alone as a MF line!

  14. February 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Sometimes companies buy other just to gain the name. Then put out what they want.

    I’m not saying they have. But two Cameras in a row that are identical Sony Versions makes one wonder.

  15. 15) cgw
    February 6, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Sony+Hasselblad is really a sad co-dependency. Sony’s troubled and set to ditch computers and TVs. Hasselblad probably couldn’t survive without the oft-denied reliance on Fuji for the H system. The HV screams clueless, desperate, and totally alienated.

  16. 16) Ravi R
    February 9, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    I never understood paying gazillion dollars just because the company slapped its name on a product that was actually made by someone else.

  17. 17) Doug
    February 11, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I don’t understand the pricetag, heck, I Never understand the pricetags of these ridiculous cameras.

    I absolutely love and adore hasselblad, Heck I use a 503c/w with a digital back for my work. which evens out around £13k for the camera & back, totaling up to a lot better specs with just the smallest increment in prices.

    This camera will be outdated in around 2 or 3 years. The 503c/w will still carry for another 4 minimum. I just don’t understand where this business is going!

    – Doug

  18. 18) mark
    February 21, 2014 at 12:23 pm


    Hi Romanas, I thought you might like this!

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