"Most new high-tech products begin with a high price point and then, over time, increased volume and improved production techniques allow price reductions and more accessible products. Consumers are seeing this everywhere in technology, from flat panel televisions to 35mm digital cameras. Now this is happening in our industry too, although we are at a more mature, technical level than two years ago, which allows both increased system integration and a different pricing approach."
Until now, Poulsen states, there has been no serious medium-format entry-level product at an affordable price. The new, lower price for the Hasselblad H3DII-31, along with the new products, will provide such an entry point, he claims: "In the H3DII-31, 35mm users finally have access to a serious, high-end system. The H3DII-31, combined with the complete line of HC lenses, the new, versatile HCD 35-90mm zoom lens, the HCD 28mm lens and our new HTS 1.5 tilt and shift adapter, provides a complete high-end package that can cover the needs of any serious photographer as well as providing access to all the advanced features and benefits of the H3DII system. Naturally, we're very pleased to be able to lower the entry point to our system and to be able to bring Hasselblad quality to a wider range of photographers."
The new pricing strategy will also entail other changes in Hasselblad's business model, so that most of the upgrade and trade-up programs of the past will become unnecessary.
"Our new pricing will mean that photographers can actually purchase a new camera for more or less the same amount that they would have previously spent on an upgrade," Poulsen comments. "This has two primary effects: it removes the need for complex trade-up programs and it enables photographers to keep their previous camera as a back-up when upgrading to a newer model - a common practice among 35mm users."
The H3DII-39 has a new price of $21,995 (H3DII-39 Multi Shot, $30,995) and the H3DII-31 a new price of $17,995. All three cameras are available for immediate delivery. Priced at $27,995, the H3DII-50 is also available for immediate delivery and the H3DII-60, which will be priced at $35,495, will be available in April 2009. All camera systems will ship in the USA with a Hasselblad 80mm lens.
"It's long been understood," concludes Poulsen, "that for most discerning photographers the only reason not to have a Hasselblad was that you couldn't afford one. But now, with our new pricing, we're bringing the Hasselblad world a little more within reach, enabling a whole new generation of photographers to use our products."