Canon and Nikon are reportedly both planning full-frame mirrorless cameras this year

Canon and Nikon are reportedly both planning full-frame mirrorless cameras this year
It’s going to be an exciting year for photographers — finally — as both Canon and Nikon are reportedly planning full-frame mirrorless cameras for debut before the end of 2018. It’s good news for consumers, because it means that both companies have been investing heavily in the next phase of digital photography, and that competition in the mirrorless world is about to heat up.
Photography is a difficult space right now because smartphones have been eating up the low-end and increasingly the mid-range market. Point-and-shoots are effectively extinct, and DSLRs are reserved for serious shooters — though those occupying the middle ground, such as Fujifilm with its lively X series and Olympus with its PENs and OM-Ds, have been prospering modestly.
Mirrorless cameras, which basically do away with the bulky mechanical bits of a single-lens reflex camera but have virtually no drawbacks from their absence, allow for a more compact camera that still seriously outperforms phones.

WTF is a mirrorless camera?

They seem quite clearly to be a big part of the future of photography, which is why every company has been investing heavily into the technology. Early results weren’t great, and it was clear that Canon and Nikon in particular have had their priorities divided: DSLR sales have been dropping, but flagship full-frame (that is, with sensors the size of 35mm film) DSLRs still represented the best of the camera world, embraced especially by professionals.
But inroads have been made, especially by Sony and Fujifilm, into even that professional space. The Alpha and X-Pro series have shown that mirrorless cameras can perform at least as well as DSLRs, and boy are they easier to carry around.
So, faced with either innovating and cannibalizing their own sales, or allowing competitors to eat their lunch, Canon and Nikon have chosen to do the former… after a couple of years of the latter, anyway. We’ve seen the early results from Canon in the form of the mid-range M50, but it seems Nikon has kept theirs under wraps.
Canon Rumors and Nikon Rumors report that the companies both plan to sell full-frame mirrorless cameras by the end of the year — in Nikon’s case maybe even by the end of the month.
Going full-frame means several things:

They believe their mirrorless systems are good enough to compete with SLRs at a professional level
They believe professionals are ready to make the transition to mirrorless
They are ready to do so themselves, cannibalizing and eventually winding down SLR sales

That last point is likely the scariest for them. These are companies that have been making SLR cameras for the better part of a century — it’s not just part of their core competency but key to their identity as camera makers. This is essentially a point of no return for them. Sure, SLRs will stick around for a while longer, but sooner or later the burden of improving and manufacturing them as sales decline and mirrorless systems take over will prove too much.
What about the cameras themselves? There are supposedly two from each company. Nikon’s have lots of rumored details, the most important of which are that there will be one high and one low megapixel model, in-body stabilization (allows for smaller lenses), a new lens mount and naturally an electronic viewfinder. Less is known (or rumored anyhow) about the Canons, but they will likely share many of these characteristics.
Don’t expect a lower cost to accompany this shift. These cameras will likely cost in the $2,500-$4,000 range, just like the SLRs they’re replacing.
This is also a chance to really go to town on the features and shooting experience; both companies need to make a big impression, not just with the customers they’ve lost to rival systems but to their own loyal shooters. So there may be other major changes, such as to the interface, layout and so on. Expect lots of digital integration like wireless tethering as well — better than the junk they’ve been foisting on us for the last few years.
Will this reverse the tide of smartphones taking over the photography world? No, but it’s heartening to see these rather inertia-bound companies finally embrace the future. I love SLRs, and I plan to shoot on them forever in one way or another, but as an occasional serious photographer I’ll be glad to give these new systems a try.
I’ve asked both companies about the rumors, but I doubt they’ll comment. On the other hand, if the rumors are true, we won’t have long to wait before they turn into facts.

Source: Gadgets – techcrunch

Photomyne raises $5 million for its A.I.-powered photo scanning app

Photomyne raises million for its A.I.-powered photo scanning app

Tel Aviv-based Photomyne, an A.I.-powered app that helps you bring your old photo prints online, has been benefitting from the subscription app boom to the tune of $5 million in Series A funding. Today, the app is used by a million people every month, and 250,000 people pay the $20 annual subscription for the expanded service. This adds a handful of additional features, including the option to build a family website where all your photos are uploaded immediately after being scanned.

There is something of a limited lifetime for apps that convert physical media to digital – at some point, everyone who wants to transition their old media to the web will have done so. Another issue is that some people will make scanning photos a one-time project. They’ll then save all their photos to their own device and cloud storage, and cancel their subscription.

And as those users drop off, physical media will continue to die out.

For those reasons, Photomyne will eventually need to expand into other areas – perhaps scanning other things beyond photos. As it has a couple of patents for things like scanning business cards, documents, and sticky notes, it’s clearly thinking about this, too.

But in the meantime, there’s still an audience of self-appointed family historians, who are making old photos available to their extended families, as well as older folks who grew up in the pre-smartphone era and now want to bring their memories online, too.

By leveraging A.I. technology which runs locally, in real-time, on mobile devices, Photomyne is able to speed up the fairly tedious process of photo scanning using a handheld device. That is, instead of having to focus on one photo – as with Google’s PhotoScan, for example – Photomyne lets you scan multiple photos in a single shot as you flip through the pages of old albums.

It then breaks those up into individual photos by auto-detecting the boundaries.

It also auto-rotates sideways photos, crops the photos, corrects the photo perspective, and saves them in a digital album where you can further filter them, share, or – with the subscription – save locally, backup to the cloud, sync to other devices, or publish to a family website.

The ability to scan more photos in one shot makes the app appealing to those who want to upload their entire collection of old photos to the web, instead of picking and choosing specific photos to import.

In addition, the app’s A.I.-based technology improves over time the more you use it, says Photomyne’s co-founder and CFO Yair Segalovitz.

And soon, the company plans to roll out other advanced features, too, he notes.

“We are focused on a new set of exciting features that we expect to release in the very near future. We intend to offer automatic color correction – such as fixing color decay – and the ability to search interesting photos in our 70 million-plus photo archive,” says Segalovitz.

To date, Photomyne has been downloaded 7 million times and is largely used in the U.S. and in Western Europe, though it’s starting to see growth in China, too.

The Series A round was led by Luxembourg-based Maor, a co-investment tech fund from Philippe Guez and Eric Elalouf. It also included participation from Israeli investors and others from its seed round a couple of years ago. 

With the new funding, the company plans to expand its team of 16 to around 25 and scale the business in Japan and South East Asia, in particular.

Photomyne is a free download on iOS and Android, but the full range of feature is only available to subscribers.

Source: Mobile – Techcruch