Hasselblad is planning to take a Sony NEX-7, replace its tiny, well designed body with a hideous blob of precious metal and rare wood, and sell it for around $6,500.
Yes, Hasselblad is trying to become the Vertu of cameras, a company that confuses “luxury” materials with actual quality. And it’s all the more sad, as Hasselblad made the cameras that went to the moon.
After reading Gruber’s review of the iPhone 5 today, I was struck by a line he quoted from Apple’s PR blurb:
iPhone 5 is made with a level of precision you’d expect to find in a finely crafted watch, not a smartphone.
This got me wondering what all those idiots who buy Vertu phones will do now. Those handsets are pretty much five-year-old Nokia guts packed into a new shell, which is made “with a level of precision you’d expect to find in a finely crafted watch.”
That was the only real selling point. Well, that and the price: some people really do buy conspicuously expensive junk just to show off.
Which brings me to DP Review’s description of the planned Lunar from Hasselblad:
Hasselblad plans to release a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera utilizing Sony’s E-Mount. The Hasselblad Lunar, which is expected to cost around €5000 (~$6500) appears to share a lot of technology with Sony’s recent NEX-7 model, including the same 24.3MP CMOS sensor, OLED ‘True Finder’ EVF, and the ‘TriNavi’ navigation system.
The Lunar, which is set for launch in the first quarter of 2013, will be available “in a choice of standard models plus a variety of exclusive hand grips and precious materials on special order.”[emphasis added]
Who the hell will buy this crap? Hasselblad made exquisitely-built medium-format film cameras, and that quality was why they went to the moon. Is rebadging a gussied-up consumer digicam really the legacy of this once-great company? Instead of making genuinely good and interesting digital cameras1, Hasselblad is chasing Leica in making ridiculous leather-coated special editions. Only unlike Leica, Hasselblad isn’t even doing it to its own cameras.
Meanwhile, Apple is taking mass-market consumer tech and raising its build quality into something worthy of being taken to the moon.