Snapshot Voyager is about my own personal photography journey. I am always looking to try something new, inquisitive as to how it works, and to the end results I might achieve.

Friday, 2 August 2013

The cynicism of the Hasselblad Lunar and Stellar

I know I am not alone, but I think the new Hasselblad Lunar and Stellar are just weird cameras.  It is not that the cameras are weird, their base cameras, the Sony NEX 7 and RX100 are excellent, even exceptional cameras; its just that adding a bit of wood and different dials, then quadrupling the price is just plain cynical and unscrupulous.  To command a premium, these cameras need to have something functionally unique about them, not just fancy (or even gaudy) cosmetics.  By this I mean a unique lens and/or sensor and/or software, something to set the camera apart, something that makes the photographs better.

High end buyers like bespoke craftsmanship, however this must be accompanied by something functionally outstanding or unique that can't be got elsewhere.  Take a high end luxury car like a Bentley or an Aston Martin, for example.  As well as being fantastically beautiful and expertly hand crafted, their driving experience is unique.  You feel special when you use the product, knowing that you and a only a few others could experience this.  A Hasselbald Lunar and Stellar would just leave you with the feeling you could get the same experience for much, much less money.

Electronics don't work well as small volume, niche items.  The need volume to pay off their development, and their disposability means that people do not value them as a long term purchase.  Leica has always struggled with this, and it is why they entered into their partnership with Panasonic.

Leica though has proven you can charge a premium for a fancy label, even if another camera is functionally identical.  However, Leica's premium is not many multiples of the original product, and really Leica is the gold standard for camera brands, to which Hasselblad's brand strength does not match up.

Hasselblad's Lunar and Stellar will be a failure, not because they are bad cameras, but because high end buyers don't like being ripped off.

Nikon D600 and Nikon 28mm f1.8 AF-S

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