November 2010

Who needs a manual? There's an app for that!
Once upon a time, cameras came with print manuals. They were impressively thick because the manual included six or more languages, but contained little useful or comprehensible information. Then came PDF manuals on DVDs that were an improvement, but who carries a DVD along on a photo trip? Now there's an app for that, and one that's much better than any manual ever was. If you own the wildly popular Canon Rebel T21/550D dSLR, check out David Busch's Canon EOS Rebel T2i/550D Companion App for the iPhone and iPad! It includes a 3D guide to camera controls, interactive command cards for menus; handy set-up, fine-tuning and advanced functionality tables, graphs and other info, and Instructional videos featuring David Busch, the world's #1 selling digital camera guide author.
-- Posted Tuesday, November 30, 2010 by chb

Full review: Olympus E-PL1 and PT-EP01 housing
If you like the size, weight and cost of compact digital cameras, but can't live without the interchangeable lenses of a dSLR, you should look at the new class of interchangeable lens cameras that seek to combine the best of both worlds. We conducted a detailed review of the Olympus E-PL1 camera with its PT-EP01 underwater housing, and found much to like. The PL1 is capable of excellent performance even under trying conditions, at lower cost and less bulk than a dSLR system. [Read full review of the Olympus E-PL1 with PT-EP01 housing] -- Posted Monday, November 22, 2010 by chb

Will smartphones affect sales of single-purpose devices?
Will digital camera sales fall because our smartphones and tablets can take pictures? Yes they will, says research firm Berg Insight, and it will not only affect cameras, but also other single-purposes dedicated devices such as GPS systems. Past efforts at "convergent devices," i.e. one gizmo that does it all, have all failed, but that may now be changing as smartphone/tablet devices increasingly can do it all. -- Posted Monday, November 22, 2010 by chb

Phone cameras instead of camera phones?
Almost all phones have cameras now, and most are crappy. So why not have a camera that's also a phone and GPC? That's apparently what LG is thinking with the upcoming LG L-03C, a 12-mp camera with a high-res 3-inch display, 720p video, and a PDA/Android-style 4-tab button arrangement instead of a confusing old-style camera layout. LG will apparently first try the concept in Japan where the L-03C will be sold by NTT DoCoMo. Problem we see is that in the US few will want to engage in another 2-year contract, or any contract, with a phone company for a camera. -- Posted Tuesday, November 9, 2010 by chb

Canon and Nikon strong in compacts, dominant in dSLRs
According to an article in TWICE, Canon ranked No. 1 in digital compact cameras through July 2010, with a 20.5% unit share and 27.1% dollar share, and No. 1 in the growing dSLR market, with a 48.5%t unit share and 53.3% dollar share. In compact camera unit sales, Nikon ranked second with 18.8%; Sony 17.1%; Kodak 10.1%; Samsung 5.3%; and Panasonic 3.1%. In digital SLR unit sales, Nikon was No. 2, with 40.5%; Sony had 4.6%; Olympus 3.3%; Pentax 1.6%; and Panasonic 1.5%. -- Posted Tuesday, November 9, 2010 by chb

Japan outsourcing more camera production to Taiwan
According to Digitimes, Taiwan's digital camera makers are getting more business from Japanese camera companies which are caught between a strong yen and rising costs. Panasonic's acquisition of Sanyo is also expected to result in additional outsourcing of camera production to Taiwan. -- Posted Thursday, November 4, 2010 by chb

Kodak facing difficult times
Once the undisputed leader in the world of photography, Kodak is facing increasingly more difficult times. Its latest quarterly sales are just US$1.76 billion, less than a tenth of what Apple sells. Traditional film-based revenue continues to slide, and revenue from digital products, including printers and Kodak's low-end consumer cameras, is slow. Kodak, however, has over a thousand digital imaging patents, and that brings in hundreds of millions in annual license revenues. Still, either its digital printing business takes off, or Kodak will face very hard times. -- Posted Monday, November 1, 2010 by chb