Hasselblad And DJI—Strange Bedfellows?

From the we-live-in-interesting-times department, Chinese drone manufacturer DJI has acquired a minority stake in Hasselblad Group. The Shenzhen, China, based DJI—a company that seemed to come out of nowhere—quickly became the dominant player in the ever-growing drone market, while Hasselblad has a long and notable heritage in the medium-format camera arena. According to the press release, both companies will “each focus on their individual strategic directions and related growth opportunities,” but it will be interesting to see what develops from this partnership. DJI recently released its Zenmuse camera system, which includes the Zenmuse S5 Pro and the Zenmuse X5 RAW (www.dji.com/product/zenmuse-x5s) Micro Four Thirds camera systems—the “world’s first” MFT to be designed specifically for aerial photography.


Hasselblad—The First Camera on the Moon, Apollo 11. Photographed by Buzz Aldrin, 1969, with a Hasselblad 500 HDC. NASA/Hasselblad

Hasselblad is no stranger to aerial photography either—from the company’s first camera, an aerial model launched in 1941 and designed for the Swedish Air Force in World War II, to its collaboration with NASA and the iconic photographs captured on the moon with a Hasselblad 500 HDC. More recently, Hasselblad developed the H4D aerial system in 2011 and the H5D aerial system this year. www.hasselblad.com/special-applications/h5d-aero

To quote character Ned “Scotty” Scott from the 1951 movie, The Thing from Another World, “Watch the skies, everywhere. Keep looking, keep watching the skies”—not for aliens but, perhaps, for the first DJI/Hasselblad drone/camera collaboration. Stranger things have happened.

© Theano Nikitas

More in the press release below:

Hasselblad and DJI Form Strategic Partnership
DJI acquires minority stake in Hasselblad Group, creating synergies between the world’s leading imaging technology companies

Gothenburg and Shenzhen, 5 November 2015 – Hasselblad Group, the leader in high-quality professional cameras, and DJI, the world’s most-innovative aerial technology company, today announced a corporate partnership through DJI’s acquisition of a strategic minority stake in Hasselblad. DJI joins Hasselblad’s Board of Directors.

The partnership will allow opportunities and new ways of combining the technical knowledge and inventive spirit of the two industry leaders in their respective fields.

“We are honored to be partnering with DJI, the clear technology and market leader in its segment,” said Perry Oosting, Hasselblad’s CEO. “DJI and Hasselblad are equally enthusiastic about creativity and excellence, and we are looking forward to sharing technical expertise and paving the way for future innovations.”

“Hasselblad and DJI share a passion to provide creative people with cutting-edge, inventive technology to help them take visual storytelling to the next level,” said Frank Wang, DJI’s Founder and CEO. “With this partnership, we combine our strengths to further push the borders of what’s possible in imaging technology.”

Hasselblad and DJI will each focus on their individual strategic directions and related growth opportunities, with marketing and branding platforms continuing to delineate the two companies. Hasselblad cameras and equipment will continue to be handmade in Sweden, and DJI will continue to make products in Shenzhen, China. The partnership further establishes DJI’s leadership in the professional camera technology space.

DJI recently launched the modular Zenmuse camera system, including the Zenmuse X5 Pro and the Zenmuse X5 Raw – the world’s first Micro-Four-Thirds camera optimized for moving in space.

Hasselblad has a history of aerial photography, with its technology used in space on several NASA missions, including the first landing on the moon and several of the Apollo missions. Over the course of the company’s 75-year long history, the majority of Hasselblad’s business has focused on traditional medium-format cameras and photography equipment. In recent years, the company has made meaningful investments and announced significant product launches within the aerial arena, making a partnership with DJI a natural progression of the business.

For more information, visit Hasselblad online: www.hasselblad.com

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