This week on TWiP: Canon and Nikon shutdown major lens production factories, spying on polar bears, and gambling on faked EXIF data.
Hosts: Alex Lindsay with Jeffrey Totaro and Thomas Hawk.
NEWS & DISCUSSION
Canon and Nikon Close Down Camera and Lens Manufacturing Plants
In addition to the obvious concern for loss of life and property and the hopes for a speedy recovery for the survivors of the recent Japan earthquake, some photographers have also wondered about how the tragedy will affect Japanese camera manufacturers. Canon and Nikon announced that due to damage to their manufacturing plants and injuries to their employees they have no choice but to shutdown operations in Utsunomiya and Sendai, respectively. (By the way, the companies have also been helping in the relief effort: Nikon has donated 100 million Yen to the Japanese Red Cross, while Canon has donated 300 million Yen.) Jeffrey definitely sees a supply issue on the horizon because it will take a long while before the plants are back up and running because they need to make sure meticulous quality control standards are met once again. Related to the earthquake, Alex also brings up the trend of more and more amateur photographers and videographers being able to contribute photojournalistic pieces to the media because of the how ubiqutious high-quality cameras and other devices are these days.
Camera Disguised as Lump of Snow Used to Photograph Polar Bears in the Wild
Videographer John Downer employed some creative gear to capture polar bears in their native habitat. He used a “Snow-cam” – a camera disguised as a lump of snow and equipped with four-wheel drive – as well as a “Blizzard-cam” and a waterproof “Iceberg cam” (to maneuver between sheets of ice) to get up close to create some truly unique images of these beautiful animals. It doesn’t always work of course as you can see in these photos of the bears ripping apart $200,000 worth of gear. While some people see this as intrusive or the shots as unauthentic, Jeffrey says if the gear is there for a short period of time and the equipment is used correctly and invasively, then there is nothing wrong with these techniques and in fact, the end goal of getting these kinds of photos is often to help the animals through study and conservation.
Photographer Uses Faked EXIF Data to Get Past Stock Agency’s Megapixel Requirements
A few years ago, photographer Tom Bear was frustrated that his submissions to a stock image agency were rejected simply because they did not meet the company’s (high) minimum-resolution requirements. Tom knew his approximately 5 megapixel photos would print just fine, so he used files created from a friend’s high-end DSLR to create versions of his photos that had EXIF data showing they were of very high resolution. To this day, many of the agency’s customers have been using these photos with the faked high-megapixel count. This kind of “workaround” concerns our hosts because not only is it dishonest the photo is not technically what the photographer claims it to be, but it could also cause some serious headaches to end users who plan to blow up or crop the image a great deal and for that reason are counting on that very large megapixel count.
Canon Adding Thunderbolt to Cameras?
There’s a rumor that Canon will be adding the super-fast Thunderbolt data transfer protocol to their cameras which would come in handy for editing video and very high resolution photographs, not to mention that Thunderbolt will now match the transfer speeds possible with the newest memory cards. It will be interesting to see how USB 3.0 will be able to compete considering it’s only half as fast.
PICKS OF THE WEEK
Thomas: Hotbox – a new community of photographers on Flickr that Thomas has been involved with.
Jeffrey: Phase One Capture One Pro 6 which has recently added tools for perspective/keystone correction among other features.
Alex: Apple TV 2 even if the only reason you buy it is to show images on your HD TV.
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