Breaking: Hasselblad acquired by DJI (rumors)

Hasselblad-logo  DJI-logo
Back in 2014 and 2015 I reported that Hasselblad was in financial trouble and a potential acquisition was a possibility. Then in November, 2015 Hasselblad and DJI formed "strategic partnership”.

Luminous Landscape just reported that Hasselblad was acquired by DJI - this is not official yet and I am actually surprised that LuLa is reporting rumors but they had a close relationship with Hasselblad over the years, so I do believe their report:


"It would be comforting, albeit naive, to think that everything will remain consistent and that no significant changes will take place, but I can assure you that this will not be the case. DJI sees a future in Hasselblad. I’m sure the Chinese market loves a brand like Hasselblad and it will be wildly successful there. But, what about the rest of the world? Can DJI maintain the iconic tradition and sales of such a mature and recognized brand?"

"Information relayed in this article was obtained from numerous credible and reliable sources. Although the final conclusion has not yet been confirmed by Hasselblad or DJI, I am confident in my sources and believe that a formal announcement is forthcoming."

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  • Rob S

    this would seem…..odd.

  • RC Jenkins

    so…um…medium format drones…?

    …or a Micro Four Thirds version of the X1D!?!?! 😀

    • sperdynamite

      They already make a medium format drone.

  • R Leung

    Nikon next?

    • I don’t think so – some predicted Nikon will be first and it did not happen.

      • Zos Xavius

        Isn’t nikon part of the misubishi group? I think nikon could survive for a while if they stay focused.

        • silmasan

          They’re kinda related but independent of each other though.

          • Mistral75

            Different companies, same keiretsu. If you are interested in the Japanese concepts of Zaibatsu and Keiretsu, I would recommend you to read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keiretsu

          • Jeffry De Meyer

            looks like something we need everywhere.

    • Thom Hogan

      If we’re to believe Nikon’s financials, they’re actually a healthy company in terms of fundamentals. Nikon’s problem is negative growth in their two main products (semiconductor equipment and cameras).

  • nzswedespeed

    What does DJI stand to benefit from this?

    • Brand name recognition – Leica and Hasselblad are very popular in Asia (China).

      • BdV

        Exactly. Not sure about many benefits for Hasselblad though, apart from the name existing a bit longer.

        • Well, the benefit for Hasselblad is that they are still alive. This was an acquisition, I think they did not have many options.

        • Thylmuc

          According to the linked article, Hasseblad needs more money to build enough X1Ds. They have full order books, but apparently not enough man power to actually manufacture them.

          • Mistral75

            …nor enough money to finance their working capital requirements.

          • Thom Hogan

            This is the thing that kept me from doing a camera startup company early in the century. The cash demands prior to first delivery—and after first delivery if you have a runaway hit—are enormous. I had VCs that were interested, but not at the funding levels that would be necessary to be well-capitalized through launch.

            You see all the electric car companies struggling with the same issue. It takes deep pockets to get hardware manufacturing of your own into existence. If you try doing it via SE Asia contract manufacturing, all you do is set up a cloning farm from day one.

          • This could explain the recent delays of the X1D.

    • Les

      DJI has the same problem as GoPro. Their main product is hugely successful, but it’s fast becoming a commodity. A GoPro clone can do 99% of what a GoPro can do, at a fifth of the price.

      The consumer drone market will probably stay solid, but it’s fairly obvious that most of the growth will be at the cheap end of the market.

      • duck

        Drone making isn’t as easy as many people think. Karma tried it, and it was karma.

  • AnthonyH

    Guess those drones are pretty profitable. However, I think a new Hasselblad drone will simply be an overpriced DJI drone with an wood handle. And they’re going to need some pretty large drones to carry a Hasselblad camera into the sky. Hmm.

    • Curiousmonga

      those lunar nonsenses are probably what caused the financial trouble to begin with, doubt DJI would make the same mistake

      perhaps Inspire line of drones will be sold under hasselbald as alternatives to DJI’s mainstream Phantoms? among other things I guess

      • Thom Hogan

        No. Read Kevin’s story. Hasselblad has been in and out of trouble for quite some time.

        One thing Kevin doesn’t call out is that PhaseOne is just as proprietary now as Hasselblad tried to be. Capture One won’t be available to support the Fujifilm or Hasselblad medium format cameras because they see them as competitive. NIH is a proven killer.

        • Les

          Thom,

          CaptureOne has not supported competing medium format cameras for over a decade. It’s not a new thing.
          The interesting thing is that they do support Canon and Nikon, whereas Canon and Nikon’s raw developers don’t support other brands.

          • Mistral75

            They also have a specific partnership with Sony and support Pentax cameras other than the medium format 645Z.

            They are specific to Phase One / Mamiya / Leaf as far as medium format cameras are concerned et pretty much oecumenical for the other formats.

          • Thom Hogan

            What is new is that there are now some real competitive players in medium format. And those players won’t be using Capture One. It also starts the slippery slope where people finally realize that standardizing on C1 as their converter means that they might not be able to use it with future cameras. Couple that with C1 being licensed to Sony for the mirrorless cameras, and you start to see how Phase One fumbles the converter wars.

          • Spy Black

            Phase One’s fear if their competition may very well be their undoing. At this point even if they decide to “support” other MF cameras, you have to wonder if they’ll still try to undermine the image quality of the competition.

            This will play well right into Adobe’s hand, not that I want them to get an even stronger stranglehold on the industry. Adobe however will bend over backwards to draw that crowd in.

            It would be great if an effective third party would enter the RAW processing game. I would like to see Serif be that player. Their Affinity Photo and Designer programs have shown they have the potential to be that player.

    • BP2012

      I’m sure that they could easily buy Apollo program from NASA. It shouldn’t cost too much these days.

    • Thylmuc

      that is over. Hasselblad admitted that it didn’t help them, and they refocussed on their business by developping the X1D.

  • I hope this means the price of some of their products will come down.

  • obican

    If a company founded in 2006 can be successful enough to acquire Hasselblad, I’m expecting them to do successful stuff under the Hasselblad name as well.

  • TinusVerdino

    Hopefully that won’t mean the end for professional Hasselblad camera’s. These buzz companies are all about the money. Maybe they will just use Hasselblad tech for aerial photography/surveillance tech and not bother with de studio and wedding photography at all. May even be just the name they want to attach to their product.

  • Matt E-D

    Maybe the execs at DJI are Hasselblad lovers and want to see their longtime dream of a 6×6 sized sensor in a CFV back a reality? That’s what I would do if I owned Hasselblad…

    • Brennan McKissick

      You, like the rest of the world, would be limited by technology and the cost of that. I don’t know why people keep saying this. You act like Hasselblad is holding out on some super special wafer they have sitting around waiting for the right moment. The current largest, “mass produced” sensor is only the size of a 645 negative and the cameras they are in currently cost $33,000 and $50,000 from Hasselblad and PhaseOne respectively.

      • Matt E-D

        Please don’t put words in my mouth… I think it was clear that that was a fantasy, not something real that I think Hasselblad has been holding back. The world really needs a proper sarcasm/joke font for the Internet.

        Also, you need not go upwards of $30k to get a 645 sized sensor; the Leaf Credo 60 is available with a camera and lens for (an obviously still very expensive) price of $24k.

        Although it is not a full 645 chip, the 50mp Sony CMOS sensor showing up in bodies in and around the $10k mark (From Pentax, Hasselblad, and soon Fuji) is a perfect example of how inflated the price of Phase/Hasselblad flagship cameras are. Phase still charges over $30 for their back with the same sensor in it.

        • El Aura

          Does your ‘If I owned Hasselblad’ phrase means (a) ‘If I owned Hasselblad and money were no issue’ or (b) ‘If I owned Hasselblad and had to return it to a path of profitability with limited resources’?

          Because owning Hasselblad is one thing. Not being limited by available money is another. You only stated the first condition but your suggested course of action implies also the second. And if the second conditions applies you could actually fulfil the first one easily by buying Hasselblad as its current (or current before DJI’s acquisition) owners are quite eager to sell it.

          • Matt E-D

            If resources are limited I highly doubt releasing a back with a massive sensor that could only work in their discontinued 500-series cameras (or possibly their V1D concept camera) is the ticket to return to profitability.

            My sarcastic comment was expressing the hope that the DJI execs bought Hasselblad so they could pursue a “cost be damned” fantasy as fans of the brand, NOT because it makes any sort of financial sense…. it was a joke.

  • Licheus

    Sounds pretty solid, as DJI is one of the few Chinese companies in my book that are truly innovative.

    Maybe they could pass a bit of that young spark onto the old and brittle Swedes.

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