BiggerDiggler: In two years, BOTH Hasselblad and Sony will be bent over a table with their pants down around their ankles by the newest smartphone technology. They are BOTH going to circle the drain, and so will most of the professional photographers lambasting this abortion, when the next generation of smartphones, pursuant to Moore's Law, will magically turn its ignorant and untrained holder into an unsuspecting Bresson shooting a Leica.
In a $39.95 phone with a two-year contract extension.
Frankly, I will be surprised if Nikon and Canon will be around in ten years, given the exploding capabilities of the smartphone, or ANY professional photographer, for that matter.
What Hasselblad is doing here is a thinly-disguised act of desperation. The writing is on the well. Hasselblad should be congratulated for seeing, albeit at the last moment.
I agree that the ubiquity of cameras in smart devices means everyman is a "photographer." But I have a slightly different take on what path that may lead us down. In the 1930s/40s people thought TV and radio coverage of sports (baseball in particular) would kill in-stadium ticket sales. It did the opposite. It created new fans. I hope smart phone cameras will do the same: build an appreciation for photography and increase market size, But that will only happen if the Nikons/Cannons of the world are able to create devices with the significant performance differentiation from in-devices. That has yet to be seen.
If they fail, we'll be in a different paradigm. Cameras will go in the direction of wristwatches, future relics favored by the old, fashion-conscious or the artiste' set ("e" added for affectation).
I've been involved in some difficult product launches. And here's what typically happens.
80% of the people on the team are frustrated or disheartened by the response. A lot of genuinely professional and well-intentioned people have a lot on the line here. And I feel for them.
20% will insist that the product is the photographic equivalent of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring -- people rioted when it first came out, but over time it was embraced as a classic.
I hope for Hassy's sake the 20% are justified in their optimism. Great company. Great tradition. But this is a tough one. They know the photo community can be brutal.
Be fun to have a Design Your Own Lunar Photoshop contest.
I'm thinking something called the "Rhinestone Cowboy" model white leather encrusted in color beads and swaddled in a leather fringe carrying case.
Or the "Fat Elvis" collectors model with LOTS of gold, a crystal shutter release and an olive green velour case (turquoise clasp, of course)
All I want is a digital X-pan. Is it really that hard.