Hasselblad Partners with Sony to Launch Luxury "Lunar" Mirrorless Camera; Plans Full-Frame DSLR in Next Year

September 19, 2012

By Dan Havlik

If you thought Hasselblad only designed medium-format cameras for professionals, you are mistaken. At a standing room only press conference at photokina in Germany today, the company announced it had formed a partnership with Sony and would begin producing an “ultimate luxury” mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera called Lunar.

The Italian-designed camera will ship in the first quarter of 2013 and sell for 5000 Euros, or approximately US $6500. The Lunar will use a 24.3-megapixel APS-C-size image sensor. (An image of the Hasselblad Lunar taken at the press conference is shown above.)

But Hasselblad doesn’t intend to stop with just a mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera. More cameras in other segments will follow.

In addition to the Lunar model, Hasselblad will launch a full frame digital SLR in the next year and a digital compact camera, a line of tripods and luxury accessories in the years that follow, said Larry Hansen, Hasselblad’s Chairman and CEO.

“As I said before, for Hasselblad this is ‘the new dawn,'” Hansen said. “The plan is to move very quickly. Our plan is to show cameras and launch cameras in every sector of the market.”

According to Hansen, 15 years ago, 65% of of Hasselblad’s customers were actually not professionals.

Here are some key features of the Lunar outlined by Hasselblad in a press release today:

•    DSLR-like performance thanks to the highest technology APS-C 24.3 MP sensor with 25AF points focusing matched to an Ultra fast Processor with real time image process ing and accurate RAW to JPEG translation.
•    Accurate composition for both still and video in any light conditions thanks to the Ultra-bright 3” high definition display and revolutionary OLED viewfinder that guarantees superior contrast and ultra fast response.
•    One-touch instant full HD video recording to shoot in Auto or fully manual mode. Focus and exposition control plus the connection for an external microphone and the option to use larger A-mount lenses for professional video creation.
•    Instant shutter response (0.02 second release time lag) ten frames per second and an extremely Wide ISO 100 -16000 range.
•    The camera software includes an exceptionally comprehensive set of creative styles, picture effects, scene selections and the smart ”intelligent face registration” making the shooting experience even more fun.
•    Auto HD, DRO and Anti-motion blur mode.
•    An Innovative TriNavi system for DSLR-like tuning, two flash options and Anti dust system complete the Lunar state-of-the-art package.

While those features may not sound particularly impressive for a camera in the Lunar’s $6500+ price range, it’s clear that the new mirrorless model’s design and build will be its most distinctive  attributes.

The camera, which will have optional handgrips in carbon fiber, wood, or “Italian leather,” was originally designed out of a carved block of wood.

Hasselblad’s design team for the Lunar mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera.

“The camera didn’t come out of a cold computer, it came out of the warm hands of an artist,” said Luca Alessandrini, Hasselblad’s New Business Development Manager. “When you hold this camera in your hands it’s a pleasure, a luxury pleasure.”

The camera is named the Lunar to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hasselblad cameras being in space. It will use Sony’s E-Mount compact system camera lenses and A-mount DSLR lenses with the help of an adapter.