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Wednesday, October 01, 2008
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AIE Imaging Executive Podcast tackles critical leadership strategies, Canon's new DSLR

Today's AIE Imaging Executive Podcast presents two interviews: First is Dianna Booher, CEO of Booher Consultants, a Grapevine, Texas-based communication training firm whose clients have included 22 of the 50 largest corporations in the United States. Booher is author of the bestseller "Communicate with Confidence," as well as a new book called "The Voice of Authority: 10 Communication Strategies Every Leader Needs to Know." She discusses ways company leaders can improve all aspects of business by implementing better communication tactics.

  Following the interview  with Booher, Chuck Westfall, technical advisor for the Professional Products Marketing division of Canon USA Inc., Lake Success, N.Y., discusses the company's new game-changer: a DSLR that combines the creative freedom of interchangeable lenses with full 1080p high-definition video capture. He speaks about the innovations allowing this camera to provide such performance -- and how it might impact the still and motion photography businesses.



Hoya to stop domestic production of Pentax lenses, cameras in Japan

According to JPEA International PEN News Weekly, Hoya Corp. has decided to transfer Pentax interchangeable lens and medium-format camera production from its Mashiko plant in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo, to Vietnam and Philippines facilities, respectively, by the end of March 2009. Thus, Hoya will end all domestic output of lenses and cameras. The company has already shifted DSLR production to the Philippines factory, most lens production to Vietnam, and consigned compact digital camera production to Taiwanese manufacturers.

  At Mashiko plant, Hoya has produced optical products including interchangeable lenses and medium- and large-format cameras, and medical equipment, whose production will be continued there. Some 250 employees are working on optical equipment production and the company will offer early retirement programs and application will be accepted from December this year. This move is to finalize the Hoya group's production restructuring of the optical equipment division since it acquired Pentax in March.


HP hires new senior vice president of Imaging and Printing Group for Americas Region

HP Co., Palo Alto, Calif., appointed Lynn Pendergrass senior vice president for the Americas region of its Imaging and Printing Group (IPG), which includes the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Pendergrass will have responsibility for maximizing the group's profit and revenue growth in the Americas region, extending its market leadership position, driving HP's company-wide consumer go-to-market activities, and ensuring a superior customer experience. She will oversee all IPG sales as well as its operational supply chain, marketing, consumer support, and category management activities.

  Pendergrass comes to HP from GE. In November 2005, Pendergrass assumed the role of president and chief executive officer of GE's Consumer & Industrial Americas unit, a $10 billion annual revenue business. She will be based in San Diego, Calif., and report to Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of IPG. Her appointment is effective Oct. 20.


Matsushita changes name to Panasonic according to plan

Japanese electronics maker Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. changed its name to Panasonic Corp., as it announced last month. The company's ticker on the New York Stock Exchange has been changed to "PC" from "MC," effective immediately.

  In September, the company said it will stop using its Japanese brand name, "National," in favor of "Panasonic" and start a marketing campaign called "Hello Panasonic" in an effort to boost market share. The company expects to complete the changeover by the end of March 2010.

Retail Markets


Dan's Camera City announces employee changes in imaging, technology, and processing areas

Dan's Camera City, Allentown, Pa., announces the promotion of Julie Strauser to director of Imaging Operations. Strauser's new role focuses on preparing the operation to increase the number of products offered, as well as staffing and other routine duties. Strauser will be responsible for developing the many systems Dan's will use to coordinate the training, production, and quality control of the new services and products, which will be instrumental to its success.

  Concurrent with Strauser's position change, Dan's is also changing the role of Steve Olock. Formerly the director of Imaging Services, Olock will now be director of Technology Services. Olock started in his prior role with Dan's in 2001 and has led the development of new services and systems within Dan's photo lab.

  Additionally, Beth Barndt has been promoted to chief processing coordinator for Dan's. In this position, Barndt is responsible for overseeing Dan's staff of processing coordinators who handle the online, in-store kiosk, remote kiosk, and mail-back processing orders.

Framing Markets


October is National Art & Framing Month

October marks National Art & Framing Month, in which frame shops, galleries, and other retailers celebrate with special events and programs promoting the enjoyment of art as part of daily life. It's an opportunity for everyone to "Picture the Possibilities" art and framing bring to homes, offices, and public spaces.

  The National Art & Framing Month Council is spearheaded by Director Vivian Kistler of Columba Publishing, Akron, Ohio. Kistler has served on the Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) board of directors and received a PPFA award for Innovation. PPFA is a PMA member association. She has been a gallery and frame shop owner for more than 20 years and is well-known educator in the art and framing industry. Kistler is also an international speaker, columnist, and author of more than 30 books and videos.

  Several past and present PPFA board members also serve on the National Art & Framing Month Council including Fran Gray, Roney's Creative Picture Framing; John Pruitt, FrameWorks; Patricia Smith, Art Expressions Gallery; William Parker, Ambiance by Parker; Conni Henshaw, Elmer's Products Inc.; and Kerry Wilson, Windrush Gallery. The council helps frame shops and galleries develop programs and marketing plans to bring awareness to the value of art and framing, especially during October.

  Various articles, marketing ideas and materials are available on the National Art & Frame Month site for framers. Additionally, PPFA offers consumer articles for use, marketing tips, and other marketing tools, as well as a new consumer website at PPFA members also can exchange marketing and promotion ideas at the Framers Corner online forum at

In memoriam


In memoriam: Lloyd Nelson Hightower

Lloyd Nelson Hightower, a founding member of the Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA), passed away July 11 in Santa Rosa, Calif, at the age of 88. A native of Oakland, Calif., Hightower served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army, Northern Pacific Theater during World War II. After the war he graduated from the Rudolf Schaeffer School of Design and worked as a designer at W & J Sloane in San Francisco, Calif.

  In 1956 he and his wife Dorothy founded their own gallery, Prints Etc., that became a respected custom-frame shop in Northern California. Hightower was innovative in applying international style aesthetic and museum standards to picture framing.

  Hightower is survived by his brother-in-law Ed Plowden and his nephew Warner Plowden.

Professional Markets


Western Digital introduces 2TB and 4TB storage systems for small business use

Western Digital, Lake Forest, Calif., introduces its new WD ShareSpace high-speed network storage systems. Designed to provide storage for small office networks, the WD ShareSpace 4-bay storage systems with Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) interface provide up to 4TB of storage capacity and multiple RAID configurations.

  WD ShareSpace network-attached storage systems are aimed at helping small offices and workgroups centralize storage for easy accessibility within the network and remotely via WD's remote Web access service. WD ShareSpace includes WD Anywhere Backup software, allowing multiple users to automate a continuous backup. Users choose specific files or folders for backup during the set-up process. Any changes or additions made to those files or folders will be updated and backed up automatically.

  WD ShareSpace network storage systems are offered in capacities of 2TB and 4TB and are available now at select retailers and WD's online store. The WD ShareSpace storage system with 2TB is $699.99, and the WD ShareSpace storage system with 4TB is $999.99.


Amplis announces new professional Tamrac lens cases, flash accessory pockets, and photography belt

Distributor Amplis Foto Inc., Markham, Ontario, Canada, announces new lens cases, flash accessory pockets, and a photography belt by Tamrac. The three new professional lens cases from Tamrac, the Pro 50, Pro 100 and Pro 200, models MX5341, MX5343 and MX5347, cases are designed to accommodate the most common professional wide angle, standard, and longer telephoto zoom lenses.

  Tamrac also introduces two new flash accessory pockets, models MX5383 and MX5385. The medium accessory pocket, MX5383, is designed for the smaller professional flashes on the market such as the Canon 430EX and also the Nikon SB800 as well as older Nikon flashes. The large flash accessory pocket, model MX5385 is designed for Canon's professional flash, the 580 EX II. The large flash accessory pocket will also allow both of the Canon and Nikon pro flashes to be carried with most common diffusers in place. Both flash accessory pockets have a front pocket for batteries or a tabletop stand.

  The new Tamrac belt model MBX5395 will hold all the products like the medium and the large belts, and will help photographers customize their carrying system with lenses, flashes and accessories, says the company.



Canon develops new anti-reflection coating technology for lenses

Canon Inc., Tokyo, Japan, announced the development of Sub-wavelength Structure Coating (SWC), a new coating technology for camera lenses that minimizes ghosting and flare, reports JPEA International PEN News Weekly. The SWC technology is used in Canon's concurrently announced large-diameter, wide-angle EF24mm F/1.4L II USM lens for EOS series DSLR cameras.

  To date, efforts to take advantage of light interference and minimize reflections have consisted of applying thin coating layers onto the lens surface, but this approach can fail to provide adequate protection depending upon factors like the light's angle of incidence, which sometimes leads to ghosting and flare. Canon's new SWC coatings minimize reflections by aligning countless wedge-shaped structures in a more minute way than the wavelength of visible light on the surface of a camera lens, says PEN News Weekly.

  The use of the SWC technology on large-curvature lens elements, which are mainly employed in wide-angle lenses, will significantly minimize the occurrence of ghosting and flare caused by reflected light in environments that have posed problems with the conventional coating technologies, according to Canon.


Nextar releases compact digital picture frame with 3.5-inch LCD screen, 256MB storage
The Nextar N3-506 digital frame features a 3.5-inch LCD screen and either 256MB or 128MB of internal memory.

Nextar Inc., La Verne, Calif., a designer and marketer of consumer electronic products, introduces a new digital photo frame, model N3-506. Featuring a 3.5-inch LCD screen with both built-in memory and flash card compatibility, the unit is constructed of a metal frame with a black leather cover. The Nextar digital photo frame supports 320-by-240 JPEG images, which can be shown as either a slideshow presentation or individually.

  The frame features built-in memory of 128MB or 256MB and a flash card slot supporting SD, MMC, or MS cards.  A rechargeable Lithium Ion battery supplies power and an AC adapter is included. It comes with a manufacturer's one-year limited warranty. The Nextar N3-506 folio digital photo frame will be available in October at retailers across the United States as well as online. The N3-506 will be available with 256MB of built-in memory for $69.99, and the 128MB capacity version will cost slightly less, says the company.



InfoTrends study confirms increased camera phone use won't detract from digital camera activity

Despite the speculation that an uptick in camera phone usage could overtake digital still cameras for general picture taking, sharing, and printing, a new study from Weymouth, Mass.-based InfoTrends, "U.S. Camera Phone End-User Survey Research: 2008," indicates that this is not the case. While today's consumers are taking more pictures with their camera phones, the research in this study confirms that increased use of camera phones will not cannibalize digital camera ownership and use.

  InfoTrends Senior Research Analyst Carrie Sylvester commented, "The camera phone is a complimentary product to the digital still camera, not a competitive one. In fact, camera phones have the potential to encourage consumers to engage in more and different types of photography without detracting from their use of other cameras."

  An overwhelming majority of survey respondents who own both a digital still camera and a camera phone reported that their digital camera usage (pictures taken, saved, and printed) has stayed the same or increased since they acquired a camera phone. Additionally, more than 60 percent of the respondents who own a camera phone but not a digital camera reported that owning the camera phone has had no effect on their plans to purchase a digital camera. A little more than a quarter of respondents said they plan to buy a digital camera sooner because of their camera phone experience, while only 15 percent indicated having the camera phone has caused them to delay the purchase of a digital camera.

  Although respondents stated that they would use their camera phones more frequently if the image quality were improved, the vast majority affirmed that even then they would not use their digital camera any less often. Interestingly, only 16 percent of respondents believed that they would use their digital camera less if the image quality of their camera phone was equal to that of a standard digital camera, according to the InfoTrends survey.

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