The quick and direct answer? No.
A lot has come in over the weekend in regards to the reports that Ventizz Capital will be selling off its ownership of the Swedish camera maker Hasselblad. It’s no secret that Hasselblad is in financial trouble, as the whole medium format segment seems to be under capitalized and lacking direction.
Does Canon have any interest in purchasing Hasselblad? I don’t think so. Canon did have Hasselblad’s books open a few years ago, but that was probably more of a tire kicking exercise than actual interest in purchasing the company.
If I had to wager on a purchaser for Hasselblad, I would go with Silverfleet Capital, who owns Danish medium format company PhaseOne. The second option could be Sony, although I think they’ll enter the segment on their own.
There has been a lot of rumors about Canon making a move into the medium format segment, it’s even been suggested we’ll get a development announcement for such a camera at Photokina in September of this year. Canon has recently moved into security cameras and industrial cameras to find growth in new markets, it would make sense to give an EOS branded medium format system a go.
Sony, a big manufacturer of medium format sensors for the likes of Hasselblad are rumored to be readying a medium format system of their own. It would use the 50mp sensor currently found in the upcoming Hasselblad H5D-50C.
Sensor Type: 50 Megapixels CMOS (8272 x 6200, 5.3 × 5.3 μm)
Sensor Dimensions: 32.9 x 43.8mm (sensor is physically 70% larger than a Full Frame sensor)
Image Size: RAW 3FR capture 65MB on average. TIFF 8 bit: 154MB (on the Hasselblad H5D-50c).
It’s noted that Sony has no interest in competing with Hasselblad or Phase One and that their medium format camera would be something “completely different”. Perhaps a compact MF system?
Sony is being quite aggressive in trying to find new markets in still cameras, and if the system is priced affordably for medium format, they could have a winner if this true.
New revenue streams?
We’ve heard in the past that Canon has expressed interest in acquiring a medium format company. We heard at one point a few years ago Canon had Hasselblad’s books open and were interested in purchasing the legendary Swedish brand. If they had, I doubt this thing would exist….
Another round of rumors has come up about Canon looking into the medium format segment. According to a source at [NL] Canon is already investing heavily in a European medium format manufacturer. It’s suggested that with the decline in the compact camera market, there could be something worthwhile in the higher end, and higher margin space of medium format.
Who could it be? Perhaps Phase One?