Howling at the Moon

(commentary)

Hasselblad is currently on a world tour showing off the final Lunar (blinged out Sony NEX-7), but it appears that Willoughby's is already listing them as in stock and ready for sitting a long time on shelves at Amazon.

The problem, of course, is that Hasselblad is taking a US$1100 camera, having someone in a back room apply "Italian Design with Swedish Tradition" to give you a big hand grip and ugly knobs, then popping a US$7000 price tag on the result.

"Reinterpreting the appeal of a myth—the legendary 500C of 1957, the first camera to go into space." Okay, that sort of explains the name, but the design looks nothing like the 500C, nor is the Lunar likely to go into space itself any time soon. Sorry, but the connection is completely lost on me. Sure, you made a camera that once went to the moon. But the designer of this concoction seems to be fromthe moon. And how is the 500C a "myth"? Is Hasselblad trying to tell us the moon landing was phony and shot on a Hollywood set?

Nor is "the lens…faithfully reproduced" as it is just a stock Sony E-mount kit lens. How Olive Wood, Mahogany, Carbon Fiber, Tuscan and Black Leather figure with the space-pedigreed 500C, I have no idea, but of course you couldn't charge US$7000 for a camera where the lining, focus screen, and hood were removed. The original cameras in space were stripped to make them light, not blinged up to make them look good should our astronauts have met up with aliens.

Since the Lunar is a really a stock NEX-7, I'm not giving it a separate page on this site. But if you've got money blowing a hole in your pocket…

As I noted in The Danger of Colors, faddish cameras are a bad sign. Basically we have camera companies saying "we don't have any real innovation because these things are commodities now, but if you want to fit into the Beverly Hills scene, we can give you something that'll go with your ensemble really nice."

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