Drone manufacturer DJI has acquired a strategic minority stake in the high end, Swedish camera manufacturer Hasselblad. It may seem to be a surprising move but DJI recently released a micro four thirds aerial camera for the Inspire 1 quadcopter after having earlier joined the MFT group which includes Panasonic.
Perhaps this collaboration with Hasselblad, which will give DJI a seat on the board, will lead to larger, higher definition, airborne cameras for the drone manufacturer's bigger aircraft. Hasselblad began as an aerial camera maker in the Second World War and since then their cameras have even been to the moon with American astronauts.The Hasselblad H5D aerial camera
They still make very sophisticated cameras for aerial work; cameras that can shoot on 50 to 80 megapixel sensors. Up to eight of the units can be synchronised to shoot at the same time. Their sensors are almost twice the size of the type found on full frame DSLRs and they can take lenses from 24mm to 300mm. This makes them ideally suited for mapping and surveying work. It's a growing market and one that DJI must be keen to exploit.
Here's the official press release that announced the move:
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.”Lunar astronaut Neil Armstrong with a Hasselblad camera.
“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.The Hasseblad A5D aerial camera