Explainers FPMay 24, 2022 5:59:46 PM IST
Photography lovers will learn about everything a legacy carried by camera brands such as Hasselblad and Leica. There is a reason why experienced photographers who shoot for the best magazines and advertising agencies, as well as scientists, like to use cameras and lenses of both these brands.
This is one of the main reasons why smartphone makers such as OnePlus and Xiaomi are collaborating with manufacturers of older cameras, at least on the surface. However, the reasons for both of these partnerships go far beyond inheritance earnings. We’ll look at a few reasons why smartphone makers like OnePlus and Xiaomi are collaborating obsolete camera manufacturers such as Hasselblad and Leica.
Brand recall in European markets
The name Hasselblad and Leica carry a lot of weight when it comes to photography in European markets. While Xiaomi has worked well in Europe, OnePlus has struggled in the European market. As of April 2022, Xiaomi occupies about 15 percent of the market in Europe, while OnePlus occupies less than 2 percent. In contrast, smartphone makers such as Apple and Samsung, which are known for their exemplary real-life camera performance, hold about 27 and 33 percent of the market share, respectively. OnePlus’s market share in Europe actually increased after they partnered with Hasselblad.
The connection of the smartphone manufacturer with the well-known manufacturer of the legacy camera gives the impression that the product developed through the partnership will be as good as the products of the manufacturer of old cameras. OnePlus and Xiaomi tried to count on it. OnePlus had camera issues from the start. However, by collaborating with Hasselblad, they have been able to demonstrate themselves as experts in the field, although in reality their cameras are still struggling with most of the cameras that are in other flagship devices. The partnership between OnePlus and Hasselblad also requires Hasselblad ambassadors, who are some of the best photographers on Earth, to work closely with smartphone makers, suggesting how they can improve their image science.
Borrowing color science
None of the OnePlus phones that come with the Hasselblad logo have the physical components developed by Hasselblad. Instead, they have the science of color that is part of creating the modern Hasselblad. In its very elementary form, this can be seen as a filter, although this would not be entirely true of either OnePlus or Hasselblad. Smartphone cameras tend to oversaturate colors and sometimes inflate the dynamics to the core. What Hasselblad does for OnePlus basically teaches them how not to do it. It can be assumed that Leica will do the same for Xiaomi.
Image processing lessons
Cameras for smartphones, especially from Chinese brands such as Xiaomi and OnePlus, have always tended to recycle and sharpen images. Now, in well-lit conditions, they are difficult to detect, as the images tend to match. However, this becomes a serious problem if the lighting conditions are not ideal. Outdated camera brands, such as Hasselblad and Leica, are also responsible for educating smartphone makers on how to do this.
Future hardware collaboration
Another aspect that this partnership can lead to is the possible collaboration with the equipment. If something like this actually happens, the photo on the smartphone will see a shift in the tectonic paradigm. Having said that, let’s be true, no matter how good a camera is for a smartphone, it will never be able to completely replace professional full-frame chandeliers and mirrorless cameras. Sure, they’ll do the job for most people and use them on social media, but they won’t give up on professionals. And let’s not even start smartphones close to medium format or 120 format. Before that there are eons.
Money for old brands
Finally, we come to the benefits that Hasselblad and Leica will benefit from this partnership. OnePlus has been paying Hasselblad more than $ 150 million over three years, and in all likelihood, their partnership will go beyond that. Similarly Xiaomi has to pay Leica a bunch of money. For camera manufacturers selling less than 10,000 units a year, the money raised from these partnerships will be very useful.
What’s more, older cameras such as Hasselblad and Leica are very well known in Asian markets. However, their visibility is almost zero, especially among people who are not engaged in photography. Partnerships with some of the best-selling smartphone brands will no doubt come in handy when these older camera makers enter the wider camera market with their budget offerings if they take ones like Nikon, Canon and Sony.