Archives for January 16, 2013

Facebook searches photos, more


Want to see what your friends looked like 20 years ago? Or, say, which ones took shots on Las Vegas earlier this month? Soon it will be simple to do so.

Facebook’s new “Graph Search” will let its 1 billion members quickly search through its 240 billion photos.

Facebook says it gives people “the tools to map out their relationships with the people and things they care about. We call this map the graph.” The new way to navigate these connections, Graph Search, combine phrases (for example: “my friends in New York who like Jay-Z”) to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook, the company says. “Graph Search will help you instantly find others, learn more about them and make connections, explore photos, quickly find places like local attractions and restaurants, and learn about common interests like music, movies, books and more. All results are unique based on the strength of relationships and connections.”

The first version of Graph Search focuses on four main areas — people, photos, places, and interests. For example, “photos I like,” “photos of my family,” “photos of my friends before 1999,” “photos of my friends taken in New York,” “photos of the Eiffel Tower”

As most content on the service isn’t public, “we’ve built Graph Search from the start with privacy in mind,” the company adds. “It makes finding new things much easier, but you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook.”

More information is here. acquires photographer service Zenfolio


Online consumer retail site acquired Zenfolio, a platform for photographers seeking to sell their shots.

“Bringing Zenfolio into the family was very natural because of the synergy between the two companies in the wall décor space,” the company says. “Zenfolio provides a solution for photographers looking to sell their work online, and will allow us to capture an even larger portion of our customers’ ‘wall share.’”

Founded in 2006, Zenfolio’s subscription-based service provides “online photography presentation and sales solutions for professional photographers and enthusiasts.”

Zenfolio’s founder adds, “We are passionate about photography and believe that beautiful photographs should have an equally impressive viewing experience.” says it has more than 12 million customers in 120 countries worldwide, and is the world’s largest online specialty retailer of high-quality wall art. The company was founded in 1998, and is headquartered in Emeryville, CA. and Zenfolio will continue to operate as stand-alone sites.


Cewe Color reports 2012 sales over €500 million


Last week at PMA@CES, Cewe Color was one of the primary sponsors for our Future Imaging Summit — and now we see why CTO Reiner Fageth was so happy the whole time: the leading European photofinishing firm reports in the 2012 fiscal year it recorded sales of more than 500 million euros for the first time, with earnings of 27–33 million euro.

Cewe cites photo books in particular as a leading print product, but also succeeded with new calendars, greeting cards, and wall decorations, as well as iPad and Smartphone cases, fabrics, and ceramics personalized with photos.

Photo books have been “driving the seasonal shift of sales and earnings for years,” the company says. “Whereas formerly the third quarter of a year delivered the largest contribution to turnover and profit, today this has shifted to the fourth quarter. There are two reasons for this trend: firstly the decline in individual photographs (both analogue and digital), spread throughout the entire year with a focus in the summer, and secondly the strongly rising demand for value-added products for which there was high demand as gifts at Christmas.”

Overall, Cewe adds, “Our strategy is working: During the last decade in photofinishing, we have virtually replaced our analogue business almost completely with our new digital business. We are now working in this sector with an innovative range of products to maintain our sales at this high level. Online printing will contribute to our growth, now and in the future. The potential in this market is growing strongly — and we are growing at the same rate.”


Noritsu’s new QSS Green offers array of printing functions

There were many great products on display at the 2013 PMA@CES trade show floor last week, and while we can’t write about all of them, I did want to highlight a cool new dry minilab from Noritsu, the QSS Green.

“The QSS Green is the only inkjet printer in the market delivering the highest quality prints with an automatic duplex printer. This printer is designed to add superior products to the retailer’s portfolio with variable paper thickness and surfaces,” said Kevin Williams, Senior Vice President of Sales and Service for Noritsu. “Our customers asked for this design, we listened and delivered the QSS Green profit generator. Retailers can also meet heir current production needs by utilizing the printer with the variable paper sizes in roll format.

“The QSS Green was a huge success at PMA@CES, and we are excited about the future growth opportunities for our customers and Noritsu,” he added.
Read more about it here.


X marks the upgrades for Fujifilm


Now that I’ve recovered from the week of PMA@CES — hey, the Future Imaging Summit went great! — I can cover what is hopefully the only major camera announcement we’ve missed so far… And just as our first new models for 2013 came from Fujifilm, so do these two higher-end models.
Thanks to phase detection, Fujifilm says its new X20 delivers the world’s fastest autofocus speed in its class — 0.06 seconds — as well as 20 percent higher resolution and 30 percent reduced noise as compared to the previous X10. The new sensor has “a highly randomized and unique color filter array that eliminates the need for an optical low-pass filter,” Fuji says.
The 12 megapixel camera has an optical viewfinder with an overlaid “Digital Trans Panel” that displays imaging information synched with the manual zoom lens, the company adds.
The X20 has an F2.0-2.8 4x manual zoom lens made of 11 glass elements in 9 groups. The image stabilization mechanism shifts 5 lens elements to compensate for camera shake by up to 4 stops, Fujifilm says.
It has a die-cast magnesium alloy body, and is priced at $600.
The “professional-grade” X100S goes that camera even better with a larger APS-C-sized sensor and a 23mm F2 fixed lens.
Compared to the previous X100, its image resolution is 25 percent better at 16MP, and noise reduction 30 percent improved. Also, autofocus clocks in at 0.08 seconds, and the hybrid viewfinder switches between optical or electronic.

More information is here.