Monday, 31 August 2009

Canon News: 7D Launched (a D300s killer?)

Well, after months, if not years, of speculation, Canon have announced the 7D.

I'll update this post with more information and links, as and when they become available.


Here are the specifications:
  • 18Mp APS-C (1.6 Crop)
  • 8 frames per second
  • A new auto-focus system, including 19 cross-type sensors
  • ISO 100-6400, expandable to 12800
  • 100% viewfinder coverage, with horizon assist
  • Dual Digic IV processors
  • Full HD video, including HDMI output and external mic input
  • Built-in flash, with wireless sync to other flash units
  • A revised 3" LCD 920k screen
On every count, that should beat my Canon 40D nicely, especially for wildlife photography, where low-light and fast action are often on the menu.


As for a UK price-point, that's a little bit of a tricky one. It's not clear yet whether there will also be an evolution for the 50D (presumably the 60D?), or whether the 7D is the replacement. It's also serving largely different needs to 5D Mk II which suits landscpaes, weddings and portraiture, with its higher resolution and full-frame capabilities. A quick look at Camera Price Buster this evening (31st August) has the 50D body at £730 and the 5D Mk II at £1868. And the closet rival from Nikon would be the D300s (£1270) so I'm guessing somewhere around the £1600 at launch to grab the early adopters open wallets?

(update: I was close - it seems to be around £1700, albeit a lot are throwing in extras!)

UK Availability

The UK has got availability now:



Thursday, 27 August 2009

Sony News: New DSLRS: A850, A550 and A500

Just days before the expected launch from Canon of its much anticipated 7D, Sony have launched three new cameras and a new lens.


You can read more in this press release, but the highlights are:
  • Same 24.6Mp full-frame capabilities as the top of the range A900, with slightly reduced fps and viewfinder coverage - and it's cheaper!
  • Dual Bionz processors

Sony have also launched a new zoom lens, with constant f/2.8 aperture: the SAL2875 28-75mm F2.8 SAM lens


More details of the A550 and A500 can be found at this press release. They come with:
  • 14.2/12.3Mp sensors respectivity, utilising Sony's new Exmor (TM) sensor technology
  • A 3" tilt LCD
  • In-built HDR (high dynamic range) processing - I think these are the first cameras to do this?

Monday, 24 August 2009

Microstock Categories - a help or hindrance?

I'm nowhere close to earning a decent income from microstock and doubt I ever will, but it has provided me with some great positives:
  • I'm a much better photographer; I'm learning about what makes a 'commercial' shot, improving my understanding of composition and even starting to get my head around Photoshop
  • It's a nice feeling that someone is willing to pay for my work
  • I can (start to) justify spending money on new gear
What is frustrating though is the hassle (and therefore time) involved in the upload process to the various sites. Specifically, the insistence that alongside keywords, categories have to be specified. They either overlap with keywords, or the list of categories to choose from is so incomplete/patchy, there's never one which seems to fit. And as the category options are all different across sites, there's minimal opportunity to select generic categories.

I'm not a buyer from microstock sites, so would love to know how useful the categories are? My hunch would be though that most buyers know what they're after and they'll simply drop the relevant keywords into a search box. I guess microtock administrators can see from their web stats how often categories and used to search versus keywords, so I'd love to get an insight into this too...

So, I vote to remove categories from the microstock industry! Do you?

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Canon News: Six new Powershots Announced

Today Canon announced the introduction of 6 new cameras:

Canon G11Canon S90Canon SX20 IS
Canon SX120 ISCanon SD980Canon SD940

More details

My first Enhanced License Microstock sale!

Although still well behind my target of earnning £250 from Microstock this year, I had a welcome boost from Shutterstock*, where I've made my first enhanced download sale. It was for the following image:

That means my Shutterstock earnings have gained a significant lead against the other sites, although iStockphoto has moved into second place... All the stats on the right-hand side of the front page of this blog.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Alamy still profitable - but it's tough going

As the update by Alamy CEO James West says in a blog update, times are tough at Alamy, with a prediction that sales will be 15-20% down this year compared to last. James rightly points out that a significant factor has been the 'recession' and its impact on image buyers (e.g. UK newspaper industry). The other factor which I would have assumed was just as relevant is the evolving marketplace and availability of more competitive offerings from the microstock companies (iStockphoto, Dreamstime, Fotolia, Shutterstock, etc.). As well as probably being cheaper, arguably some of these companies have tigher image quality control in-place at time of submission, which could lead to a more efficient buying experience.

For the record, I'm yet to make any sales from my small Rights-Managed portfolio on Alamy, but finger's crossed one day I will!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Microstock News: Yet another proposition from Getty

As you can read about here, Getty Images have launched a new cheap option for online news and blog sites. Images from their existing creative imagery house collections and archive will start from $5. Apparently, this doesn't conflict with their microstock offerings discussed in one of my recent posts, here. Perhaps no conflict, but for me at least, further confusion!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Nikon news: Compact Camera with in-built projector

Nikon have launched the 12.1MP image-stabilised Coolpix S1000pj - with an in-built projector! More details available here. It will 'throw' an up to 40 inch image onto a wall up to 2 metres away, A great idea - not sure how battery life will be impacted in real-life tests, though.

Also launched are the Coolpix S640, Coolpix S570 and Coolpix S70.