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Posts Tagged ‘Report’

Wedding photographer’s work lambasted by clients in detailed 30-page report

12 Jan

A dissatisfied newlywed couple in Hong Kong have reportedly published a 30-page report that extensively details the various issues they have with photos taken by their wedding photographer.

The critique, which was released on Chinese social media and later published in a report by DCFever, is said to be written like a lab report, including highlighted explanations of alleged issues in individual images. Many of the images even included a rule-of-thirds overlay with specific compositional mistakes pointed out.

According to DCFever’s video, the critique was “leaked” onto social media, where it has since been heavily discussed. Complaints reportedly include overexposed backgrounds and framing issues, with some commentators agreeing and others backing the photographer by saying that the photos hadn’t yet been retouched.

It is unclear based on DCFever’s written report whether the photos had been retouched before the couple received them, and whether the photographer was paid for their work. But if you want to see the full report for yourself, DCFever published several screenshots with thumbnails of the alleged wedding photos… for better or worse.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Report: GoPro is looking for a buyer

09 Jan
Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia

Just hours after GoPro’s disappointing Q4 2017 report—in which the company outlined a cost-cutting plan and announced that it would no longer be making drones—CNBC is reporting that the action cam giant has “put itself up for sale.”

The report cites “people familiar with the matter” who asked not to be named, but who told the network that GoPro hired J.P. Morgan Chase “some months ago” to find a buyer. The sources claim no buyer has come forward as of yet, but GoPro CEO Nick Woodman himself confirmed that the company would be open to a partnership or buyout.

Speaking to CNBC earlier today, Woodman said:

If there are opportunities for us to unite with a bigger parent company to scale GoPro even bigger, that is something that we would look at.

GoPro has suffered setback after setback since it went public in 2014, with lackluster action cam sales due at least in part to increased competition from smaller manufacturers, a disastrous launch (and recall) of the Karma drone, multiple rounds of layoffs, and its unceremonious exit from the drone market today. The stock price chart is… not pretty:

Chart via Google Finance

Interestingly enough, after taking a dive on the Q4 report, GoPro’s stock actually recovered a bit on news that the company was seeking a sale.

Still, despite a market cap of a little over $ 1 billion, you can bet that any potential buyer will be eyeing a price well below that mark unless the company’s plan to “[turn] the business around in 2018” starts to show some results.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Report: GoPro has laid off 200-300 more staff from its drone division

06 Jan

Californian action camera manufacturer GoPro has laid off between 200 and 300 staff, according to a report by TechCrunch. The report claims the redundancies have been made in the division of the company that builds it aerial offering—the Karma drone—and that GoPro cited a need to “better align our resources with business requirements” as the reason for the layoffs.

GoPro has suffered in recent times, with its share price taking a hammering and profits showing in negative figures. One of the main reasons for this was the much-anticipated Karma drone, which had to be recalled after it was discovered the battery could shake itself loose, causing the device to lose power mid-flight and plummet back to Earth.

The company claims that, since returning to stores, Karma has been the number 2 best-selling drone priced above $ 1,000 in the US for a period of six months up to September 2017. Even so, it would have faced (and still does) stiff competition from former partner DJI.

GoPro’s November report to shareholders announced increased revenue of $ 300 million, up 37% on the same quarter last year, and a gross margin of 40%. The company was in profit too, making $ 15 million against a loss of $ 104 million in the third quarter of 2016. However, the share price has remained low, with current trading at $ 7.51 against a high of $ 90 in October 2014.

After 370 job cuts in 2016 and early 2017 the company stated that it employed 1,327 people, but that number is now set to drop to close to 1,000, according to the TechCrunch report.

GoPro, which has been operating under the name since 2004, hasn’t commented on the claims, but the job losses have come between the end of the financial year (December 31st) and the company’s annual report, which would seem the logical time to do it.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Market report provides interesting insights into camera module industry

07 Nov
Graph: Yole Développement

Market research & strategy consulting company Yole Développement has just released its “Camera Module Industry Market and Technology Trends 2017″ report, and the document includes a number of interesting findings and forecasts that photographers, specially those interested in smartphone photography, should pay attention to.

According to the report, the market for cameras in mobile devices is still the main driver of the camera module industry that reached $ 23.4 Billion in 2016 and is projected to reach $ 46.8 Billion by 2022.

The researchers at Yole Développement also found the manufacturers of autofocus and optical image stabilization systems had to adapt to the large production volumes and low cost requirements of the smartphone makers. This has resulted in a restructuring effort and a move of production capacity from Japan and Korea to China and Vietnam. Companies like New Shiko and TDK have been able to benefit the most from these developments.

In the sub-markets for image sensors and lens sets, the quasi-monopolies of Sony and Largan are about to end as the competition is quickly catching up in terms of technology. Module makers, like market leaders LG Innotek, are hugely dependent on customer loyalty as the loss of a large customer could potentially result in a collapse of the company.

The report also finds that the average cost for mobile camera modules has remained relatively constant. However, with high-end AF- and stabilization systems and and active alignment now being much more commonplace, complexity has increased disproportionally. The current total cost of camera module per phone is pretty much proportional to the number of cameras installed—two cameras cost the manufacturers $ 16, three cameras around $ 24, and those implementing four cameras in their devices have to calculate with a cost of more than $ 30 per handset.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Report: Snapchat has hundreds of thousands of unsold Spectacles sitting in storage

27 Oct

In late 2016, Snap launched Spectacles: a wearable camera embedded into a pair of sunglasses. At first, Spectacles could only be purchased from a special yellow vending machine, making the availability very limited. Long lines and high eBay resale prices seemed to indicate high consumer demand, and eventually Snap decided to start selling the glasses through major retailers.

But a new report indicates that initial demand had more to do with novelty than actual desire… and now Snap is in trouble.

Since first launching Spectacles, including the wider Amazon launch this past summer, Snap has sold more than 150,000 units; however, a new report by The Information claims that “hundreds of thousands” of Spectacles units sit unsold in warehouses, eclipsing the number Snap has already sold. Snap misinterpreted the initial demand, and now they’re stuck with a lot of unsold (and possibly unsellable) camera glasses.

To make matters worse, The Information’s sources also claim that Snap has abandoned plans to launch its own drone. Pair this news with mediocre stock performance since going public, and the rising popularity of Instagram Stories, and things don’t look good for Snap Inc. … not at all.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Report: Blackstone working with Morgan Stanley to sell 45% Leica stake

21 Sep
Photo by Alexander Andrews

In early August, Reuters reported that Blackstone was engaging in talks with potential buyers to acquire its 45% stake in Leica. Sources had said at the time that Blackstone was working with an investment bank, though that bank wasn’t named, and that it had already discussed the potential business deal with several possible buyers. Reuters is back with more info about the alleged business plan, revealing that Blackstone is working with Morgan Stanley.

Sources have claimed that Zeiss was interested in possibly acquiring a stake in Leica, but only if it could get a majority of the company. Private equity funds, family investors, and “Asian optics groups” are also claimed among those interested in Blackstone’s 45% stake.

In its most recent report, Reuters said that Blackstone is aiming for a high valuation, banking on the fact that Leica is perceived as a luxury brand versus other big camera companies like Nikon and Canon. No auction for the stake has been started, the sources claim. Neither Blackstone or Morgan Stanley have commented on the report.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Report: Samsung is developing a 1,000fps mobile image sensor

20 Sep

According to sources who spoke to Korean publication ETNews, Samsung is planning to kick its mobile camera technology up a notch with a 1,000fps smartphone camera sensor that will compete directly with Sony’s similar sensor. This technology is called a “3-layered image sensor,” and Samsung has reportedly ordered special equipment necessary to start producing the hardware in November. Smartphones featuring this technology, like the Sony Xperia XZ, can record super-slow-motion video.

ETNews, which has a good track record in relation to Samsung leaks, claims that this 3-layered image sensor is comprised of TSV stacking technology alongside a DRAM chip and system semiconductor. Pilot production of the image sensors will start in October, the sources claim, followed by mass production in November. By comparison, Samsung currently uses 2-layered image sensors in its newest flagship smartphones.

It is the DRAM chip for temporary data storage that will enable the mobile image technology to capture at 1,000fps, and as we mentioned earlier, Samsung won’t be the first company to develop this technology for mobile devices. Sony was the first to bring this 3-layered image sensor tech to commercial devices, though the sources say Samsung will use TSV stacking rather than thermal compression to avoid the costs that come with licensing other companies’ patents.

Questions remain about which Samsung smartphones will receive the new 3-layered image sensors. Assuming mass production does start this November, it is reasonable to assume we’ll see the sensors implemented into the next batch of Galaxy smartphones the company will unveil in 2018.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Fast food appraisal report filetype pdf

06 Sep

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Photographer Bill Frakes loses university position after sexual harassment report

12 Aug

Photographer Bill Frakes, whose career has included shooting for the likes of Sports Illustrated and Coca-Cola, has been removed from his position as visiting professor at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. The decision was made by the university after it judged that a report claiming sexual harassment against Frakes was credible. News of the allegations first surfaced in documents obtained by The World-Herald.

University of Nebraska spokesman Steve Smith confirmed the report to PDN, saying Frakes was originally appointed to teach through the Fall semester, but that following the university’s decision, “Prof. Frakes is not teaching any courses at Nebraska this Fall.” Additional details weren’t provided for the sake of privacy.

The matter revolves around a report filed by student Calla Kessler. According to those who have viewed the leaked documents, Frakes was accused of violating university sexual harassment policies by commenting on female students’ bodies and clothing, as well as calling female editors “bit***s” and browsing photos of “scantily clad” women using his phone while in a car that contained female students. His actions are said to have only applied to women, not men.

In addition, Frakes was accused of making threats to students that included the ability to “end their careers” and advising that students shouldn’t “piss [him] off.” The university reportedly corroborated the accusations with other witnesses to these alleged actions and statements. Following the investigation, UNL decided to remove Frakes from his role as visiting professor.

For his part, Frakes has remained silent on the matter, stating the confidential nature of the proceedings. “The final hearing has not taken place,” he told PDN. “The university has directed the process be confidential, and I intend to honor that request.” Though he didn’t offer any further statements on the matter, he did reveal that he is appealing the university’s decision.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Report: 45% of Leica is up for sale, and Zeiss is interested

05 Aug

Reuters is reporting that investment group Blackstone is “in talks with potential buyers” in an attempt to sell its 45% stake in Leica Camera, possibly to Zeiss. The other 55% of the company is owned by the Kaufmann family, who brought in Blackstone as a co-investor in 2011.

The report cites “people close to the matter,” who claim the investor has already teamed up with an investment bank and “held talks” with potential buyers, although the process hasn’t entered the bidding stage yet. Potential buyers include Zeiss and, more speculatively, Huawei, neither of whom would comment on the matter. However, Reuters’ sources said Zeiss would only be interested if it could acquire a majority stake in the company, something the Kaufmann family might not go for.

Speaking with Reuters, Leica chairman Andreas Kaufmann said his family “has long-term goals with Leica Camera,” long term meaning a 100-year timeline.

Last year, there was some talk of Chinese investor CDH buying out Blackstone’s stake in Leica, but no deal was struck. But it’s a new year, and Blackstone could earn a pretty penny for selling its stake in Leica. According to Reuters, the iconic camera brand is expected to report earnings “of roughly 70 million euros” this year at a valuation of around 700 million euros, or approximately $ 828 million USD.

You can read the full report at this link.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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