There have been several announcements from Hasselblad over the past several weeks, and I wanted to take a moment to write to our photographers and partners to make sure each of you are aware of all of them.
The New H3DII DSLR Family
In the past few weeks, we have been busy around the world launching our 4th generation medium format DSLR, the new H3DII family. Following in the footsteps of the H1D, the H2D, and the H3D; the H3DII is the continuation of a product line that is one of the most successful in Hasselblad history. In addition, we have this week announced our newest camera, the H3DII-39MS a multi-shot version of the H3DII-39.
The H3DII has been available for delivery since the day it was announced. New features in the H3DII include a larger display, a new, more efficient "fan free" cooling technology, an integrated GPS option, and many more features and benefits that can be found on our Web site at www.hasselblad.com.
All of our "H System" cameras, whether film or digital, continue to take advantage of our HC lens line, which independent testing has shown are the finest lenses Hasselblad has ever offered. This includes the new H3DII. This is important to us, since we recognize that many photographers have significant investments in HC lenses, and lenses are the most important and significant long-term investment a photographer makes.
Discontinuing the H2
We have made a decision to discontinue the H2 camera line. Starting with the H1 in 2002, both the H1 and H2 products have served us well, but demand simply no longer justifies the dedicated manufacturing line required for its production. The clear mandate we have received has been to continue to develop products and technologies to help create the best images possible, so we are transitioning resources and bandwidth from the H2 line to the H3DII. This will enable us to keep up with H3DII demand (which has been tremendous), and also help us respond to what the market is asking for â€" DSLR's.
By trimming our product portfolio of models that are no longer in significant demand, we can concentrate more of our resources on what photographers tell us they want â€" the ability to create great images. The best way to do this, as we have stated for years, is in an integrated system where all of the components, from the lens to the capture unit to the software, are designed as a system and are communicating and working together. In short, via an integrated DSLR. The great success of the H3D and H3DII families, as well as the huge success and product strategy of industry giants like Canon and Nikon (as well as products announced by Sinar, Leaf and Mamiya) all confirm that this is the way to go.
The launch of the H2F
The H2F is a greatly simplified "film only" version of the H2, and consequently does not require the same level of manufacturing, R&D, and support overhead the H2 does. It allows us to devote our resources to develop and support products that are in demand, while continuing to support film.
We have over half a century of history with film, and don't want to abandon film manufacturers or photographers. We feel an obligation to continue to offer a film camera as long as possible, and the H2F is a good compromise that allows us to continue to offer a film alternative, while directing most of our R&D, Manufacturing and Support efforts to the digital products that photographers tell us they want.
Future support for the H2 and HC/HCD lenses
At Hasselblad we continue to devote considerable resources to the support of camera systems that, in some cases, are over 40 years old. We pride ourselves on this, as well as our legacy of support. You can be assured that this support will continue with our H1 and H2 installed base, for a minimum of 10 years from the date of purchase.
In addition, a decision to invest in HC/HCD lenses was a good one. Lenses are a critical and important investment, and we are proud that the HC lenses we produced in 2002 are just as useful and valuable in 2007 than they were the day they were produced. The image files captured through these lenses have improved every day since: with new lens perfecting software, with new natural color rendering, and with several other new advances in digital image perfection. This will continue.
Future Support of Hasselblad CF Digital Backs
We will continue to develop new products in the CF camera back line for Hasselblad photographers as well as photographers using other camera platforms, and will support the CF product line as we do our other product lines.
"Hasselblad Care Program" for H-system owners
To support our commitment to the owners of H-system camera products, on November 1, 2007, we are launching the "Hasselblad Care Program". This program is designed to include owners of all H-camera systems, including digital capture devices, regardless of manufacturer. The "Hasselblad Care Program" consists of a set of product enhancement options, all designed to support our photographers and increase the value of Hasselblad H-system products, including:
- Options for trading in current H-system products for a newer or more powerful model. This includes H1/H2 owners, owners of Hasselblad digital back solutions, as well as owners of a H1D or H2D cameras.
- Options for refurbishing a H-system product to full current factory standards
- Options for access to new H-system product information
Last of all, but most importantly, I want to thank you for your continued support and patronage. It is you who have made our great success possible, and we value your business. And, of course, thank you for helping make the H3D and now the H3DII two of the most successful products in Hasselblad's 50+ year history. I hope you find our new product offerings interesting and I trust you will take advantage of our "Hasselblad Care" program .
CEO of Hasselblad.