Remember the tiny Chobi Cam One “DSLR” that was introduced in Japan at the beginning of the year? Well the camera has found a distributor in the US and is generating some media buzz again after being marketed as “the world’s smallest camera”. While it certainly isn’t the world’s smallest camera, you probably won’t find an interchangeable lens digital camera that’s smaller. You can buy the video-capable 2-megapixel camera over at Hammacher Schlemmer for $100, though it doesn’t appear to come with any additional lenses besides the kit lens.
Bloomberg reports that Canon and Nikon’s failure thus far to enter the mirrorless camera market has allowed Sony to eat into their combined market share — at least in Japan:
Canon and Nikon’s combined share of the Japanese market [for interchangeable lens cameras] has fallen by 35 percent, while Sony’s share has doubled
“Mirrorless cameras are a threat,” said David Rubenstein, a Tokyo-based analyst […] “If the western geographies follow the same pattern as Asia, then it will be negative for Nikon and Canon.”
“In the long run, Canon and Nikon will have to enter the market,” said Hideki Yasuda, a Tokyo-based analyst […] “Still, it won’t be too late for them to enter the market after mirrorless cameras become a global trend.”
Although mirrorless cameras are becoming all the rage in Japan, its adoption outside the country is much slower. Canon still owns a 45% share of the global SLR market, while Nikon remains at 30%. Canon also earned $1.5 billion in profit from selling SLRs last year, four times the profit generated by its compact cameras. SLR cameras and lenses were also Nikon’s biggest moneymaker.
It’s finally happened — companies are starting to realize that the two lenses on 3D cameras look a whole lot like eyes. This 3-megapixel “Felyne” camera is designed to look like a character from the video game franchise Monster Hunter, and goes on sale later this month in Japan for about $90. Something tells me we’ll be seeing a lot more of this kind of thing if 3D cameras start becoming popular.
I wonder if camera makers can make these things look like they’re blinking whenever you take a picture. That’d be neat… or creepy.
Flickr user Céline Ramoni has a beautiful set of photographs shot from the Yurikamome rail line connecting the cities of Shimbashi and Toyosu in Japan. The exposure times aren’t too long (they’re all less than a second), but the speed of the train creates plenty of motion blur — even in daytime. Read more…
You’ve probably seen countless photographs already of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan back in March, but they were likely captured by professional photographers looking to have the images published in news outlets. What, then, would photographs look like if they were taken by ordinary people who were directly affected by the disaster? Aichi Hirano found out the answer to this question by distributing 50 disposable cameras to survivors at a number of shelters with a note that read,
Please take photos of things you see with your eyes, things you want to record, remember, people near you, your loved ones, things you want to convey… please do so freely. And please enjoy the process if you can, even if it’s just a little bit.
When two photographers got engaged in Japan, they asked their jewelry-maker friend to create wedding rings based on the Leica 50mm Summilux lens. The groom’s ring was the focusing ring while the bride’s was the aperture ring. The friend also created a stunningly realistic miniature Leica M3 to hold the rings (they slide onto the lens)!
The stock prices of major camera equipment manufacturers took a major — and expected — dive after the earthquake on March 11, 2011. Though they made a brief recovery afterward, they’re continuing to fall due to the risk that gear prices may soon skyrocket soar once decreased production isn’t able to meet demand.
Andrew Lathrop came up with this novel way of building a simple radiation detector using an old compact camera, plastic scintillators, some reflective material, and black tape. A scintillator is material that lights up when exposed to radiation, and might be a little difficult for you to get your hands on unless you work in a science lab. Lathrop sent his idea to newspapers in Japan after the recent earthquake, but none of them decided to publish it.
The Necono Digital Camera is a funky cat-shaped digital camera out of Japan that might make it easier for you to take smiling baby photos. It’s a 3 megapixel camera that doesn’t have any LCD screen embedded for you to review your shots — you have to connect it to a “Monitor Ground” base that includes an LCD or transfer the images to your computer via USB. The cat has a shutter button on its butt, the camera and a self-timer LED in its eyes, and magnetic feet that allow you to stick it in random places.
Like many novelty cameras, the Necono doesn’t exactly come cheap… It’ll run you a whopping ¥15,750 ($192). At least you can be the only one among your friends to take pictures with a cat. Read more…