Test-Driving the Hasselblad Stellar Special Edition Digital Camera

Hassleblad Stellar

There is elegance in the application of excellence, and one look at the Hasselblad Stellar Special Edition Digital Camera should crystallize this concept. For those who appreciate the beauty of ultimate design, the value of fine materials in an era of plastic, and the cognizance to employ a graceful and dignified camera at an auspicious event, here is the camera for you.  


Hasselblad, the company known for designing and producing the finest professional medium-format camera systems, has made an excursion into the luxury compact-camera market. One of the resulting models is the Stellar, in three distinct color-and-wood combinations. It is a device for the select few who want a camera that not only provides excellent imaging, but also offers a superior level of attention to detail: details in ergonomics, materials, and panache. The Stellar is more than your next camera—it's a collector’s item.

Hassleblad Stellar top

The physical presence of the Hasselblad Stellar is difficult to put into in words. It's a compact shooter with a gracefully designed wooden handgrip and high-grade materials all around. It begs to be held and, when you do hold it, the Stellar rewards with a perfectly balanced feel. The camera is adorned in your choice of five restyled metal body casings, and you get your pick of a very comfortable rare wood or carbon-fiber grip. It also sports finely crafted Italian leather wrist and neck straps. I had the opportunity to shoot with a two-tone orange-and-silver Stellar that featured a wenge wood grip. For those not up to speed on exotic wood, wenge is a dark, tight-grained, mar-resistant African hardwood.


First impressions count for something in this world, and the lacquered wood box that houses the Stellar affirms that this camera is held in high esteem. It's both impressive looking and form fitted to hold the camera and straps snugly. While the case is a nice bonus, the Stellar is really meant to be proudly seen and used. Remember, this camera takes high-resolution pictures and videos.

Hassleblad Stellar box

Imaging is handled by a large, 20.2MP 1" CMOS sensor, and its Carl Zeiss lens opens up to a bright f/1.8 at the wide end of the zoom range. A rear control dial and customizable front control ring enable you to make changes to the camera settings quickly and easily. To better guarantee sharp, blur-free images, the Hasselblad Stellar features optical image stabilization. Video capture is available at 1080/60p, with Dolby Digital sound and full manual control. Like the body, the operation controls are made of durable, handsome metal.  


The specs of the Hasselblad Stellar are shared by the Sony RX100—a camera that virtually redefined the point-and-shoot class of cameras. Having owned and enjoyed that model, I found the layout and controls of the Stellar to be assuredly familiar and its compact build and wooden grip add a great measure of ergonomic security to the experience of using this unquestionably fine camera.

Hassleblad Stellar lens

The Hasselblad Stellar Special Edition initially sold for more than $3,000.00. For a limited time, B&H is offering these unique cameras for far less, and will include the aforementioned straps and box as well as an 8GB memory card, anti-dust pouch, and Adobe Lightroom download. Is it worth the asking price? Sensible sedans and luxury automobiles are equally capable of transporting you from point A to point B, but the latter provides a carefully orchestrated ride that makes driving a pleasure. This is what the Stellar is about. There are only a limited number available, and right now you can get one for less than a third of its original asking price. Hanging around your local Rolls Royce dealership won’t catch you a break like that.


Though I own several Fuji Mirrorless cameras and a Leica I find this one more useful to me especially on street photography. Compact and very intuitive lucky to have one

The instruction manual included with this camera is less than stellar.  Are other manuals/guides available?

Unfortunately, I don’t know of another guide for the Hasselblad Stellar.  I haven’t been able to find any third party guides, or in depth books for the camera.

Does this come with Lightroom? A few blogs have mentioned it.

Does this have manual focus control? Or is it only automatic?

Yes, the Hasselblad Stellar has manual focus.

All current prices can be found on the product pages for each of the cameras discussed in this article.

Acabo de comprar uma Hasselblad Stellar. A camara no seu conjunto é uma obra de arte, não pode ser comparada com outras camaras similares apenas pelas caracteristicas técnicas, deve ser vista como um objecto de luxo, um objecto exclusivo.

Quem compara esta câmara com outras apenas pelo preço é alguem que não usa perfume, apenas sabão, desloca-se de Kia, não de BMW ou Mercedes e não veste calças Levis, apenas jeans chineses comprados na feira, porque são mais baratos.

Sou dono de 2 Nikon D90, de 1 Leica D Lux 4, não foi pelas caracteristicas técnicas da Stellar que a comprei.


Bought the orange/wenge about 2 weeks ago. It was advertised as "shipped with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom". When I opened the box, the manual lists Adobe Photoshop Lightroom DVD as being included.   There was no DVD and there was no information about a download. How does one get the Adobe Photoshop?  

I am very sorry the software was not included with your camera when you received it.  Unfortunately we are not able to resolve issues such as this here on this forum.  You must contact our Customer Service Dept directly, either via telephone or email, and they can work to resolve this with you.  You may submit an email to [email protected] or call directly at 800.221.5743 or 212.239.7765.  Thank you.

I would buy this if it was $500 or less. The price being cut like this is not a gift, it's an effort to get rid of these.


I use the Sony rx100 m2 which has the video features of the rx1003, but has the 28-100 lens. The 3 has a 24-70 lens and a viewfinder which was an accessory on the 2. Same sensor. Get the Sony or the Audio Technica wireless microphone which makes the video really good.

It is a great camera and I have made 20x30 prints that match my Nikon D700 results. The only downside is physical fragility having been repaired after 6 months. It was an addition to a  Canon G10 which has never broken in 5 years. I am a commercial photographer and I would love this Hassleblad; irrational, but there it is. I used them for years in the 70's and 80's.

Still Images: JPEG, RAW
Movies: AVCHD Ver. 2.0, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
Audio: Dolby Digital 2ch

Below is a link to each option for this camera that we offer on our website.  There you will be able to view the current price of the cameras and their details:



I really appreciate all your comments, I was about to be that idiot who would buy that camera, I am a pro but need a point and shoot desperately because my personal life is not being documented.  The lumix by Panasonic looks more then a point and shoot any other recomendations? I normally use the canon 5D mark 111, but I can not tolerate any more dealing with all the gear and would love the quality of the hasselblad with 1 lens to work with.  Anyone....?

Currently the two cameras I would recommend to you would be the Fuji X30, and the Panasonic LX100.  Both cameras are compact shooters, good for a pro like yourself that needs a good quality competant camera that will deliver the type of quality you are used to from  your lager 5D MK III. Both have great sensors and extremely sharp lenses.  See the links below for details on these recommendations:



I see the fuji has a flash, is this good enough for snaps or should I go with the panasonic and add one of my canon flashes?

The flash in the Fuji is quite accurate and gives pleasing results for normal snapshots.  The LX100 actually is supplied with an external flash unit, however you could use your Canon flashes in manual/non-TTL mode with it if you needed greater power. 

I have a leica dlux6 that I am delighted with. The difference you have not picked up on is the larger sensor size and 20meg image, twice the size of the two cameras you mention and the camera I own. 


sony x100 or one of the most recent releases ii or iii. Rate the best point and shoot on the market

sony x100 or one of the most recent releases ii or iii. Rate the best point and shoot on the market

sony x100 or one of the most recent releases ii or iii. Rate the best point and shoot on the market

sony x100 or one of the most recent releases ii or iii. Rate the best point and shoot on the market

Hasselblad has not provided us with this information at this time.

Japan  (took me a bit of searching to find out!!).  So I was thinking of buy it just because it's so cheap; but most say don't bother? 

From the ahalife.com web site:

Made in Japan. Special edition Hasselblad Stellar compact camera. Features a one-inch, 20.2 megapixel sensor, Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens, HD video recording and expressive creative controls. Comes with Italian leather wrist strap, shoulder strap and camera case. Available in Black, Orange or White.

This is clearly designed for the person who has more money than common sense. I'm actually surprised that B&H would run such a promotion. 

This Camera is for the uninformed. It only has a 1" sensor, like the Sony RXIII which is at a substancially lower price and will give exactly the same results.  To up the ante the way to go now is with the Olympus OMD E10, with its 4/3rds sensor, a huge improvement over the 1". Check it out, it has all the features this Hasselblad is missing such as a tilting touchscreen and so much more! No I  am not an Olympus sales person, or in any way connected with Olympus. It's just  that I've done my home work and can't stand these rediculous sales pitches from a such a respected manufacturer as Hasselblad. No wonder B&H is selling them at a discout!

I have both an Olympus E-m1 and a Sony 7R. I have been using my old lieca glass on both. The touchscreen on the Olympus is one of the most useful functions in photo land. 

I have a question regarding the camera. I am assuming the camera comes with cables for connecting to the computer, battery and battery charger? I did not see it being mentioned in the description. If it does not, does your website sale these Hasselblad parts or only the generic ones?

If you look at the ‘In the Box’ tab on the camera’s page, it lists what is included with the camera.  That being said, the Hasselblad Stellar Special Edition Digital Camera does come with a USB cable, battery, and charger.  The following is a list of what is included with the camera:

  • Wooden Camera Box
  • Leather Wrist Strap
  • Leather Padded Shoulder Strap
  • 8 GB SD Memory Card
  • NP-BX1 Battery
  • Micro USB Cable
  • AC Adapter
  • 7 x Worldwide Plug Adapters
  • Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
  • Anti-Dust Camera Bag
  • Faux Velvet Box Cover
  • Shoulder Strap Bag
  • 2 x Strap Adapters
  • Stellar Software CD
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty

You guys mis-spelled "Hasselblad" in the article's title.

  And you misspelled , misspelled.

With this deal Hasselblad is making themselves look even more ridiculous.  If you're going to overcharge, you might as well stick to your guns.  When the folks at the country club (do they have those in Shanghai and Riyadh?) see this online offer, there goes your parking space.  Guess I'll just stick with Leica, the undisputed masters of the art. 

The Leica D-Lux series are re-branded Panasonic LX Series cameras, but with a higher price.  Not nearly as much of a price increase as the Hasselblad/Sony, but similar deal.

Im waiting for the Deardroff/Minox collaboration.

This is a Sony RX100 camera with a modified case, right?  Why not save money and buy the Sony RX-100?

I agree.  Doesn't Sony already have the RX100 III with better features?  I don't see the value in this.  Could this be unsold Sony RX 100 with a new attire?

The B&H price of the Hasselblad stellar is much less than the Sony 100.

Yes, I would love another Hassleblad! but the AUD is so low.