Three Years Ago, Hasselblad Announced the Sony a99. Let’s Be Thankful They’re Not Doing This Anymore

A few years ago, the weirdest thing happened: Hasselblad announced the Hasselblad HV–which as much as they claimed otherwise, is a rebadged Sony a99 camera. In fact, my headline upset them and cut me off of their press list for a while. Now what Hasselblad did isn’t exactly new. Companies have been working together on collaborations for a while. Leica and Minolta did it years ago to create one of the most famous ones: the Leica CL. Leica also works closely with Panasonic in a similar respect. Hasselblad decided to try this with Sony and unfortunately for them, it backfired pretty hard.

We all laughed, all of us. If you enter forums, Reddit, or other conversations on the web you’ll read someone saying that they’re so glad that the Hasselblad of today is actually trying to innovate. And they truly have with the Hasselblad X1D. With their old CEO out of his position though, the company is going to see some new steering and we’re going to need to see how they pan out. But I’m sure that we won’t anything like the Hasselblad HV happen again.

For those of you who never heard of the Hasselblad HV though, the company took the original Sony a99, put their label on it, made it look like Robocop and found ways to make it luxurious. They didn’t only do this with the a99 though–it happened with other cameras. There was “rare wood” involved in the creation process.

By all means, the cameras weren’t ugly at all but instead looked like something Sony could’ve easily put out themselves without Hasselblad’s help. 

Interestingly enough, they still command quite a price tag due to their being a collector’s item. With that said though, I’m still unsure as to who’d actually purchase one. My buddy Steve Huff purchased one of the Hasselblad rebadged Sony cameras when they were being offered at a ridiculously low price point. But otherwise, many collectors tend to go straight for Leica cameras and film cameras. Collecting digital products is just something that doesn’t have as much appeal with the exception of old video game systems, old Apple products, etc.

Either way, let’s be thankful this doesn’t happen anymore and that Hasselblad has started shipping the X1D cameras.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.