Sony claims their new 5-axis uses earthquake tech, takes a jab at Olympus and its 'inferior' stabilization system.

From Sony Alpha Rumors/Lensnumerique:

"Sony also explained to Lesnumerique that the Olympus E-m1 5 axis system is not powerful and precise enough for a 4 times larger sensor. The Olympus . . . read more

Lightzone Raw editor has been reborn, is now open source and free, now comes in an IOS flavour too.

Lightzone was once a major contender for the top spot among Raw editors, but at some point in 2011 things went a bit awry and the company had to shut down. PDN Puls has the rest of the story: 

"It has become an open-source project under a BSD license from creator Fabio Riccardi, who is currently with Apple’s iOS Imaging Group. Under the terms of the BSD agreement LightZone will be offered to the public through the LightZoneProject ( free of charge.  The software is newly available to the public for free downloading in the Windows and Linux operating systems, and MAC beta testing has begun today. It is also available to the open-source community for new development now."

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

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

A new Sony 3-layer sensor patent revealed, the noose around Foveon's neck slowly tightens a bit more.

As a reminder, we'll repeat that both Canon, Panasonic and Fujifilm have applied for several similar patents each., and as usual, where there's smoke, there's fire. There are two major problems with the current, Foveon implementation of such a sensor. First, the high iso noise is atrocious comparable to that of CMOS sensors almost a decade old, and second, the readout speed is not high enough to obtain HD video at a satisfactory bitrate. For all you techies, here is the pdf documents of Sony's latest 3 layer sensor patent application.  . . . 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

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

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

Slightly Off topic: Apple iPhone 5 Rated Worst Top Smartphone by Consumer Reports

maybe not so off topic, after all it is one of the most popular imaging taking devices. 
Valerie Sarnataro at Brighthand reports:

"Despite its running title of "best smartphone in the market" for the past five years, Apple's iPhone seems to be losing traction among critics, as Consumer Reports has rated the company's iPhone 5 as the worst of the top smartphones. . . . read more

Photo rumors roundup of what to expect from Canon, Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic, Nikon and Sony at CES 2013: Except for Fujifilms 'x' replacements, mostly point and shoot digicams as usual.

"Fujifilm will announce 5 new FinePix cameras: 3 super zooms, one rugged model and 0ne "regular" compact camera. The top of the line superzoom (pictured above) is rumored to have a very fast AF. I still do not have reliable information about a potential X10 or X100 replacement, but those two cameras are still a possibility.

Olympus will probably announce 6 new point and shoot cameras: 3 rugged models and 3 super zoom cameras (with 24x- . . . 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

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

Panasonic Introduces 3-Megapixel Camera Module

Industry's thinnest 8.63 mm module incorporates auto-focus and image-stabilizer - Tokyo, Japan - Panasonic SC Device Solutions Co., Ltd. (PSCDS), a subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., today announced the development of a 3-megapixel camera module designed for mobile phones. With the latest v Maicovicon? image sensor at the core, the module, GP-KM3500V, incorporates auto-focusing and image-stabilizing capabilities in the industry's thinnest 8.63mm package. The GP-KM3500V makes camera phones thinner while ensuring superb picture quality.     "Conventional 3-megapixel Charge Coupled Device (CCD) and CMOS image sensors are not small enough to design compact camera modules, resulting in bulky mobile phones. This new camera module successfully combines quality imaging with compact design by taking full advantage of the new 3-megapixel v Maicovicon? that features the industry's smallest 2.2-micron pixel size. Advanced mounting and image processing technologies, as well as the ultra-mini focus actuator and thinner lenses, also contributed to reducing the size," said Mr. Satoru Masuda, Director of Engineering, PSCDS.    
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