Sony and ZMP Team Up to Offer Commercial Drone Services

In 2016, Aerosense, jointly owned by Sony and robotics firm ZMP, plans to launch a commercial drone service targeting construction, logistics and agriculture industries. A prototype of an airplane-shaped drone was unveiled this week. The drones, which will be capable of capturing HD images and transmitting them to the cloud, will rely in part on the mobile phone and digital camera technologies developed for Sony’s Xperia smartphones. Analysts believe the unmanned aircraft industry may be worth $82 billion in the U.S. by 2025. Continue reading Sony and ZMP Team Up to Offer Commercial Drone Services

Compact and High End Cameras Suffer Due To Smartphones

Impacted by the growing popularity of camera phones, compact digital camera sales continue to decline, especially for Canon and Nikon. Sales have also suffered among high-end cameras. Combined, Canon and Nikon had 44 percent of all global sales, according to IDC. Camera manufacturers are hoping that high-end models with interchangeable lenses will improve sales. These cameras have higher margins compared to compact cameras, approximately 15 to 25 percent, according to analysts.

Continue reading Compact and High End Cameras Suffer Due To Smartphones

Point-and-Shoot Cameras Face Decline in the Smartphone Era

Sales for compact, point-and-shoot, digital cameras have declined 42 percent in the first five months of 2013, according to the Camera and Imaging Products Association. Most major manufacturers have been affected, such as Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus and others. The declines are primarily due to smartphones that are replacing the need for stand-alone compact digital cameras, driving manufacturers to focus on premium digital camera lines. Continue reading Point-and-Shoot Cameras Face Decline in the Smartphone Era

Panasonic Unveils 3D Point-and-Shoot and Upgrade for G Series

  • Panasonic has announced its first all-in-one 3D point-and-shoot camera.
  • The Micro-Four-Thirds Lumix DMC-GX1 features “16.01-megapixel Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine, designed to deliver high-resolution stills and video with image rendering and high quality color reproduction,” reports TWICE.
  • The $700-$950 GX1 records 1,920×1,080/60i video, with 30p sensor output in the AVCHD format. According to the report, the new camera “is positioned as an upgrade to the Lumix DMC-GF. In includes an new ultra-fast auto focusing system and includes a built-in flash and a hot shoe allowing for such accessories as external electronics viewfinder.”
  • Additionally, the $500 Lumix DMC-3D1 is another P&S 3D-capable offering. It uses two 25mm ultra-wide lenses with 4x optical zoom extensions and has a 12-megapixel MOS sensor.
  • “With its twin-lens design, the Lumix 3D can even shoot HD video through one lens and 2D photos from the other,” says said Darin Pepple of Panasonic, “thus getting still and moving content simultaneously, a unique shooting feature which Panasonic provides so users can stretch their creativity.”

Canon DSLR: Improved Image Quality and Blazingly Fast Speed

  • Canon’s latest high-end DSLR, the recently announced $6800 EOS-1D X, is expected to ship by March 2012.
  • Features include: 61-point AF system, 1GB Ethernet port, three DIGIC image processors, up to 12 fps RAW shooting, 18-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor.
  • “Images will supposedly be less noisy at extreme ISO settings and the improved processor system will reportedly offer truer colors and more natural contrast, even in low lighting,” reports Digital Trends. “Canon has included continuous Full HD video recording for longer movies sessions (nearly 30 minutes) and new compression files — one in an editing format and another completely compressed file.”
  • The post features a brief video from PetaPixel showcasing “what shooting an 18-megapixel image at 14-frames-per-second looks and sounds like.”

Lytro Video Update: Light Field Technology Demonstrated at AsiaD

  • Yesterday, ETCentric reported that San Francisco-based start-up Lytro was getting ready to launch a new digital camera that could potentially be “the biggest technological jump since we started talking megapixels over 20 years ago…” (as suggested by All Things D).
  • In a public demo at AsiaD this week with Walt Mossberg, Lytro showed its innovative light field technology and camera that allows you to capture all the light rays of a scene and alter the focus AFTER the picture is taken.
  • The camera, which starts at $399 for the 8GB model, also offers the ability to view a scene in 3D. The Wall Street Journal post includes a compelling 17-minute video of the demo.
  • ETCentric staffer Phil Lelyveld submitted a related article that provides product and technical details of the consumer market light field camera.
  • “The camera itself is a square prism in shape, around 4.4-inches long and around 1.6-inches square,” reports Digital Photography Review. “Around two thirds of its length is bare anodized aluminum, which houses a 35-280mm equivalent, constant F2 lens. The rest of its length is coated in a soft, light gray rubber, in which you’ll find the camera’s three physical controls — the power switch, a shutter button and a slider that you stroke to zoom the lens in and out. All other interaction with the camera is conducted via the small, 128×128 pixel square touch screen that covers the rear face of the device.”

Digital Light Field Camera set to Launch: Focus After You Take a Picture

  • Digital camera start-up Lytro has unveiled “a consumer digital camera that it claims will be the biggest technological jump since we started talking megapixels over 20 years ago,” reports All Things D.
  • The San Francisco-based company has made waves in the industry with its light field photography concept: “a light field camera captures light all throughout the scene in front of the lens, as opposed to the cameras consumers are used to, which bring a particular thing into focus first.”
  • The result is an image that can be refocused after it is captured, as opposed to standard digital photos, which are focused before being taken.
  • Lytro claims the camera “is faster from power-up to capture, and has exceptional performance in low light, even without a flash.”
  • The camera will ship in early 2012 in 8GB ($399) and 16GB versions.