By BENGT NYMAN
The long disputed direction of Hasselblad into laughable rebranding exercises of marginally successful Sony camera products may finally be coming to an end. Mr. Ian Rawcliffe replaces Dr. Larry Hansen as CEO and chairman of the board of Hasselblad.
Rawcliffe who? Businessweek, February 24, 2014:
Mr. Ian Rawcliffe has been the Chief Executive Officer of Victor Hasselblad AB since November 2013. Mr. Rawcliffe played a vital role in the successful implementation of the Victor Hasselblad’s ongoing expansion process. By ensuring a quick production ramp-up and smooth distribution of the new Hasselblad luxury cameras and professional flagship system H5D, he effectively completed Hasselblad’s entry into the consumer markets.
However, Ian Rawcliffe has been the chief operating officer of Victor Hasselblad AB since early 2013. As such it is unclear exactly who has been responsible for what. However, judging from the high profile that Larry Hansen has insisted on it appears that Ian Rawcliffe has had to do what he was told, up until now.
There is a fine line between laughable rebranding of Sony products and a meaningful cooperation between Hasselblad and Sony. Hasselblad now has the opportunity to get back into serious photography. Hasselblad’s major market is in handheld and supported medium format photography such as landscape, fashion and studio.
In conjunction with Hasselblad going to CMOS image sensors, the cooperation with Sony could be a very good thing. Hasselblad now has the opportunity to introduce real innovation in form of full grip DSLR products like their new 50MP H5D-50c with a fast CMOS sensor. I hope that Hasselblad also envisions the future of fast and quiet mirrorless cameras in both full-frame and medium format image systems.
Hasselblad is likely to stay with the DSLR concept for yet some time. However, considering that part of their market tethers their cameras to PCs, laptops or pads, a fast and quiet mirrorless camera with or without an EVF would be a natural path of evolution for Hasselblad cameras.
Welcome back Hasselblad. We have been missing you.