Program announced for Mobile Photo Connect



The Mobile Photo Connect executive conference focuses on promoting innovation and partnerships in the mobile photography ecosystem, and says it is “the leading forum where entrepreneurs, investors and senior executives gather to discuss the key technology and business issues driving the surge in mobile imaging and visual communication.”

PMA is a media sponsor for the event, October 15-16, 2014 at the Fort Mason Conference Center in San Francisco.

The program this year includes:
• The future of photo organizing, with speakers from Clarifai, EyeEm, Dropbox, and Orbeus.
• The future of storytelling, with speakers from Magisto, Pixable, PhotoGurus, and Moju Labs.
• Funding mobile photography startups, with speakers from Strickland & Associates, the Imperial College London, Woodside Capital, and LDV Capital.
• A “fireside chat” with Kodak Alaris CEO Ralf Gerbershagen.

There’s more information here.

Nikon aims full-frame cam at enthusiasts

nikon d750

nikon d750

Nikon says its new D750 SLR offers a powerful combination of pro-caliber features in a compact and lightweight body. It’s the first “full-frame” camera from Nikon with a tilting 3-inch display and WiFi.

The 35mm-sized sensor has 24-megapixel resolution, “making it more appealing than ever for enthusiasts to discover the intense and immersive image quality that only an FX-format sensor can offer,” the company says.

The camera captures 6.5 frames per second at full res, or 1920×1080 video. It’ll sell later this month for $2,300, for the body only.

Ricoh readies rough mini-cam

Ricoh WGM1

Ricoh WGM1

With the WG-MI, Ricoh is taking its “extreme” line into GoPro territory with a smaller streamlined case and plenty of accessories for carrying the camera into  “adventures in motion” with a lightweight body that “features an unparalleled outdoor-oriented design and large control buttons that make operating the camera a breeze in any condition.”

The camera and is waterproof down to 32 feet for shooting underwater without a housing, as well as shock-resistant against a fall from 6 feet, and cold-resistant to temperatures as low as -10°C, the company says.

The WG-MI has WiFi, a 14-megapixel sensor, 160-degree lens, and captures full HD video. It’s $300.

Options include adhesive mounts, wrist straps, peg mount, magnet mount, and helmet straps.


SanDisk stores 512GB on SD

sandisk Extreme PRO

sandisk Extreme PROThe latest storage card from SanDisk holds 512 gigabytes: the Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I is the highest capacity SD card on the market now, the company says.

The card is “designed to meet the demands of industry professionals who require the most advanced gear available for shooting 4K Ultra High Definition (3840x2160p) video… and high-speed burst mode photography.” It delivers write speeds up to 90MB per second, and “recording speed for high resolution, real-world color and stutter-free 4K Ultra HD video.”

The new card “represents a 1,000-fold capacity increase in just over a decade” — as SanDisk offered its first 512 *megabyte* SD card in 2003. It’s $800.


Fujifilm adds hybrid viewfinder to latest X model

fujifilm x100t

fujifilm x100t

In its latest enthusiast compact, Fujifilm says the hybrid viewfinder with an electronic rangefinder “gives users reduced display lag times, automatic brightness controls, and a natural live view shooting display.” 

The X100T has a 16-megapixel APS-C sized CMOS sensor, a fixed 23mm F2 lens, and a 3-inch display. The camera autofocuses in 0.08 seconds; starts up in 0.5 seconds; has a shutter lag of 0.01 seconds; and shooting interval of 0.5 seconds.

Also, Fujifilm says the retro X100T has a grooved aperture ring, shutter speed dial, and exposure compensation dial “for an improved feel and grip,” and its new ‘Classic Chrome’ film simulation option “delivers muted tones and deep color reproduction for beautifully dramatic images.”

It will sell for $1300.


“Most popular camera” gets better

apple iphone 6 camera copy

apple iphone 6 camera

Amidst its long-awaited Watch announcement and showing off larger displays on its phones, Apple also debuted significant improvements to its camera, saying “the world’s most popular camera is packed with new technologies to help everyone take more great photos.”

The iSight camera in the iPhone 6 adds “Focus Pixels” to its 8-megapixel image sensor, Apple says, which “provide the sensor with more information about your image, giving you better and faster autofocus,” as well as continuous autofocus in video.

The camera now captures 1080p HD video at 60 frames per second, or 240 fps for slow-motion playback, or time-lapse videos, “snapping photos at dynamically selected intervals,” Apple says. “You’ll have an amazing movie, whether you record for 30 minutes or 30 hours.”

The larger iPhone 6 Plus model features optical image stabilization that works with the main processor, a motion coprocessor, and the gyroscope, “to measure motion data and provide precise lens movement to compensate for hand shake in lower light,” Apple adds. “The fusing together of long- and short-exposure images also helps to reduce subject motion. This unique integration of hardware and software delivers beautiful low-light photos.”
Also, the panorama mode now stiches together images up to 43 megapixels.

The iPhone 6 starts at $200 on contract, with a 4.7-inch screen; the 5.5-inch Plus model is $100 more.
(The $350 Apple Watch, by the way, does not have a camera — but it can be used as a viewfinder for the iPhone.)

There’s more information here.

• Retailers should also note the debut of Apple Pay: the company says it’s “an easy way to securely pay for physical goods and services in stores with just the touch of a finger. Users can pay securely and conveniently by simply holding the phone near the contactless reader while keeping a finger on the Touch ID sensor. All payment information is kept private, encrypted and stored securely in the Secure Element, a chip inside the new iPhones.” Apple Pay will also work with the Apple Watch.

Business success: Photos are memories… But what else boosts recall?

Business Success Logo

We often speak of photography being all about capturing for posterity the big events, beautiful locations, and our closest loved ones and friends  — and how we as an industry must do our best to help customers preserve their precious memories.

But while photography is great for memory (so much so that I am writing a book on that topic!) it’s not the only tool available to us — and in many ways, a powerful memory can boost your overall success in business, and elsewhere in life.

This week we present information and tips from Chester Santos, an actual recognized “Memory Champion” — yes, they have competitions!

Memory Exercises + Brain Fitness = Success

Chester Santos

Chester Santos

By Chester Santos

I am a memory expert: I help people to realize the benefits of an improved memory and sharper mind.
In order to win the USA Memory Championship in 2008, I practiced simple memory-building methods that can help anyone.
Wouldn’t it be helpful in your career to remember the names of everyone you meet, and to give a presentation or speech without notes? I teach that and much more.
My entertaining, interactive presentations and workshops provide my clients, from Fortune 500 companies to Harvard graduate students, with the tools to perform their functions at the highest level.

In any profession, you seem like much more of an expert in your field if you can recall important information rather than having to always look it up. If you have mastered your field and you are the expert, then you shouldn’t have to rely so much on reference — that makes you seem like a novice, not an expert. Another thing to consider: Whether or not there is a connection between memory and intelligence, there is definitely a perception: People with a razor sharp memory are perceived as more intelligent… and we always want to hire the more intelligent person.

My clients include businesses and organizations from various industries, including finance, technology, medicine and law. Many trial attorneys take my workshop because when they lose eye contact with the jury, they’ve lost the jury’s attention. You aren’t going to be as persuasive if you are always pausing to look through a mass of notes. Even the Harvard Graduate Council recognized the value of memory skills for students, and I conducted seminars for students from all thirteen of its graduate schools. “After listening to Chester, I realized the possibilities,” said Pukar Malla, President of the Harvard Graduate Council. “In a short span of time hundreds of students were using powerful memory techniques.”

I believe that memory techniques are especially important now in the technology age where people are less reliant upon human memory. The brain is very trainable. The more you have your brain do something over and over, the better it gets at doing it. The opposite is also true: The “use it or lose it” principle is definitely applicable to the brain. We all used to be able to remember the phone numbers of friends and family — Now no one knows anyone’s phone number. Things have gotten so bad that a lot of people don’t even remember their own phone numbers.

I engage my audiences and motivate them to memorize in the age of technology by demonstrating what is possible for all of us with just a little training: skills like remembering the names of one hundred people in the audience that I met right before the event, and memorizing a random list of numbers the audience created only a few seconds prior. I also can memorize an entire deck of cards in 90 seconds, or remember a sequence of 100 numbers in just five minutes (all challenges I performed in the USA Memory Championship). I never tell people that everyone is going to achieve my level, but what I do say is that everyone can dramatically improve their memory. My presentations are interactive, with audiences actively practicing memory exercises.

Most of the techniques I teach originated with the ancient Greeks. One of the core methods is known as the Method of Loci (“loci” meaning location). The Roman orator Cicero used this technique to give lengthy speeches from memory without any notes, and it was known then as the Roman Room method. This technique involves using a familiar venue such as your own home to create visual imagery that represents things you want to remember. In order to memorize a speech or presentation you choose several locations from your own home, and then link images that remind you in some way of each topic or section in your presentation. When you want to remember the topics you just take a mental walk through your residence, and “see” the images that you placed at the different locations.

These techniques magnify anyone’s memory many times over because you are using more areas of your brain. Scientific studies support that notion: When I appeared in an October 2012 PBS Nova ScienceNow segment, “How Smart Can We Get?” I trained the host of the show, David Pogue, how to use the Method of Loci memory technique. Pogue memorized 40 words in approximately ten minutes by using images connected to his own living room. In order to remember some of the words, I told Pogue to imagine that on top of this piano there is a monkey dancing, and this monkey picks up a giant iron. I later told Pogue that we tend to remember things more if there is something interesting actually happening, rather than just a stagnant object. Neuroscientist Dr. John Golfinos of New York University Langone Medical Center explained during the segment that memory champions can remember large amounts of information with these techniques because they are using the parts of the brain that process language as well as images, so employing other parts of the brain makes their memories stronger.

Since I know the importance of scientific support for my memory training, I offer programs along with Dr. Adam Gazzaley, Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Gazzaley explains the science of memory, and then I discuss the practical benefits of memory training in any career.

Clearly, memory techniques can help boost productivity for anyone in their business or personal life, and recently, I discovered that corporations might also want to get into the memory game. I brought the first-ever US corporate team to the USA Memory Championships. I do one-on-one memory coaching for Mike Faith, the CEO of, and he saw the benefit of memory training in his career. Faith believed in the value of memory training so much that he asked me to train his employees to compete in the USA Memory Championship this year. I started a trend: other corporations have already entered for next year.

Memory is fundamental to learning, so memory training and brain fitness are invaluable tools in the workplace — and who knows where the next corporate memory champion will come from? But it’s not all about competing against others… When you can improve your personal memory you are a winner in any arena. Just follow these basic and specific memory training tips to jump-start your memory.

Basic Memory Tips

1. Attach vivid visual images to information that you want to remember.

2. Establish a connection between new information and a familiar location, such as your home or office. Use this for remembering lists, presentations and speech topics.

3. Involve additional senses, including hearing, taste, touch and smell to assist in committing facts to memory. This aids in the process of encoding information into your brain.

4. Practice relying upon your memory and not technology, to recall telephone numbers and other information. This will help to re-program your brain to become more accustomed to remembering.

How to Remember Names

Everyone likes to hear his or her name, and it’s a great way to get ahead in business. Try these techniques and names will be more than just on the tip of your tongue:

Associate an image with the name of someone that you want to remember. So if someone has the name Jill, imagine a hill and someone jumping up the hill. Try linking another sensory cue to names such as sense of smell or hearing. When you meet someone, notice the scent they are wearing or the tone of their voice. If anything stands out, link it with the name. For example, if a woman is wearing a sweet-smelling perfume, link the word sweet with the name, “Sweet Sue.” If someone has a nasal voice use that with the name, “Nosey Jim.”

How to Remember a List

Imagine that there is a grocery list that you need to remember. Some of the items are milk, eggs and cereal. The best way to remember these items is to visualize them, but in an unusual way. For instance, think of a carton of the milk the size of a building, with eggs flying out of the windows. When the eggs splatter on the ground, cereal pours out of them. In order to cement the list in your mind, create a story surrounding the images and repeat it to yourself several times.

How to Memorize a Speech or Presentation

In order to memorize a speech or presentation you can use the same techniques for remembering a list: Connect an image with each topic or point in your material. For a particularly long speech or presentation, the Method of Loci works well. Just select a familiar location such as your home or office, and attach visual spots in that location to each topic. Picture your living room and take a walk around it in your mind, linking each piece of furniture, art and other objects to the points you want to make. It’s best to use vivid imagery when making these connections so that you have the best chance of remembering the information.

For more information on Chester Santos’ presentations and training go to


Microsoft improves phone camera app, touts Selfies

Lumia735 camera

Lumia735 camera

What’s in a name? Microsoft released two new mobile phones, with updated camera app software — which it renamed from the venerable “Nokia” brand it acquired, to “Lumia.”

The Lumia Camera app is faster and more intuitive than before, the company says: “it only takes milliseconds going from shot to shot.” Also, a “long press of the camera button” starts video recording at 4K-quality and 24 frames per second. “With each frame at 8.3 megapixels, you can save individual frames as high quality still images,” Microsoft adds. The phones also provide Auto HDR and Dynamic Flash modes, and improved image processing algorithms “give you clearer photos, even in lowlight.”

The phones are designed for Skype users and selfie takers, with a 5-megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera, with a lens focal length of 24mm that is “perfect for impromptu group snaps with friends and Skype calls with the whole family.” (Microsoft now owns Skype as well.) “With the wide-angle camera, you’ll find yourself capturing more than ever; more of what’s behind, more to the side and more of what’s right in front of you,” the company says. There’s even a dedicated “Lumia Selfie” app.

The Lumia 730 and 735 smartphones have 4.7-inch touchscreens, and a 6.7-megapixel rear camera.

Vacuum cleaner Robot sees in 360-degrees


dyson robot camera

Why are we covering a vacuum cleaner on a photography news service? Because the latest from the innovative Dyson company is not just a vacuum, but a robot — and while there have been robotic vacuums for years, this one has a camera onboard that sees in 360-degrees.

The Dyson 360 Eye uses the camera to navigate about your house. The camera views the room at a 45-degree angle, and takes 30 pictures per second. Those photos become a live map of the room, Wired reports. The full story is here.

It will sell next Spring; the price has not been announced. There’s more information here. And a video demo here.



Nanny Cam also detects pollution, creates visual diary

withing baby

withing baby

There is no shortage of home surveillance and baby monitors — but Withings says its Home device combines facial-recognition powered video monitoring with environmental sensing to let you “achieve peace of mind knowing your living environment is safe, secure, and healthy.”

And it will make you a diary.

The 5-megapixel HD video camera has 135-degree wide-angle view, as well as night vision with a mechanical infrared switch. It’s ready to detect people, motion, and noise — and even recognize when your baby is crying.

The Home will also, like many modern monitors, send images and data to your phone with its own dedicated app. But the software is also set to work as something of a diary for you: “Each time Home detects a noteworthy event, it takes a photo and a 5 second video,’ the company says. “They are then uploaded and stored for 2 days, forming a Home Diary over time. Scroll through the diary to understand what happened in your home. See a photo or clip you would like to keep? Simply download it, free of charge.” (Longer term storage costs extra.) “Happiness feeds off of the fleeting moments of joy we share everyday,” the company adds. “Home seizes these special moments and creates a Diary on the fly. Scroll through the Timeline, go back in time and replay short video clips of all memorable events.”

Also, “contrary to common belief,” the company adds, “our indoor environment is two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environment.” Therefore the Home’s environmental sensors measure temperature, humidity and levels of Volatile Organic Compound1 (VOC) inside your home, “a strategic element of indoor air quality. VOCs are potentially harmful airborne organic chemicals originating.  The chemicals are used to manufacture and maintain building materials, interior furnishing, cleaning products and personal care products. Short term exposure to high levels of VOC can cause some diseases such as headaches, irritation and asthma. Indoor VOC levels are typically 10 times higher than outdoor levels. Combined these compounds have both short and long-term detrimental effects on human and animal health. By alerting users to unhealthy changes in temperature, humidity or air quality, Home will give them the key data to help them build a healthier environment.”

The Home will sell for $219.