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.

“Professional-grade” VR camera system designed



While companies like GoPro plan to capture immersive 360-degree videos by combining existing cameras into multi-cam rigs, others are making all-new imaging tools for “capturing cinematic virtual reality experiences.”

Palo Alto-based Jaunt says it’s “developed a new series of cameras designed from the ground up to enable the next generation of filmmakers and visual creatives to produce the highest quality cinematic virtual reality content.”

The Neo camera system has a large-format sensor, custom wide-angle optics “specifically designed for 3D light-field capture,” and a fully synchronized global shutter sensor array.

The first systems will be available this August.

Photoshelter says film isn’t dead

film- photoshelter

film- photoshelter

The latest free guide from Photoshelter provides “a look inside the photographers & companies keeping film photography alive,” the company says, “who continue to honor film photography today.”

The guide looks at:

  • Why does film persist?
  • Why do photographers continue to use it?
  • What iconic film cameras are photographers turning to?
  • What are the film-based projects you should know about?
  • Which companies are keeping film alive?

The free guide is here.

Sony senses money

sony w810

sony exmor sensors 1

Already the world’s leading image sensor maker, Sony is, for the first time in decade, issuing public stock to fund further development in the technology.

Sony calls it’s a “profit generation and investment for growth” phase, and says it “plans to apply the funds raised by this issuance of new shares to expenditures for increasing the production capacity of, and research and development for, stacked CMOS image sensors in the Devices segment in order to further enhance profitability.”

Here is the full announcement.


40-year ban lifted: Visitor photography allowed again in the White House

Michelle Obama on photos at White House


Michelle Obama on photos at White House

For 40 years, visitors to the home of the United States President could not take pictures.

Today First Lady Michelle Obama literally tore up that policy in a video she posted to Instagram, with the accompanying text: “Big news! Starting today, we’re lifting the ban on cameras and photos on the @WhiteHouse public tour. Visitors are now able to take photos and keep those memories for a lifetime!”

The White House press office later released an official statement, saying “Today, the White House is lifting its longstanding camera and photo ban on public tours. This ban has been in place for over 40 years… Effective today, guests are now welcome to take photos throughout the White House tour route and keep those memories for a lifetime.”

Permitted items now include phones and compact still cameras with a lens no longer than 3 inches. Still prohibited are video cameras (which is weird, seeing as how all phones and compact cams capture video) cameras with detachable lenses, tablets, tripods, monopods, and camera sticks, as well as flash photography and livestreaming.

Also: The White House is now posting here the new pictures taken by tourists.

white house photos


Photoflex bought by Promark



Lighting manufacturer Photoflex reports it’s been acquired by Promark International.

Photoflex had all-but gone out of business earlier this year. (See previous coverage here.)

“Together, Promark and Photoflex will focus on delivering high quality, industry-defining lighting solutions for photographers of all skill levels,” the two companies announced.

Photoflex says “business will go on as usual” now, as it develops photographic lighting tools.


Olympus improves phone photography with AIR add-on lens-cam

olympus air

olympus air

Olympus says its Air A01 camera delivers SLR image quality to your mobile device.

The camera has a 16-megapixel sensor and a Micro Four Thirds lens mount — but no display. Images are composed using a touchscreen on a smartphone or tablet, with which the Air communicates via WiFi.

Unlike the iPhone add-on announced by DxO earlier this month, the Air provides more than a fixed lens: it has “full compatibility with Olympus’s comprehensive collection of Micro Four Thirds lenses, expanding the capabilities of your smartphone,” the company says. The Air has the same sensor and TruePic VII image processor as the latest OM-D and Pen cameras, and provides Raw stills and 1080p video capture, as well as a 10-frames-per-second mode (with focus and exposure fixed), and a silent electronic shutter.
The camera is $300, or $500 with a lens.

Seeing as how Sony first offered its QX-series lens-cams in 2013, and a lens-mount model last year, what is Olympus’ advantage here? After trying out the device in Japan earlier this year, the Imaging Resource posted last month on how the Air may be the “most important camera of the year.” Why? Because it’s open “to programmers, experimenters, hackers and system-builders. The Olympus AIR A01 isn’t just another camera, it’s a tiny, Lego-brick camera-in-a-can, ready to be plugged into any system you can dream up. It’s also an unusually capable, remotely-controllable, high-quality camera system for event or wildlife photographers, videographers, or anyone else who needs to tuck a camera away somewhere and take pictures beyond arm’s reach.”

Read the full article here.

On the PMA Podcast: Kodak Professional Keepsakes Collections & Creations


Chris Van Zandt

At the Kodak Professional Pro Lab Workshop in June, Kodak Alaris unveiled the Kodak Professional Keepsakes Collections & Creations (KC2) software which has been more than a year in development. KC2 enables professional labs and photographers to prepare, present, and produce content to new revenue streams.
In this episode of the PMA Podcast, Chris Van Zandt, General Manager & Vice President of Paper & Output Systems at Kodak Alaris, describes how KC2 was developed, and why Kodak Alaris believes it will both transform the way many professional photographers work, and bring greater opportunity to pro labs.
You can download the audio episode or subscribe to the podcast here.

Or you can tune in now with the player below.

“Vertical Street View” goes up El Capitan

google el cap street view

google el cap street view

From the comfort of your office chair, now you can see what it’s like to climb the world’s most iconic rock wall: Yosemite’s El Capitan.

Google’s latest in-depth “Street View” project followed climbers 3,000 feet up the mass of granite, and yields an immersive panoramic experience. Google says it’s “our first-ever vertical Street View collection.”

They team used the clunky Street View camera “meant for the inside of a restaurant” and used “tried-and-true climbing gear like cams and ropes to make sure the camera wouldn’t fall to the ground.”

google el cap 2

One of the climbers says now, “These 360-degree panoramic images are the closest thing I’ve ever witnessed to actually being thousands of feet up a vertical rock face—better than any video or photo.”

Here’s more information.

Here’s a great video of the climbers.

(I was just at El Cap today. Wisely, I refrained from climbing.)


Throw this camera into a bad situation

bounce imaging 3

bounce imaging 3

Afraid of what lurks around the corner? Throw this camera in ahead of you.

The Explorer was invented at MIT a few years ago — and it’s now being sold by the Boston-based spin-off firm commercializing the idea, Bounce Imaging.

The softball-sized tactical sphere is equipped with multiple cameras and LED lights inside its rubber shell, which give a quick assessment of a dangerous situation. The app on a mobile device even stiches together the multiple viewpoints into one larger panoramic view.


The company is now sending out 100 Explorers to police departments nationwide. Other first responders will receive them in the near future, MIT reports. Upcoming models may also add sensors for radiation, temperature, and carbon monoxide. The base price is now about $1500.


Updated thermal camera boosts resolution



The new thermal imaging accessory for smartphones from Flir Systems is smaller than its predecessor, and provides four times the resolution.

The $250 Flir One plugs into an iOS or Android device to see heat and accurately measure temperature variations smaller than a tenth of a degree. It enables a host of practical applications, the company says, “from identifying energy inefficiencies and water leaks in a home, to enabling safe and enjoyable outdoor exploration.”

The device contains both the company’s “Lepton” camera that senses thermal images, and a standard camera, and combines the two shots into one picture that you can see more clearly than a standard thermal shot.

flir two cams

Here’s more information.