Thursday, November 22, 2012
Fitch Ratings have cut the debt ratings of Panasonic and Sony to ‘junk’ status citing “weak demand… as well as continuing price competition from overseas companies.” The ratings agency acknowledges that Panasonic is “in the right direction in its restructuring efforts” but remains “cautious that the benefits of the restructuring may be marred by the weak performance in Panasonic’s electronics products and components businesses and lead to a slow recovery in profitability.” With respect to Sony, Fitch points out “continuing weakness in the home entertainment & sound and mobile products & communications segments will offset the relatively stable music and pictures segments and improvement in the devices segment which makes semiconductors and components.” From a photography point of view it’s interesting that the ratings firm believes CMOS image sensors are among the most profitable products in Sony’s portfolio and finds it “likely that Sony will use its strength in imaging sensors to promote its next range of smartphones as best-in-category for photography.”
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
According to InfoTrends’ most recent survey research, nearly 73% of Americans print their photos at least occasionally. The real change is happening in the devices used to take photos, as 45% of survey respondents say they own a smartphone, which is up from 31% in 2011. 30% of smartphone owners also say that they use their phone most often to take photos, which is up from just 17% in 2011. “Smartphones have evolved into legitimate cameras and have the potential to make the print ordering process easier than before since they’re always connected and users can order directly from their phones,” says David Haueter, Associate Director of InfoTrends’ Photo Printing Trends and Photo Merchandise Services. “However, those processes need to be user-friendly and consumers still need to understand the value of print to make them want to order in the first place,” he continues. “Printed photos are one of the safest ways to insure that important photos will be available and easily accessible in the future, and this message still needs to be taken more strongly to the consumer market.”
Monday, October 22, 2012
The Consumer Electronics Association’s Board of Industry Leaders unanimously voted to rename ‘4K’ video to ‘Ultra High-Definition’ or ‘Ultra HD,’ and also defined the core characteristics of Ultra HDTVs, monitors and projectors. Minimum performance attributes include display resolution of at least eight million active pixels, with at least 3,840 horizontally and at least 2,160 vertically. Displays will have an aspect ratio with width to height of “at least 16x9.” To use the Ultra HD label, display products will require at least one digital input capable of carrying and presenting native 4K format video from this input at full 3,840 X 2,160 resolution without relying solely on up-converting.
Pictured above is the EOS C500, Canon’s high-end professional 4K cinema camera.
Monday, October 8, 2012
The renowned Dutch online photo and video specialist Foto Konijnenberg has been renamed ‘Photospecialist’ in the United Kingdom, France and Germany. In the near future Photospecialist will open online and physical shops in more countries in Europe, with the logistics, sales and marketing remaining centralised in the Netherlands. “Our ambition is to bring our service and range of products to more countries within Europe - we were already specialists by reputation, now also by name!” says Henk Konijnenberg, CEO. In The Netherlands and Belgium the company will continue to operate under name Foto Konijnenberg for the time being.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Olympus and Sony today announced that the two companies have entered into a business alliance agreement and a capital alliance agreement through a third-party allotment of Olympus’s common shares to Sony. Under the terms of the capital alliance agreement, Olympus will issue 34,387,900 common shares at a price of 1,454 yen per share. The agreements affect both the medical and the camera divisions. With respect to the latter, the two companies’ stated aim is “to enhance their competitiveness, primarily in the area of compact digital cameras, by exploring opportunities for mutually beneficial transactions and collaboration between their respective camera businesses, including the supply of Olympus technologies such as camera lenses and mirror cells to Sony, and the provision of Sony image sensors to Olympus.” As opposed to the medical field, in which Olympus and Sony have agreed to establish a business venture company with a capital ratio of 49%-51%, the two companies’ camera businesses will continue to function as separate entities.
(Pictured above is the Olympus OM-D E-M5 compact system camera, which features a 16-megapixel Sony sensor.)
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Following the news that Hasselblad’s VICTOR magazine is to revert to print format following a period as an online only publication, the first issue is now available for purchase. Issue one of the new look VICTOR includes contributions from a wide range of top photographers, including Anton Corbijn, Marco Grob, Mark Zibert, Edward Burtynsky and Rodney Smith. “I am delighted that VICTOR is now back in print format, as this is the ultimate format to enjoy images,” says Chris Russell-Fish, Hasselblad’s Global Marketing Director. “We hope the long time fans of VICTOR magazine will enjoy this new publication and that it will also attract many new fans and lovers of photography.” The magazine is available from exclusive magazine shops in London, Paris, Milan, Berlin, Madrid, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong, priced at £15, €20 and $25, while photographers anywhere in the world can obtain the magazine from http://www.newsstand.co.uk at the cover price plus shipping costs.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Hasselblad has decided to work with Sony to “cultivate new markets for photo enthusiasts and consumer digital imaging products.” Dr. Larry Hansen, Hasselblad Chairman and CEO says: “This partnership will enable us to access an area of the photographic sector, which we have never reached out to before, by tapping on Sony’s excellent state of the art technology and spirit of ground breaking innovation. Owning a Hasselblad, made in Sweden, will no longer be just a dream for many photographic enthusiasts.” The first fruit of this cooperation is the new Hasselblad Lunar compact system camera - essentially a Sony NEX-7 in disguise - which will be available from the first quarter of 2013.
Friday, September 14, 2012
The current president of Pentax Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation, Ned Bunnell, will retire effective 30th September. From 1st October Noboru Akahane will be appointed President of the “Americas,” in addition to his current role as president of Pentax Ricoh Japan. “Given the market opportunity, North America is very important to our business,” Akahane explains. “There are a core group of Pentax and Ricoh fans here and we are confident to deliver high-quality products that will not only satisfy our current customers but also attract new customers through innovation and support of Ricoh’s global brand.”
Friday, August 24, 2012
Kodak has announced its plans to sell off its Personalised Imaging and Document Imaging businesses. The Personalised Imaging business includes still camera film products, photographic papers, retail print solutions and souvenir photo products sold at theme parks and other venues. The Document Imaging business provides a portfolio of scanners, capture software and services to enterprise customers. In future, Kodak intends to focus on its commercial, packaging and functional printing solutions and enterprise services, while retaining its Consumer Inkjet, Entertainment Imaging, Commercial Film and Specialty Chemicals businesses. Discussions continue on the company’s digital imaging patent portfolio, which may be sold or retained
On November 11 2012 screens in town halls, universities and village squares will play host to the worldwide première of the 11Eleven project’s feature film. Last year, when the calendar read 11.11.11, the project began with photographers, filmmakers, musicians and bloggers joining forces to create a truly global narrative - a snapshot of our world on that day. The full-length feature film that will make its debut in November is only one of the fruits of this worldwide collaboration - it will soon be followed by a photographic book and a world music collection, with all proceeds divided equally between six different charities. Interested readers are encouraged to visit the project’s website for more information.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The EISA Awards for 2012-2013 have just been announced, with 16 products selected in the Photo category.
From Canon, the EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR has been awarded “European Advanced SLR Camera”, the PowerShot G1 X “European Compact Camera”, and the PIXMA PRO-1 has been awarded the “European Photo Printer”. Nikon take the prizes for “European Professional Camera” for the D4 and “European Camera” for the D800.
The Fujifilm X-Pro1 has been crowned “European Professional Compact System Camera”, while the Olympus TOUGH TG-1 won the award for “European All Weather Camera” and the OM-D won the “European Compact System Camera” award. The Samsung NX20 won “European Advanced Compact System Camera”
The Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD claimed the “European Lens” award and Panasonic’s LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH POWER O.I.S. lens won “European Compact System Lens”, with the Sigma APO Macro 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM named the “European Macro Lens” award.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V is the “European Travel Camera” of the year, while the RX100 wins “European Advanced Compact Camera” and the SLT-A57 “European SLR Camera”.
Finally Adobe joined in the fun with Lightroom 4 winning “European Photo Software”.
Website: EISA Awards - Photo
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Hasselblad is set to centralise its Danish and Swedish production and service functions in Gothenburg, Sweden. “We plan to implement strategies that will continue to provide our customers with the premium quality service they expect from Hasselblad,” said Hasselblad CEO Dr. Larry Hansen. “Regrettably this relocation means we had to make redundancies in Copenhagen but we ensured resources for providing needed care to our customers.”
Friday, June 15, 2012
Research and Markets have published a new report entitled “Global Digital Camera Market 2011-2015”. Prepared by the analysts of TechNavio, the report forecasts that the global digicam market will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10 percent over the period 2011-2015. “One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increasing demand for digital cameras in emerging markets,” the company says. “However, the increasing smartphone penetration could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.” The report is available for purchase through the website below.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Canon today announced plans to launch digital camera production in Manaus, Brazil. Situated in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, Manaus is the capital and most populous city of the state of Amazonas. “Recently, the digital camera market has displayed steady growth, led by emerging countries,” Canon said in a statement. “Brazil, in particular, has a large market with demand expected to increase, which has created a pressing need for a strategic product supply.” The new company, called Canon Indústria de Manaus, will foreseeably commence operations in July 2013.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Bron Imaging and Hasselblad USA have announced an agreement through which the two companies will merge their operations in the United States. Effective immediately, the agreement creates a combined company called Hasselblad Bron, which “will leverage the strengths of two of the professional photo industry’s leading distributors and allow the sales, marketing and customer support divisions to provide higher levels of service”. Under terms of the merger, Hasselblad Bron will be a single entity providing support for all of the brands of the combined company. The transaction will only impact the two American organisations of Bron Imaging Group U.S. and Hasselblad USA. Hasselblad AB (Sweden), Bron Elektronik AG (Switzerland) and other related suppliers will remain independent companies.
Friday, April 13, 2012
A new report released by BCC Research claims that “by 2016, the [global] digital photography market should reach $82.5 billion”. Within this market, the segment of digital cameras and lenses is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 5.8%, reaching nearly $50 billion in 2016. By contrast, the segment of photo printers and processing equipment is expected to contract slightly to $24.7 billion, representing a decrease of $300 million versus 2011. The report is available to purchase from the BCC website.
Website: BCC Research
X-Rite has signed a merger agreement with Danaher, under which Danaher will acquire the company for $5.55 per share. This offer represents a premium of almost 39% over X-Rite’s closing share price of $4.00 on the last trading day prior to the announcement. Upon completion of the transaction, X-Rite, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will operate as a stand-alone company within Danaher’s Product Identification group which is a part of their Industrial Technology Segment.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Autodesk has announced a partnership with Photobucket to bring Pixlr photo editing tools to Photobucket users. Under this agreement, Photobucket will now offer its users Pixlr tools, including the popular Pixlr Editor and the newly revamped Pixlr Express. The partnership between the companies will also provide advertisers with a creative environment from which they can deliver custom, branded effects in Photobucket ad packages.
Facebook has agreed to acquire Instagram for nearly one billion US dollars in cash and stock. On his own Timeline, Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote that “providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together”. Instagram has attracted approximately 27 million users in just 1.5 years, on the iOS platform alone, before launching an Android app a week ago.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Canon has once again earned placement in Fortune Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list. Canon achieved the number-five position in the computer industry, while also earning the number-two position in the Asia/Pacific region, moving up two spots from last year. Fortune magazine’s Most Admired List is considered the definitive report card on corporate reputation, and this year surveyed a total of 698 companies from 32 countries. Criteria such as investment and social responsibility were reflective of the results, and companies that have consistently outperformed their peers were those that demonstrated a commitment to achieving success through people, and placing a high value on leadership and talent.