Hasselblad and Foveon Partners in Professional Digital Camera

Swedish camera manufacturer Victor Hasselblad AB today announced at Photokina 2000 that they have combined efforts with Silicon Valley-based Foveon, Inc. to create the Hasselblad DFinity, a digital camera developed through the cooperation of two companies who are leaders in their fields. The new camera will be the embodiment of Hasselblad's tradition of developing highest image quality camera solutions for the professionals with the ability of Foveon to develop unique image capture technology.

In the creation of this innovative digital camera, the two companies concentrate on their core competencies to develop a solution that combines the mechanical and optical expertise of Hasselblad with the CMOS-based imaging engine of Foveon.

President and CEO of Victor Hasselblad AB, Göran Bernhoff, said of the cooperation, "We see Foveon as a very strong partner in the development of a photographic solution that will bring our customers the image quality they have been accustomed to in conventional film, also in the digital field. We see this as a first step in a fruitful cooperation where we combine the capabilities of our respective companies that will result in a series of compelling products for our customers."

Hasselblad DFinity will initially be sold by Victor Hasselblad AB as a special applications camera only for scientific, medical, archival and other digital imaging applications as well as to system integrators. Hasselblad DFinity owners will benefit from the emphasis on image quality, productivity, and immediacy built into the product.

The Market Opportunity
Until now, professional photographers have had to make a choice between the undesirable image artifacts created by single-shot, single-chip cameras using mosaic filter sensors and three-shot backs that are essentially free from artifacts but can't be used to capture moving subjects. The Hasselblad DFinity changes this situation by integrating Foveon prism technology with three of its CMOS image sensors to improve color reproduction while providing protecting against moiré and other unwanted imaging artifacts found in the singlesensor cameras and backs.
"There's no doubt that the Foveon imaging engine, which consists, in part, of three 2Kx2K sensors mounted on a prism, results in superior images. Creating leading-edge CMOS-based sensor technology and reducing color artifacts are two of the pillars that Foveon is based on. We´re extremely pleased that Hasselblad, a leader in professional image quality for over 50 years, recognizes the power and purity of this approach," said Carver Mead, Foveon's founder and Chairman of the Board.

"For several years Hasselblad has chosen not to market our own digital single-shot product for reasons of image quality. Only now with the Hasselblad DFinity concept can we truly say that the image quality matches that of film. This camera has the potential to replace today's three-shot backs as well as breaking new digital ground in applications such as portrait and fashion" says Patrik Mark, Vice president Marketing, Victor Hasselblad AB

Victor Hasselblad - Backgrounder
Founded in 1941 by Victor Hasselblad, a creative businessman and dedicated photo enthusiast, the company has successfully developed the worlds most extensive and acknowledged medium format camera system. The Hasselblad system is a modular camera system recognized for superior image quality, reliability and ease of use as well as its lasting value. Used by professionals and amateurs alike, Hasselblad cameras are sold and supported through an extensive network of subsidiaries, distributors, dealers and service stations in over 70 countries. The company employs some 400 people of whom the majority in Göteborg, Sweden, where the cameras are produced through quality assured methods combining fine mechanics, advanced electronics, modern production technology and traditional craftsmanship.

Hasselblad has long been committed to the advancement of digital photography. In 1992 Hasselblad introduced the world's first 3-shot digital back for use with the Hasselblad medium format camera system, the Hasselblad DB4000. Since then the Hasselblad camera system has become synonymous with high-end digital photography as the most popular system for digital backs. The company has also worked closely with a large number of digital back manufacturers in order to support and develop the various digital back concepts. Hasselblad was also the initiator and close partner to Philips in the development of the 2K x 3K mosaic chip which is commonly used in many of today's single-shot digital solutions.

Hasselblad Special Applications means products sold to select customers that are supported mainly from Hasselblad headquarters. NASA is perhaps the best-known example where Hasselblad cameras have been on board every manned space mission since 1962 including all the Apollo missions to the moon.

Foveon - Backgrounder
Founded in 1997 by computer pioneer Dr. Carver Mead, Foveon, Inc. is dedicated to bringing unprecedented innovation and image quality to professional photography through its development of core technologies, product design and industry leadership. Dr. Mead is best known as one of the leading forces in VLSI design methodology and is credited with many pioneering contributions in solid-state electronics. He is also recognized as the inventor of the key gallium arsenide MOSFET transistor in the 1960s, the basis for today's telecommunications technology, including cellular, satellite, and fiber optics networks. Dr. Mead holds 50 patents and recently won the prestigious $500,000 MIT Lemelson Award, presented annually to a living American Inventor who has significantly contributed to society through invention. The company has a lead in technology through the combined competence from its employees with backgrounds from companies such as Hasselblad, Apple, National Semiconductor, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratories and Xerox Palo Alto Research.

For further information and images please contact:
Victor Hasselblad AB, Patrik Mark, +46-31-102400, +46 705 45 25 55, patrik.mark@hasselblad.se.
Victor Hasselblad AB website: www.hasselblad.com

Foveon, Inc., Erica Cottrill, +1-330-4671478, erica1@adelphia.net
Foveon, Inc. website: www.foveon.net


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