Canon’s president Tsuneji Uchida announced today that he will be stepping down to pave way for a younger management team as the company fell short of expectations for the second straight year. Canon’s stock price dropped 19% last year while Nikon’s grew 4%. The total number of Canon cameras sold dropped 4% last year, likely a result of both a shift away from consumer cameras and the shortages caused by Japan’s earthquake and Thailand’s flooding. However, DSLR sales are going strong:
Although Canon was affected by supply shortages caused by the quake and flooding, efforts to ramp up production and boost sales in response to robust demand resulted in significant increases in year-on-year sales volumes for such digital cameras as the competitively priced EOS Digital Rebel T3i/T2i/T3, along with the EOS 5D Mark II and the new EOS 60D advanced-amateur models.
Another big story in the camera world this past week was the passing of Sigma founder Michihiro Yamaki, who started the company in 1961 at the age of 27 by developing the first rear lens converter. He went on to lead the company for over 50 years, turning it into the largest third-party lens maker in the world. Yamaki passed away on January 18 at the age of 78 after a battle with liver cancer.
Photographer Scott Sexton created this cinemagraph showing the aperture blades in a Canon 50mm f/1.8 opening and closing. It’s like he made a cinemagraph of a cinemagraph being made.
In other news, Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck — the American photographers credited with coining the term “cinemagraph” in 2011 — have published a stunning new series of cinemagraphs captured in Malibu. We first shared their work back in April of 2011. Be sure to give their entire website a look if you haven’t already.
Dame di Cartone (“Cardboard Ladies”) is a project by Swiss-Italian photographer Christian Tagliavini in which he creates portraits of women that mimic the look of historical paintings. The styles include 17th century, fifties, and cubism. Read more…
Photographer and developer Ben Syverson has created an iPhone camera app called Mattebox that mimics the Konica Hexar, a luxury point-and-shoot from 1993 that was powerful enough for professionals but simple and intuitive enough for beginners. It’s one of the most beautifully designed camera apps we’ve seen yet, and comes with a number of fancy features baked into it (e.g. dual stage shutter release, highlight recovery, advanced B&W conversion). The app costs $4 over in the iTunes App Store.
If you have an old mount for attaching a GPS or cell phone to your windshield, you can upcycle it into a suction cup tripod for your camera (just make sure it’s not the flimsy kind that falls off on its own). What you’ll need to do is flatten the mount surface and then install a tripod screw. Nano_Burger has a step-by-step tutorial on how he did this conversion over on Instructables. The resulting tripod allows you to fix your camera in locations that aren’t accessible to tripods that don’t suck (hah, get it?).
German scientists have been awarded a Guinness World Record for “fastest movie” after successfully capturing two images of an X-ray laser beam 50 femtoseconds apart. One femtosecond is equal to one quadrillionth (or one millionth of one billionth) of a second. Here’s some science talk explaining it:
[...] the scientists split the X-ray laser beam into two flashes and sent one of them via a detour of only 0.015 millimetres, making it arrive 50 femtoseconds later than the first one. Since no detector can be read out so fast, the scientists stored both images as superimposed holograms, allowing the subsequent reconstruction of the single images.
With these experiments, the scientists showed that this record slow motion is achievable. However, they did not only take the world’s fastest but probably also the shortest film – with just two images. Thus, additional development work is necessary for the use of this method in practice. [#]
In a paper published in Science this week, Japanese researchers reported on a discovery that jumping spiders use a method for gauging distance called “image defocus”, which no other living organism is known to use. Rather than use focusing and stereoscopic vision like humans or head-wobbling motion parallax like birds, the spiders have two green-detecting layers in their eyes — one in focus and one not. By comparing the two, the spiders can determine the distance from objects. Scientists discovered that bathing spiders in pure red light “breaks” their distance measuring ability. Read more…
MoneyMaker is a suspenders-style camera strap by HoldFast that lets you shoot with three cameras at the same time while looking like a cop from old movies.
This harness derives its style from that indelibly cool detective in our collective memories with that boss leather shoulder harness holding his peacemaker. HoldFast modified the “bossness” to hold the modern shooters tools. Drawing from those classic themes, HoldFast designed a highly fashionable, highly durable, as well as highly comfortable harness for two or three cameras. [...] The design of this harness keeps the cameras from hanging too low making them easily manageable, keeping them close to the body thus more comfortable. This setup truly shines on long shoots such as weddings.
Made out of top grain leather with anchored D-rings, this is the only multi-camera harness that actually gets better with age. The brown is oil tanned, making it very soft and malleable. The natural actually darkens with use and exposure to the sun.
The New York Public Library has a massive collection of over 40,000 vintage stereographs (two photos taken from slightly different points of view). To properly share them with the world in 3D, the library has launched a new tool called the Stereogranimator. It lets you convert an old stereograph into either an animated 3D GIF (which uses “wiggle stereoscopy“) or an anaglyph (the kind that requires special glasses). Read more…