Canon: 250 million cameras sold

canon m2

canon m2

That’s a lot of cameras: Canon says it has reached “a camera manufacturing milestone as combined production of the company’s compact digital and interchangeable-lens digital cameras surpassed 250 million units on January 31, 2014.”

Canon notes its “continuously produced cameras since its founding in 1937.” It first offered a pro digital camera in 1995, “when film cameras were still the preferred camera type.” In 1996 came the compact PowerShot 600, and in 2000 Canon launched the PowerShot S100 Digital ELPH featuring “a groundbreaking compact, stylish body design.”

As for interchangeable-lens digital cameras specifically, Canon adds, “while the market in the mid-1990s had consisted primarily of professional models, the consumer digital SLR camera segment began to grow as Canon launched the D30 SLR in 2000. In 2003, Canon introduced the entry-level Digital Rebel, “which set the stage for a dramatic expansion of the consumer market.” By February 2014, interchangeable-lens digital cameras surpassed 50 million units.

Also, Canon says this it has “consistently maintained the No. 1 share worldwide in terms of volume within the interchangeable-lens digital camera market for 11 consecutive years from 2003 – 2013.”


Head-mounted cameras find out what babies see all day long


google Glass babyEveryone has wondered just what their baby is looking at all day. Now we know, report Canadian scientists who got a “glimpse of the world from a baby’s perspective.”

Popular Science reports the first-ever babycam study at Ryerson University in Canada attached tiny cameras to babies’ heads to see exactly what they look at all day.

Though the cameras didn’t have eye-tracking capabilities, it was pretty clear what was in the babies’ field of view. Faces. “There were times that mom’s face took up the entire camera,” one scientist said.
The full story is here.


Photos and the Law: Will the Supreme Court outlaw red light cameras?

supreme court

supreme court…C’mon, you know that when a headline asks a portentous question, the answer is likely “No.”

That said, the U.S. Supreme Court may soon review a case asking it to do just that: outlaw red light cameras, on the grounds they violate 14th Amendment rights to confront one’s accuser.

A man with $980 is tickets issued by automated camera-driven systems asks how can you confront your accuser if your accuser is a camera? His case was declined by the California Supreme Court — which means he can take it to the highest court in the land. However, the Supreme Court does decline to hear a vast majority of these requests, reports the LA Times here. (It adds that the city of L.A. and many other jurisdictions have discontinued red light camera systems.)

Apart from the 14th Amendment issues, the case brings up another interesting question: Is a photograph evidence? Nowadays many people have the skill and the technology to alter stills and even video. When digital images can be tampered with or even faked outright — how can they be evidence at all?

Getty’s “free-for-all” stock images

getty embed bsj

getty embed bsjWhen is free not a good thing? Maybe when the creators want to get paid…

Last week Getty Images announced it was offering bloggers and other websites free use of thousands of pictures. Now the British Journal of Photography reports “the controversial move is set to draw professional photographers’ ire at a time when the stock photography market is marred by low prices, and under attack from new mobile photography players.”

Getty says it cannot control how online sites use its images, so its best to allow posting pics that are at least linked back to its own site. “It’s incredibly easy to find content online, and simply right-click to utilize it,” BJP quotes Getty. These self publishers “typically don’t know anything about copyright and licensing… and don’t have any budget to support their content needs.”

At Getty Images’ online library, you can now select an image from 35 million offered, and copy an embed HTML code to use that image on a website. Getty Images will serve the image in a embedded player – much like YouTube does with its videos.

The BJP has more on the story here, including photographer reactions.

Among them: the American Society of Media Photographers. “We embrace the idea of using new technologies to give publishers at all levels access to great imagery. We look to companies like Getty to use these technologies to create new income streams for photographers. We don’t expect the entire pie, just a fair and reasonable piece… We need to ensure that photography remains a vital profession.”


What cameras are pro shooters worldwide using?

photogs gear

photogs gearWhat camera are pro shooters worldwide using? It’s not a definitive answer to the question, but one enthusiast site “crunched the numbers” on the World Press Photo Photographers’ gear.

The breakdown of gear usage statistics by some of the largest news agencies and associations in an infographic from hastalosmegapixeles shows what gear the pros prefer “when they’re out in the field shooting World Press Photo award-winners,” reports Petapixel.

Leading the pack is the Canon 1DX, which takes the cake as the most used camera body, Petapixel notes. The six-year-old 5DMII and its successor, the 5DMIII, tie for second place. Nikon manages to grab positions 4 through 6, with the D4, D700, and D800 taking those respective positions. The remaining systems are a conglomeration of Canon, Nikon, Sony, Leica, and Mamiya.

Overall, Canon is the easy frontrunner here, managing to grab up 58% of the market share and leaving only 28% for Nikon, 7% for Leica, 5% for Sony and 2% for Mamiya.

The full story is here.

Top tweeted photo ever: Ellen’s Oscar selfie



2.5 million? We like to note here new milestones in imaging trends, and taking selfies is certainly a leading one.

At the Oscars, host Ellen DeGeneres snapped a shot on her Samsung phone, a picture with herself standing with several celebrities.

And that selfie has now broken previous photo retweet records three times over, PetaPixel reports, “proving once and for all that all you need for a good photo these days is a smartphone and some of Hollywood’s popular stars.”


Fewer wrinkles, thinner arms: Today anchors Photoshopped



It’s no secret that most media images today are extensively reworked before being put up for public view. But the cast at the Today show publicized before and after images that demonstrate both the extreme and subtle work that’s done today.

“The difference between photo-shoot and Photoshop is becoming more evident,” the site’s article says. “And with the rise of social media, there’s heightened interest in how images are manipulated — how you can go from a plain-looking photo to a glamorous cover shot.”

Photoshop “whitens teeth and smooths away wrinkles, among many other features,” Today says. Anchor Matt Lauer adds, “We’ve all seen a hundred or a thousand photos of ourselves where every one of the features we don’t like pops right out.”

The point of the exercise, carried out with Cosmopolitan magazine, is to show how “the perfected images in magazines affect how we see our own physical flaws. While most adults don’t care about Photoshopped images, teenagers, especially teen girls, say pseudo-perfect images of celebrities make them feel dissatisfied with their own appearance.”

The article and photos are here.


Canon cutting compacts?

canon n100

canon n100That’s the word on many an Internet camera news pages early this week: the leading camera maker is cutting its losses in the low-end arena — cameras under $200 — because, as we all know now, smartphones have all-but eliminated the need for simple models.

Pundit Thom Hogan notes that Canon has 14 compact cameras… and  21 cameras of all styles priced $300-800. And Nikon’s worse, with an astounding 30 separate models in priced from $200–800, and 14 under $200.

Also, DP Review reports here that many camera makers have had lowered revenues — but have covered for it thanks to favorable exchange rates and a weak Yen.

“Manufacturers are putting on brave faces as compact sales continue their decline and interchangeable lens camera sales fail to shine,” it says. “Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon and Olympus have all put out their financial results covering the Christmas period, and there’s little to be positive about, with falling sales of interchangeable lens cameras being reported by the industry’s biggest players.”


Recommended reading: Disruption, innovation, and the future of photography

nikon f3af

nikon f3afStart your week with a little look back — and ahead, as over at Imaging Resource, Roger Cicala of writes about innovations in photography, how they’ve changed the business in the last few decades, and what might happen next.

“Technology changes tend to be of two types: incremental improvements or disruptive innovations,” Cicala says. “Incremental improvements allow one manufacturer to take market share from another… Disruptive innovations may create a million new customers — or make a million potential customers leave for some new hobby or way of doing things.

“People love incremental improvements, but they often dislike disruptive innovations at first. Disruption causes major changes, and that can be threatening. It may be several generations before the new technology is clearly superior to what already exists, but eventually the disruptive innovation has a huge effect on the market. It causes some existing manufacturers to fail, others to flourish, and creates brand new manufacturers nearly overnight.”

The full article is here.


Survey: Most people enhance their self-images before posting


UnknownI know I’ve been guilty of this: a new survey finds that a large percentage of those who post pictures of themselves online first enhance the image.

The online survey was conducted from Jan. 17 – 21 by Harris Interactive among 1,710 U.S. adults ages 18 and above who had some type of social media account. Of that group, 85 percent post pictures of themselves online. Most people edit their pictures before putting them on social media, the report says, whether it’s cropping, fixing red eye or editing a blemish. Half of those who post photos on their social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram admit to touching them up first.

48% who edit pictures of themselves enhance their looks by removing blemishes (15%) or adding color to look less pale (15%). Approximately 1 in 8 (12%) admit to editing because they aren’t happy with how they look in general, while some (6%) edit to make themselves look thinner.

“With the near-constant likelihood of being snapped and posted at every turn by “paparazzi” friends, not to mention the ubiquitous selfies, comes the pressure to be camera-ready at all times,” says The Renfrew Center Foundation, which commissioned the survey. “But, aided by the ready availability of image editing software, most people first alter photos of themselves before sharing them on social media networks.”

The foundation is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to advancing the education, prevention, research, advocacy and treatment of eating disorders. “All this taking and posting photos has become an obsession of sorts. We feel pressured to edit and alter our images so we look like what we think of as our ‘best selves’ instead of our real selves,” it says.

There’s more information here.