Apple acquires multi-image sensor developer LinX

linx module

linx module

SLR image quality in a phone?…
Last year we reported on the LinX’ technology that captured high-resolution images using an array of lower-res sensors. On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reportedApple acquired the developer for approx. $20 million.

The Israeli company last year claimed it could match SLR image quality with lower-cost components thanks to its arrays and algorithms.

In 2013, Apple acquired PrimeSense, the developer of a 3D-sensing imager.

From our previous coverage:

Mobile module combines cameras
“The image quality of mobile cameras has reached a dead end,” claims LinX Computational Imaging. So, of course, they say they have a new route, by developing miniature multi-aperture camera modules.
The mobile modules “are nearly half the height of a standard mobile camera and are capable of creating stunning color images,” the company says… Its ““multi-aperture imaging technologies” combine multiple images “captured from different points in space.” It also has overcome problems such as registration errors and occlusion-related artifacts arising from combining multiple images. The technique also captures accurate depth information, and creates a depth map that can be uses for 3D reconstruction.
There’s more information here.

PMA President Gabrielle Mullinax honored with Small Business of the Year Award


MullinaxGaby_2013PMA President Gaby Mullinax, owner of Fullerton Photographics in Fullerton, Calif., is having a good year. In January, she was honored with the PMDA Visionary of the Year award, and, of course, the following day, she was elected president of PMA – becoming the first female president in our 90-year history. Now, she is being honored again, this time with the Small Business of the Year award, presented by the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce.

The Small Business of the Year award recognizes businesses for extraordinary achievement in a number of key areas, such as involvement in the community, service above self, outreach, ethical business practices, length of service, innovation, leadership, environmental awareness, and ability to promote wellness and learning for employees.

“Those of us in the imaging industry are very familiar with Gaby’s remarkable vision, her business acumen, her creative genius, and her generous spirit, so it’s certainly no surprise to see her being recognized once again for her achievements. That she is now being honored by her local community with the Small Business of the Year award is just another reason for us to be proud and confident to have her leading PMA as president in this critical year of reinvention,” said PMA CEO Georgia McCabe.

The Small Business of the Year award will be presented to Fullerton Photographics at the Chamber’s Business Achievement Awards Dinner on June 17.

In memoriam: PMA Australia’s Les Brener

Les Brener and his wife, Jessica
Les Brener and his wife, Jessica

Les Brener and his wife, Jessica

PMA and the entire industry have lost a great friend: Les Brener, who served as the first Executive Director of PMA Australia, died on March 20.

“Les made so many contributions to the industry, and was vital to the establishment, growth and success of PMA Australia,” said PMA CEO Georgia McCabe. “We’d like to extend our condolences to his family, and his friends all over the world. He will be greatly missed.”

“He did so much to establish PMA in Australia that he will be remembered by many as ‘The Father’ of the organization in this country,” said Peter Rose. “He was a good man and passionate about the members and the organization he worked for.”

The funeral will be held Sunday, March 22 at 12 noon at the Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium, North Ryde, NSW, Australia.

Photo organizers unite



The Association of Personal Photo Organizers is now officially affiliated with The National Association of Professional Organizers, as NAPO focuses on “building collaborative relationships with organizations whose missions are in alignment with NAPO’s focus on promoting professional organizer and the organizing industry.”

At the NAPO2015 conference in Los Angeles this year, APPO will lead a session on best practices in the growing niche of digital photo organizing.

APPO says it now has more than 500 members throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and United Kingdom. They offer monthly training and certification.

IEEE updating image quality ratings


ieee_logo_mb_taglineIEEE says its industry-wide effort will “develop and deliver a standardized, metrics-based rating system for mobile device image quality” — and they’re asking others to join in the effort.

“Stakeholders globally… (are) invited to participate,” says the professional organization dedicated to advancing technology. “The IEEE Camera Phone Image Quality conformity assessment steering committee is engaging carriers, mobile-device camera designers and manufacturers in creating a rating system that is easily understandable for consumers.”

The goal is “development of a standardized approach to testing and certifying smartphone cameras. This standardized approach will provide great value to players throughout the camera phone supply chain, as well as consumers,” IEE says. The standards association adds that “There is a need in the marketplace for a clear, concise and comprehensive definition of image quality that consumers of current and future mobile imaging devices worldwide could use in comparing products. We envision a rating system that would eliminate ambiguity about the image quality to expect from a given device, and help consumers make better-educated buying decisions for their specific needs. In these ways, these efforts bring clarity to the marketplace and ultimately fuel innovation of higher-quality devices and overall market growth.”

There’s more information here.


Tiffen wins Oscar award



It’s Oscar time for the Tiffen Company.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized Steven Tiffen, Jeff Cohen and Michael Fecik for their efforts in developing dye-based filters that reduce infrared contamination when neutral density filters are used with digital cameras.

The Academy says Tiffen “identified the problem and rapidly engineered a series of absorptive filters that ameliorated infrared artifacts with lenses of all focal lengths,” and bestowed the Scientific and Technical Academy Award of Commendation. “These widely adopted filters allow cinematographers to work as they have done with film-based technology,” the Academy adds.

“We stand committed to continuing to support this industry that we love,” Steve Tiffen said, “and we find it so wonderfully pleasing that in this world of digital technology, Tiffen optical filters are recognized as a staple for professional imagemakers across the globe.”

There’s more information here.

oscars 86th

In Memoriam: Tim Jones

tim jones

tim jonesSad news has been confirmed: photographer and retailer Tim Jones died Monday while pursuing his passion of aerial photography.

Covering the Sydney-to-Hobart Yacht Race, Jones was shooting from a Cessna 172 plane that crashed into Storm Bay, Hobart, in Tasmania. The 61-year-old photographer was the sole passenger of pilot Sam Langford, 29. No trace has been found of the two men, reports today indicate. An oil slick has been found in the area, and debris from the plane has been picked up. There was no distress call from the plane before it crashed. “It was flying at around mast level and plunged nose-first into the water,” one witness reportedly said.

Jones was “one of Australia’s most-respected yacht photographers,” according to the news report. “He was a well-known figure in Tasmanian photography circles as owner-operator of Perfect Prints Hobart for 32 years.”

Colleague Wolfgang Glowacki says Jones was “a fantastic guy — very, very friendly, a good business partner, and very well known in the Hobart photography industry.” Photographer John Swainston knew Jones for 25 years and says “He was generous to a T, thoughtful. He was just a thoroughly good bloke. He had become very adept as an aerial photographer.”

Jones was the father of two sons and a daughter.
Our thoughts also go out to the family of pilot Sam Langford.

In Memoriam: Jack C. Easton

Jack C. Easton passed away December 26, with his family by his side.

Easton, 66, worked in sales at Mackay Mitchell Envelope Company, where he “was often heard saying that if you do what you love, you never have to work a day in your life,” the Finger Lake Times reports. “Jack had a zest for life, loved making people laugh, and could be frequently heard telling off-beat jokes to anyone that would listen (including all of the nurses and techs at Strong Memorial Hospital- have you heard the one about the thermometer?)” the local newspaper says.

The complete memorial is here.

In memoriam: Jim Lord

Jim Lord
Jim Lord

Jim Lord

Jim Lord, proprietor of Lords Photodigital in Brighouse, U.K., died  after a short illness on October 7, 2014, at the age of 68.

He was a well-known and respected figure in the photo trade, having run Lords Photodigital (formerly Lords Photography) in Brighouse since 1979.

Lords Photography was founded in Cleckheaton in 1966 by Jim’s father Bil, a photographer. Soon Jim left his job at Simmon’s Cameras in Bradord and went to work with his father in the shop. His forte was running the business, serving customers and keeping the books whilst Bill took the photographs and worked in the darkroom. In 1974 his brother Steven joined the business.

As the business flourished further shops were opened, first in Heckmondwike and then in 1979 in Brighouse, taking over Bentley’s Camera Centre.

In the 1980s, Jim was one of the first members of PMA in the UK.

Jim was always an active member of Kodak Express, which he joined over 20 years ago. He embraced the change from film to digital photography and, once again, was one of the first shops in the country to install a Kodak Apex minilab and kiosks. These have been regularly upgraded and he was very proud to recently install the latest wide screen kiosks and promote printing from mobile phones via the Kodak Moments app.

When not at work, Jim was usually to be found photographing modern railway trains, capturing images of every livery variation in the country. At home he loved to listen to music, mostly classical but he had an eclectic ear for all genres. He also enjoyed films and TV.

However, he was most proud of Lords Photodigtal, the business he built up along with his brother Steven, who is currently UK chairman of PMA. Steven will continue to run the company.

He will be sadly missed by his family, friends, work colleagues and his many loyal customers.

In memoriam: Charlie Abel


CHARLIE ABELChas Abel Photo Service president Charles (Charlie) Abel passed away last month. Toronto’s Star newspaper reports the store’s “Photo Finish” sign “was a landmark for countless drivers on the Gardiner Expressway for decades.”

His grandson writes at the Toronto Sun that “If you lived in Canada, especially Toronto, since 1906 and held a four-by-six photograph in your hands, my family has touched your life. And Grandpa Charlie, who died at the age of 88 on Nov. 24, was a big reason for that.”

Abel was a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and was known for loving fishing, boating, big band jazz, and “the singing of Frank Sinatra,” the Star adds.