Posts Tagged 'cameras'

Film to Fizzle Out By End Of Decade

From this depressing article from the AP:

At the turn of the 21st century, American shutterbugs were buying close to a billion rolls of film per year. This year, they might buy a mere 20 million, plus 31 million single-use cameras — the beach-resort staple vacationers turn to in a pinch, according to the Photo Marketing Association.

Equally startling has been the plunge in film camera sales over the last decade. Domestic purchases have tumbled from 19.7 million cameras in 2000 to 280,000 in 2009 and might dip below 100,000 this year, says Yukihiko Matsumoto, the Jackson, Mich.-based association’s chief researcher.

For InfoTrends imaging analyst Ed Lee, film’s fade-out is moving sharply into focus: “If I extrapolate the trend for film sales and retirements of film cameras, it looks like film will be mostly gone in the U.S. by the end of the decade.”

So who’s still buying this relic from another era? Really good amateurs and a few pros who shoot “nature, travel, scientific, documentary, museum, fine art and forensic photography.”

It’s just the natural order of things, I realize that. Technology will continue to render things obsolete. But are some things more nostalgic than others? Surely, it’s sadder to lose film and all it represents than, say, the VCR player, right?

A Cure for the Monday’s: Fujifilm’s FinePix X100

It’s Monday. You wake up, shower, get dressed, and head out the door. You’re dreading the next five days as you stand in line waiting for your daily morning pick-me-up. The thought of your boss’ unpleasant stench breath makes your face cringe as you subconsciously take a step back into the guy behind you, who’s also in line waiting for his daily morning pick-me-up. “Sorry.”

You get to work, slide into your chair, open up your email, and then you see it—an RSS feed announcing the development of Fujifilm’s FinePix X100—a cure for the Monday’s.

From Fujifilm’s website:

The FinePix X100 is aimed at the professional photographer or keen enthusiast looking for exceptional quality pictures from a compact camera. It is designed to appeal to the millions of DSLR users who need a slim back-up camera for high quality in-fill shots when the use of a bigger SLR system is either inconvenient or impractical. Or, of course, it can be used as a professional’s only top-end camera, if size and versatility are the primary considerations.

With the goal of creating a camera with the “highest quality possible lens and sensor combination,” the X100 will be fitted with a 23mm f/2 Fujinon fixed lens (equivalent to 35mm), a 12.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS custom sensor, a ISO range of 200 to 6400, and a hybrid viewfinder that allows the operator to choose between an optical viewfinder mode, or an electronic viewfinder mode. Which, according to Fujifilm, gives the user “the best of both worlds.”

And with a rumored selling price somewhere between $1400 and $1750, the X100 is definitely causing me to second guess my unyielding desire to still purchase a Contax T3 or Nikon 35Ti for those tight situations or times when a smaller camera is more ideal than a giant SLR. Yes, some of us still shoot film.

But still, let’s hope that other companies follow Fujifilm’s lead and begin developing their own compact-sized, professional digital cameras with fix lenses—that can be changed out!

Now that’s a feature we would certainly all like to see built into the next generation of these cameras.

For more details and specs, check out Fujifilm’s announcement here.

Making the Case for Cameras


Photo by threecee

Along with the rest of the right-thinking world, Popular Mechanics believes in photographers’ rights. In an essay on the magazine’s web site, author and law professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds calls law enforcement’s suspicion of cameras “misguided,” claiming cameras make us safer, not the other way around. Citing the Times Square car bomb incident where law enforcement officials sought out private cameras and footage that might yield clues in the case, this guy says photography enhances public safety.

He says:

…it’s a problem that stems as much from cluelessness at the bottom of the chain of command as from heavy-handedness at the top. The officers who crack down on photographers no doubt believe they are protecting public safety. But evidence that photography might be useful to terrorists is slim.

And:

…we need better education among security guards and law enforcement.

But that’s not all:

With the proliferation of cameras in just about every device we carry, digital photography has become too ubiquitous to stop. Let’s have a truce in the war on photography and set our sights on the real bad guys.

To read the whole article, go to Popular Mechanics

MSM Backs Photographers’ Rights

Photographer Jerome Vorus’ July 3rd encounter with DC police on a Georgetown street has gotten a lot of traction in the media, with reports on WashingtonPost.com, NBC Washington, Reason magazine’s blogWe Love DC and DCist, among others. It surprised me because, if you follow these things, it was a pretty run of the mill event. Maddening, ridiculous,probably  illegal, yes — but pretty standard.

But for some reason the media really jumped on it. And the more mainstream outlets that highlight the absurdity of this harassment, the more likely police departments will review their policies and educate their officers.

On a related note, in an editorial yesterday, USA Today came out in support of the rights of citizens to film police activity. (Be sure to also read the counter point from the police union. Overall, I just don’t buy the “these videos must be viewed in context in order to be understood” argument. I think the Oscar Grant killing, the Times Square cyclist attacks and the UMD beatings, to name a few recent ones, all stand on their own.)

Why Do Cops Hate Cameras?


Photo by JH

Photographer Jerome Vorus’s exchange with the DC police a few weeks back is getting some play in the DC media, and now Washington Post writer Annys Shin is looking into the topic of police and photography. In a “Story Lab” post she asks, “Why do police hate getting their picture taken?” It’s a good question. If you’re BART cop Johannes Mehserle, it might be because you don’t want any evidence if you just happen to break the law. (Although video didn’t help that New York City bicyclist who got pummeled by the rookie cop in Times Square.)

The DCPD have no excuse though. They’re just misinformed. And misinformation + arrogance = abuse of power.

Shin (shina AT washpost.com) wants to hear from you if you’ve been harassed or detained while taking photos of police, government buildings and the like in the DC metro area.

A Good Start But a Long Way to Go

NPRD Photographers 

The first-ever Photographers Rights Rally yesterday was a success — and a good start in getting the word out about this issue. About 35 people (from as far-flung as San Diego, Fullerton and Costa Mesa) showed up over the course of the day and we had LA County sheriffs (very cordially, I might add) supervise us at Hollywood and Highland and escort us on the Metro to Union Station. We had free reign to shoot wherever and whatever we liked. However, as predicted, as soon as the rally ended, things went back to normal and two photographers were harassed, one on the platform at Union Station and threatened with arrest. A letter was sent to Capt. Dan Finkelstein, MTA’s chief of police, Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilmen LaBonge and Garcetti asking to clarify their policies; no response yet.

To check out the shots of the day, click here.

And stay tuned for a photo/audio montage to be posted here soon.

Thanks to all who came out, shot pictures and showed support.

Photo by amianda



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