The European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) recently announced its 2015-2016 award winners for Photography.
PMA Newsline takes a look at photo apps and services you need to know about
Morpholio Journal is a digital sketchbook for photographers
Morpholio Journal is a digital sketchbook to document photograph shoots and ideas. Journal is designed for a wide range of creatives – designers, architects, photographers, artists, travelers, etc. – to use their iPad as a digital sketchbook. The app has a book interface for easy navigation of thousands of pages, if needed. The app has features specific for photographers, like annotating notes for a photo or a contact sheet. After sketching on a photo, the sketch graphic will move and scale with the photo as it manipulated.
VHS Camcorder brings back the “features” of 80s video
Craving the days of velour, mullets and acid-washed jeans? VHS Camcorder from Rarevision LLC is a $3.99 iOS app for creating an aged VHS look to your videos. Ironically, the app has far more features than the camcorders it seeks to emulate, including:
• Tape noise, static and tracking distortion
• On-screen date and time graphics
• Fake the on-screen date
• Phony zoom lens feature
• Audio sounds really bad, just like the real thing
• Sharing videos from within the app or through Camera Roll
• Built-in clip viewer for playing back, deleting and sharing clips
• Widescreen recording option
• Choose your frame rate: 24, 25 or 30
• HD video recording on iPhone 4s and newer devices (1080p requires iPhone 5 or better)
Ever since the Fourth Thirds System was introduced in 2002, the camera industry has had a decade-long struggle with what to call a digital camera with interchangeable lenses that didn’t have a mirror box. “DSLR” was an easy – if antiquated – way to describe those bulky cameras adapted from 35mm film bodies. Consumers may not know what the “reflex” meant for the “R” in SLR or even that there once was a camera called a “twin-lens reflex” – thus necessitating the “single-lens reflex” distinction – but they did know SLRs were those cameras on the sidelines of football games.
While Four Thirds was launched as sort-of an open standard, it still suffered from a lack of name awareness. (And, to confuse things further, the format bifurcated, adding a “Micro Four Thirds” version). As a result, over the past decade, cameras with interchangeable lenses were called by manufacturers and pundits as “compact system cameras” (CSC), “mirrorless system cameras” (MSC), “digital single lens mirrorless” (DSLM), “non-reflex camera,” “digital interchangeable lens system cameras” (DILSC), and, everyone’s favorite, “electronic viewfinder with interchangeable lens” (EVIL).
As an aside, it does seem strange to define a product category by what it doesn’t have, a la mirror. That’s like calling an electric car a “gasless” vehicle.
For several years, InfoTrends has used the term “Compact interchangeable lens camera (CILC)” to describe the class of smaller cameras with a removable lens. Now, according to InfoTrends’ latest U.S. Interchangeable Lens Camera Market Study, it seems consumers generally prefer the term “Digital interchangeable lens camera (DILC)” to describe these cameras.
One of the interesting findings is, camera ownership affects what the name choice may be. For example, InfoTrends says owners CILCs actually prefer the term “Mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (MILC)” over DILC or CILC, while DSLR and compact point-and-shoot camera owners selected DILC as their first choice.
The naming discussion began in 2008 when Olympus and Panasonic first announced the Micro Four Thirds format to compete with DSLRs. Since then, there have been at least eight other names used to describe these cameras, including “Advanced camera with interchangeable lens”, “Mirrorless camera”, “Compact system camera”, “Digital single lens mirrorless”, and “Non-reflex camera”.
InfoTrends’ research shows awareness of CILCs among general consumers has not increased significantly since 2012, speculating naming confusion has held back this category. In July, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) weighed in, announcing a “new” set of camera terminology for digital imaging-related communications and promotion to help provide consistency and clarity for retailers and consumers. While none of the terms were actually “new,” (in the sense they had already been in use for some time by the industry), what was new was a definitive distinction between the various models. Like them or not, at least the CEA Digital Imaging Board recommends the following:
- DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) describes a subset of ILC cameras including includes a mirror mechanism;
- Mirrorless (Mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras) describes a subset of ILC cameras without a mirror mechanism;
- ILC (Interchangeable Lens Cameras) includes both DSLR and Mirrorless cameras which, by definition, have interchangeable lenses.
Are these the right terms? Its remains to be seen what consumers will accept and understand. Kudos to the CEA and its Digital Imaging Board for getting this started.
Consumer behavior shift changing retailer mobile strategies
RetailMeNot Inc. released findings of an August 2015 study it commissioned from Forrester Consulting looking at how smartphones and apps are changing the retail landscape and how retailers should respond. The findings of the study are based on consumer surveys and retailer interviews. One major insight the study provides is, while today’s consumers overwhelmingly prefer to access the Internet on their mobile devices, only 30 percent use retailer applications to purchase products.
“Retailers’ mobile strategies needs to encompass more than just their app and website—they must also reach extended mobile audiences engaged in the shopping or browsing process,” says Michael Jones, senior vice president, retailer and brand solutions, RetailMeNot. “Whether consumers are shopping in-store, online or while time shifting on their smart phone or tablet device, retailers’ mobile experiences must meet consumer expectations.”
Smartphones are quickly becoming the first screen for consumers
- 84% of consumers surveyed use their smartphones while shopping in-store.
- Internet usage at home in the living room and common areas is now predominately done utilizing a smartphone (83%), surpassing PC/laptop usage (53%) and tablet usage (54%).
Coupons continue to be compelling content
- 65% of consumers use their smartphones to find coupons online.
- More than half (55%) of consumers surveyed say they use a smartphone to find a coupon while shopping in-store, and an equal number use their smartphone to redeem a coupon while in-store.
- The study found, in 2015, 49% of digital coupons discovered on smartphones are ultimately used in-store to make a purchase, a 22% increase from 2014.
Retailers struggle to get consumers to use their apps
- Of the U.S. consumers surveyed who have used a mobile phone in the last 3 months to perform a retail-related activity, 60% have two or fewer retailer apps on their phones, and 21% do not have any.
- Over half of respondents (56%) use retailer apps once a month or less.
- In fact, the study revealed consumers more frequently choose to use a mobile website to perform the majority of their shopping-related activities, such as purchasing a product, finding a coupon or coupon code or comparing prices with other websites or stores.
The August 17th issue of TIME magazine contains a cover story about the rise of virtual reality. Unfortunately for TIME, it’s not the article that has gotten the attention of the internet; it’s the cover subject. For a humorous take on this floating photo, head on over to PetaPixel where a gallery awaits some showing some Photoshop fun.
Canon U.S.A. Inc. launched a lighthearted new advertising campaign for its Pixma printer line. Titled “Never Again,” the series of short 30-second advertisements imagine disastrous moments in life when printing out a photo or document could have saved a person from a regret.
This spot, dubbed “Touchdown,” tells the story of a mother who regrets sharing her DSLR with her son and his friend. The boys thought they were looking for a game-winning touchdown catch, but stumbled upon a different kind of age-inappropriate game.
Canon has used this theme in the past. This one from April, titled “Daughter”, underscores the importance of keeping printing photos of your children on the walls, the mantle and the shelves, not just stuck in your phone.
Photos for Kenya is a community outreach program started by Phylicia Stoicu, a pro photographer who saw a great community service idea and ran with it in a new way. Her project, which she runs with fellow photographer Taylor Gonzalez, is bringing the joy of photography and family history preservation to people who have never had the chance to experience those things before. On this episode of the PMA Podcast, Phylicia talks about how she launched the program, and how others can develop a similar outreach to bring quality printed family portraits to underserved populations across the globe, or in their own backyards.
McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #611 – August 7, 2015
Typical reason why photo retailers got into the business? Because they liked cameras and taking pictures. Mark Comon of Paul’s Photo has nailed it. Not only does he run a successful photo store, but he also gets to go on these fabulous trips all over the U.S. and the world, leading a small group of picture-takers who have shelled out big bucks for the opportunity. Better yet, he gets to help them improve their photography. Even better, they buy all sorts of stuff from his store in preparation for the trip. And the pièce de résistance, he has opened the bookings to other retailers.
Mark was just back from an Alaska safari with seven students when we caught up with him. He was tickled because half of the students had already started posting pictures to their Facebook pages. “They’re selling next year’s trip.” He was even happier because “everyone bought a new lens for the trip, most bought a new bag, four bought a new tripod, and all bought memory cards and batteries. And all from us.”
Those purchases are “the whole reason for doing the trips.” While the enrollment cost to go is high, it’s not enough, says Mark. The whole reason for the trips “is to bring customers into the store and give them a reason to spend money. And it keeps them shooting.”
The store has opened the trips up to other members of PRO. “We encourage other members to link to our trips.” The benefit to them is they don’t have to organize the trips themselves, “and we commission the sales. On top of that, the other retailer gets the revenue from the sale of the accessories the student purchases at their store.
Mark notes each trip has an equipment list, items each participant is recommended to have, “and most of the time we sell what’s on the list to them.”
For participating retailers, it’s a turnkey deal. They don’t have to assemble the expertise or do all the arrangements, and that includes some “pretty stringent requirements,” including permits. Paul’s has it all taken care of.
We have our eye on the trip to Japan that’s coming up in February. Or maybe Tanzania in March. Oh, the choices!
So what’s your idea?
We’ve given you hundreds and hundreds of marketing ideas, now it’s your turn.
• Got a promotion that worked? An idea generated by a staffer? Something that’s exciting and/or motivating the crew? Doing something that’s bringing customers in, got customers buzzing, got them buying? Tell us.
• We’d appreciate getting pictures to help illustrate the ideas.
• Send your ideas to editor@McCurryAssoc.com.
• Don’t worry if you’re not the best writer; we’ll be happy to tidy things up for you.
• And if you want to take a look at more than 1,000 marketing ideas, the archived editions of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange are your resource: www.TinyURL.com/McCurryIdeas
The InnovationNow Photo Business & Technology Summit takes place Sept. 27-28, 2015, at Hilton Parc 55 in San Francisco, Calif., and will address the business trends, the consumer behaviors, and the technology innovations shaping today’s photo industry, while preparing for growth opportunities of tomorrow!
Here are five reasons the time is right to attend InnovationNow:
1) Reignite your passion for the photo business. Whether you are a photographer, a photo lab or a manufacturer, photography is an exciting industry with endless opportunities. InnovationNow offers an optimistic view of this future.
2) Reinvent your marketing. Micah Solomon, bestselling author and frequent Forbes.com contributor. Micah is a hands-on consultant specializing in building stellar, profitable customer experiences, creating customer-centric business cultures, as well as optimizing product and service strategies to delight consumers of all ages. He kicks off the InnovationNow program.
3) Review your infrastructure. Website security is in the news all over the world, and photo sites are not immune. InnovationNow is the only industry conference tackling these issues head-on, with an emphasis on solutions benefiting all areas of the photo business.
4) Reinvent the photo experience. InnovationNow brings together the established players and the upcoming leaders, to discuss ways to increase interoperability, productivity and profitability.
5) Reconnect with industry leaders. Thought-leaders and executives from the leading technology and photo companies will be in attendance, and there will be plenty of social events to interact. Whether making valuable business connections or renewing friendships, InnovationNow is the only event bringing all segments of the photo business together.
InnovationNow will also present the Out of the Box Awards, honoring pioneers in the business of photography. Register today to ensure your place at InnovationNow – and your place in the future of photography.