Photography Cheat Sheet: Do You Really Need a New Camera?

We’re honestly answering the timeless question of whether or not you need a new camera.

The classic question of the hobbyist vs. the professional photographer is one that we’re tackling in today’s photography cheat sheet. They’re similar in some ways and different in many. The idea of the uncle Bob has significantly changed in the past few years with everyone going on the second-hand market and buying older cameras. They’re competent. And today’s modern cameras are even more capable. They’re also fun. In fact, photography, in general, is a fun hobby. So today, we’re exploring whether or not you really need to buy a new camera. And hopefully, it will help you out with your next purchasing decision.

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Panasonic Cites Massive Profit Partially Attributed to Selling off 51% of Imaging Division

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic GM1 first impressions Photo Plus Expo 2013 (2 of 7)ISO 64001-15 sec at f - 2.8

And now for some news that can be taken both well and incredibly sad…

According to Bloomberg and 43Rumors, Panasonic is currently citing a massive profit increase due to restructuring of the company. Essentially what they’ve done is what any other company would do when they’re not surviving–trim the fat! Combined with layoffs, part of this is attributed to getting rid of emphasis on things that aren’t profitable for the company like Plasma TVs. Bloomberg states,

“President Kazuhiro Tsuga, in his second year at the helm, is pivoting toward products for cars and homes as he accelerates changes to recover from back-to-back annual losses. Panasonic suspended plasma panel production, trimmed smartphone and circuit board operations and sold a stake in semiconductor factories to focus on growing businesses.”

What the articles aren’t really citing though is a report from the Credit Suisse earlier on this year that states that Panasonic recently sold off 51% of its Imaging Division. In fact, the company has given them until March 2016 to become profitable or else they get the axe. That means that within the next two years, we need to start seeing some seriously game changing technology from Panasonic. This will be a tough task overall for the Four Thirds industry as Panasonic needs to work with Olympus to become a stronger force in the industry. Micro Four Thirds has the most market share in the mirrorless industry, but the offerings that we’re seeing from Fujifilm and Sony are both taking massive Great White Shark sized bites out of them.

Panasonic has also changed up a lot of their game plan–with mostly trying to cater to pros and those reaching for higher hanging fruit.

The Phoblographer’s Top and Flop Five Industry Developments of 2013

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The year 2013 was a year packed full to the brim with new developments in the photo industry. It started with CES in Las Vegas and CP+ in Yokohama in January, then along came IFA in Berlin in September, followed by Photo Plus in New York in October. In the meantime, manufacturers didn’t pause with their announcements of new products. We saw a lot of exciting stuff launched, but also some things that had us scratch our heads. And then, there were those announcements that nobody could really wrap their head around. Here’s a list of we here at The Phoblographer consider this year’s top and flop five industry developments.

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Kodak is Not Dead Yet: Reorganization Approved, They Say Bye to Consumers

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Bloomberg News reports that Kodak, the company which used to dominate the photography industry, has won court approval to plan their bankruptcy exit. Moving away from cameras, film sales, and consumer photo developing, the company is going to focus on commercial printing and won’t be selling anything to consumers anymore. The post-bankruptcy plan is cutting $4.1 billion of debt, so Kodak can become a new company and shed its past to survive. Kodak will also be selling $406 million of new stock to raise funds, and old creditors will be investing new money in Kodak, to help with the company’s restructuring. In its reorganization plan, Kodak will also be focusing on a new technology: touch screen sensor components for smartphones and computer tablets. Finally, as good news to film aficionados, Kodak will continue to manufacture motion picture film.

Now, let’s take a look at the entire timeline of what’s been happening in Kodak’s current whirlwind.

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Awareness Alert: Is Your Camera Made of ‘Conflict Minerals’?

Image credit: ENOUGH Project on flickr.

The Enough Project recently published their latest report on the use of so-called ‘conflict minerals’ in the electronics industry, which paints both a promising and sad picture. ‘Conflict minerals’ are minerals sourced in regions of conflict — in this case mainly the Democratic Republic of Congo — and help to fund the local militias and their ongoing wars. Some of these minerals are used in the electronics industry: cassiterite, columbite-tantalite, and wolframite are the source for tin, tantalum, and tungsten. Some electronics companies already have policies that help track the source of these minerals and prevent the use of minerals sourced in regions of conflict. However, much progress in this area is still to be desired.

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