SHORT EXPOSURES: January 17

Sigma throws down gauntlet…Samsung patently superior to Canon…And now – MouseCam!…Uncertain future for Ricoh GXR?

Sigma throws down price/quality gauntlet
Following last week’s story on two new Sigma lenses comes a report Sigma executives told US photography website Imaging Resource they were confident the all-new Sigma 50mm f1.4 ‘Art’ series prime lens will outgun competitive products from Canon and Nikon in image sharpness and quality.

In fact, Sigma stated it was aiming to match the performance of the Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus lens , even though the Sigma prime will be a fraction of the $4000+ Zeiss model. For example, the Sigma 35mm f1.4 ‘Art’ lens retails for around $800.

A Sony Alpha mount version of the lens is also in the works. Pricing of the new Sigma 50mm is not yet available.

Samsung patently superior to Canon
Camera and digital imaging-associated companies featured prominently in the Top 20 list of corporations lodging patents with the US patent office in 2013, as reported by IFI Claims Patent Services

IBM, as has been the case for over 20 years, took out top position with almost 7000 of the little devils, while Samsung came in second (4765) and Canon third (3825).

Other imaging companies in the Top 20 were:
4. Sony
6. Panasonic
16. Epson
17. Ricoh
19. HP

And now…MouseCam!
mousecamWell what will they think of next! Japanese electronics company King Jim has whacked a digital camera into a computer mouse. You shoot with the mouse and the pic (two-megapixel) appears on you computer screen.

A sliding cover on the bottom of the mouse protects the lens from scratchy things on your desk, but when you uncover the lens the mouse’s laser is covered and you can forensically document your entire office environment. Actually, it could be useful for making quick digital copies of documents, one guesses. King Jim says it’s useful when you want to ‘include an image of something in front of you in an email you are about to send.’ Like a document?

It will launch in Japan this month for the yen equivalent of around $50.

Uncertain future for Ricoh GXR?
RicThe innovative Ricoh GXR camera system is being discontinued  – at least in some markets.

Amateur Photographer (UK) this week reported that Ricoh Imaging UK has discontinued sales in that country.

It also appears to have been de-listed from most Ricoh regional websites and on the Ricoh Japan site is shown as discontinued in most configurations.

The GXR was launched in 2009 as an interchangeable lens compact digital camera system. It incorporates an imaging sensor and processing engine built into the lens unit, rather than the camera body. The lens units attach to the GXR body using a slide-in mount system.

Local distributor CR Kennedy reports that there’s been no official confirmation of the move locally, and that they have still have limited stock available in Australia even if production stops. Could be one for the collectors to snap up, especially with the APS sensor/Leica lens mount module A12 which enables the system to accept Leica M lenses.


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