Category Archives: Uncategorized

Samsung drops Gear VR support on new devices; Google drops Daydream VR support on Pixel 3A

But with Gear VR not being compatible with Samsung’s newest flagship phone, and with Google announcing in May that the Pixel 3A wouldn’t support Android’s built-in Daydream platform, it’s hard not to think that phone-based VR may be on the decline.

Source: Samsung confirms Galaxy Note 10 won’t work with its Gear VR headset – The Verge

VR was sort of dead at CES 2019, sort of buried at E3 2019, and then Samsung and Google dropped out of the Cardboard-like phone-based viewer market. Paid VR content is said to be dead. IMAX said it is shutting down its VR theater offering.

Over the past six years since the Oculus Rift was introduced, the total number of VR users is estimated at 10 million – most of whom are video gamers.

I have three friends that are professional VR film makers, and one that has built a VR product for the dental industry. I get the dental product business model but do not get 2 of the 3 filmmakers’ business models.

A very few places are projecting VR video on to theater domes – this makes sense versus having everyone wear a large headset. But this is a far smaller market than was 3D.

I shoot VR myself, mostly still photos, that can be easily panned on Flickr or Facebook for 360 viewing without VR headsets.

VR was fading at CES 2019 – and it sort of seems that this might presage a collapse in 2020, similar to the path that was followed by consumer 3D (I shoot both 3D stills and video). VR remains stuck in gaming and is not being adopted by a wider consumer community. Proponents think it just needs better, new tech headsets.

Australia proposes A$20 license fee per model aircraft

The proposal would assess a fee of about A$20 for each model aircraft owned, plus a fee of A$100 to A$160 for each commercially used model aircraft:

CASA is planning to introduce a drone registration and accreditation scheme later this year.

Source: Drone registration and accreditation scheme – update | Civil Aviation Safety Authority

The UK is proposing an annual fee of 16.5 pounds. The U.S. assesses a fee of US$5.00 per pilot, good for 3 years; the registration number is applied to all aircraft operated by the pilot.

How review sites have become an extension of camera sales programs

While many reviews provide useful information about camera features and capabilities, behind the scenes, many, if not most, are now motivated by increasing sales revenue of everyone involved.

Youtube camera enthusiast review “channels” are frequently tied to affiliate marketing programs. Watch the review, click on the link to one of the online retailers helpfully included with the review, and the reviewer sees a sales commission if you make a purchase (of any product on the web site, not just the camera).

Further, everyone is caught up with the idea that the next camera model with 20% more pixels will somehow make one a better photographer. Granted, there are some photographers and especially professionals and the semi-professional (wants to be a pro) for whom new features can improve efficiency, effectiveness, productivity and quality. But for the rest of us, the latest and greatest is often for bragging rights and showing off.

DPReview.com emailed a summary of new items on their web site with this interesting wording:

Translation: We only get excited about really expensive cameras!

Everything is oriented towards not only having you salivate over the latest and greatest but to shame you in spending more money. No one wants to be seen in public with a camera for which you have not spent enough money! And geesh, only spending $900 – what sort of photo wimp are you?

Cameras have become the 21st century sports car, generally impractical but certainly a tool to impress others! We need not go far to see people hiking on trails with $10,000 worth of camera gear – the same price as a decent used car.

In the past two weeks I’ve had 2 photos selected and highlighted in the Flickr “Explore” photo collection, receiving thousands of views.

What’s my secret? I used discontinued, cheap Nikon 1 cameras, one of which cost me about US $200 🙂 Because photography isn’t about how much money you’ve spent on your camera!

Britain to require licensing, registration, allow police to issue fines and seize drones

Exclusion zones around airports will be extended and drone users will have to be registered under the plans.

Source: Police to get new powers to tackle illegal drone use – BBC News

Plus

  • Airport exclusion zones will be enlarged to 5 km (3 miles) (in the U.S., its already 5 miles). Additional exclusion zones will be added.
  • All users must be licensed and their model aircraft registered. (Like Mexico, this may end up prohibiting non-UK permanent residents or citizens from flying drones in the U.K.)
  • Police can order any drone flyer at any time to land the drone. Failure to land a drone or show your license and registration will be a fine-able offense.
  • Police will be allowed to “search premises and seize drones – including the electronic data stored within the device”.

This is done in the aftermath of the invisible drones at Gatwick Airport. At this time, the only provable drones in the air over Gatwick Airport were those operated by the Sussex Police, which they admit, were unmarked and were likely many of the reported sightings. After they admitted this, there have been no further updates on the investigation.