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Editorial
Editorial

Hasselblad Heaps Insults By Releasing the Limited Lunar (Year) Edition

Mon January 13, 2014

Hasselblad has released a limited edition of the Lunar camera, based on the almost three-year old Sony NEX-7 (Amazon.com). There are only 200 of this limited edition available for €7,200 (@ US $9,800).

As if it is not causing enough injury to photographers’ good sense (and wallet) by selling the Sony NEX-7 for 10x its current price (around US $1000 at Amazon.com), Hasselblad adds insult to injury by proudly claiming that it “has timed the launch of the latest edition in its highly popular Lunar range to coincide with Chinese New Year (Jan 31st).” In fact, Hasselblad CEO Ian Rawcliffe is quoted in the press release as saying that the 200 “discerning” (presumably Chinese) aficionados will buy this limited edition Lunar because “the exclusive red and gold colours on the grip and body underpin the traditional Chinese belief that these shades represent good fortune and joy.

Hasselblad, we are so disappointed. When will thee regain thy former glory?

via photorumors

Read the press release»


Editorial

Olympus: RIP DSLR

Thu January 9, 2014

Well, the glass is half-full or half-empty, depending on your point of view, isn’t it?

In an Amateur Photographer interview with Olympus SLR products planning manager, Toshi Terada, the latter “confirmed that Olympus has stopped DSLR development but he did not rule out its return.”

What Mr. Toshi Terada said was: “Nobody knows 10 years away… once we can get a very nice share [in mirrorless] we may expand the business to DSLR again, but at this moment we are just concentrating on mirrorless and we have no plan to go into DSLR.

From that, the editor decided to title the interview “CES 2014: Olympus may re-enter DSLR arena.

Fat chance.

If you are still hoping for an Olympus DSLR, you might have to wait for at least 10 years. The introduction of the OM-D E-M1 made it [abundantly] clear that the era of the DSLR was over for Olympus. In ten years, lots of things can happen. We could have a brand new technology to take pictures with, and both DSLRs and mirrorless could be relegated to the history dustbins.

What do you think? Will Olympus go back to producing DSLRs?

via photorumors

Read why Luminous Landscape chose the Olympus OM-D E-M1 as its Best New Camera of 2013.


Editorial

Happy New Year 2014!

Wed January 1, 2014

We wish our readers a Happy and Safe New Year 2014! We hope it has been a good year for all of you — photographers, camera manufacturers, retailers.

We have seen lots of new mirrorless cameras, with incredibly high quality lenses. We’ve seen the arrival of full frame mirrorless and 2014 should reveal more of these.

In fact, 2014 may prove a defining year for a couple of camera manufacturers, whether they will embrace change and progress — or stay behind with what they are most comfortable with. We are talking about the traditional-mirrored DSLR manufacturers which will continue to make ever better DSLRs…

In spite of a gloom and doom prediction from NYTimes/REUTERS, the future of digital photography is becoming clearer: it’s mirrorless, high ISO quality images, fast, and seamlessly connected to our smartphone and tablet. It’s cameras that can be remotely controlled by our smartphone and tablet, that saves images directly to an external drive that is itself connected and sends selected images to our editor back at the office.

It’s being able to compose right on a 7-inch or 10-inch tablet screen, touch edit right on the spot. It’s cameras that work with you, the way you work — not against you. It works plug-n-play at the get-go, no user manual or 50,000 easy steps to just get Wi-Fi to work. No, we do not want to connect our camera to our smartphone to obtain connectivity; we want our camera to have connectivity built-in and connect to our smartphone or tablet with a tap so we can use the larger screen as a remote viewfinder/controller. No lag. Excellent user experience. We’re not quite there yet, but getting closer.

So, here’s to a better 2014 as far as mirrorless cameras are concerned. And if you have not tried a mirrorless yet, go get your hand on one. You’ll be delighted!


Editorial

Happy Holidays!

Wed December 25, 2013

We wish our readers a Happy and Safe Holidays! We hope you can take a couple of days off and spend time with family and friends. Our prayers and thoughts are with those who are still without power from the Ice Storm. Hope things get back to normal for you real soon! And remember, it’s the season to give.


Editorial

Nikon D610 Replaces D600

Tue October 8, 2013

The consensus among photographers out there is that the Nikon D610 is basically a replacement for the D600. The Nikon D600 is an excellent DSLR (which we reviewed here). However, it seems that some users have reported a defective shutter mechanism that would sometimes spew oil and dust onto the image sensor (we did not encounter this problem during the two weeks of testing we had the camera for). Nikon has never come out and officially acknowledged this problem, though they will repair your D600 (should it be defective) as long as it is still under warranty. Consider the D610 as their way of saying, We fixed the problem. If you own a D600, or are planning to purchase one on sale, you may want to think hard about getting the D610 instead.


Editorial

If you called the shots in Cupertino, what would you do?

Mon August 26, 2013

Apple, post-Jobs, isn’t the same. Or, is it?

Everyone, it seems, has some ideas about what Apple needs to do to regain its shine, presumably tarnished by competitors such as Samsung.

So, if you were at the helm and ruled Apple, what would you do?

Make the camera and photography apps in the iPhone even better? Some forward-thinking camera companies have already written apps that will allow you to control your camera remotely using your smartphone. We saw one new (as yet unannounced) and advanced app and it’s amazing the level of control that you can now have [sorry, we’re under NDA]. Various photographers have already written about their ideals for a connected camera which includes the smartphone.

Tech analyst Rob Enderle weighs in with advice on just how to get Apple back on track: Do not introduce a low-end iPhone and dilute the Apple brand; spend more on advertising to counter Samsung; sell related products in Apple Retail stores to increase foot traffic between launches.

Sounds good. Common sense. What do you think?

Read the article at: CIO.

Continue Reading »


Editorial

How To Lay Off An Entire Photography Department

Sat June 22, 2013

When the Sun-Times Media Group photography department received an email to attend a mandatory meeting not on Sun-Times property, they knew something was not clicking right. The exposure was off. Usually all such meetings were held in the photo studio itself. It took only a couple of minutes for the picture to develop: all 28 photo department staffers were laid off. Some wished their bodies were equipped with some sort of built-in stabilization as they reeled at the news. “They didn’t even say ‘Thank you.'”

Read the story at: CNN

Where will the Chicago Sun-Times turn to for its photographic needs now? Their reporters are now supposed to take their own pictures and videos on iPhones and freelance photographers will fill in the gap.

Technology is amazing. When the iPhone hit the market, so many people rejoiced and fell over one another to get one. [It’s not the same today. Walk into any Apple store and it is simply amazing to see the number of customers waiting to get their iPhone repaired or fixed; this lack of focus on quality has probably tarnished the brand quite a bit.]

But this type of disruptive technology makes it easier for every joe and susan to do things that before required an expert to do. Yes, anyone can now take good-enough-to-be-published pictures with their iPhone that before required a photographer with some expert knowledge fiddling with a SLR/DSLR.

I don’t believe for one moment that the level of photo quality at the Chicago Sun-Times will be anything near what it was before their photo department was laid off, but most people pay only a cursory glance at news and photos anyway; whether a photo is great or not does not necessarily make or break their day. Only those in the know care, stop to look closer at a photo, admire its composition, lighting, choice of exposure settings, and the emotion it evokes. We look closer at the name under the photo and file it.

We wish the best to the staff of Chicago Sun-Times and hope other photo departments have taken notice and are planning for the future.

Whenever we see a technology that makes it big into consumer products, like the iPhone did, we should beware that there will be changes ahead that will affect how business is done — and that business may be ours. Change is good. However, some of us will not be quite prepared for it and therefore, for some of us, it may be bad.

Who would have thought that a gadget like the iPhone could result in the layoff of a whole photo department — with more to follow? It’s a game-changer, business-changer, career-changer. It’s difficult to predict the repercussions of disruptive technology, but with so many making it to the consumer market [Google Glass anyone?], there is an uneasy feeling among some today that [John Mayer does not need to keep on waiting for the world to change anymore since] the times they are a-changin’, again. This time around, Apple and Google may be the two companies that will probably fuel much of that change, though don’t be surprised to see smaller players break through and make their mark. [Of course, this change is not fueled by consumer products alone.]


Editorial

Which Color Do You Prefer: All Black, Silver, Or 150 Color Permutations?

Sat June 15, 2013

The introduction of the Pentax K-50 with its 150 “serious” color permutations almost gave me whiplash. I have to admit that I always associated color with amateur, well, even lower than amateur, photographers. I mean real “enthusiast” and “serious” photographers could not care less about colors, right?

Some swear by an all-black camera, getting completely out of sort that a silver model would even exist for a serious camera. I am partial to silver models when way back cameras used film and lenses were focused manually. I had seen an ad that featured a battered Pentax Spotmatic F salvaged from the ocean. It kept ticking, or so the ad went. That was probably the most beautiful camera I ever saw, in silver, all dented and bruised, and holding its own. From then on, serious cameras for me came only in silver. All-black was for “poseurs” (which is, of course, not true, but that was how I felt about it way back then).

Now, of course, I should admit that I do love a well designed all-black camera. It depends a lot on the design and quality of the material used.

And then there’s Pentax, who keeps giving us color options. They make great cameras which are now available in almost any color combinations you want. Personalization to an extreme?

So what color makes your heart beat a little faster? All-black, silver or a particular color?


Editorial

Adobe Embraces Cloud, Perhaps A Tad Bit Too Early?

Wed May 8, 2013

The big news is that we won’t be able to purchase and download Photoshop anymore, except through a US $20 (for now) monthly subscription. [A full subscription to Adobe CC costs US $50/month] Dubbed Creative Cloud, the new Photoshop CC gives the impression that it resides and operates in the cloud though you really do download the program and can work offline… but Adobe checks regularly (30 days for monthly subscribers, about 99 days for annual subscribers) to see if your license is up-to-date.

Reading the “reviews” on Adobe’s site, it seems that some people do not understand that the cloud option costs the same (currently) as the purchase option. In fact, buy once and use forvever is what most non-pro PS users do since there is no need to constantly upgrade to the latest versions every 2 years. With the cloud option, you are “renting” and will never stop paying, forever upgrading for features you may never care about.

We’ve no doubt that Adobe’s bean counters and number crunchers have figured out that a subscription model will earn them more money, but there’s danger lurking. While most organizations may be able to justify a one-time purchase of Photoshop if there’s money in the budget and based on current image processing needs, it will be much more difficult to escape the ever watchful accountant’s eyes that see an expenditure line item of $240 (or more) every single year — and require justification every year. Get something cheaper or free, they might order — and you’ve just lost a subscriber and user of Photoshop.

Eventually, everything will inevitably move to the cloud, but not yet, just not quite yet. Adobe may be moving just a tad bit too early for many users. It should continue to offer two versions of Photoshop: the purchase & download version and the cloud version, with the cloud version providing more frequent features updates and enhancements. Priced at par with the purchase version (assuming a 2-year upgrade path), the cloud version may eventually convince many users that, in the long run, it is the “better value for the money” (especially for those who MUST use PS all the time).

So, what do you think Adobe, there’s still time to listen to your customers and do a discreete backpedaling after considering the various scenarios? Anticipate and fend off a potential looming crisis?

Those who are stuck on Adobe software really have no choice. Others can easily find other alternatives (and if none satisfy you today, just give it some time, they will come).

If you are a Photoshop user and are incensed about this move to a subscription model, then you can still purchase and download a stand alone version of Photoshop CS6 until Adobe removes this option for good.


Editorial

Happy New Year 2013!

Tue January 1, 2013

Happy New Year to all our readers!

Here’s wishing you and your family a safe, prosperous and happy New Year 2013! Thank you for your support during 2012 and we hope to bring you more reviews, articles and tutorials in 2013.


Editorial

9:30am Moment of Silence

Fri December 21, 2012

Just a heads-up that at 9:30 AM today, Photoxels will go into virtual silence for approximately 5 minutes. Please join us (and millions of other web sites) to observe a moment of silence for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Thank you.


Editorial

My Dentist Goes Digital

Sun October 14, 2012

The other day, I went to see my dentist and was I surprised when she stuck a different intra-oral device into my mouth for an x-ray! No, it was not the usual film and it did not require a few minutes of processing time. As soon as she clicked the button and I heard the familiar buzz, an image immediately appeared on the computer monitor. I was amazed, but really should not be. I should have realized that with fewer and fewer companies still manufacturing film, x-ray imaging would also go the digital route. Apparently it requires one third less radiation than for photographic film, so this is a good thing. The only two complaints I have is that this particular brand of intra-oral device felt huge so that I could not help gagging holding it immobile in my mouth and the corners were sharp and dug painfully into my gums and palate. A little research on the Internet reveals that intra-oral dental x-ray sensor is not new.

From Wikipedia:

Digital radiography in dentistry provides the clinician with the ability to store their images on a computer. This provides two key advantages over film in the form of full screen images that can be enhanced and zoomed in on, aiding diagnostics and providing easier patient communication, as well as allowing dental offices to communicate images electronically, allowing for simpler referrals and, where applicable, easier insurance claim submission.

I would suspect that if she started to take x-ray photos of everyday objects lying around her office and posted these on the Internet, she would quickly become famous. [Hint to other dentist photographers.]

Now if they could only invent a way to numb the gums without needles. I hate needles!


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