CES: Show Floor Reveals the Ups and Downs of Tech Trends

Connection, collaboration, and cooperation are three words that underscore almost everything we saw during four days at CES 2023. We anticipated this would not be a show of breakthrough innovations. Instead, we expected innovative ways to use recent advances. In broad categories, AR, haptics, and AI were much in evidence. Interesting light field displays and curved screens caught our eye. There were fewer cars but way more commercial vehicles and components driving “software-defined mobility.” TVs were secondary to connected ecosystems in Samsung and LG’s displays, while creators took center stage for Sony, Canon, and Nikon. Clear across the show, innovation may come from startups but to scale it takes giants. Continue reading CES: Show Floor Reveals the Ups and Downs of Tech Trends

CES: Panasonic’s First Hybrid Autofocus Mirrorless Cameras

Panasonic has unveiled two new hybrid full-frame mirrorless cameras — the Lumix S5II and S5IIX — that use a new autofocus system that will potentially make them competitive with similar offerings from Canon, Nikon and Sony. Coming in the spring and winter, these updated models feature a new 24.2-megapixel sensor with 779 phase-detect AF and 315 contrast points. The new chip also has Dual Native ISO with an ISO range of 100-51200 (50-204800 expanded). The models are powered by Panasonic’s new L2 Engine, said to process at twice the speed of its predecessor, improving overall performance and reducing rolling shutter distortion. Continue reading CES: Panasonic’s First Hybrid Autofocus Mirrorless Cameras

Nikon Offsets Shrinking Camera Sales with Tech Components

Nikon Corp. is restyling itself from a company that primarily manufactures cameras to one that supplies components to other businesses. Its consumer market share eroded by smartphone image systems, the Japanese company’s revenue also plunged, dropping by about 50 percent since its 2013 peak of $8 billion. In February, Nikon upped its revenue forecast for the year ended March 31 to $4.35 billion, more than $370 million of it projected as operating profit, thanks in large part to components, which is expected to earn more profit than any other division, nosing past imaging. Continue reading Nikon Offsets Shrinking Camera Sales with Tech Components

Adobe Previews Photoshop for iPad and Lightroom Updates

At its Adobe MAX show in Los Angeles this week, the company debuted a preview of Photoshop for iPad, stating plans to bring the full version to other tablets. The iPad Photoshop app is based on current code for the desktop version, and, within a few versions, will offer identical tools as the desktop version, including layers, masking and 3D. This move comes after Adobe brought Lightroom to mobile devices; at MAX, the company unveiled facial recognition, improved search and updated sharing tools for Lightroom. Continue reading Adobe Previews Photoshop for iPad and Lightroom Updates

Sony Mirrorless Camera Lays Down Gauntlet for Canon, Nikon

Sony’s Alpha a7R III camera features a mirrorless design that allows photographers to take beautifully focused images of fast-moving objects. That’s a big contrast from the mirror-and-prism systems that have dominated cameras such as DSLRs (digital single-lens reflex). Mirrorless systems grab light much faster and use software to keep the images in focus. Professional photographers such as Kenneth Jarecke, who shot images during the Gulf War, are quickly becoming early adopters of the new camera. Continue reading Sony Mirrorless Camera Lays Down Gauntlet for Canon, Nikon

RED Debuts Android Smartphone That Creates 4D Holograms

RED, the company known for its 4K Epic and Weapon film/TV cameras, just debuted a smartphone, the RED Hydrogen One, which will be offered by AT&T and Verizon. The Android phone, which has a 5.7-inch display, is, says the company, “the foundation of a future multi-dimensional media system.” The phone can connect to RED’s other cameras via pogo pins and, in the future, to lens mounts and other modules. RED’s first such module will be a DSLR-similar camera sensor. The phone also produces holographic images. Continue reading RED Debuts Android Smartphone That Creates 4D Holograms

CES 2018: Overview of the Show Floor, Key Themes and Areas

Broad but logical thematic lines distribute exhibits across three main event areas at CES 2018 in Las Vegas: the entire Las Vegas Convention Center (Tech East), the Sands Convention Center (Tech West), and the Aria (Tech South). Tech East will focus on sectors such as e-commerce, security, manufacturing, gaming, VR, AR, AI, automotive, cameras, computing, displays and CE devices. For those interested in health, fitness, wearables, sports tech and the smart home, you’ll want to visit Tech West. And Tech South will feature C Space, which will address disruptive trends and how they are going to change the future of brand marketing and entertainment. Continue reading CES 2018: Overview of the Show Floor, Key Themes and Areas

NAB 2017: Google Unveils the New $17K Yi Halo VR Camera

At NAB this week, Google introduced its latest VR camera, the Yi Halo, one year after partnering with Xiaomi-backed, Chinese action cam maker Yi Technology. The $17,000 spherical device, which uses Google’s cloud-based stitching system Jump for producing stereoscopic 360-degree videos, will be available this summer. The Yi Halo combines 16 4K action cams with an extra camera facing upwards. While Google unveiled Odyssey two years ago, featuring 16 GoPros, the rig has largely served as a test case. The Yi Halo, however, is commercially designed with feature improvements and multiple extras. Continue reading NAB 2017: Google Unveils the New $17K Yi Halo VR Camera

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

GoPro to Lay Off 200 Employees, Tony Bates Stepping Down

Following failed attempts at becoming a media company, GoPro announced it plans to shutter its entertainment division and cut 15 percent of its staff, about 200 full-time positions. Former Microsoft exec and Skype CEO Tony Bates, president of GoPro since 2014, will step down by the end of the year. Despite high-profile hires, including Charlotte Koh from Hulu Originals and Bill McCullough from HBO Sports, as well as a 2014 Emmy for its Hero 3 camera and a variety of athlete endorsements, GoPro has been unsuccessful in pushing its entertainment offerings. After losing about half its value this year, the company hopes that restructuring will help return it to profitability. Continue reading GoPro to Lay Off 200 Employees, Tony Bates Stepping Down

Nikon Introduces 360-Degree Action Camera, New 4K DSLR

Nikon made two interesting announcements during CES in Las Vegas. First, the company unveiled the D5, its new flagship 4K DSLR, first teased back in November. The $6,500 camera, available in March, includes a new 153-point autofocus system and maximum ISO of 3,280,000. Perhaps a bigger surprise is Nikon’s first action camera, the KeyMission 360, which shoots 360-degree video in 4K. Slightly larger and less of a cube than market leader GoPro Hero, the KeyMission 360 features lenses on front and back, is shockproof to 6.6 feet, waterproof to 100 feet, and touts electronic vibration reduction. Continue reading Nikon Introduces 360-Degree Action Camera, New 4K DSLR

DSLR Sales Impacted By Ease and Quality of Phone Cameras

High-end camera sales have taken a dive this year, as the popularity of smartphones with powerful built-in cameras and related apps rises. Research firm IDC predicts shipments of digital single-lens reflex, or DSLR, cameras will decrease by more than 9 percent from last year. The two biggest camera manufacturers, Canon and Nikon, have even lowered their expected sales numbers, raising questions about whether consumers’ tastes are changing in an era of mobile devices. Continue reading DSLR Sales Impacted By Ease and Quality of Phone Cameras

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

4K Heats Up: RED Digital Cinema Announces the Scarlet-X Camera

  • RED Digital Cinema has officially released its Scarlet-X pro video camera with Canon EF or PL mount. Panavision, Anamorphic, and Nikon lenses are also compatible.
  • According to the company’s press release: “With burst modes up to 12 fps at full 5K resolution alongside 4K motion capture from 1-30 fps, the camera allows professional photographers and cinematographers to simultaneously capture motion footage and still content…The addition of HDRx reaches up to 18 stops of dynamic range, bringing digital images closer than ever to the natural perception of the human eye.”
  • The $9,750 Scarlet-X is available for pre-order on RED.com, while the $14,015 Scarlet-X AL Canon Mount Package includes a power adaptor, 5-inch touch LCD, and a hand grip.
  • “Launched the same day as Canon’s new EOS C300 Digital Cinema Camera, clearly the folks at RED have put some thought into their spec-list and price point,” reports Digital Photography Review. “Whether an amateur or professional film-maker should use the C300 or Scarlet (or perhaps Canon’s forthcoming 4K DSLR) will become an interesting debate in the coming year.”