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Wednesday, July 11, 2007
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PMA News

 

Australian imaging industry pays tribute to veteran, marks closure of G&V Imaging

A gathering of 25 industry veterans  joined George and Rose Tavoukjian to pay tribute to his 36 years of involvement in the Australian photo industry and to mark the end of the era that concluded with the closure of G&V Imaging, located on George Street in Sydney on June 30. The tribute was held at the Union, Schools and Universities Club in Sydney on July 4.

  The evening, hosted by Camera House Chairman Mark Alderson and Peter Rose, director of Australian Operations for PMA International, was a series of reminiscences of the many chapters of the G&V specialist retail business. Many attendees shared special recollections of negotiations and successes together. All paid tribute to George Tavoukjian's passion for photography and the steady hand of Rose in the past 8 years of her involvement in the retail business.

  George Tavoukjian reminisced of his early days in Australia as a photographer and spoke of his appreciation of the support he'd had, singling out the start he got from industry legend Jack Hannes, founder of Hanimex, and Norman Nock, principal of the Nock and Kirby Sydney-based hardware store group, a location that George Tavoukjian had shared in operating his business for nearly 20 years. His two superstores on George Street in Sydney for the past 15 years had been especially challenging, but also very rewarding for the many customers who made G&V their preferred place to shop for photographic and video equipment.

  George and Rose Tavoukjian both described how they looked forward to more time with their family, but stated that they would always have a great affection and continued passion for the special industry that is photographic retailing.

-- By John Swainston, managing director, Maxwell International Australia Pty. Ltd.

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Photo by staff member from the Union, Schools and Universities Club.


Business

 

Google develops enhancement to maps, adds informational mashups created by Web users

Google Inc., Mountain View, Calif., introduces tools that will stitch together applications from various websites, reports The Associated Press. The free service is aimed at the growing popularity of hybrid maps known as mashups. Mashups highlight information about gas prices, running routes, earthquakes, apartment vacancies, home prices, and a wide range of other information on maps, says the AP.

  Google is attempting to unite mashups from across the Web by encouraging developers to place their mashups into mini-applications called mapplets. The mapplets will be posted under the My Maps section of Google Maps. Various mapplets can be placed with Google maps simultaneously, allowing users to view different information, such as where certain restaurants are located along with local real estate offerings.

  Users with Google log-ins will be able to pick from more than 100 mapplets to customize and save. Company engineers also contributed mapplets. The company believes developers will be eager to share mapplets as a way to distribute their own ads and attract more traffic to their websites, reports the AP.

 

Fujifilm announces reorganization of European Electronic Imaging division
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Fujifilm Corp., Tokyo, Japan, announces the reorganization of its Electronic Imaging business division in Europe, reports PMA Newsline Europe. Beginning in October, the business, which includes digital camera and accessories, will be concentrated in the new company, Fujifilm Electronic Imaging Europe GmbH, in Kleve, Germany, which will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujifilm Recording Media GmbH, Fujifilm's European storage media company, which is a subsidiary of Fujifilm Corp.

  Christopher Brawley, currently a member of the Board of Fujifilm Recording Media GmbH, has been appointed managing director of Fujifilm Electronic Imaging Europe GmbH. According to a press release, Fujifilm expects the new company, which will look after Fujifilm's whole digital camera and accessories business in Europe, to benefit from the infrastructure of Fujifilm's operations in Kleve, which has been producing storage media for the European market since 1987.

  The business domain Photo Imaging, which includes paper, film, and minilabs, will remain at Fujifilm Europe GmbH in Düsseldorf, Germany, as will the Medical Systems, Life Science, and Graphic Arts divisions, says PMA Newsline Europe.
Professional Markets

 

Ilford Imaging launches new Web portal with printing hints and profiles

Ilford Imaging Switzerland GmbH, Marly, Switzerland, presents its new Web portal at www.ilford.com, created to coincide with the launch of a number of new products on the market. Packed with the latest product news and hints and tips on how to achieve stunning prints, the site will help visitors stay abreast of important company developments.

  With its fresh new look and easy navigation, particular focus has been paid to giving photo enthusiasts a full range of profiles built in-house by experienced technicians, says the company. These unique files optimize the printer, using the manufacturer's ink, to obtain the high-quality results. They can be downloaded for free and are compatible with the Ilford Galerie media and the Ilford Inkjet Photo Paper Range.

  Help and advice on how to get the best from the Ilford range of media is also available and each e-mail sent via the "Contact Us" page will be answered personally by a member of the Ilford team. In addition, Ilford has included contact details for each local country representative enabling all inquiries to be filtered directly to distributors to guarantee a quick and local response.

  "We were very clear about the design of the site as our objective was to deliver key customer information in an intuitive infrastructure," said Tom Poudrier, marketing manager, Oji Ilford USA, based in Springfield, Mass. "The new portal will allow us to provide a myriad of information to our customers in 'real time' as the industry changes or indeed as new printers are launched onto the market."

  Plans to launch the site in French, German, and Spanish are underway for the end of the year.

  Founded in 1879, Ilford is a leader in the development and manufacture of photo-quality media for both inkjet printing and color photographic processes. Ilford Imaging Switzerland GmbH, the manufacturing operation, together with the Ilford's worldwide Digital Imaging and Color Photo businesses, has been owned by Oji Paper Co. based in Japan since July 2005. Ilford now operates as a fully owned subsidiary within Oji's Communications Paper Division, enabling the Ilford the capabilities to run all the way from raw paper through to the sophisticated product design and manufacturing processes incorporated in the end product made in Switzerland.

  Established in January of 2006, Oji Ilford USA was incorporated to meet the needs of the North American inkjet market. Oji Ilford USA is responsible for the sales and marketing of all inkjet and related technology paper products to the North American market and its products are manufactured within the Communications Papers Division of the Oji Paper Group.

 

Dxo Labs adds software support for Tokina lens and Canon, Nikon DSLRs

DxO Labs, Boulogne-Billancourt, France, announces that recently released DxO Optics Pro v4.5 adds support for the Canon EOS 1D Mark III and Nikon D40x DSLRs. The software also debuts support for fish-eye zoom lenses by adding the Tokina AT-X 107 AF DX Fish-Eye AF 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 lens to its library of available lens modules.  

  Support for the Canon EOS 1D Mark III is available in the Elite edition of DxO Optics Pro v4.5 and support for the Nikon D40x is available in both Standard and Elite editions. The Tokina Fish-Eye lens is supported in both Standard and Elite versions. Pricing of full versions of DxO Optics Pro v4.5 remains unchanged.

  DxO Optics Pro is a digital image enhancement tool incorporating optics, noise and exposure corrections in an application for Mac and PC users. DxO Optics Pro software is designed to improve the image quality of DSLR cameras and digicams. The DxO Optics Pro v4 Starter edition is $79, the Standard edition is $169 and the Elite edition is $299.


Events

 

Exhibit showcases "Three Generations of Weston Photography"

Freestyle Photographic Supplies, Hollywood, Calif., announces a black-and-white photographic exhibition, "Three Generations of Weston Photography." The exhibit runs from Sept. 20 to Dec. 3 at the gallery of the Creative Center for Photography in Hollywood, Calif. This is the first time that a collection of photographic images have been assembled for exhibition of Edward, Brett, and Kim Weston items. Photos from Edward Weston, his son Brett Weston, and Brett's nephew Kim Weston, will be on display. Kim Weston currently holds fine-art photography workshops in the Carmel Highlands of Northern California. 


Technology

 

Casio introduces two new EXILIM cameras with YouTube Capture mode

Casio Inc., Dover, N.J., and its Japanese parent company, Casio Computer Co. Ltd., announced the release of two new digital cameras featuring the EXILIM Engine 2.0 image processing module. In conjunction with the release of these cameras, Casio Inc. announced its agreement with YouTube to include a unique YouTube Capture mode and bundle software to provide ideal settings for recording, storing, and uploading video on the company's new EXILIM digital cameras - EX-S880 and EX-Z77.
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The new 8.1-megapixel Casio EXILIM Card EX-S880 digital camera features a YouTube Capture mode as well as the eBay Best Shot mode. The EX-S880 will be available in August for $299.99.

  "The increased popularity of video sharing websites such as YouTube offers a great opportunity for innovation," said John Homlish, executive vice president of Sales and Marketing, Casio Inc. "We recognized that there was a demand for an easier way to upload high-quality video."

  Casio's YouTube Capture mode records in next-generation MPEG-4 H.264 high-quality video format, which the company says provides an ideal compression ratio that allows users to record longer without sacrificing the quality of the movies. This mode also provides sharp resolution (640-by-480) and a frame rate of up to 30 frames per second. Casio has also included an exclusive software application that makes it seamless to upload movies to YouTube.

  The 8.1-megapixel EXILIM Card EX-S880 is the latest addition to the EXILIM Card series, "known for its sophisticated design in a thin card size," says the company. The 7.2-megapixel EXILIM Zoom EX-Z77 joins Casio's EXILIM Zoom series, offering a balance of functionality and a compact look. The new cameras also feature a blur reduction function that uses motion analysis technology, an auto-tracking AF system, and face detection technology. The combination of face detection technology and the auto-tracking AF system ensures that, once the focus locks on to a person's face, it will stay sharp and maintain the right exposure, even if the person moves.

  Exclusive to the Casio EXILIM line of digital cameras in the United States, and featured in the EX-S880 and the EX-Z77, is the eBay Best Shot mode. eBay Best Shot takes photos at a size that is image optimized for display on eBay, allowing picture takers to more easily create photos for selling items on eBay. For ease of use, eBay photos are stored in a special eBay directory. 

  The EX-S880 is available in red and black with an MSRP of $299.99. The EX-Z77 is available in black, blue, pink and silver with an MSRP of $229.99. Both cameras will be available at retail in August.

  All cameras that feature YouTube Capture mode will feature an exclusive and custom YouTube sticker logo, licensed by YouTube. YouTube Capture mode will also be included in Casio's 2007 holiday line-up of EXILIM digital cameras. The cameras with YouTube Capture mode and the upload functionality software will be available in a bundle package to be sold during the holiday season, allowing users to receive all the hardware and software necessary for upload for one price.
Trends

 

Nikon maintains lead for past 6 months in Japanese DSLR market

Nikon took the top position in the Japanese DSLR market in December has been maintaining the lead for six months, according to results of research by BCN, a market research firm. BCN collected and compiled POS data from 2,200 stores all over Japan including large electronic home appliance mass merchandisers, says JPEA International PEN News Weekly.

  In June 2006, Canon had a 53 percent market share, leaving Nikon behind at 33 percent. Nikon, however, nudged Canon from its lead in December with the introduction of D80 in October. Since then, it also launched D40 and D40x, and has been maintaining the lead for 6 months, with a 48 percent market share in May, while Canon ended up the second with a 35 percent market share in May. Sony's market share once surged to almost 20 percent in July 2006. Since then, its share has been declining continuously, down to 2.6 percent in May, according to BCN.

  Pentax increased its share to almost 13 percent in July last year. Since then, after going up and down, Pentax cast its anchor at the third position in May with a 7 percent market share. Olympus had been in a slump through March, lingering around below 1 percent, according to BCN. Following the introduction of the E-410 in Japan in April, however, Olympus increased its share to 4.3 percent in April and 6.1 percent in May, picking off Sony. Since Olympus launchd its latest model E-510 in Japan in late June, it may keep up with Pentax in July, says BCN.

  In terms of by-model market shares, however, Canon has been maintaining the top position with the EOS Kiss Digital (27.6 percent in May), and Nikon follows with the D80 (16 percent), D40 (14.9 percent), and D40x (13 percent).

  An average selling price of DSLRs was ¥136,000 (US$1,130) in June 2006. Since then, however, average prices continued to decline as low-priced models were put on the market, and an average price in May was ¥100,000 (US$830), down 26 percent from June 2006, says BCN.

 

Olympus hopes to gain 15 percent share in Japanese DSLR market

Olympus Corp., Tokyo, Japan, is aggressively promoting its DSLRs for the summer season in Japan, reports JPEA International PEN News Weekly. The company held an opening reception on June 21 for the "Women Photos with the E410" photo exhibition that displays works of known female pro photographers.

  In his opening address, Toshiaki Gomi who heads the digital camera business for Olympus noted: "We made a TV commercial for the E410 intentionally excluding technical data as we wanted women in general to use the DSLR. And it apparently worked as the ratio of women users of the E410 is five to six times higher than that of other DSLR models. We feel confident that the E410 is the right camera for women."

  At an unofficial party for reporters from trade magazines after the event, an Olympus executive confided: "We want to change the DSLR market in the immediate future to be 70 percent for Nikon and Canon, 15 percent for Olympus, and 15 percent for the rest."

  He also mentioned that advance orders are coming in for the E510 model with blur-reduction feature, which debuted in Japan in late June. According to PEN News Weekly, the promotion campaign for the model started July 6.
Retail Markets

 

Lensbaby products now distributed worldwide

Lensbabies LLC, Portland, Ore., announces worldwide distribution of Lensbaby selective focus SLR camera lenses and accessories. Industry distributors are now representing Lensbabies in markets such as Germany, Japan, Russia, and South Africa. Lensbabies distributes its product line directly to retail stores in the United States and Canada.

  According to the company, products are also distributed in the following areas:

  • Australia -- FVE - Film & Video Extras
  • Belgium -- VDH
  • Bulgaria -- Profiled Ltd
  • China and Hong Kong -- Jebsen & Co. Ltd.
  • Czech Republic -- EKG s.r.o.
  • Denmark -- Westheimer A/S
  • Estonia -- Nordic Digital AS
  • Finland -- Focus Image Nordic OY
  • France -- Bogen Imaging France
  • Germany -- HaPa-Team GmbH
  • Greece -- J & B Geramas Co.
  • Hungary -- Optiform BT.
  • Italy -- Bogen Imaging Italia
  • Indonesia -- PT. Inter-Delta Tbk.
  • Israel -- Twenco
  • Japan -- Kenko
  • Korea -- Ilchul Phototechnic
  • Latvia -- MD Professional LTD
  • Lithuania -- UAB Vilbros Prekyba
  • Malaysia -- Shriro
  • The Netherlands -- Transcontinenta
  • New Zealand -- Lacklands Ltd.
  • Norway -- Aronsen AS
  • Philippines -- JT Photoworld Inc.
  • Romania -- F64
  • Russia -- Adlum Commerce Co.
  • Singapore -- Cathay Photo Store
  • Sweden -- Focus Trading AB
  • Slovenia -- Infocona d.o.o.
  • South Africa -- Mphoto
  • Spain -- Dugopa S.A.
  • Switzerland -- GMC
  • Taiwan -- Keystone Enterprise Co. Ltd.
  • Thailand -- Foto Systems Ltd.
  • United Kingdom -- Intro2020

Imaging News

 

German competition targets science-minded photographers

FOCUS Fine Art Photography Magazine, Brooklyn, N.Y., and the German Association of Research-based Pharmaceutical Companies (VFA), Berlin, Germany, established "Images of Research," a German competition for science photography. This year will mark the third time that the photo competition has been held. Photographs that turn science and research into a visual experience are selected by a panel of scientists, journalists, photographers, and representatives from FOCUS Magazine.

  The competition calls for photos from all scientific disciplines, such as biology, medicine, physics or astronomy. Photos from two categories, "fascination of research" and "faces of research," will be selected. The first category is comprised of pictures representing scientific processes and phenomena. This also includes photographs using various imaging procedures such as scanning electron microscopy, magnetic resonance imaging, X-ray technology and also pictures taken with conventional technology that serve scientific purposes, says the VFA. The second category, "faces of research," focuses on people in research. These photos are meant to depict scientists at work in various fields. All entries must be submitted by Sept. 1. The winner in each category receives a prize of euro 10,000 (US$13,300).

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