New Patent Shows DJI Is Working on a Camera Almost Identical to the Hasselblad X1D

New Patent Shows DJI Is Working on a Camera Almost Identical to the Hasselblad X1D

Anticipation has been high for DJI’s next move after the company acquired Hasselblad in 2017, and now, a new Chinese patent application has revealed plans to launch a clone of Hasselblad’s X1D-50c.

There hasn’t been much news from DJI since attaining a majority stake in Hasselblad, but that could be about to change. News of the patent comes courtesy of Gizmodo Japan, who spotted a tweet that seemingly revealed some of the details.

Yuma Yamamoto, a writer for Gizmodo, did further research into the screenshot, managing to find the whole design patent, which showed 3D models, complete with “design rights” to a camera that looked suspiciously like the Hasselblad X1D-50c. The only noticeable alterations were an articulating LCD screen and a marginally different button layout on the back, including a joystick.

See some of the patent application for yourself below.

There are also some 3D models taken from the database. Notice the details, including the markings on each of the buttons.

Quite why DJI are patenting something so similar remains to be seen. Perhaps they are planning to release a more affordable version of the X1D in the Chinese market. It could be a similar move to what Hasselblad did with the Lunar and Stellar, releasing “premium” re-badged versions of another brand’s cameras.

Your thoughts?

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Rob Davis's picture

Given it’s a clone, cost is really the main talking point.

Indy Thomas's picture

The flaw in all this "clone" rhetoric is the fact that DJI OWNS Hasselblad.
The design BELONGS to them. They paid for it fair and square.
This cannot be a copy, clone or whatever because any iteration of the design is the evolution of the design THEY NOW OWN.

This no different from Fiat acquiring Chrysler and redesigning legacy models in the Chrysler portfolio.

For all we know this is the design of the X-2D-100.

The implied impropriety of this issue and the many outraged remarks seen online hints at the implicit racism toward the Chinese owners of a company founded by white Swedes and that has traded on the conceit of European engineering excellence.

Indy Thomas's picture

Kinda because of comments like yours.

JetCity Ninja's picture

clone first, create later. India and China are simply following the same path forged by Japan and Korea to individual capitalist success.

it's not about race so much as it's about fledgling economies starting with a foothold and developing later. the issue is that China's Cultural Revolution resulted in a brain drain and systematic destruction of creativity and individualism... the result of that seen today as China grapples with moving beyond the "cloning stage" of industrialism.

and this is just more proof.

besides, your comparison is wrong. it would be more apt that FIAT buys Chrysler, takes something popular like the RAM truck, redesigns it, slaps FIAT on it then sells it in other markets.

is it morally wrong? no. is it a display of laziness and an example of an inability to innovate? yes, yes it is.

Indy Thomas's picture

Yeah, logic is wrong. There is no evidence they are going to put the name DJI on it as they can get more money for the name Hasselblad.
Just like the Minolta CL never commanded the price that the Leica CL could.

China today has about 180 million citizens with college degrees with more being added every day. Original research is being funded at historic levels while western companies cut back on R&D for short term profit motives and government reduces research funding for non military projects because people on the right say "it costs too much". What price do we attach to our increasing deficit in innovation?

As for history, America, was a huge beneficiary of IP theft in revolutionary times as Hamilton and others eagerly sought the secrets of textile mills and new manufacturing techniques at the dawn of the industrial age. Wholesale industrial espionage was the business model of early America.

In the end you can whine about what countries do and how they do it but it is all market forces driving outcomes irrespective of economic models of capitalism, socialism, communism, mercantilism or the barter system. The markets move like gravity irrespective of religion.

Gordon Cahill's picture

There is no evidence that DJI owns Hasselblad. Luminous Landscape published an article with no proof, citing *industry insiders*.... A few gadget sites repeated said story and *BAM* DJI now own Hasselblad. Maybe. But maybe not. I know it's one of photography's favourite statements right now but there's not actually any real data or evidence to back it up.

What is true is that DJI is a major financial stakeholder in Hasselblad. HB, being a privately owned company does not have to provide data on how much and so far they haven't. Sony has a financial stake in Olympus. Leica has financial backers. It's not uncommon.

It's unlikely DJI will actually make this camera. More likely they're protecting their investment by placing a patent in Asia. It's been many times that western patents have been ignored in some parts of Asia. DJI being a Chinese company probably has more chance of design protection in Asia than HB does. I wouldn't be surprised if HB asked DJI to make a patent application in China to protect the X1D design.


Indy Thomas's picture

Leaning a bit too far in the conspiracy field there. Hasselblad is a private company and is under no obligation to disclose its relationships.
Moreover, if it was NOT owned by DJI you would see a lawsuit for design infringement. As DJI wishes to trade in the West it would be subject to legal rulings in the West and thus imperil its position there.
Pretty much settled that DJI owns Hasselblad.
As to them not parading the info, I would note that while some seem to feel racism is not real, DJI, IMO, believes that the ownership of a Swedish company by a Chinese company will be met with anger in some parts as they no doubt observed when Geely announced their acquisition of Volvo.

Rob Davis's picture

You’re assuming “clone” is a pejorative, but I agree it’s common and not a big deal. Still, when it happens, cost is usually the driving factor.

Indy Thomas's picture

In the use of the term on this topic, it implies an illegal copy. The tone of the articles are uniformly skeptical of the propriety of DJI creating a design of what they see as belonging to someone else even, as they acknowledge, DJI owns Hasselblad.

Rk K's picture

They added a joystick, so it might just actually be a 100C with pdaf, faster speed, based on the new sensor.