About Paul Worthington

Paul Worthington is a journalist and consumer imaging consultant. He produces the annual Future Imaging Summit at PMA@CES, and writes for PMA Newsline and PMA Magazine, as well as other publications.

Polaroid Fotobar expands into “micro-retail” sites

poloroid fotobar

poloroid fotobar

The Polaroid Fotobar “retail concept” company is  opening seven “micro-retail locations” this month in California.

What’s a micro-retail location? 300-square-foot stores that “represent the best of our technology, merchandising and retail knowledge, creating a highly scalable, efficient store model that can be rolled out nationwide,” the company says.

The seven micro-stores will open throughout October and November in Westfield mall locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento and San Jose, Calif.

Polaroid Fotobar launched two years ago, and now has stores in South Florida and Las Vegas. It says its “fun, and experiential retail destination is changing the paradigm of how people liberate their photos and turn them into innovative and memorable products.”

Westfield is involved in 40 shopping centers in the United States and United Kingdom.

Keep an eye on it: iON launches home security camera

iON home

iON home

iON Cameras made a name for itself in the last few years with its wearable and mountable WiFi-enabled outdoor-oriented action cameras. Now the consumer electronics firm is coming indoors to almost literally enter a new area: your home.

“The home security sector is experiencing phenomenal growth right now, and we saw an opportunity to offer a more fully featured and simple to use product for consumers,” the company says.

iON the Home is billed as an easy-to-use, affordable wireless monitoring and security camera system for use in homes or businesses. The cloud-based monitoring system provides 24-7 live streaming, two-way talk functionality, and remote viewing to let you monitor everything via WiFi and your smartphone or tablet.

iON says it is unique to the home security market in providing rolling 24-hour cloud storage for all event videos — free of charge. Options to buy more long-term storage at the check out register will be available as gift card-like add-ons, for 7-days at $10/month, and 30-days for $30/month.

The HD video camera has a 102-degree lens and built-in WiFi. It requires AC power, and has infrared-based night vision,  and motion, noise and light sensitivity triggers for video recording. The camera system “is easy enough for a child to use but capable enough to provide peace of mind for those seeking to keep an eye on their home, kids or pets,” the company says.

iON has already scored a major retail partner for its rollout: Walmart will carry the camera for $130.

There’s more information here.

 

Canon updates high-end movie camera

canon eos 100 2

canon eos 100

Much like its big new lens earlier this week, Canon’s latest video camera is aimed only at a certain user — but this one is not only for elite professionals: the C100 is “designed for economical film and video productions such as documentary and remote broadcast crews, wedding and event coverage, indie film productions, as well as film schools and business and government users.”

The C100 Mark II has an 8-megapixel sensor in the “Super 35mm” format for MP4 1920×1080 video at 60p, “delivering a cinematic look with shallow depth of field and high sensitivity in low-light environments.”

The new model adds “an innovatively hinged” 3.5-inch OLED display panel, “delivering 100 percent field-of-view coverage, wide color range support, and improved viewing even in bright sunshine. The new hinge design folds the panel shut when stowed, protecting the OLED surface ─ and opens 180-degrees to reveal function keys and a joystick. The panel can open even further to 270 degrees to deploy against the side of the camera to provide monitoring for directors and other production personnel.

The camera weighs 2.5 pounds and is compatible with more than 103 Canon EF lenses. It’s $5,500.
There’s more information here.

Hide those photos

hidely

hidely

Need to ensure your images are securely unseen?  

“Some things should stay hidden,” say the developers of the new iOS app Hidely, billed as a “zero trace camera and private photo gallery.”

The app takes encrypted photos that are saved only to Hidely’s “hidden” passcode-protected gallery. The encrypted photos are stored on your device, not on a cloud server.

Sharing is also secured with a private link sent to friends that only allows them to view the shot within their own Hidely account.

“Zero Trace means that photos stored using Hidely are encrypted and their contents are unknown – and unknowable – to everyone except you,” the company adds. “Hidely leaves no trace of the photos on your camera roll, they only reside in the app. Sharing these photos leaves zero trace too, as the link expires within 24 hours or after the first time it is clicked. Shared photos can only be accessed by your friends within Hidely.”

So, indulge your paranoia and try the free download here.

 

How to hang ’em…

shutterfly hangs

shutterfly hangsWe’ve all matured past the point of taping prints onto the sheetrock, right? >cough<

And tacks? Please no…

It can be tricky to get your large prints up onto a drywall, let alone concrete or other materials. Shutterfly is offering a thorough overview of how hang a big photo on just about any type of wall.

“Creating a gallery wall is easier than you think,” the company says. “Whether you want to create a family wall or add decorative artwork to your office, our design-a-wall tool will help you do just that. You can hang canvas prints, metal prints, wood wall art and more. This guide will help you hang pictures on any surface: drywall, plaster, brick and concrete.”

The full infographic is here.

(via PetaPixel)

 

Can Instagram drive sales?

Instagram_logo

Instagram_logo smallAccording to Entrepreneur, Instagram imagery can boost your brand and better your bottom line.

“Instagram is a unique medium for brand advertising unlike any other platform in the social space,” the business site notes. “The visually driven community allows users to communicate in the universal language of photos and videos, opening the world to the possibility of more “humanized” content. Instagram’s growth and reach speaks to its massive appeal to the millennial audience.”

While the article is aimed at “brands” instead of small businesses, its tips can still apply:

1. Users today want content that speaks to their real interests in a genuine manner.

2. Audiences demand personal interaction — they want to speak to another person who understands them and speaks like them.

3. Analytics: Instagram provides a simplistic user experience but provides vast amounts of data regarding users and content generated.

The full story is here.

 

5K iMac improves photo editing

apple Mac27retina

apple Mac27retina

Attention photo editors: Apple just announced the world’s highest resolution display — and not only are they selling it for less than currently available lower-resolution monitors… it’s also part of a complete high-end computer.

The 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display has 14.7 million pixels, a resolution at which Apple says “text appears sharper than ever, videos are unbelievably lifelike, and you can see new levels of detail in your photos.”

The 5120 x 2880 resolution has four times more pixels than the standard 27-inch iMac and 67 percent more pixels than a 4K display, so “you can see more of your high-resolution photos with pixel-for-pixel detail.”

The tech specs are interesting, as Apple says it had to hammer out its own chips and retool its manufacturing to get this many pixels in the thin case: “iMac with Retina 5K display uses a precisely manufactured oxide TFT-based panel to deliver vivid display brightness from corner to corner. A single supercharged Apple-designed timing controller (TCON), with four times the bandwidth, drives all 14.7 million pixels. …The display also uses highly efficient LEDs and organic passivation to improve image quality and reduce display power consumption by 30 percent, even while driving four times more pixels at the same brightness. To improve the contrast ratio, …the display uses a new photo alignment process and a compensation film to deliver blacker blacks and more vibrant colors from any viewing angle…. (it) is calibrated using three state-of-the-art spectroradiometers to ensure precise and accurate color.” Phew!

The computer also has the latest quad-core processors, high-performance graphics, and a Fusion Drive (combining solid-state and spinning platter storage). “It’s the ultimate display combined with the ultimate all-in-one,” the company says. Pricing starts at $2,499.

ipad air 2

Apple also introduced its iPad Air 2, which has an improved display “for enhanced contrast and richer, more vibrant colors, and better cameras for taking stunning photos and videos.”

The latest model weighs less than a pound and is 6.1 mm thick.

With an anti-reflective coating that reduces glare by 56 percent, a 40 percent faster CPU, and improved cameras, the company highlighted the tablet’s photo capture and editing capabilities.

“Innovations to the iSight camera enable better photos and videos, with an 8-megapixel sensor and advanced optics to help capture rich, detailed images and add new features including panoramic in Photos, time-lapse video, slo-mo and 1080p HD video,” Apple says.
Pricing starts at $499.

 

Canon claims longest 4K ultra-telephoto lens

canon cineservo

canon cineservo

First: yep, it’s $78,000. So no, you likely are not the target customer for this hunk o’ glass.

However, Canon says its “the increasing use of large-format single-sensor 4K cameras for field productions like sports and nature documentaries” means there might indeed be more potential buyers for its new ultra-telephoto CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 Ultra-Telephoto Zoom lens.

It has a 75-1500mm focal length to “offer cinematographers new possibilities for shooting scenes in HD, 2K and 4K on single-sensor cameras,’ the company says. “The use of large-sensor 4K cameras is rapidly spreading beyond motion pictures and episodic television, into many new types of productions such as broadcast sports and nature documentaries.”

It’s available in either EF- or PL-mount, and “provides outstanding aberration correction and high image quality extending from the center of the image to all edges. For professional users, this lens enables close-up 4K imaging of wildlife subjects or athletes while maintaining the physical distances necessary in such shooting situations,” Canon adds.

There’s more information here.

 

LifePics to print Picture Keeper pics

picture keeper

picture keeperPicture Keeper says it “makes photo backup easy for anyone” with “the world’s first all-in-one USB device with embedded software to protect pictures and other irreplaceable files.” Now the company is teaming with the LifePics photo product fulfillment system, and says “Retailers will see the benefit of increased traffic from customers who have rounded up all their digital photos, and now have a very easy path to print them.”

Picture Keeper manufactures USB storage devices that automatically back-up all of a consumer’s images from a PC, and “helps people find and save their precious photos,” the company says. It has more than 400,000 users, who will now “print images through any retail store in the LifePics network” of 23,000 stores using the white-label solution for photos and personalized print products.

 

Photo book finds funding, ties to mobile

smolan tracks

smolan tracks

Famed photographer Rick Smolan is enhancing one of his earliest works with a smartphone-enabled coffee table book — for which he has now completed a first round of funding on Kickstarter.

Inside Tracks: Alone Across the Outback is based on a woman’s solitary 1,700 mile camel trek across the Australian Outback, the book she published about her journey, the photos Smolan captured — and the new movie hitting screens soon.

Smolan was a twenty-eight-year-old photojournalist when he was sent to document Robyn Davidson’s nine-month Australian adventure. National Geographic published his initial photos; she wrote her own book about the journey; and Smolan later published his own photo book, From Alice to Ocean.

Inside Tracks will be a self-published 224-page landscape coffee-table book, 30-inches wide when open. It will “weave together three experiences of her journey,” Smolan says: quotes from her book, the best of his photos, many of which have never been seen before, and images and the screenplay from the new movie.

With integrated HP technology, Smolan adds, “you simply point your phone or tablet at specially marked photos and immediately you’ll see a clip from the movie showing how that photograph was brought to life.”

The Kickstarter funding has met Smolan’s initial goals — but you can still sign up now to get a good deal on the finished volume, and help ensure the publication.