Archives for December 11, 2012

Sony’s Mike Kahn elected President Of PMDA


One of our favorite guys in the business just keeps getting busier: The board of the PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association elected Sony’s Mike Kahn as president.

Khan is a 25-year veteran in the consumer electronics industry, and is now director of Sony’s Alpha Camera Systems business unit. He also recently joined PMA’s Executive Committee, as the first Special Advisor.

As PMDA’s president, Kahn will “continue the PMDA’s mission to promote and advance imaging while working with member organizations to help chart the industry’s future,” the association says.

Former prez Joellyn Gray, director of marketing for Fujifilm’s Imaging Division, will continue on the PMDA board of directors.




New Photoshop features in the Cloud


I haven’t even tried all the features in the last version, and now there’s more — but the latest features are only available to subscribers: Adobe Systems says its new Photoshop CS6 capabilities available to Creative Cloud members include smart object support for blur gallery and liquify, 3D enhancements including improved live previews of shadow effects, and support for Retina displays on Apple’s MacBook Pro.

Also, the new “Creative Cloud for Teams” makes it easy for creative professionals to collaborate with colleagues, with easy management of virtual workgroups, and 100GB of cloud storage per user.

Adobe Creative Cloud membership for individuals is $50 per month; Creative Cloud for teams is $70.

Personalized print product market to grow


The overall market for personalized printed products in the U.S. is estimated to grow from around 113 million units in 2012 to nearly 158 million units by 2017, InfoTrends reports.

Due to the popularity of products like photo books, photo calendars, and photo cards, the photo merchandise market has experienced strong growth over the past few years, the research firm adds. But its latest study examines new printed products that are personalized, with a focus on developments in custom printed cards, stationery items including products like contact cards and journals, and photo-based home décor.

These printed products are growing due to a rising installed base of digital printing presses that allow for short-run production of a wide range of products, InfoTrends says, as well as new creative tools and software that give consumers the ability to customize printed products with elements such as text, borders, graphics, and personal photos.

The multi-client study, Next-generation Personalized Printed Products, finds that “the growth in the market for personalized printed products is driven largely by getting consumers to think of traditional products in new ways, which is encouraged not only by the ability to personalize products but also by the availability of new designs and new ways to create and order these products.”

Also, InfoTrends adds, “Personalized printed products are an excellent option for photo merchandise vendors looking to expand their reach, as these products are less vulnerable to seasonality issues and are typically printed on the same equipment, allowing for greater production efficiency.”

More information is here.


Imaging Resource guides you to the best Cameras


“Are you still struggling to locate the perfect gift for the photographer-friend in your life?” asks the Imaging Resource enthusiast camera site. “There are a lot of choices out there, and filtering through them can be a monumental task. But fear not: Imaging Resource has done the heavy lifting for you!”

The Holiday Photo Gift Guide starts with “the bigger-ticket items: a healthy selection of DSLR and mirrorless cameras,” IR says, as well as tips for getting the best lenses — all backed up with the site’s extensive reviews.  (The priciest cameras are listed under “Tax Deductions.”)

“Rest assured,” the article adds, “the items we’ve chosen are those we’d feel happy choosing for our own friends and family.”

The full guide is here.


Pop Photo calls Canon the Camera of the Year


Due to its “ground-breaking low-light performance and Hollywood-esque video flair,” Popular Photography awarded Canon’s EOS 5D Mark III its Camera of the Year title.

The pricey big camera is “the best low-light DSLR we have yet tested,” the enthusiast site says. “A near-perfect tool for the still shooter, it can double as a top gun for the videographer.”

The full write-up is here.


Doro PhoneEasy provides seniors with big-button camera phone


Here’s a camera phone I might personally need to buy — for my mother, that is… my eyes aren’t that bad yet!

Consumer Cellular says its latest offering is the U.S. debut of  a Swedish manufacturer’s line of flip phones geared toward seniors — and this new model, the Doro PhoneEasy 618 has a “simple camera and MMS functionality to enable users to capture, send and share photos anywhere in the world.”

Yes, it’s only a 3-megapixel camera, but it’s “easy to use with an intuitive menu and a dedicated key. In just a moment, photos can be sent to and received from friends and family.”

The phone is only $60. Consumer Cellular says it is the exclusive wireless provider for AARP members. “Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, and this phone does just that for the millions of consumers who want to stay connected through conversation, text and images, but may find a standard cell phone difficult to use,” the company adds.


On the DIMAcast: DIMA 2013 speaker Erin Manning on making a great marketing video

I always love interviewing Erin Manning. In addition to being a professional photographer, educator, digital imaging expert and host of DIY Network’s Telly-award-winning TV series The Whole Picture, she’s also creator and host of the Digital Photography 101 video series, she is the author of two books, Portrait and Candid Photography and Make Money with Your Digital Photography, both published by Wiley, and, of course’s she on the DIMA Board of Directors. She’s also just a very cool chick.  In this week’s DIMAcast, she gives us a glimpse into her topic of an upcoming DIMA 2013 education session on creating a simple, yet powerful marketing video.

Listen and discover why marketing videos are so powerful, how to look and sound like the expert you are – and how to avoid a huge bill if your video goes viral.

Keys to social media: Engage, amplify, evangelize

Barbara Barnett is a Chicago-based radio personality, author, entertainment journalist and blogger, as well as Blogcritics Magazine’s co-executive editor. She kindly offered to share with us her advice for making the most of the world of social media.

Engage. Amplify. Evangelize.

These three words define the value of social media in a nutshell. Whether you are an author trying to sell your latest masterpiece, a not-for-profit trying to get out its message, or a company trying to market its latest product, social media is a crucial weapon in your arsenal.

Short blogposts or articles, conversationally written to draw in your audience are really the conduit to engagement with your target audience. Give them something to respond and react to, letting everyone become part of your conversation. Usually, a blog or a well-placed article isn’t quite enough. Engaging your audience also means sending your message through the labyrinthine maze of social media: Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, StumbledUpon, GetGlue, Facebook. The list is endless. But each of those platforms is a conduit to more audience, more listeners to what you have to say.

What works and what doesn’t? What’s worth my time, and what’s a waste of time? Knowing how each of these social media operate and how they amplify your original message (or if they do) takes some experimentation in this brave new world of social networking and media. Twitter is pithy at 140 characters, and even with link shorteners like, you don’t have much time to say what you have to say, provide a link, and “hashtag” it with the most significant three keywords. But Twitter is the most potentially viral of your message amplification tools. You need “followers,” and you need those followers to hear, process and amplify your messages by “retweeting” it to their followers. Exponential amplification follows suit. But Twitter moves fast; your message doesn’t stay on anyone’s radar for long; on the other hand, you can’t bombard your followers all day long. It’s bad form, it’s annoying, and will turn whomever you’re trying to reach into the opposite of a fan.

Facebook has two conduits. If you use Facebook to talk to your friends and family, you must have a professional Facebook “fan” page. They’re also free, can be designed to your custom specifications for easy branding. Facebook allows for lots of engagement as you provide the message and invite the community to “talk amongst themselves” in an ongoing “town square” environment. Inexpensive promotion options also exist to get the message “out there” to more (and highly targeted) readers.

Once the message is out there and you’ve engaged and amplified (but not cranked the amplifier up to “11”), now your fans will help take some of the burden by “evangelizing” your message. They like what they hear, read or see, now they not only can pass the word, but can add their own voices, personally endorsing what they love, and that’s really how your message grows (and grows) and may even become viral, spreading across the Internet, finding its way into many more social media conduits than you can ever think of yourself.

It’s a brave new world out there in the wilds of the Internet, exploring it takes time, cultivation, nurturing and some luck (and a bit of experimentation to know what works for you), but its all time worth spent.


Twitter filters photos, Instagram updates camera


Late last week a scuffle broke out between two of the top social imaging services, as Instagram decreed it wanted its photos viewed on its site, not through Twitter, and so disabled the easy linking users of both services has enjoyed for a long while.

This week both companies rolled out updates — and the timing may be coincidental, but the intentions surely are not.

First and most telling, Twitter duplicated the feature Instagram is best known for: filters, adding eight of ’em, “ranging from black & white to vintage” [which doesn’t seem to be a long range…]

The mobile app also now sports easy tools to “edit and refine your photos… new ways to enhance the images you tweet.” The tools were developed with imaging software maker Aviary.

“Every day, millions of people come to Twitter to connect with the things they care about and find out what’s happening around the world,” the company says. “As one of the most compelling forms of self-expression, photos have long been an important part of these experiences.”

Instagram calls its latest iPhone app “the largest upgrade to our Instagram iOS camera since it was revamped just over one year ago… We’ve made significant improvements to its look and speed.”

The app has “Instagram-themed” shutter & shutter release buttons, speed and reliability improvements, as well as a new filter, Willow, “a monochrome filter with subtle purple tones and a translucent glowing white border,” and an improved Tilt-Shift feature with a “completely overhauled blur algorithm” that increases quality and accuracy, the company says. “Tilt-shift now gives a vastly more realistic rendering of depth of field because of these improvements and subtle tweaks to how we render the image.”