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The Camera Brands’ Melting-Pot

September 20th, 2012 No Comments

    The camera market is in a bit of a tumult – credit (or blame) Leica and Fuji for having started all the ruckus.  Indeed, it’s become like a melting point with new brands arriving and old brands blending and melting into one another.

    How about Samsung and Google (with its Android O.S.) entering the camera market?  Samsung announced a Galaxy camera (to go with its Galaxy tablet and smartphone) at photokina.  

    Actually, the Galaxy camera is not a camera but a hybrid camera-smartphone device that is conceived with wireless technology and the Cloud from the ground up.  Look at it from the front and it’s a camera; look at it from the back and it’s a smartphone!  Samsung’s Sun Hong Lim says, “We combined the best bits of a smartphone with the best bits of a compact camera together.”

    The Galaxy camera probably won’t be the finished article and may not go anywhere but it may well herald a new day for cameras – think of the applications (of this kind of ‘connected’ camera) in photojournalism, war zones, and live sports events.

    Seems like the good folks at Hasselblad are feeling a bit prickly.  The overwhelmingly negative reaction from industry watchers to Hassy getting hitched with Sony (which we blogged about) has provoked a defensive reaction.  

    Briefly, their new Lunar is basically a spruced up Sony NEX 7 but neither Hassy nor Sony want you to believe that.  In a lengthy defence (published in the BJP!) that would cause any American superlawyer to roll his eyes, Luca Alessandrini and Peter Stig-Nielsen of Hasselblad make a precarious situation downright perilous.  The most insightful comment is from one Simon Burgess who commented: “Shame but with the demise of Kodak it’s clear to see that no brand, no matter how iconic, is safe and hasselblad are clearly on the same slippery slope that Kodak were on a few years ago.” 

    Unlike Hasselblad, fellow elite brand Leica definitely has the right partner in mind.  It wants to tap up Apple’s lead designer, Jonathan Ive, to design a new Leica M.  The project is a little lah-de-dah, what with charity auctions and Bono involved; nevertheless, an ideas-and-design interflow between Apple and Leica has none of the discordant notes of a Hassy-Sony marriage. 

    P.S.  Stay tuned to know more about the iCamera, coming from you-know-who.

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