Hasselblad has a new thingy out. Woo hoo!
Ming Thein, the newest Hasselblad Ambassador, has a big ol' announcement on his web site, touting all the glorious features of the Phase One 100 Megapick.. I mean the Hasselblad WonderThing. Interestingly, LuLa has nothing, although they did have an on-time announcement of Phase One's thing. Indeed, Kevin mentions that P1 called him up and told him he had to hustle because they were moving up the launch date.
Ok, so we have some selected mouthpieces for the two camps, and the two vendors have decided who's friendly and who's not (one imagines that there might be an element of payment involved, but there's no evidence particularly). The two mouthpieces named are well understood to have the ears of well-heeled amateurs. Thus, the pitch is that these are the ultimate machines, absolutely professional grade, this is what Real Pros Use, and so on. There's even the business about New Magic Lenses, as if covering a 645 frame at 100 lp/mm was a new thing that wasn't pretty well sorted out 30 years or more ago.
I can find any number of pros named ProCameraGuy on forums who not only use this equipment, but know tons of other pros who do. What I cannot find is any actual identifiable professional photographers who do (apart from the paid shills in the promo videos and, to be honest, I haven't heard of any of those dudes either). Actual identifiable professionals use 35mm full frame or smaller sensors, because they can do basic math and own some software
Chuck a couple of things into the mix. Hasselblad is owned by a private equity firm that mainly has technology plays. But, they parachuted in a CEO from the luxury goods world to fix their "ok, bolting wooden handles on to Sony cameras isn't going so great" strategy. Per Oosting is the real deal, he knows how to sell luxury goods. He talks a good fight about passion for photography and creating the finest whatever, but make no mistake, he's there to shift cameras to rich Chinese who want a status symbol. Period, full-stop. It's literally what he does. Hiring him to run a camera company that wants to build superb tools for professional photographers makes as much sense as hiring Taylor Swift to manage your datacenter deployments.
Hasselblad has rebooted their luxury product effort, which they started with the stupid re-branded Sony products. That went noplace, so their private equity guys dropped in Oosting to fix it. Turns out that you can's shift a thing as an Object of Desire if nobody Desires it. Bolting lumber on to Sony cameras doesn't make people Desire them, it makes people laugh at you, it turns out. So that's gonna be a problem, because the well-heeled Chinese may be status conscious, but they do read the Internets. So Oosting has put together a program for making H credible again. First you make an object that people desire, then you sell it by the trainload to status-conscious idiots. The fact that the new thing looks a lot like the second generation of failed Lytro products may not be that bright, but it looks pretty distinctive, and that is absolutely vitally important.
H is an almost pure luxury play, and has been since their private equity parent bought them, Though they might be toying with a multi-pronged approach a la Phase One, I am dubious. If they can succeed in parlaying the Hasselblad brand into something serious numbers of well-heeled idiots buy, I predict they'll dump the scanners and aerial cameras, because that's the right thing to do. Stay on target, guys.
Hasselblad may be in some sense "getting back to their roots, pure photography, ideal machines for capturing the blah blah blah" but make no mistake, they're only doing it because they have to, and they're only doing it to the extent that they need to. Louis Vuitton needs to make luggage that actually prevents its contents from disgorging themselves all over the jetway, but just barely. H's trouble was that they, metaphorically, were making luggage that literally could not contain objects. Oosting's contribution can probably be summarized as "Jesus Christ you retards, the luggage has to actually hold the shit inside, our customers are rich idiots but they, unlike you, are not morons." (although, to be fair, the backlash against Sony+Lumber was probably not predictable, that particular scam might have gone beautifully.)
Anyways, it's all very fun to watch. The key point to keep in mind here is that every single person with any actual information is lying his ass off, and almost everyone else is a dupe.
It's Bulgari watches all over again: Fucking ASTRONAUTS use our watches ON THE FUCKING MOON! You should totally buy a watch that does not keep accurate time for $10,000!!!!! IT'S MADE OF STEEL AND SHIT AND IT KEEPS WATER OUT SOME OF THE TIME!