We all are quite aware that Hasselblad is the Ferrarri or cameras. Or maybe Bently or Lamborghini. I don't know, something expensive. But did you ever think of them as the Gucci of cameras? Today Hasselblad announced that they are opening a new design centre in Italy, with its base close to Venice and the Italian fashion industry. The move will implement Hasselblad's new strategy to gain market share in new consumer segments with products that boast exceptional design and engineering.
The location was selected because, as Hasselblad Chairman and CEO Dr. Larry Hansen said, "The region we have chosen for this new centre of design excellence is home to many high-tech manufacturers, including those working in the watch, high end automobile and aerospace industries." Not really the first industries to come to mind when I heard "Italian Designer." Though Italian automobiles tend to rock and are some of the most expensive in the world, I don't think of them as "designer."
Interesting to note, the first Hasselblad product designed in Italy is Lunar, the company's luxury mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera, launched at Photokina. You know, the camera that uses carbon fiber, titanium, wood, leather, and other precious metals? The camera that has taken a rather uncharacteristic level of flack from camera enthusiasts the world over because it's being seen as a souped up Sony NEX ILC? Interesting direction, Hasselblad. I think people care more about your core competencies right now (like the H5D), but we'll see where this goes.
What I found to be the most interesting re-confirmation is that Hasselblad also said that it is also planning to build a new DSLR, a new compact camera, and its own line of accessories, bags and tripods (none of which any of us can likely afford).
Below, check out some of the released images from the Design Centre that are actually quite pleasant to look at.
It appears that Hasselblad is really trying to branch out, and in places that there is currently no real competition. Such a move is a bold strategy for any company in any industry. It's untested waters, and there is always a risk associated with such a decision. What do you think of their new direction? Let us know in the comments below.