The Hasselblad Stellar, a re-badged Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100.

Update: Hasselblad has responded to our questions about the design center closure. It confirms that the center has closed, but states that it 'will not have any effect on our production or product portfolio'. It appears that while the northern Italy facility is gone, the re-badged Sony cameras may be here to stay.

It appears that Hasselblad has closed its Treviso design center in northern Italy, according to a report from Photoscala. The company may be known for its professional medium format cameras, but over the last year the camera-maker has also introduced a number of rebranded Sony cameras aimed at 'amateur photo-enthusiasts who demand the ultimate in both style and performance'. The Treviso facility was responsible for these projects and its closing seems to signal an end to this strategy.

Three years ago, Hasselblad partnered with Sony and opened the Treviso Hasselblad Design Center. While Sony continued to manufacture the internals of the camera parts in Japan, Hasselblad designers equipped the outside with their signature style, including hand crafted wood and high quality materials.

As one would guess, adding Hasselblad’s name to the cameras also steeply increased their prices. As an example, Sony’s a99 DSLR was 'upgraded' to the Hasselblad HV; they were internally identical, but the HV body carried a hefty price tag of €8500/$11,500 compared to the a99's body-only price of €2000/$2800 when it was introduced.

We contacted Hasselblad but haven't been able to confirm the facility closure or whether the re-badged Sony cameras will continue to be produced, either by Hasselblad or a third party.