Hasselblad have been a big name and powerhouse in high end professional photography for over 70 years. Producing heavy hitting cameras sent to capture efforts abroad in World War II, to capturing the first steps of Apollo One’s astronauts in their pioneering trip to the Moon in 1969.
In 2003 they started producing DSLR’s, eventually releasing the H5D-50C, their first medium format CMOS sensor.
Whereas Hasselblad have been an iconic cornerstone in medium format photography DJI are a well known Drone and Gimbal producer based out of Shenzhen, China. Founded in 2006 DJI have had a very fast and big impact on the UAV market since the release of their first Drone, the Phantom One, in 2013. Since that time DJI have exploded producing well known drones such as the Phantom, the Inspire, Matrice and most recently the Mavic Pro.
So how can it be that such a legendary brand in photographic history have been bought out by an 11 year old Chinese Drone manufacturer? DJI are of course well known for producing high quality, low cost tools and pumping them out to the masses in large quantities. In the last 5 years drone cinematography has become massive, with an incredibly high proportion of production companies using drones in a wide array of projects.
On top of their huge success with drones, DJI are also well known for their huge success with their electronic Gimbal systems, The Ronin line and more recently the Osmo.
Where DJI have expanded their product lines Hasselblad have remained a niche camera manufacturer pumping out high quality $8,000 medium format cameras and DSLR’s at a steady pace.
So the question is why would a company worth Billions of dollars in the Drone and gimbal market want to buy a company that mainly develop medium format cameras?
DJI have dipped they beaks in the camera market, producing the Zenmuse X5R a camera capable of capturing 4K Raw video at frame rates of up to 30Fps. Although, when it comes to their higher end drones such as the Matrice, professional video producers and filmmakers tend to mount up their RED’s, Arri’s or other high end Video and Cinema cameras.
So does DJI’s acquisition mean that we’re about to see higher end, in house medium format cameras flying around? Maybe even Medium format video?
The prospects are exciting and in the next few years we could see some big advances in aerial photography and cinematography.