Category Archives: Business

3D theaters continue to increase in number

From: 3D is “dead”, but 3D cinema screens rise is steady – Personal View Talks

And while “3D TV” is mostly gone at present, 3D video projectors are very common. Most video projectors support 3D because it is very inexpensive to add 3D to a projection system while it was expensive to put the tech into flat panel TVs.

If you are looking for 3D viewing options at home, 3D projectors are a good option. Another option is 3D computer monitors, which are used in gaming and engineering and other visualization applications.

2018 Camera Market at 1985 Levels – Thomas Stirr Photography

Thomas Stirr observes the tremendous changes in unit sales that have hit the camera gear market.

This lengthy article discusses the fact that the 2018 camera market has fallen to 1985 levels and provides thoughts on the impact of this shift.

Source: 2018 Camera Market at 1985 Levels – Thomas Stirr Photography

Thomas ends his post with suggestions for what you might want to do with your existing camera gear: sell, adapt, extend?

  • Push yourself to use your gear more fully. Many of us do not fully utilize all of the capabilities of the gear we currently own. Using it more fully will extend its useful life.

  • Experiment more in post. Every piece of camera gear comes with some kind of trade-off. Spend some time in post to experiment with your current software to learn how you can squeeze more quality out of your current images.

This is spot on. Since last fall I gave much thought and investigation to whether I should move up to “full frame”, due to indirect peer pressure and marketing hype.  I realized I continue to learn how to use my existing 1″ and micro four thirds cameras nearly every time I put them to use – and for what I typically shoot there is little to no advantage to full frame – and actual drawbacks (bigger and heavier). Instead, I’m learning new tricks that make my existing gear deliver expanded capabilities.

Second, I downloaded the DxO PhotoLab 2 trial version and quickly discovered its noise reduction is so good that it was like increasing my camera’s useful ISO range by several stops. I no longer needed a larger sensor to achieve the results I wanted at higher ISOs. This was a far less expensive alternative than buying a new camera and lenses!

Third, I began using various well known techniques such as averaging multiple exposures to reduce noise, and shooting multiple-image panoramas to achieve enormous resolution (typically 80 to 200 megapixels).

Software post processing completely changes how we look at photography – and for us hobbyists, is a practical way to expand our gears’ capabilities.

IMAX to close its “VR experience” centers

The company behind the biggest screens in cinema is giving up on bringing VR screens within a few inches of users’ faces. The company announced today in a SEC filing that it will be shutting down its three remaining virtual reality centers including its flagship location in Los Angeles.

Source: IMAX pulls the plug on its dream of VR arcades | TechCrunch

VR is cool, but I am not so sure it is going to be the mass market that many hoped. VR has its place though, but apparently this was not one of them.

Rant: Is the photo industry dropping casual photographers and hobbyists?

Many of us have watched as the price of cameras have gone astronomical. I see people with $3,000 camera bodies attached to $8,000 lenses hanging around their necks. This is insane.  You can buy used cars – even two of them – for what some people carry around their necks!

Micro four thirds, the lower tier of the interchangeable lens market (and what I shoot) has pushed cameras up to the $1,000 to $2,000 price range with hints that even higher priced offerings may emerge in 2019.

Online camera reviews breathlessly tout the latest camera offerings with more megapixels, better focusing or what have you, but which rarely make much difference to anyone except professionals and some high end amateurs. All those online review sites have become “latest tech you gotta have” pushers. And why not? They make their money with affiliate links, earning a commission each time someone clicks through to Amazon or B&H and makes a purchase. They are the camera gear equivalent of drug pushers!

The pressure to upgrade is everywhere – and few people recognize how they are played to spend more money.

If you are a pro, who earns money with your photography, you are in a different league than most people out taking photos. You can likely cost justify your purchase of the latest high priced gear.

Today, Flickr announced they will delete photos from free accounts with over 1,000 photos as of February 5, 2019. If you want to keep your photos, you’ll have to upgrade to “pro” – and oh, they doubled the price on that too! Again, for a pro that’s making money on their photography, that’s not a big obstacle. For all others, Flickr has decided the customer hostile approach to their business is the right one for Flickr, but may be not so much for users.

The message from Flickr is clear – they are no longer interested in the casual hobbyist market. They are after the “pro” market and some high end amateurs who can cost justify the new prices.

Meanwhile, as we already know, camera phones have obliterated the point-n-shoot market so all camera makers have been moving up scale. The reality is that beyond certain megapixel limits, most of us will not see personal benefits from buying new cameras and lens priced in multiples of $10,000 🙂 The camera makers are steering their business towards high end photographers willing to shell out the big bucks.

The photo industry seems to be bifurcating into smart phone shooters who share on Instagram, and high end “pros” (or pro wannabes) on Flickr and other platforms.

What will happen to the middle ground segment? There are still APS-C cameras and micro four thirds but even they seem to be moving upscale.

The casual/hobby market is moving up scale very rapidly – and may leave many photographers behind as photography becomes an activity limited to the high heeled elite of the future. Or just using smartphones …

A related issue is that the old idea of buying a product has gone away – today we merely rent them. Adobe did this with their photo editing tools. Flickr is doing this with photo sharing. Microsoft has done this with Office. Before long, we will be paying considerable amounts of money – forever – as we get locked in to tools used to create and access our own content. How long before we are charged an annual fee to use certain features of our cameras, such as say, SLOG or VLOG video color grading? This seems to be the holy grail of the industry now – lots and lots of user fees!

Nikon discontinues Nikon 1 product line, abandons Nikon 1 consumers #Nikon @NikonUSA #Nikon1

Nikon discontinues entire Nikon 1 line, including cameras and lenses. Consumers who bought into Nikon’s 1″ sensor system stuck with a dead end lens system.

As seen in this chart, the camera line de facto existed for about 4 years, from its introduction in September 2011 to its last new camera introduction in late 2015:

Photography and Camera News, Reviews, and Inspiration

Source: Has Nikon Shuttered Its 1 Series Line of Mirrorless Cameras?

After 2015, they just milked money from their customers before abandoning them.

Nikon executives repeatedly said during the past 3 years that the Nikon 1 line was not dead. And then in July 2018, they killed it, abandoning users who had invested in the Nikon 1 lens systems.

This impacted me and I will never again buy a Nikon product. At NAB, I spoke with every camera manufacturer except Olympus. I mentioned that someone needed to produce a camera body with a software development kit. All – except Nikon – were interested in the idea.

The Nikon rep told me with a straight face that Nikon would never allow third party products to potentially damage the Nikon brand name.

I could hardly contain my laughter – you mean like how the iPhone was ruined by third party app developers? Hah hah!

That exchange told me Nikon management are dimwits. Since then their revenue plummeted and it was not because of third parties harming the Nikon brand – it was because Nikon shot its own brand in the foot.

In so doing, they enshrined themselves in business school case studies forever – how not to launch, mismanage and lose customers all at once!

So long Nikon. I won’t be buying Nikon products again. Good bye!

DxO Labs files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection, will restructure business

​DxO Labs have issued a statement saying that they have chosen to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection​.

Source: DxO Labs Goes Bankrupt, Will Not Affect DxO PhotoLab or Nik Software Collection Customers | Photography Blog

DxO makes the DxO PhotoLab RAW image processor software (previously known as DxO Optics Pro) and the Nik Software Collection (which they acquired from Google). Both are very good products.