Hello Kitty & Leica? Stella McCartney & Canon? Instagram & Polaroid? Collaborations between big name brands have been an innovative way to appeal to a broader market. Loyal consumers of one brand are also likely to own a product by the other, or they may at least be within the same target demographic. Therefore, as corporate synergy goes, advertisers can readily be enticed into this new market and the consumers will love the exclusivity of the particular item for sale.
Usually, the joint venture is done by producing limited quantities and therefore, making the item more desirable and exclusive. To the consumer that seeks these specialty items, obtaining one of the limited edition items released can become a must-have obsession.
Often times, one of the brands participating in the collaboration can be extremely popular in the mainstream market while the other brand is a little more underground or haute couture. By creating such an unconventional union, this is generally the formula for a perfect marriage and can sequentially appeal to a mass number of the population.
Here are some great camera collaborations:
10) Leica & Paul Smith
Paul Smith is a British fashion designer who has been in the clothing business for over 40 years. In late 2012, Leica approached Smith about joining together to design a camera that represents the Paul Smith brand. As a photography enthusiast Smith gladly accepted. The collaboration was for the limited edition X2 camera and releasing only 1500 cameras.
The specs: 16.5-Megapixel APS-C CMOS Image Sensor, Leica Elmarit 24 mm f/2.8 ASPH.: 8 Elements in 6 Groups, 1 Aspheric Element, ISO 100 12500, 11 AF Points Auto Focus System, 2.7-Inch LCD Display With 230,000-Dot Resolution, Exclusive Design and Special Leather Carrying Case
Price: $3200 (no longer available new)
9) Leica & Gagosian
For those of you don’t know, Gagosian is a gallery that opened in 1980 by Larry Gagosian in Los Angeles. Later on in the late 1980’s he expanded by opening his second location in New York City. Leica and Cagosian released the limited edition Leica X2 with only 100 units released. Leica wanted to add an artistic flair to the X2 model and collaborating with Gagosian seemed the best fit.
The specs (same as Leica X2): APS-C Size (23.6 x 15.8mm) CMOS Sensor, 16.1 Megapixels, Leica Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 ASPH, Lens Automatic and Manual Controls, Low Noise and High Dynamic Range, Low Light Photography – ISO Up To 12500, Live View With 2.7″ Display, Lightweight (11.2 oz), Compact (2.7 x 4.9″).
Price: $2,999 (contact Gagosian to purchase)
8) Leica & Moncler
Moncler, is a luxury French apparel brand primarily known for its down outerwear and sportswear. The red, white and blue colors represent Montcler’s French heritage. With only 1500 units made, the Leica/Monclear X “Edizione Moncler” item is now sold out.
The specs: 16.2MP APS-C CMOS Sensor, Leica Summilux 23mm f/1.7 Lens, Iconic 35mm Perspective, 3.0″ 920k-Dot Wide-Angle LCD Monitor, Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 30 fps
11-Point AF System, Manual Focus and Manual Exposure Control,
ISO 12500, Up to 5 fps Shooting.
7) Leica & Playboy X Hello Kitty
This offbeat collaboration between the trio was brought together by the French concept store Colette in Paris, to be sold in their stores. With only a mere 10 units produced, it is no surprise the supply did not last too long. The collaboration was to honor Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary and Playboy’s 60th anniversary. This amalgamation received several negative reviews due to the fact that Hello Kitty targets primarily pre-teen females and Playboy’s readership is principally male driven. To many the combination between the three made little sense. In addition, the Leica C is actually a Panasonic Lumix LF1with the Leica name stamped on it. The Leica C sells for $699.00 while the Panasonic LF1 lists at $299.00, positioning the camera at a higher price point in efforts to synthesis with the additional lavish priced gimmicky items sold by Colette. Don’t get me wrong, when I was living in Paris, I would often pop in to browse around almost as if I were observing a new exhibit at a museum.
The specs: 12.1MP 1/1.7″ MOS Sensor, Leica DC Vario-Summicron f/2-5.9 Lens, 7x Optical Zoom, 28-200mm, 3.0″ TFT LCD with 921k-dot Resolution, 200k-dot Color LCD Viewfinder, Wi-Fi with NFC & Leica C Image Shuttle and comes with Adobe Lightroom 5.
6) Leica & Hermes
Hermes, a luxury Parisian brand, known for it’s pricey leather goods and ready-to-wear collection teamed up with Leica to coproduce a highly exclusive camera. An utter 300 units of the M9-P models were sold at a pricey $25,000 and an additional 100 units of the same model, very exclusive of the Edition Hermès – Série Limitée Jean-Louis Dumas (in honour of the former Hermes president) at a whopping $50,000. Offered for sale at the exorbitant price, it is no enigma that these pieces of art are solely for a very limited consumer.
Along with the camera, the lower priced M9-P includes: the set includes a silver-anodised Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens. While the higher priced edition includes three lenses: a Leica Summicron-M 28mm f/ 2 ASPH., a Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH. and a Leica APO-Summicron-M 90mm f/2 ASPH.
Price: $25,000 – $50,000.
5) Canon & Stella McCartney
The collaboration between Canon and Stella McCartney was something that Stella held close to her heart because McCartney’s mom Linda was a photographer. Therefore, the name of the bag Linda, was a no brainer. The bag not only functions as a camera bag but as a tote bag that can be used in lieu of any other fashionable tote. The bag is made out of completely vegan material to stay in tune with the true Stella brand. McCartney has been a vegetarian her whole life. McCartney had never used any animal products or materials since her first collection debuted in 2001 and has always maintained a cruelty free approach to her designs.
The Linda bag and the Canon EOS100D white was only available at Selfridges and Harrods in London, with only a 1000 available. When I first saw this I immediately thought to myself that I needed to get my hands on one. This partnership suited me so well by combining both my love for fashion and photography. Unfortunately, I was too late and they were already all sold out! Boo hoo.
The specs: 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor; ISO 100-6400, expandable to 25,600; 3-inch, 1040k-dot LCD screen; 1920 x 1080 HD video capture; TTL 63-zone SPC metering system.
4) Sony & Hasselblad
For over fifty years now, Hasselblad has been devoted to a very simple task: to producing the finest camera equipment known to man. And for over fifty years, we have succeeded in doing just that.
Hasselblad is a Swedish luxury camera brand that gained tremendous popularity around the time of World War II. When humans first landed on the moon, Hasselblad was the camera of choice to capture the majority of those history in the making images.
The Hasselblad brand has often been compared to the Ferrari of cameras. No other camera brand compares. Hassleblad and the Sony RX100 came together to produce a brand new sensor that features an largely increased dynamic range that gives each pixel its own electronic shutter time. They have released several models since their collaboration first began.
Price: $1,600 to $6,500, depending on the choice of grip
3) Panasonic Lumix & Colette
As discussed earlier, Colette in Paris is no stranger to pairing up with multi-labels to introduce some pretty cool gadgets and clothing collaborations. The Lumix GM1 and Colette mirrorless camera only released 50 in their boutique on trendy Rue St-Honore in Paris. The camera is finished in a blue alligator skin that represents the Colette trademark color. Colette is superb at branding items that appeal to almost everyone. Especially those that are exclusive to the Colette store. People flock from all over the world to see what all the hype is about. It is virtually impossible to ever browse around without continually thumping into another curious potential shopper. It’s rare to see someone leave the store without purchasing something even if it is a small ticket priced item. And I am typically one of those chumps who cannot exit the boutique without giving my credit card a workout.
The specs: Include Panasonic’s popular micro four thirds shooter equipped with a 16-megapixel sensor, 3-inch tilting LCD and 1/16,000 shutter speed and comes with a 12-32mm lens
2) Nikon & JW Anderson
JW Anderson is a Irish fashion designer who is notorious for bridging the gap between male/female creating an androgynous look. It was that look that helped him become so well recogninzed designer he is today. JW Anderson wanted to come together with Nikon to introduce a case that bridged the art form of fashion and photography together. This was Nikon’s first commixture with a fashion brand. The camera was inspired by 1940’s camera bags and created to be desired by both sexes. The JW Anderson cases were available in four colors; black, white, blue and orange. With only 400 cases produced at approximately $110 it is no wonder these items did not last long on the market.
1) Polaroid and Instagram
The Polaroid/Instagram harmony began sometime towards the end of 2014. The first prototype of the Polaroid Land camera was released in 1948. This was the prototype for the Polaroid we now know today which was fully developed during the next 15 years.
As of 2013, Instagram reported they had an average of about 150 million monthly users. Many of these actual photography addicts would likely only purchase this camera as a novelty item.
The specs: 14MP Frontal Camera/2MP Rear Camera,4.5″ Touchscreen, 4GB Internal Storage, Stereo Speakers, GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth, Frontal LCD with Mood Assistant A.I., LED Flash, Socialmatic Instant Filters, 2″x3″ Zink Instant Filters, Remote Printing Capabilities, TF/Micro SD for External Storage, Socialmatic Network Compliant.
Price: $299 still available!
While most of these items are no longer available new, I am sure photo enthusiasts yearning to get their hands on one these cameras can probably find it somewhere used for a much heftier price. I know I want them all!
If you are looking to find first-hand information on upcoming camera collaborations, you will have to keep current with the latest camera rumors. And then be willing to battle your way through the other photography aficionados also seeking to get their insatiable desirable camera loving hands on one of these specialty limited edition items.
Until next time,