SHORT EXPOSURES: August 4

GoPro selling and losing more…Light at end of tunnel?…100th anniversary delays…Trolls pay…

GoPro selling and losing more
We recall with lingering amusement a press release around 10 years ago from Eastman Kodak announcing its financial results. The memorable thing about this document was that it explained that increased losses for that year were attributed to increased sales of digital cameras. That is, the more digital cameras Eastman Kodak sold, the more unprofitable it became. 

Now GoPro has taken a leaf out of the Eastman Kodak playbook. It has explained to the financial press and shareholders that while its sales grew 19 percent compared to the previous financial year, losses have increased to US$110 million, 3.4 percent greater than last year. 

GoPro has taken an axe to its workforce, with 270 people let go in March and another 200 the previous November. It has closed its entertainment and media business, moved much of its software development to cheaper locations like Romania, and shifted customer support and admin to the Philippines.

These changes are ‘a major step in GoPro’s turnaround’ explained CEO Nick (‘Champagne Charley’) Woodman (pictured above right). He expects the company to be profitable ‘excluding certain costs’ by the end of 2017. (This is also reminiscent of Eastman Kodak, which for about 10 years was right on the verge of posting spectacular financial results if its weren’t for an unfortunate and pesky series of extraordinary items and costs attributable to shutting the place down.)

Having had a less than spectacular entry into the drone market – it had to recall its first model – GoPro is now sinking funds into the dubious 360-degree video category. Really – how many 360-degree cameras does the world actually need? 

Light at end of tunnel?
The 16-camera, 50-something megapixel Light L16 camera takes a step closer to commercial reality with release by developer Light of a range of sample images, including a few ultra-high-resolution ones.

The 16-lens, 16 image sensor, 52-megapixel Light L16. is about the size of popular smartphones.

The L16 is a new ‘multi-aperture computational camera’ which uses 16 camera modules. There are 5 cameras with 35mm equivalent lenses, 5 with 70mm equivalent lenses and 6 with 150mm equivalent lenses. This results in5x optical zoom. Each camera module uses a small imaging sensor as in a smartphone. When taking a picture, 10 of the cameras fire simultaneously and the resulting images are then ‘computationally fused’ to create a highly detailed final photograph. Point of focus and depth of field can be sorted after capture a la Lytro cameras. 

The first (US$1699) L16s have been shipped and Light hopes to have ample stock by the fourth quarter of the year. 

Light’s VP of marketing told the Business Insider website that  ‘in five to ten years’ the major camera brands will no longer exist because of the L16. 

Curved image sensors…Multi-camera cameras…Get the feeling we are maybe on the verge of some truly disruptive technological developments in the photo industry?

In the meantime, to 4K or not to 4K seems to be the technological threshold from established camera makers. 

100th anniversary delays
Nikon has flagged delays with the 100th anniversary limited edition of the Nikon D5

According to a statement on Nikon Japan’s, the 100th anniversary edition of Nikon’s D5 has been put back by a couple of weeks from July 25 to ‘early August’. (Perhaps late early August at this stage.) The company said it will tell us when it will be released once they arrive at a specific date. 

Nikon is offering a range of 100th Anniversary limited edition products.

Local availability of the whole range of Nikon 100th anniversary products will be ‘in very limited quantities’. (And with the 100th anniversary D5 priced at $12K, that will probably be met with an equivalent very limited demand!) According to Nikon Australia’s pr consultancy, ‘the best place to direct people to is the store on MyNikonLife’: 
https://store.mynikonlife.com.au/dslr/100th-anniversary-editions.

Trolls pay
A US wedding photographer, Andrea Polito, has won a US$1 million verdict in a defamation claim against two former clients who attacked her on social media after they felt they had been overcharged.

A $125 fee for an album cover fee was at the center of the dispute, with the couple unwilling to pay and claiming Polito was holding their wedding photos hostage. According to reports, the jury found the couple’s social media campaign to be false and malicious, and found the couple liable for defamation, disparagement and civil conspiracy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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