CES: Kodak Enters the Mobile Market with Ektra Smartphone

Kodak’s digital Super 8 camera was not the company’s only nostalgic throwback showcased in Las Vegas. The camera company has finally entered the mobile market with its own Android smartphone – or at least a phone that licenses the Kodak name. Tech company Bullitt Group is behind the Kodak Ektra, which borrows its name from Kodak’s Ektra camera from the 1940s. That makes sense, since the phone is designed to mimic a point-and-shoot camera, featuring a 21-megapixel rear cam (but no optical zoom) and vintage leather finish. Continue reading CES: Kodak Enters the Mobile Market with Ektra Smartphone

$499 Kodak-Branded 360-Degree Camera Adds Second Lens

The original Kodak Pixpro 360 and Pixpro SP360 4K cameras were largely well received, but garnered some criticism regarding image quality. To address the limitations of a single lens and sensor system, the upgraded Kodak-branded 360-degree camera now features a more efficient dual-lens setup. The new Kodak Pixpro Orbit360 4K VR was unveiled at Photokina last fall by JK Imaging Ltd., the company licensing Kodak’s name, while pricing and availability details were revealed this week at CES. The new 360-degree camera will run $499 when it hits shelves later during Q1 2017. Continue reading $499 Kodak-Branded 360-Degree Camera Adds Second Lens

Documentarians Entreat Camera Manufacturers for Encryption

Documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, who shot the Oscar-winning “Citizenfour” about Edward Snowden, along with 150 other documentary filmmakers, signed an open letter from the nonprofit Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) asking camera manufacturers Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Fuji, Kodak and Ricoh to add encryption features. The fear is that thieves, law enforcement or agents of authoritarian governments can access footage by simply taking possession of the camera, and the documentarians want protection. Continue reading Documentarians Entreat Camera Manufacturers for Encryption

Snapchat Rebrands Itself, New Spectacles Record POV Video

Snapchat, rebranded Snap Inc. to acknowledge the company is now more than an app, debuted its first hardware product. Spectacles one-size-fits-all sunglasses in black, teal or coral can record up to 10 seconds of video from the wearer’s first-person point of view. The user is able to record video hands-free, and the camera, which relies on a 115-degree-angle lens, also gives a wider image that more closely mimics our natural field of view, even to the point of being circular. Spectacles is priced at $129.99. Continue reading Snapchat Rebrands Itself, New Spectacles Record POV Video

HPA Tech Retreat: Technology Charges Forward… Into the Past

HPA Tech Retreat’s long-time programmer, engineer and author Mark Schubin, opened the event with his annual “Technology Year in Review,” composed of all the interesting, obscure and wacky news items he’s aggregated over the previous year. One question he asks every year — have we finished the transition to HD? — had the same answer as every previous year: nope. Even as some companies are talking up 8K as the next TV resolution, the nation’s media infrastructure as a whole is still working on completing the evolution to HD. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Technology Charges Forward… Into the Past

Snapshots of CES 2016 Reveal Leading Trends and Stories

CES 2016 had its share of attention-getting products, but some of the most interesting aspects of the show were under the horizon. Companies are beginning to recognize, understand, and explore new opportunities, implications and alliances. Among emerging trends: in VR, there will be real competition. Content on televisions — more than television hardware — drives the market, but demand for UHD is also growing. Big data is a big discussion about use, privacy and security. As ETC prepares its complete report on CES, we’ve compiled a slide show with some highlights. Continue reading Snapshots of CES 2016 Reveal Leading Trends and Stories

Kodak Shoots for Filmmakers, Students with Super 8 Camera

Eastman Kodak went retro this week at CES with a film camera based on the Super 8 design from 50 years ago. Kodak ceased production of Super 8 cameras in 1982, once video had become more popular for recording home movies. Today, most consumers use their mobile phones or small action cams for shooting personal video. Citing the preference of some Hollywood directors to produce their movies in 35mm or 70mm, Kodak chief exec Jeff Clarke believes there are professional as well as amateur filmmakers who would appreciate the opportunity to work with film rather than video. Continue reading Kodak Shoots for Filmmakers, Students with Super 8 Camera

IMAX with Laser Debuts with “The Walk” to Positive Reviews

IMAX debuted its new IMAX with Laser digital projection system in London; Dubai; Los Angeles; Seattle; Reading, Massachusetts; and Chantilly, Virginia. The new projection system, which offers 4K resolution, Rec. 2020 color space and up to 60 fps, made use of 120 patents the company exclusively licensed from Kodak. IMAX says the contrast ratio is double that of IMAX 15/70mm film and higher than the 2500:1 contrast ratio of its Xenon lamp systems. The first movie to debut on the system is “The Walk” in 3D. Continue reading IMAX with Laser Debuts with “The Walk” to Positive Reviews

DARPA’s Brandeis Project Focuses on Technologies for Privacy

At a three-day DARPA conference, the agency highlighted Brandeis, a project to develop technology with plans to protect individual privacy. The move is a 180-degree turn from the post September 11 focus on Total Information Awareness, a program that developed digital surveillance. DARPA has already selected the companies and universities joining the program, among them SRI International and Stealth Software. The meeting to kickoff Brandeis is scheduled to take place in October. Continue reading DARPA’s Brandeis Project Focuses on Technologies for Privacy

YouTube Upgrades Support Music Artists and Virtual Reality

YouTube has made some compelling new changes in the last week. The video site just announced the launch of its “Cards” system, which is designed to eventually supplant annotations. The company also announced its new site, “YouTube for Artists,” essentially a resource guide for music artists promoting their work on YouTube. In addition, YouTube now supports 360-degree video formats in most of its mobile and Internet platforms, a move the company promised earlier in the year to address the growing interest in virtual reality content. Continue reading YouTube Upgrades Support Music Artists and Virtual Reality

Kodak Will Continue Supplying Film Stock to Hollywood Studios

Kodak announced yesterday that it has secured new supply agreements with the six major Hollywood studios to continue providing motion picture film. Following discussions with production companies, the studios, and film processors — in addition to the lobbying efforts of prominent filmmakers including Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino — Kodak will now continue to supply film stock to 20th Century Fox, Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros. Entertainment. Continue reading Kodak Will Continue Supplying Film Stock to Hollywood Studios

Kodak Exec Unveils Plans to Keep Film Product in Hollywood

Kodak emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week and has a plan to keep its product in Hollywood, despite a market that favors digital imaging. While more than 75 percent of the world’s cinema screens currently support digital projection, Kodak has commitments to provide film to the major studios for production needs and distribution, deals that run through 2014 or 2015 (depending on the studio). Filmmakers such as J.J. Abrams and Christopher Nolan are using celluloid for their movie projects. Continue reading Kodak Exec Unveils Plans to Keep Film Product in Hollywood

First Commercial Installation of Laser Projector Scheduled

The first commercial installation of a laser movie projector is scheduled for early next year at Seattle Cinerama, a theater owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The theater will be the first to acquire Christie Digital’s laser projector, as the technology has just been approved by the FDA. While laser projectors are more expensive than current systems, they are expected to improve 3D projection and eliminate the need to replace bulbs and cool projection booths. Continue reading First Commercial Installation of Laser Projector Scheduled

DOTS Technology Could Solve Hollywood Archiving Challenges

Digital Optical Tape System (DOTS) could be the answer to the film industry’s digital archiving problem. Group 47, a startup of several Hollywood technology veterans, is getting ready to build an engineering model, and hopes to have the technology available in the next 18 months. The company proposes DOTS as a robust, secure, inexpensive digital archiving format that could last more than 100 years. The plan is to further develop the technology and license it to manufacturers.  Continue reading DOTS Technology Could Solve Hollywood Archiving Challenges

Distribution of Film Prints May Soon End in North America

The end of celluloid film distribution in North America may come as soon as the end of this year, as the transition from film to digital continues. Michael Karagosian, president of MKPE Consulting, said that by the end of last year, 75 percent of worldwide cinema screens had already made the digital transition. This is expected to be an important topic this week at the annual CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas. Continue reading Distribution of Film Prints May Soon End in North America

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