Hasselblad Fails To Learn Lesson, Rebrands Another Sony Camera With Hideous Wooden Handles

Oh Hasselblad. As if your absurd and hideous Lunar wasn’t bad enough, you’re about to compound the embarrassment with the Stellar compact, yet another Sony NEX camera dressed up with a stupid wooden grip and a huge markup. What happened to you?

Lest we forget, Hasselblad was once a name to trust. The medium-format cameras were pretty much the best, and were considered so reliable that NASA took them to the moon. Then came digital, and things went wrong. Now it seems that the once-proud camera maker is reduced to slapping its brand onto off-the-shelf cameras and selling them for around 4–5 times the original price. It’s like the business model of Swarovski “crystals,” only way less dignified.

The soon-to-be-announced Stellar is more of the same; this time it’s a Sony RX100 that’s received the hideous gnarly wooden grip and hard-to-use knurled knobs, and the price is rumored to be “somewhere between $1,600 and $3,200.” The RX100 is $650.

Let’s be clear about this. Hasselblad isn’t adding anything here apart from decoration and a brand name. The camera underneath is the functionally the same as the Sony you could buy from Amazon today, so you’re paying the premium for a chunk of polished wood. It even seems that the price will vary depending on which wood you choose. The options will likely be olive wood, mahogany, wenge, walnut, carbon fiber, or padouk (I’m aware that not all of those are woods – don’t write in).

Do I sound angry? I am. Hasselblad made a name for itself because it built fantastic cameras. It could even innovate, with things like the 35mm panoramic X-Pan. Now it’s reduced to slapping its name on (admittedly good) cameras from third parties and charging a fortune for them. At least Leica, which is fast disappearing up its own boutique hole, has the courtesy to still design and build proprietary machines.

Ugh.

  • QJeremiah

    Makes me ashamed of being a Swede….

    I live 2km away from the factory, if I was closer I would spit on it.

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Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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