Lots of Big Photo News Coming the Beginning of Next Month
Spring is always a popular time for big product announcements, but this year looks more exciting than the last few. Here's a rundown of some of the big rumors that should become official for the first of the month.
Nikon Taking Mirrorless One Step Further
First, they removed the film from our cameras. Then it was the mirror. It seems that technology makes all things possible. Nikon is in stiff competition with other makers to remove even more with their next generation of cameras. But this time, imagine, if you will, a retro-designed camera with nothing at all in it, just a light-tight box with a hole in it. Camera box glamor shots are already the rage on Facebook forums. Nikon's new wood-paneled camera will be announced on the first of the month, featuring a revolutionary new BoX lens mount. The FX and DX-mount are so old-school, and they just haven't stepped up to producing Z-mount lenses anyway. Insiders tell me the "o" in the middle of the new name standing for the pinhole opening in the front of the camera through which light can enter with no need to focus. And by removing all the traditional camera "guts," they can shave considerable weight. And with no controls, the camera is promised to be so user-friendly, even a fool could use it.
Kodak Solves the Problem with Sensor Dust
Tired of being sidelined after the film market's demise, Kodak has been secretly working on their comeback. The company admits they've had a rocky history. Founded towards the end of the nineteenth century, they sold film and chemicals to a population looking for affordable film and processing. By the middle of the twentieth century, the public viewed Kodak as nearly synonymous with photography itself. But times change, and the company declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2012 as digital overtook the market. But a new camera slated to be unveiled this Thursday is said to be their best shot yet to regain market share. The new body will feature a revolutionary design featuring 36 disposable sensors on a roll with a thin film substrate. Not everyone remembers, but in 1975, Kodak developed and patented the first handheld digital camera, so they aren't fools. Company engineers promise that this will end the dreaded problem of dust spots while giving them a means to repurpose their remaining Ektachrome production facilities. Plans call for both daylight and tungsten balanced sensor rolls. Rumors are that Japanese competitor Fujifilm is considering a similar move but promises bold, saturated colors that today's Instagram users crave.
The End of the Protective Filter Debate
ZAGG InvisibleShield, one of the forerunners who popularized the concept of adhesive-backed protective screen coverings, is set to shake up the market again at the beginning of April. The company was founded in 2005 by avid photography buff Phillip Chipping in his backyard shed. Returning to his first love, Chipping plans to champion a line of lens protectors based on the concept he pioneered fifteen years earlier. The tale goes, he took a picture of his first product launch on the first of April but dropped his camera in the process, chipping the lens. Imagine the irony of Chipping chipping his lens. His friends have made practical jokes at his expense every year on that date. He was not using a lens hood to protect his lens from impact. To prove to them he can redeem his good name, the company he founded will introduce InvisibleShield Lens Covers, with models cut to approximately fit many popular lens models. Doubters have tried to tell him that adding an extra layer over the front of a lens would inherently reduce resolution, but he remains undeterred. The key is that by carefully squeegeeing most of the bubbles out when applying his new protective cover to the front lens element, users can minimize internal reflections that can reduce image quality. And if the InvisibleShield does get scratched, it can be removed with a powerful solvent, and a new Lens Cover applied. The company will sell them in packs of three.
The Next Generation of AI-assisted Plug-in
Artificial Intelligence and computational photography are all the rage lately, and rightly so. Modern, intelligent software helps make our job as photographers easier and allows us to do things previously impossible. That trend will only accelerate over the coming years. But Skylar, known for their AI-based line of plugins for Photoshop, plans to take a giant leap forward with the introduction of their new AI Hercules plugin, named for Hercules Florence from Sao Paulo, Brazil, generally credited as the inventor of photography in 1833, just before Daguerre's work on the light-sensitive properties of silver salts. Hercules was a prolific businessman and inventor, and Skylar aims to honor his legacy with their upcoming introduction. There's an old saying that if you're good enough at Photoshop, you don't even need a camera, and AI Hercules promises to make that dream a reality. Think of the money you could save if you didn't even need to buy a camera or lenses to be a photographer. Say home and turn "painting with light" into "painting with software." The program will come with a VR-headset to make it seem like you're actually in your favorite national park.
Your Chance to be Involved
Are you a Nikon or a Canon shooter? Do you prefer Led Zeppelin or Miles David? Richard Astley, an independent researcher from Lancashire in England, is working on an exciting project to correlate camera brand choice to musical preference. If you would like to be involved and have your vote counted, please click here.
That's all from me for now. But be on the lookout for other surprising announcements in the next few days. The first of April should be exciting indeed. Have a great time.