Mark Goldstein (Potography Blog) looks into the the photography industry's crystal ball for 2014.

Here are some safe bets: More megapixels, more connectivity, better video capabilities, well, more of everything in fact:

"The prolific nature of photography these days has been met with a lot of derision amongst professional photographers. Do people really need to take (multiple) photos of everything? Why is the worth of an image measured by how much it’s ‘shared’? Has the grand sum of technological advancement really culminated in Selfies at Funerals? . . . read more

Nikon uder fire for catering to both Wildlife photographers and hunters.

The Independent's Hannah Martin reports:

"Nikon, one of photography’s most respected names, faces a backlash from within the industry for portraying itself as a friend of wildlife photography while making sights for rifles for big game trophy hunters in the US and Africa.

The Japanese camera manufacturer makes a rifle scope designed specifically for killing large game, the £170 “Monarch African”.

Nikon’s marketing literature boasts that the scope is perfect “for those seeking their dangerous game adventure on the dark continent” and is “the proven choice for dangerous big game hunting”, adding: “Africa has long been a continent of dreams for hunters around the world.”"

Man arrested in Rochester NY, over Kodak bomb threat.

Details are a bit sketchy at the moment, Chris Cheesman from Amateur Photographer reports:

"Omer Fadhel Saleh Mohammed, 31, from Rochester, is accused of making 21 calls to emergency number 911, ‘claiming that a terrorist was going to bomb Kodak Corporation'. He was arrested and charged with making false bomb threats and could face up to 10 years in jail, according to a statement released by the FBI yesterday. The calls were made between 24 September 2012 and 24 January 2013, states Assistant US Attorney Anthony M Bruce. . . . read more

System Camera Production increased 34% in volume, 43% in value during 2012, compact camera production shows further decline.

A few notes: These numbers come from CIPA, Japan's Camera & Imaging Products Association, and as thus, production numbers from China and Korea are not included. However, seeing the onslaught of Chinese branded digicams in markets everywhere, my guess is that China's compact camera output has not declined at all, and since Samsung's latest earning report stated a slight volume increase too, the Cassandras predicting the imminent demise of the compact camera segment can just pack up and go home. Also, the biggest increase in volume occurred in Europe, maybe photography is a good outlet for austerity related stress :)

Chris Cheesman at Amateur Photographer reports:
Production of interchangeable-lens cameras rose 34% in 2012 and shipments of lenses broke through the 30 million unit mark, Japanese trade figures have revealed. But total digital camera shipments – including compacts – dropped 15%, according to Japan's Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA).

. . . read more

Nikon celebrates 80 years of Nikkor lenses

No word by Nikon on commemorative-or any, lenses to be released in 2013, just 'promotions and other forms of communication'. For the history, among the first lenses was the pictured R-Aero-Nikkor 50mm f/5.6 lens used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service during the Second World War. Understandable a very rare lens, since most of the reconnaissance planes carrying it were shot down or destroyed on the ground.

Nikon Press Release

TOKYO - Nikon Corporation celebrates the 80th anniversary of the launch of its NIKKOR photographic lenses this year
In commemoration of NIKKOR's 80th anniversary, Nikon hopes to strengthen and increase awareness of the historic and . . . read more

ARGO-IS, a drone with a 1.8 Gigapixel camera consisting of 368 5MP cellphone cameras.

The impressive spec list goes on:Whith its 368 cameras in a grid layout, the ARGO-IS can scan an area 100 times greater (25 square miles) than that of a Predator drone, and can spot objects as small as 6 inches, from as high as 17,500 feet above the ground. The drone can process up to 1,000,000 terabytes per day, that's an exabyte. More info and mouthwatering scary details at the new PBS Nova documentary, the 'Rise of the Drones'. . . . read more

It's a Spaceship! No, It's a Time Machine: The Kodak carousel projector turns 50 years, Alice Rawsthorn at the NY Times remembers the time.

"When an Italian-American inventor, Louis Misuraca, showed Kodak his design for a circular tray, which fed slides into the projector automatically at the click of a button without jamming, the company offered to buy it. Misuraca sold his invention for a lump sum, and treated his family to a holiday in Italy. Kodak finessed the design and introduced the new projector in the United States in spring 1962 as the Carousel. “80 slides nonstop” was one of the advertising slogans. “It loads as easily as a piggy bank,” claimed the ad. “It locks against spilling. It lets you edit as you go. And it stores like a book when the show is over.” The projector itself looked cheerfully technocratic in a monochrome case with clearly visible . . . read more

5 new companies enter the Micro Four Thirds Group, we're checking them out.

A weird bunch this is: We've got the Australian maker of a manual Video Camera with severe supply issues, a joker, a German who makes machine vision systems, a Japanese company that specializes in (very, VERY) high speed professional video cameras, and someone-also from Japan-who markets Fleas, Grasshoppers, Fireflies and Ladybugs.  . . . read more

5 New companies to join the micro 4/3 System Standards Group: Black Magic Design, JK Imaging, Photron Limited, SVS-Vistek, and ViewPlus.

Whoever knows all of the above 5 companies, wins a cupcake, in the meantime we'll prepare a presentation about the newcomers. It's good to see BackMagic becoming an official member of the m4/3 group, finally! It is also weird to see makers of non-consumer optical stuff entering the guild. 

Olympus Press Release:

Olympus Imaging Corp. and Panasonic Corporation jointly announced the Micro Four Thirds System standard in 2008 and have since been working together to promote the standard. Now we are pleased to announce that five more companies have recently declared their support for the standard and will be introducing products compliant with the Micro Four Thirds System standard. . . . read more

JK Imaging to market a Kodak branded Micro 4/3 camera lineup, first model will be named the Kodak S1 WiFi equipped camera with a Sony sensor, to be made available in Q3, 2013.

Story first uncovered by ePrice in Taiwan, and initially picked up by 43 Rumors and Mirrorless Rumors, but we'll change/add to their wording a bit. First, neither Kodak, NOR JK Imaging are capable of manufacturing anything, this will be a crappy (or semi-decent, depending on your Point of View) OEM story, similar to the 'Polaroid' interchangeable lens cameras.

Second, JK Imaging (boasting of maintaining sales offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Manila, China, Dubai, and Jordan, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela) is a company that literally came out of nowhere, represented by a single guy, and probably being just a front for JAACX distributors, a retailer with a presence mainly in Latin America. . . . read more

Samsung to release a full frame mirrorless NX camera within 3 months? Lots of clues point to this direction.

Probably ahead of Sony's forthcoming full frame NEX camera, and who knows whose else. It will be interesting to see if they have figured out a way to make their cropped lenses work on a full frame mirrorless body, without a crop mode like Nikon does on their ff Dslr bodies. Photo Rumors has the story:

"Samsung will announce their new NX-R mirrorless camera in March, 2013. There is no date yet for the Samsung NX30 release (replacement of the NX20), but the camera is in development right now. I received some unconfirmed information that the new NX-R (or NX Pro) could have a full frame sensor inside. No details were provided on the lens mount or other . . . read more

Canon US again tries to raise awareness about counterfeit camera and camcorder accesories, rolls out initiative over the next weeks.

Here is a good place to mention fake Canon flashes and Cameras too :)

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., January 15, 2013 - Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, has rolled out a consumer-safety initiative that will promote awareness of a consumer electronics industry-wide issue: the risks of using counterfeit accessories for digital cameras and camcorders, especially batteries and chargers. Counterfeit products are fake replicas of the real products, designed to take advantage of the superior value of the real product. These fake accessories are produced in a manner that is increasingly more difficult for average consumers to identify. Purchase of

. . . read more

Israel's 'Photoshop Law' goes in effect, barres skinny models from photography shoots.

Kecia Lynn from Big Think reports: 

"As of January 1, models who want to work in print ads and runway shows in Israel must provide potential employers with medical proof certifying that they have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 18.5. The new law is nicknamed "the Photoshop law" because of an additional regulation placed on advertisers requiring clear labeling on ads featuring digitally-altered images of models. Knesset member Rachel Adato, who helped champion the law, says, "A revolution has . . . read more

In case you missed something: CES 2013 Digital Cameras roundup at Engadget. (PS @ Engadget: what about Sigma?)

"Samsung also had a mirrorless camera to share, and even though we could have squeezed it into the paragraph up above with Polaroid, the NX300 deserves to stand on its own. The company's latest model packs an APS-C sensor that can snap 20.3-megapixel stills, along with a typical 100-25,600 ISO range and a 3.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen. It also shoots 3D stills when paired with the $500 3D-capable lens. The camera itself (with a 20-50mm kit lens) will set you back a cool $750, so it's clearly a class above the Polaroid -- it's also one of the priciest cameras to debut at CES, which only serves to further validate our claim that this show is targeted at consumers. . . . read more

No Hope: ALL 193 Jessops stores to close tonight, 1370 jobs will be terminated.

Lucy Crossley at the Daily Mail reports on this sad story: 

"High street camera chain Jessops is to shut all of its stores at the end of trading today with the loss of 1,370 jobs, it has been announced. The photography chain has become the first major retail failure of the New Year after it suffered from online competition and the rising popularity of camera phones. Administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), has announced that all 187 of the company's stores will cease trading today, with staff set to lose their jobs. . . . read more

DXO Mark: A noise benchmark of 187 digital cameras by Peter van den Hamer.

"Image noise is primarily determined by the camera body and its sensor. Image sharpness is nowadays mainly determined by the quality of lenses because it is relatively easy to make sensors with enough resolution to match the lens’ performance. The DxOMark Camera Sensor benchmark covers only the image noise part, but measures this under varying lighting conditions and in various manifestations (dynamic range, luminance noise, color noise). Other camera properties such as the previously mentioned sharpness/resolution, but also factors like ease-of-use, robustness, frame . . . read more

Zenfolio sold to wallpaper retailer, apparently due to 'synergy in the wallpaper space'

Sorry, meant to say Wall décor e-retailer, whose CEO sees the move as "very natural because of the synergy between the two companies in the wall decor space" Ok, then:

" buys photography platform provider Zenfolio

Zenfolio enables photographers to sell their work online.

Wall décor e-retailer Inc. has acquired Zenfolio Inc., which provides photographers the technology to upload, share and sell their work, announced today.

. . . read more

Most promising and puzzling cameras of 2012 by at Camera Ergonomics: A very good read about The (slow) demise of the DSLR and rise of the mirrorless.

"DSLR:  My view is that the DSLR, and it's variant the Sony SLT(R) will gradually decline in favour of the MILC.  The reasons ?

First the DSLR has reached the end (apart from the side trip to Sony SLT) of it's evolutionary voyage. The DSLR cannot evolve into anything else. It is stuck with inherent separation of optical view from live view. It is stuck with the flipping mirror and it's attendant complications. The Sony SLT does have continuous live view in the EVF and Monitor and the mirror does not flip. But there is always a mirror sitting between the lens and the imaging sensor, collecting dust,  and the flangeback distance is the same as a DSLR. . . . read more

About the Glamorous lives of pro photographers: Lindsay Dobson shares her insights on the Reality of professional photography.

Yes, the glam and glitter is all but gone, heck, in this time and age not even Annie Leibovitz can afford to live like a Leibovitz. Lindsay Dobson writes:

"The invention of the World Wide Web has been liberating for the vast majority of us. Our work can now be seen by global audience and opportunities to interact with prospective customers and other professionals have transformed the working lives of many. But it is also a double edged sword. When you create anything of artistic or commercial value, and if you display it on the Internet, there is the risk that your work can be stolen and used without your . . . read more

BCN Ranking has compiled the list of most sold mirrorless and Dslr cameras in Japan during 2012, get ready for some surprises.

The Japanese camera market tend to be different from the western ones, and in some cases VERY different, like the relatively strong Pentax presence in both categories. Google transgorbler has this to say:

Top 20 share sales by reflex camera digital SLR series 2012
(: May 24 to 12 January 1, 2012 the aggregation period)
. . . read more

Bye Bye Lytro: Toshiba to produce a sensor that will allow users to refocus after the shot, will work with video too.

While the idea of refocusing a picture after it has been taken is mesmerizing, the first camera that does this, the Lytro light field camera is just a piece of crap. It is a slick but laggy, restrictive, and half-baked contraption whose ultra low-res camera and tiny lcd screen are throwbacks to an era when listening to Björk howling was concidered cool. Now Toshiba, changes all that with a sensor that comes with a usable resolution, can be had in usable devices like smartphones and tablets, and will work with video: . . . read more

R.I.P: Four major digital photography sites that died this year.

2012 has been an exciting year for photographers. The onslaught of new products was unprecedented, as well as the rapid advancement of several segments and technologies.
This was the year that saw the micro 4/3 format mature to the point of actually being able to compete (and in some cases overtake) with cropped Dslrs, the release of no less than 7 full frame cameras, including Nikon's 36 Mpixel beast and Sony's Cybershot RX1 with a fixed lens. But this year also signaled the end,

The vast Kodak intellectual property portfolio to (mostly) stay in America: Señor Perez finally manages to offload the bundle to a consortium, primary members are Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, but also Fujifilm and Samsung.

And this is actually the true end of Kodak as we knew it. The company is now completely out of digital consumer imaging and printing, focusing instead on commercial printing and packaging. Whatever imaging business left is film based, and it will sooner than later dwindle out of existence. 
Kodak Chief Executive Antonio M. Perez (the one with the private jets and millions in salary and bonuses) had this to say: "This monetization of patents is another major milestone toward successful emergence (from bankruptcy)," and then he went on to say: "Kodak remains a major center of invention and innovation." What's that thing the kids say these days? Oh yes, ROTFLMAO Thankfully for Mr. Perez, Rochester appears to be all out of pitchforks and torches.

However things are not all bad for the residents of Rochester. Kodak may not be anywhere near to being a 'center of invention and innovation" as Mr. Perez belies believes, but the University of Rochester and the Technical Institute of Rochester certainly are. These two Institutes have both a very strong presence in Optics and Digital Imaging, like for example, The Institute of Optics, one of the greatest optics research facilities in the world. A little known fact outside Rochester is that these institutes, together now employ more people than Kodak ever did. . . . read more

After 15 years DC Resource Page closes (DCRP) down, but Jeff Keller moves on to DP Review as senior editor, perhaps taking Mickey with him.

It is really sad to witness the upcoming closure of one of the oldest digital imaging reviewing sites in existence, but on the other hand really happy about Jeff continuing his wonderful reviews as editor of DP Review. Hopefully now they'll be able to push their reviews out a bit quicker, and with fewer errors :) Jeff Keller writes:

"DCResource to close at end of year; Jeff headed to Digital Photography Review

Fifteen years ago I created the Digital Camera Resource Page with the goal of helping regular people find the right camera . . . read more

Bill Howard at Extreme Tech asks: Are Canon and Nikon killing off their best crop-sensor DSLRs?

No, they don't, Bill, they're just feeling the pinch from the lower-priced higher specced mirrorless cameras, and have adjusted their strategy stupidly accordingly. Just check out some comparisons between the Canon 7D and the crème de la crème of CSCs: The Olympus E-M5, the Fujifilm X-E1, the Sony NEX-6 all beat Canon's most expensive crop framer on all crucial benchmarks, be it still, or video file quality. Anyway, it  is a good and well in-depth article:

"Here’s what Canon did in the last year to make 7D owners feel like orphans on shore watching the the party boat leave . . . read more

Twitter lashes back at Instagram, will launch filters for photos and other media: This war will be broadcast in sepia colors.

After Instagram has withdrawn support for image previews within Twitter in the past several days, it is now the little blue bird's time to respond: A new service called Twitter Cards will make it possible for users to attach media to their tweets, media that can initially be enriched by a selection of photo filters. More functionality and features will be added along the road. Here's an (slightly morbid) example posted by the Twitter Dev team: . . . read more

Apple and Google Gang up for common $500 million bid to acquire what good is left In Kodak's portfolio of patents.

Reuters Reports:

"Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc. (GOOG) have joined forces to offer more than $500 million to buy Eastman Kodak Co. (EKDKQ)’s patents out of bankruptcy, said people familiar with the situation.

The two companies, competing for dominance of the smartphone market, have partnered after leading two separate groups this summer to buy some of Kodak’s 1,100 imaging patents, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. . . . read more

Slightly off topic: China Daily claims that Japan 'falls behind' in technology innovation, cites Panasonic and Sony as examples of crumbling giants.

"In the last few months, many Japanese companies announced their layoff plans. Three IT giants - Sony, Panasonic and Sharp - are expected to make a total of 50,000 employees redundant in the near future.

Panasonic, which was founded in 1918 and remains Japan's biggest employer with 330,000 employees, said it will reduce its workforce by about 10,000 employees by March 2013. In the last five years it has posted four consecutive annual net losses. Recently, the company explained that because of losses in its mobile, solar panel and lithium battery . . . read more

How Sigma lenses are made at the Aizu, Japan Plant.

Sigma has posted a beautiful although slightly melancholically video that features some of the highlights of the lens manufacturing line assembly, interdicted with rural scenes from Japan. I could quite figure out the new lenses on the assebly block, looked like a 300mm f/2.8ish thingie.

Sigma patents a whole bunch of prime lenses for mirrorless mounts, all with optical stabilizers.

Ok, it's time for Google translate to derp shine once more:

"Σ is the DP Merrill NEX , Myu4 / three for 19mm F2.8 and 30mm F2.8 have issued.  This 50mm or 55mm if join (Rolleiflex in terms of focal length 50 mm / 55mm , 75mm / 80mm , 135mm (or Minolta CLE) 28mm , 40mm , 90mm near lineup) is completed ( Myu4 / 3 is the angle of view I is different). Antivibration It would also be useful in portrait photography with a flash I would be so easy if Handheld, because the lens shutter if DP. Anti-vibration with a telephoto lens in the NEX and I 50 mm F1.8 OSS, Myu4 / 3 macro it 45mm F2.8 Although OIS, Sigma 55mm F2.8 OS is show me what does the depiction or not."

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