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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.


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!


Panasonic Announces Fall 2012 Lumix Line-Up

Wed July 18, 2012
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5

On July 10, 2012, Panasonic hosted editors from Canada, US and Latin America to a one-day media event in Sonoma, California. Photoxels was present for the event. Panasonic execs from Japan, US and Canada presented the new Panasonic line-up for 2012: the LUMIX SZ5, FZ200, LX7 and G5. A number of new lenses were also made available for use on the Lumix G5 interchangeable lens camera.

Continue Reading »


The DSLR Grows Up… or Old?

Sat May 26, 2012

One thing the success of mirrorless DSLRs has accomplished is to force the manufacturers of traditional mirrored DSLRs to up their game. There are two camera introductions that we are awaiting: 1) Canon to [finally] introduce their mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, probably based on the same [smaller than APS-C] sensor used in the G1 X, and 2) Nikon to introduce an entry-level full-frame DSLR, the D600 [rumor].

Canon’s introduction will signal that the mirrorless concept is here to stay, and Canon intends to bite a big share out of it. Nikon’s introduction signals that it intends to differentiate itself from the APS-C mirrorless crowd with full-frame traditional mirrored DSLRs targeted to entry-level as well as to pro users.

The problem with both is that eventually mirrorless will also go full-frame. There are no technological barrier in doing so, Leica having already shown the way with the M9. should the [rumored] Leica mirrorless also be full-frame, expect full-frame to become the next battleground between mirrorless and traditional mirrored DSLRs. And we know who’s going to win that battle eventually, don’t we?


Can You Or Can’t You Publish Pictures Taken At The 2012 Olympics?

Thu April 26, 2012

Pictures from sporting events can be spectacular. Most of the time, professional photographers capture those “moment in time” photos but at times, amateurs can also capture snapshots of events that pros are not there to witness. The 2012 Summer Olympics organizers cannot, it seems, give a straight answer on whether photos taken at the event can be posted on social media sites and or sold by the photographers, amateurs or pros. Photographers were angered at what seems to be a ban on posting photos that they take at the 2012 Summer Olympics onto social sites (the prohibition is printed right there on the ticket) but the organizers reversed themselves by saying that only “commercial” photography were banned. So both amateur and professional photographers cannot sell or earn any money from the pictures they take at the 2012 Olympics? Not only is this commercially crass, but it is also asinine. Imagine if companies declared that, from now on, any photos of their people, trucks, buildings, events, etc. cannot be used commercially. We simply would’t be able to report the news anymore.


Does Canon, Like Kodak Did, Run The Risk Of Becoming Irrelevant?

Wed March 14, 2012

Oh please, how in the world can you say such a thing — even think of it? After all, Canon DSLRs are used by professionals around the world. People make a living using one. Their cameras consistently earn awards. Movies are filmed using their DSLRs. No way. Uh-uh. Not happening.

Canon is the only major manufacturer still clinging to the traditional mirrored DSLR model. Even Nikon recognized the rising popularity — though not the inevitability — of the mirrorless DSLRs. With their 1 Series compact mirrorless, Nikon made a timid foray into the arena, staying well to the perimeter, and may not quite believe in it themselves.

But Canon, ah, Canon doggedly refuses to acknowledge the mirrorless DSLRs are a danger at all. In fact, it’s answer is the large (larger than Four Thirds, smaller than APS-C) sensor G1 X, a point-and-shoot with prosumer ambitions. If you’ve been reading the G1 X reviews we’ve linked to today and the past few days, you’re by now becoming very aware that the G1 X just does not cut it. How do you make a camera in this day and age that is so sluggish that it is good only for landscape photography? How do you justify the sticker price you slap on it so it competes with the compact mirrorless with interchangeable lenses and high resolution EVF? Someone at Canon obviously is suffering from the same “Hold the fort” mentality so prevalent at Kodak as digital gnawed away at their film business.

My money is on the table that Canon will introduce its compact mirrorless sooner than later and, if the minds that brought the EOS revolution still resides there, we may well see a mirrorless revolution at Canon too. Or maybe, we won’t.


London Undeground Apologizes For DSLR Ban But It’s Still Unclear

Tue January 10, 2012

How could London Underground mess up their sign so? No DSLR was allowed in their Aldwych Underground Station “due to their combination of high-quality sensor and high resolution” — then they backtracked and said it was for safety, since heavy cameras and tripods could pose a safety hazard as visitors negotiated spiral staircase with over 160 steps; and again now a third time saying that excessive photography (apparently people using DSLRs tend to take excessive pictures) would cause delays because people were held up by visitors taking pictures. So, which one of the three reasons is it? And if any one of those was deemed valid, why remove the ban now?

Let’s examine the 3 reasons given one by one.

1. Compact mirrorless cameras now take high quality and high resolution pictures, so banning DSLRs won’t help one bit.
2. Put a sign that says no one is supposed to take pictures on the staircase. No one is stupid enough to anyway.
3. I believe advanced photographers take less pictures than happy go-lucky snapshooters.

The reasons do not hold water and London Underground has still not come out and tell us the real reason for the original ban. Probably some company wanted to gain exclusive rights to take and sell pictures and postcards there. A perfectly good reason and one that every photographer would accept. But, please no bull.

via pdn


Kodak – The End of an Era

Wed January 4, 2012

There is no name more famous in film than Kodak. Nor in cameras… a decade or more ago. In fact, in some developing countries, the very name Kodak became synonymous with cameras, as in, “Don’t forget to bring your Kodak” — meaning don’t forget to bring your camera, whatever brand it may happened to be.

As Eastman Kodak Co. faces the threat of delisting from the New York Stock Exchange, its stock trading at less than $1.00, it is only a matter of time before someone buys its good name and slaps it onto generic digital cameras (which Kodak itself does today).

It is good to pause and ponder that things change. Some of us are still clinging to film, optical viewfinder, the traditional mirrored DSLR, brick-and-mortar businesses, … whatever it is you cut your teeth on, came to grips with, learned, became very good at… it will change and be left behind as new ways and technologies take its place.

Today’s kids grow up on digital, the iPod, iPhone, iPad, USB flash drive. What’s a cassette tape, CD player, VHS player, CRT screen, floppy disk? This year 2012, set yourself a new resolution to embrace change. It’s the only constant.

Related Link:


Happy New Year 2012!

Sun January 1, 2012

We wish our readers a Happy and Safe New Year 2012! It’s been a momentous year, both in photography and non-photography news. In photography news, we saw the compact mirrorless DSLR take its rightful — dare we say, destined — place, first alongside the traditional mirrored DSLRs, then increasingly becoming the DSLR camera of choice for both beginners and enthusiasts.

Continue Reading »


Is it time to split Pro Video from the DSLR?

Sat October 8, 2011

The addition of video features to the DSLR has without doubt started somewhat of a revolution, so much so that even movie directors are happily using these relatively compact and cheap videocameras (compact and cheap compared to their professional video equipment) as potential throwaways — attached to crashing and exploding cars and such.

It is interesting to read about all the excitement and this article by Phil Holland over at Luminous Landscape seems to summarize all that is good and bad about this phenomenon. One look at the rig and I was floored. How can anyone accept to work with such throw-together and unwieldy contraptions? It’s just so painful to see.

Perhaps it’s high time that the DSLR/DVideo be split into their own stream and timelines? By all means keep the good: use the same lens mount, use the same full-frame sensor, but give the DVideo its own form factor and specialized accesories, perhaps include a built-in steadycam, hi-def stereo mic, etc. Keep it compact, keep it cheap.

Amateur photographers will continue to desire good video shooting capability in their DSLR and that’s fine. But the challenges faced by the DSLR and DVideo sometimes [often?] require independent solutions that may be at odds with the one or the other, and no one want to see one compromised for the other. For pros, once you rig up a DSLR for video shooting, you don’t suddenly switch to still shooting during the same take, do you? Most probably, you purchase and dedicate a DSLR for video shooting exclusively. Plus, you have a couple of or more DSLRs, each fitted with its own lens of a particular focal length. So, doesn’t it also make sense to have a dedicated DVideo with its own specialized capabilities? Camera manufacturers, a whole new category awaits.

Editorial, Videos

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

Wed October 5, 2011
Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

Steve Jobs passed away peacefully today at the young age of 56. He is the co-founder of Apple, which he started with Steve Wozniak in a garage in 1976. Besides Apple, Jobs also founded NeXT Computer and Pixar. His trademark black mock turtleneck and blue jeans made dressing comfortable acceptable as a business casual attire — and countless others followed his example of starting their technology revolution in their garage. He will probably be remembered by this generation as the CEO behind the Mac, iMac, MacBook, iPod, iPhone and iPad. Key words: “It’s magic.”

via The Star

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Is The Future Mirrorless?

Sun September 25, 2011

In the excitement over the introduction of the Nikon 1 System, many have debated over what they believe is a game-changing technology: the focal plane phase detection autofocus with phase detection AF sensors embedded right onto the image sensor itself. With this new configuration, the need for a separate Phase-detection AF sensor is not necessary anymore, which also means that the mirror to reflect the light to that sensor is not necessary anymore.

If this new focal plane phase detection AF returns AF speed as lightning fast as that currently obtained in DLSRs (and there’s no reason to doubt otherwise), then the use of a mirror would be relegated to reflecting light to an optical viewfinder. Even Sony’s SLT translucent mirror would be redundant.

Can the use of the mirror in a DSLR be nearing its end as the electronic viewfinder gets so much better with every new introduction? Nikon must know that, with its introduction of the focal plane phase detection AF sensors, its own DSLRs would eventually need to be retooled: without the mirror, DSLRs can be smaller, lighter, faster. Nikon claims that it had been working on the Nikon 1 System even before Olympus and Panasonic introduced their compact mirrorless cameras. Is it then beyond the realm of possibility that they are even now working on the next generation of Nikon mirrorless DSLRs?

That leaves one major camera manufacturer with still no mirrorless offering, but we are told that November 3 is the day Canon will introduce something BIG to blow away our socks. Nikon flew journalists to New York to announce the Nikon 1 System; Canon is doing it in LA. As far as we know, the embedded phase detection sensors technology is not a Nikon exclusivity; as soon as that technology became available (in some research paper probably), every camera and sensor manufacturer must have been hard at work on their version. I simply cannot believe Canon engineers have not been hard at work on their mirrorless. And I cannot think of anything bigger than a huge chunk of its DSLRs (say, the APS-C DSLRs) going mirrorless, suddenly leaving all competitors in the dust. I mean, if Leica can do it and Sony can do it and even Samsung can do it using an APS-C sensor, there’s no reason Canon cannot also accomplish this.

These are all speculations and guesses of course but some have debated that even the top of the line full frame pro DSLRs would eventually be mirrorless? What do you think? Does it seem to you that the direction is becoming clearer and clearer for DSLRs that “The Future Is Mirrorless?”

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