Mike Smith

Staff Writer

Mike Smith is the principal photographer at Focali Photographic. He has been an active photographer for over 30 years, having started out on a reliable Canon SureShot before progressing onto his faithful Pentax P30. He now shoots on a range of digital cameras and formats, although he produces the majority of his work on Nikon. He also shoots regularly on both 35mm and medium format film. Outside of his commercial work, Smith writes regularly on both technical and philosophical photographic topics and has a fascination for fine art and abstract architectural work.

Articles by Mike Smith

Falling Camera

Why 2022’s Falling Camera Sales Shouldn’t Worry You

The year 2020 saw digital camera shipments nosedive to a new low of 8.9 million units, down from 121 million units in 2010. It was believed it couldn't get any worse and, indeed, shipments stabilized in 2021. So why do sales appear to be in free-fall again?

What are Blinkies in Photography, and Do They Really Matter?

You're out in the field, having scouted out a new location to grab a landscape vista. You release the shutter button and then chimp the back of the camera to see what you've captured... the sky's blocked out, blinking back at you. You've got a dreaded case of the blinkies, but does it actually matter?

Why is Shooting with a Smartphone So Deeply Unsatisfying?

The smartphone is perhaps the single most important device in history, wresting the power of news and journalism back into the hands of the everyday person. Data communication is the key enabler, but the camera -- more than anything else -- slakes the thirst for instant visual gratification. So, why is shooting with a smartphone so deeply unsatisfying?

Why Digital Cameras Will All Die but Film Cameras Live On

Digital cameras are great -- the technology they are built upon is remarkable, underpinned by remarkably sophisticated designs. Not only that, but the pictures they acquire are of such astonishing quality that they make anything that went before pale in comparison. So why then do digital cameras have such (relatively) short lifespans compared to film cameras?

The Camera Sales Forecast for 2022 Isn’t as Bad as CIPA Makes it Sound

The news of falling camera shipments is like the dripping of a faucet. It comes with a regular, steady, beat, and just when you think it has stopped... plink, there it goes again! So perhaps it's no surprise that CIPA -- the trade body for manufacturers -- has a downbeat forecast for 2022, but strangely seems to have missed the good news!

How a $10 Million Photo Led to Prince Andrew’s Downfall

Is this photo worth $10 million? Prince Andrew thinks so, or at least reports indicate that his out-of-court settlement with Virginia Giuffre will cost somewhere north of $10 million. The figure makes this image perhaps the most costly single photo in the world.

Sony and Canon Both Claim to Be #1 in Mirrorless Cameras — Who Really Is?

Sony announced last week that it was the number one mirrorless brand holding the highest market share for eight years straight. Canon then followed this up by claiming that it was the number one digital camera company, also leading on mirrorless market share. In a game of smoke and mirrors--something Sherlock Holmes would be proud of--who is telling the truth?

OM Digital Has Its First Camera, But Does it Have a Future?

It's the dawn of a new era for OM Digital Solutions (OMDS) -- Olympus as was -- as it forges a new beginning, with a new camera, bearing the new name, and the last to be emblazoned with the Olympus logo. Is this the start of a golden age for Micro Four Thirds (MFT) or simply the beginning of the end for both OMDS and MFT?

Is Nikon Caught in a Perfect Storm?

It's no secret that Nikon has been having a tough time financially -- a result of an over-reliance on its Imaging Division -- and has been implementing a medium-term strategy to help balance the books and foster long-term growth. Results from its Imaging Division suggest it is struggling and possibly caught in a perfect storm.

Canon Begins Transition to Mirrorless Market Dominance

With 2021 well and truly over, those manufacturers that align their finances to the calendar year are now producing their financial reports. Canon's latest figures reveal strong and sustained performance, even during the pandemic, which is a result of its shift to mirrorless camera manufacture and facilitating the beginning of a new market dominance.

BCN Awards: Canon and Sony Enjoy Gains as Nikon Still Lags Behind

The BCN Awards are a stalwart in the annual calendar as they recognize sales achievements for (among others products) camera manufacturers. While they only account for the Japanese market, they provide a marker for how well manufacturers are doing. So what are the big takeaways this year?

Ricoh Pentax faces a defining moment

Ricoh Pentax: The Beginning of the End or the Start of a Bright Future?

Ricoh seemingly made the significant announcement that it would cease the mass production of digital cameras (which includes the Pentax brand), shifting instead to a direct-to-market model. For now, it only affects its business in Japan, although the ramifications could affect its business more widely. What does this mean for Ricoh (and Pentax) and their future?

A digital camera with a question mark on the screen

How Many Megapixels Do You Actually Need?

Camera resolution in the early 2000s was a space race to the biggest and best. Nikon ushered in the beginning of the end -- with the release of the 36-megapixel era-defining D800 -- to what became the resolution doldrums.

Image Sensors: The Main Battleground of the Camera Industry

Manufacturing silicon is patently not required in order to make cameras -- anyone can put together a pinhole model -- however, the wider point is more pertinent. To be a competitive, global, manufacturer, do you need to make the sensors that actually go into camera bodies?