(Pocket-lint) - The Hasselblad name tends to conjure up images of studio pros snapping celebrities with the company's £25,000 HD-series medium format cameras. But Hasselblad is undergoing something of a change: when company CEO Larry Hansen took to the stage at Hasselblad's Photokina press conference he promised not only a full-frame DSLR and high-end compact camera in the future but also unveiled - drum roll please - the company's mirrorless compact system camera, the Hasselblad Lunar.
It came from outer space… well, it came from Sony by the looks of things. The clues are there en masse: the Lunar uses Sony's E-mount lens fitting, while sensor duties are catered for by a 24-megapixel, APS-C-sized CMOS sensor - we suspect the very same one as found in the NEX-7. The electronic viewfinder, too, is the same OLED panel as found in the NEX-7.
Although most of the Lunar models - and we're talking cameras here, not NASA space robots - were tucked away behind glass on the Hasselblad stand, Pocket-lint was able to get our mitts on a fully functioning prototype. Yup, despite the numerous designs that Hasselblad has been tinkering with - just take a look through the gallery below to get an idea - we were surprised to have one up and running to such a level of completion.
But when it came to it, we were less surprised: from the rear the Lunar is very much like the Sony NEX-7, but with a large, over-designed grip attached to the side. This camera sure looks like it came from the future, or certainly a spaced-out mind.
The two dials on top of the camera are also a little awkwardly placed for single-hand use, as the second one doesn't offer that thumbwheel-style control.
The Lunar makes use of a 25-point autofocus system - we presume this is much like the hybrid AF system in the Sony NEX-6, but there's no confirmation of this at the moment - which is matched with a near-instant shutter.
When we first got to grips with the model we had a brief heart-in-mouth moment when we thought that Hasselblad had started to make its own set of E-mount lenses. But, alas, the Hasselblad-branded lens on the front of the Lunar we played with is nothing more than a re-branded Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Then there's the Lunar's astronomical - c'mon, it had to be said - 5000 Euro estimated price tag. Although it might be a jazzed up NEX-7, how it can possibly be five times the price is beyond us. Unless, of course, it came from far into the future where inflation is more in line with the high price.
We love Hasselblad kit, but this mirrorless model doesn't really bring much to the party. If anything it's just a rebranding of a Sony product under a "partnership" that's not going to bring a great deal to the consumer in practical terms, and particularly not at that price. Yep, we're making that unimpressed face.