Perry Oosting, CEO of Hasselblad has been on the job for just under 2 years. During this time he has been challenged with bringing Hasselblad back to its roots and preparing the company to meet the challenges of the ever-changing photography market. To his credit he realized that Hasselblad was headed downhill with the blinged out, re-badged third party cameras. He terminated these products and challenged his team to develop a new medium format mirrorless camera, the X1D.
Perry also had his team redesign the H6D with an all new platform design under the hood. While the H6D may look like earlier models, the insides are all new. The H6D is available with a 50 or 100-megapixel sensor. The X1D has a 50-megapixel sensor. It’s a pretty remarkable feat to deliver a new camera platform in the time frame that Hasselblad had with the X1D.
During the time I have known Perry, I have found him to be extremely friendly, very open and totally committed to seeing Hasselblad succeed with it’s new products. As many readers know Hasselblad has been challenged in many ways over the last few years. The company is owned by a venture-capital firm, Ventizz Capital Fund IV as well as an investment by DJI.
As with any company that is owned by multiple shareholders, the upper management is going to come under pressure to deliver sales and profits. This has been a significant difficulty over the last few years for Hasselblad and the revamped H product line as well the X1D just might be what is needed to put the company back on its feet.
This year has proven to be even more challenging. The earthquakes in Japan delayed chip deliveries for 50 and 100-megapixel backs for months. Meanwhile, Hasselblad has been reporting strong sales for the H6D 50C as well as the H6D 100C. Pre-orders for the X1D have been beyond Hasselblad’s projections. However, if you don’t have chips you can’t make cameras.
As Perry shares in this video interview, the chips are now being delivered again and Hasselblad is working hard to fulfill back orders. This may still take months to complete. Demo versions of the X1D have been shipping to dealers over the last few weeks, and customer orders are expected to ship mid-November. Since there are a large number of orders for the X1D, Hasselblad is doing what it can to strengthen its production line to meet the high demand and fulfill customer orders.
Until deliveries begin in higher volume, cash flow will be slow for Hasselblad, and this makes investors nervous. Perry and his team, many of whom I have met, know and talked with, are working super hard to see that these cameras are delivered, and the R&D team is working hard to add new features through firmware to the X1D after it is released. I know that the industry, as well as photographers, want to see Hasselblad succeed and many are looking forward to receiving the X1D and the H6D cameras as soon as possible.
Please enjoy this interview with Perry. It is the second I have done with Perry, and I hope we will be doing more in the future. Our next video will be a guided tour of the X1D with Ove Bengtsson, Product Manager for Hasselblad. See the X1D in action.
I want to thank Perry and his team for the opportunity to have an extended conversation and hope you enjoy the interview.