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(Pocket-lint) - Hasselblad has announced a partnership agreement with Sony to move the Swedish manufacturer into the more consumer end of the digital camera market.

There are plans to explore "new products for DSLR and compact camera segments" together, using the Hasselblad brand, but the first fruit to be borne from the agreement will be the Hasselblad Lunar, a mirrorless compact system camera that the company claims "revives the timeless charm of the 500C", the 1957 camera that was the first to be taken into Space.

The Lunar will feature an APS-C full frame 24.3-megapixel sensor and Hasselblad promises that the sensor size is the same as "most DSLR cameras". It also features an anti-dust system, including a static free sensor coating and ultrasonic vibration with automatic and manual activation.

There's a 25-point autofocus system, with a user-selectable flexible spot, and a BIONZ processor runs the show. This enables real time image processing and RAW to JPEG conversion, among other things.

The view finder is electronic, with a 2,359K dot OLED screen and 100 per cent frame coverage. And the rear display is a 3-inch 921K dot LCD screen with tilt functionality.

Other features include 10 frames per second shooting speed, wide ISO range of 100-16000, video recording in Full HD (1080p60/24), and 0.02 seconds release time lag on the shutter button.

The Hasselblad Lunar's battery life is claimed to be able to take up to 430 still images or 100 minutes of movie with the LCD monitor before needing a recharge.

It can shoot in RAW and JPEG and the memory card slot is capable of accepting Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, SD, SDHC or SDXC cards.

The camera weighs 420g and measures 140 x 83 x 67mm and will accept Sony lenses in both E-mount and A-mount flavours.

It will be available early next year (2013), although no prices have been mentioned as yet.

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Writing by Rik Henderson.