SHORT EXPOSURES: November 11

GoPro’s has bad Karma… Nikon Japan cuts 1000 jobs… Panasonic flexes muscles with Toughbook… Canon teases 6D Mk II… Snapchat announces spectacular snappy Spectacles

karmaGoPro has bad Karma
GoPro has reported a number of its flagship Karma drones are losing power mid-flight and falling from the sky, forcing it to recall all sold units and review the problem.

Customers will receive a full refund after returning the drone to the place of purchase.

‘Safety is our top priority,’ said Nicholas Woodman, GoPro founder and CEO. ‘A very small number of Karma owners have reported incidents of power failure during operation. We have moved quickly to recall all units of Karma and provide a full refund while we investigate the issue.

‘We are working in close coordination with both the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Federal Aviation Administration. We are very sorry to have inconvenienced our customers and we are taking every step to make the return and refund process as easy as possible.’

There’s a few videos floating (and falling) around on YouTube of the drone crashing, with one very narrowly missing a person’s head.

The Karma drone was available from October 23 and sold roughly 2500 units. GoPro will resume selling the product once the issue is solved, however it faces fierce competition from DJI which announced its flagship compact consumer drone, Mavic Pro, at the same time.

Based on reviews the Mavic beats the Karma on all fronts.

This couldn’t come at a worse time for GoPro. Consumers have lost interest in action cameras and the company is facing significant financial troubles.

nikonNikon Japan cuts 1000 jobs
Nikkei Asian Review has reported that 1000 jobs – 10 percent of the domestic workforce – at Nikon Japan will be cut over the next few years, primarily in the digital camera and semiconductor business.

This is due to plummeting sales figures of interchangeable lens cameras, which forced Nikon to drop its unit sales projection to 6.2 million from 6.55 million, Reuters indicated.

‘A sharp downturn in the single-lens reflex camera market this year has come as a blow to companies such as Nikon and market leader Canon after the shrivelling of the compact camera market as consumers switched to smartphones for taking photos,’ Reuters said. ‘Nikon’s imaging unit’s operating profit slid 26 percent in the first half to 30.9 billion yen.’

Nikon initially issued a statement outlining that it had not announced any cuts and when if it does the public will hear it first from them.

Hours later, lo and behold, Nikon confirmed it would reduce its headcount by about 1000 employees through ‘voluntary retirement’, as indicated by Nikkei Asian Review.

bi_architectfz-y1Panasonic flexes muscles with Toughbook
Panasonic has unveiled the FZ-Y1 Toughbook, a 20-inch 4K display tablet, designed for photography and professional video productions, as well as CAD applications, healthcare, and high-end retail.

The 12.5mm thick Toughpad has a 10-point multi-touch screen and 230 pixel-per-inch LCD display.
In terms of performance, it has an Intel Core i5-5300U vPro Processor, HDMI 2.0 input, Windows® 10 Pro and a 256 GB SSD.

Panasonic says the unit can withstand a 76cm drop to its back, and a 30cm drop to 26 angles when not operating.

It’s available now from Panasonic Toughbook distributors and has a $5999 RRP.

Canon teases 6D Mk II
Canon Rumors has been tipped off that the EOS 6D Mk II will arrive in the second quarter of next year. The camera will be an entry-level full-frame, and is said to have either a 24 or 25-megapixel camera, Dual Pixel AF, a tilting touch screen, 1080p video recording, and will cost around US$2000.

Rumours aren’t always to be trusted and Canon Rumours reiterates that it’s too far off to verify the authenticity.

Yet it’s hard to believe Canon isn’t blowing wind directly at the ever-turning rumour mill. Almost all major releases recently have been drip-fed with some accuracy, and generate considerable excitement.

spectacles-centered-3Snapchat announces spectacular snappy Spectacles
Snap Inc, formerly known as Snapchat, has unveiled Spectacles – a pair of sunglasses with an integrated video camera used to create Memories.

Not actual memories it seems, but Memories – a feature in Snapchat that allows users to share and archive snaps.

‘We’ve created one of the smallest wireless video cameras in the world, capable of taking a day’s worth of Snaps on a single charge, and we integrated it seamlessly into a fun pair of sunglasses – available in 3 different colours!,’ the company exclaims.

The Spectacles will connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to a Snapchat account, where the days footage will be uploaded.

It records in ‘circular view format’ – a new feature on Snapchat – which captures a human perspective, a 115 degree field of view.

They are being sold today in pop-up vending machines around the US for US$129. No word on a local release yet.


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