Calumet Photographic, a 75 year old chain of retail stores in the United States and Europe has filed chapter 7 bankruptcy. The European stores will remain operational, but all the US stores are closed.
From Calumet Photo’s Facebook Page
“After 75 years of business it is with a heavy heart that we announce our immediate closing in the United States (our European stores will continue). It has been a joy to share our passion for photography with you all of these years. We’ll miss each other and we’ll miss all of our customers. Thank you for everything.”
Employees were not warned
Apparently Calumet gave employees no warning of the closure and loss of their jobs. PetaPixel has an exclusive interview with a Calumet employee.
“According to my coworker, management was notified of this decision late last night, and told not to open for work the next day. My friend is still waiting to hear when/if he will be allowed to go back to the store and collect some personal belongings left on his desk.”
Our best wishes go out to all the Calumet employees in the US, I’ve always been treated well when I’ve visited.
Read More at PetaPixel
LensVid has posted an excellent infographic showing how truly bad 2013 was for the camera industry. At its worst, there was a 40% drop in total camera sales between 2012 and 2013. That included a 19% drop in DSLR shipments.
A few points are brought up about why the numbers were less than stellar in 2013. The first being the use of smartphones over compact cameras, we’re beating a dead horse with that one. The second reason being the economic stability of the planet, we’re still not totally out of the woods in a lot of places around the globe. The third, and the most interesting is North America’s aversion to the mirrorless market. Until people in the United States show they’re willing to spend on these systems, I don’t think we’ll see a huge advancement in technology or products. It’s a chicken and the egg thing, people keep saying make something worth buying, but every company is watching their R&D dollar and DSLR’s and lenses are still a safer bet for a return.
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Adobe Photoshop CC subscribers received an update when they turned on their computers this morning. Along with the regular list of bug fixes and tweaking of existing features, the Photoshop team added the following new features:
- 3D Printing integration
- Linked Smart Objects
- Perspective Warp
The last being the notable addition for photographers. Adobe has a short video on correcting images using the Perspective Warp tool along with all the other new features.
Adobe has also extended it’s $9.99 “Photographers” package which gives users Lightroom and Photoshop until February 28th, 2014. Who knows if this will be the last extension like this.
Source [Adobe] via [FS]
From left field
Google Inc said it bought Germany-based Nik Software, which makes photo editing application Snapseed, a rival to Instagram, for an undisclosed amount.
“We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone,” said Vic Gundotra, senior vice president, engineering, on a Google+ post.
*EDIT: Reuters is a bit incorrect, Snapseed really isn’t a competitor to Instagram, perhaps they hope to push it that way. I guess it’s safe to say that Nik applications will probably find their way to Android.
Sony, Panasonic & Olympus knocking at the door
Bloomberg has written an interesting article the higher ups at Canon have certainly taken notice of. That being their dropping marketshare in Japan along with Nikon to the mirrorless segment.
I haven’t had a problem with Canon being last to the game. I don’t personally like any of the true mirrorless options (you don’t count M9), none of them feel like cameras to me. Lots of people do though, and that’s cool. I was eager to see what Nikon came up with, though it doesn’t look too exciting to me.
I’ve always thought if Canon was going to get into it, they’d go all in. We’d see 3 mirrorless camera bodies, one high end mirrorless, a Canon M9 if you will (not a rangefinder). A prosumer middle camera body for the 5D user who wants IQ and portability, and then an entry level variant for the people that want more than a “G”.
I could be dreaming, or wishing. I’d just like to think Canon would be the company that did it right.
Canon Inc. and Nikon Corp. the world’s two biggest makers of high-end cameras, may be missing out on the industry’s biggest technology shift since film rolls became obsolete.
The two Tokyo-based companies use mirrors in all cameras with interchangeable lenses, a technique Sony Corp. (6758) is shifting away from. As a result, Canon and Nikon’s combined share of the Japanese market has fallen by 35 percent, while Sony’s share has doubled, according to estimates at research firm BCN Inc.