Magazine Recaps Camera News, Ponders Future of Imaging

PHOTOGRAPHERS. If you earn your living from photography, it’s smart to watch trends in technology and photo usage that might affect the demand for your services. One excellent source for learning about the “future of imaging” is 6Sight, an organization which has been which has been tracking advancements in imaging since 2006.

When you download the February/March issue of “6Sight: The Future of Imaging Magazine,” you’ll find a wealth of news and insights. The 48-page issue includes a round-up of camera-related news from the 2012 [email protected] show in Las Vegas in January, noting trends such as ultra-compact models, cameras with with long stabilized lenses, low-light sensitive imagers, and cameras  with WiFi connectivity. You can also read about what’s new in smartphones and video cameras, including:

To help you understand some of the rationale behind these new imaging devices, the February/March issue of the 6Sight magazine features transcripts of three provocative panel discussions among imaging-product manufacturers and photo-industry analysts.

Social Imaging: Does Sharing Threaten Profits?

In this article, panelists discuss how the imaging industry should respond to the fact that smartphone cameras have made it incredibly easy for everyone to snap photos everywhere they go and instantly share them with Facebook.  They talk about how this new reality affects the businesses of companies that manufacture and sell cameras, process images, and print photos. And they raise the question: What can people who have made a living in photography for three decades do now to continue to make a living?

While discussing photo prints as a way of preserving special memories, panelist Jason Mitura of Viewdle expressed this viewpoint: “Paper is a lousy display medium; it degrades, it’s limited, it has no fidelity, you can’t tap it, you can’t tag it, you can’t share it.”  He foresees a future in which people display their favorite shots on a 55-inch LED TV screen.  And if the house burns down, all of your favorite photos will be recoverable because they will be backed up in the cloud.

Will Compact Cameras with Interchangeable Lenses Replace DSLRs?

In this discussion, panelists consider what type of cameras the next generation of photo enthusiasts might buy when they want to move beyond the camera in their smartphones. Will the new compact, interchangeable-lens cameras without moving mirrors replace the bigger, bulkier, classic SLR camera design? When camera users move up from their camera phones, will they be shopping for cameras with a bigger sensor? ease of use? new lenses?

Everything Captures HD Video: Making the Most of Mass Communication

In the introduction to this article, Paul Worthington notes that our smartphones have become mini-TV studios: “The power that was once in the hands of a few people is now in the hands of just about everybody.” But editing 30 long minutes of boring video into 30 watchable seconds of video takes more work than snapping and sharing hundreds of stills.  So he asks panelists to consider what opportunities exist for creating video—particularly videos for viewers with short attention spans.

Terrence Swee, CEO of muvee, observes that “There is a kind of instinctual style of editing that professionals have that the rest of us simply don’t. Even if you’re a computer-savvy guy and you know how to use all 500 functions in a video-editing app, you are not a film-school-trained person. You’re not Spielberg. You are unlikely to be able to make a compelling story.”

Trends in Picture Taking

The February/March issue of the 6Sight magazine is also packed with market-research reports, summarizing trends in picture taking and camera, smartphone, and tablet usage.

For example: According to estimates compiled by the photo-sharing website 1000memories, about 10 percent of the 3.5 trillion photos that have been taken since the invention of photography less than 200 years ago have been taken in the last 12 months. And, Facebook’s collection of 140 billion photos is over 10,000 times larger than that of the Library of Congress. (Wow!!)

In a world in which we are bombarded with tidbits of news from blogs, video clips, and sound bites, reading a good magazine can be enlightening. While consolidating a wealth of imaging-related news in one place, editor/analyst Paul Worthington helps readers make sense of some of the marketing forces and trends behind the technology news.

2012 6Sight Future of Imaging Conference

For the first time, the 6Sight Future of Imaging Conference will join the Consumer Electronics Association’s CE Week event on June 25 and 26 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York.  6Sight 2012 will focus on the potential of the trends in connected devices, sharing and social imaging, mobile apps, sensors, processors, optics, and displays. 6Sight experts will also spotlight trends such as augmented reality, 3D, and intelligent image-recognition technology.

CE Week, June 25-29, brings together global companies and innovators for conferences, exhibitions, workshops, and networking events. Last year’s event drew more than 5,500 attendees, including more than 640 media representatives and analysts.

LINKS

About 6Sight

6Sight Magazine: February/March issue

2012 6Sight Future of Imaging Conference

The Future of Imaging Is on Display at 2012 International CES

PHOTOGRAPHERS. This will be a big week for imaging-technology rollouts, as the 2012 International CES opens today and runs through January 13. The Consumer Electronics association (CEA) expects this year’s consumer-electronics show to be its most innovative show on record.

More than 20,000 new products are expected to be announced this week as more than 2,700 exhibiting companies vie for the attention of 140,000+ attendees and 5,000 journalists.

At a private reception hosted by WIRED magazine and Condé Nast, Magnetic 3D will showcase high-quality 3D visual content on their autostereoscopic “glasses-free” 3D displays and digital signage .

If the latest forecasts from GfK Digital World and CEA prove correct, 2012 will mark the first year that global spending on consumer technology devices surpasses $1 trillion. This represents a 5 percent increase over the 2011 figure of $993 billion. The key drivers for growth are expected to continue to be mobile-connected devices, such as smartphones and tablet PCs. Sales of tablet PCs, which reached $39 billion this year, are expected to show double-digit increases in 2012.

[email protected]

For the first time, the annual convention and trade show of the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) has been integrated with CES.  The convergence seems natural as digital photography has enabled visual communications to play an integral part of our everyday lives.

Consumers today carry camera-phones everywhere they go, and take pictures as a means of documenting and sharing day-to-day experiences more than preserving memories. The Instagram app has become one of the most popular apps in the ITunes.

At CES, exhibitors will be showcasing hundreds of new apps and smartphone accessories, new 3D and touchscreen displays, and innovative standalone cameras such as the Lytro and the Zink-enabled Polaroid Z340 instant digital camera.

Polaroid’s Z340 combines a 14 megapixel digital camera with a printer that uses the ink-free Zero Ink Printing Technology from ZINK Imaging to deliver a 3 x 4-inch print.

 

With the Lytro light-field camera, you can focus and re-focus the image anywhere in the picture after the capture.

Should professional photographers feel threatened by the growing power and versatility of smartphone cameras?  Not those who make the effort to adapt.

An essay in the December/January issue of 6Sight Magazine recaps comments Joe Byrd made at a [email protected] press preview: “Photography is a booming business across the world today. More photos are being taken by more people and shared in more ways than ever before, and it’s all steadily trending upwards. With so much activity and interest there are plenty of opportunities for everyone in the industry to make money. The only remaining question is: How? How do I need to change what I’m doing to capture my share of revenue from this rising tide of interest?” He advises photo-industry professionals to find a niche in the expanding sea of opportunity, then learn what it will take to prosper in that niche.

“The bright future of imaging is yours to grab,” says Byrd. “If you only take this opportunity to figure out what works best for you.”

6Sight: Future of Imaging Magazine

A good way to get a sense of perspective on imaging-related products exhibited at CES is to read the December/January issue of 6Sight: The Future of Imaging magazine.  The December/January issue includes 16 pages of product news (including many apps), as well as the following feature stories:

Flixab Automates Editing: Instant Video for Social Media
David Slater talks about the platform Flixlab is building to intelligently handle video. The Flixlab service automatically makes editing decisions, so people don’t have to invest a lot of time or acquire special skills to produce engaging movies. The initial iPhone app also shares video clips and pictures to Facebook.

Mobile Imaging: Ericsson Advancing Phone Photos
Ericsson research engineer Mats Wernersson talks about what lies ahead in mobile imaging.

From High-End Film Photos to iPhone Photography
In an interview conducted by Paul Worthington, long-time pro photographer Jack Hollingsworth explains why “iPhoneography” has made him more passionate about photography than ever been. Hollingsworth says, “I really feel it’s the greatest time alive to be a photographer today. The opportunities for the entrepreneur in the photography space are astounding.”

For more detailed coverage of new product introductions, tune into the CES Channel on YouTube.

LINKS

 Official 2012 International CES Channel on YouTube

6Sight Future of Imaging Magazine: December/January issue

6Sight Future of Imaging Magazine: The Shape of Cameras Today (November issue)