ISSue NO. 888
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The magazine ThaT undersTands The world of imaging, pasT, presenT and fuTure
News Panasonic to Sell Sanyo? Panasonic could be poised to sell its Sanyo digital camera business. Unnamed sources have been quoted in several Japanese news outlets saying that a deal may be struck with Advantage Partners before the end of March. The business makes cameras for several other camera brands, and the sale is expected to raise several hundreds of million yen for Panasonic, according to the Nikkei business news. Panasonic acquired the Sanyo brand, which at the time was a rival as in compact cameras as well as a leading manufacturer of lithium ion batteries and solar panels, in 2010.
App Corrects Video from DSLR, Action or Phone Cameras Defishr, an automatic video fisheye corrector application has been developed for Windows, and removes the warp and perspective distortion caused by wide angle lenses on action cameras, DSLR cameras and even mobile phones with wide angle lenses. To remove fisheye from a video clip, a user simply drags a video clip into the Defishr app, selects the camera model that recorded the video from a drop-down list and the fisheye distortion is instantly corrected. Defishr includes a suite of manual lens correction tools. Corrected video is rendered and exported from Defishr in industry standard formats. www.prodad.com
The Future Arrives Park Cameras unveils new brand experiences and investment in the future of imaging retail at their showroom in Burgess hill. Park Cameras have opened the doors to their new-look store, with new and improved brand experiences and more product connectivity. At the beginning of December, a significant investment took place to develop the Samsung and Fujifilm brand areas of the store, improving customers’ shopping experience and showcasing the latest products from both vendors, including Samsung’s new Galaxy Camera and Fujifilm’s X-series of cameras. Samsung’s area has been improved with new high-end display screens and tablets, perfectly showcasing how Samsung’s connected cameras can interact with display solutions. For a limited time, customers can currently receive a free Samsung 7” Galaxy Tablet when purchasing the Samsung NX20 or NX1000. It is now easier than ever for customers to try the latest products using Park Cameras’ innovative showroom. Continued on page 3
Samsung Display at Park Cameras, Burgess Hill
smartphones Driving technology Growth
results of the GfK TeMAX survey for the third quarter of 2012 show that the Technical Consumer Goods market in Western europe saw a 1.5 percent value increase in Q3 2012 compared to the same period last year. Telecommunications remained the strongest sector in growth, with sales reaching ˆ 5.6 billion in Q3 2012. With the exception of Greece and Spain, all of Europe showed significant growth in this sector this year. There were many factors for the growing demand for smartphones: massive subsidies by operators made the switch from a feature phone to a smartphone very attractive for consumers and bigger displays are emerging to mass market price bands. Higher data transfer rates now allow extremely fast internet usage and this
service is now available in key markets such as Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and France. New operating systems with attractive user interfaces andnew developments for existing ones make it a difficult choice for consumers, but still help stimulate demand. Smartphones therefore will definitely play a very important role in retail over Christmas.
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reacts quickly, misses nothing
Capture all the action with 12 framesper-second shooting, 1080 Full HD movie capture and continuous autofocus for movies and stills. www.pixellive.co.uk
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BEST IMAGING INNOVATION Sony SLT, Translucent Mirror Technology
Thiswww.pixel.co.uk simulated image of the above feature shows how you can quickly preview photos in folders. 2
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samsung.com 14/12/2012 16:13
The InsIder Saying what you’re thinking and asking the difficult questions. each week the Insider reports from the front line of our industry. What’s on your shelves for 2013? The new year is upon us. A year of further changes and challenges for us all, I’m sure. Not just with tough budgets and a tough economy but with tough choices to make about our business models and offerings. Sure, I’ve written similar pieces for this column in recent issues. I’ve banged the drum about the opportunities presented to us by way of new technologies and the ever emerging ‘connected’ world that we’re all increasingly involved in. This though, is my opportunity to point some fingers at those that make the decisions and, ultimately, choose the kit to be sold on the shop/web floor. Any shopper walking into any retail environment will ask themselves, “Is this the right place for me?” and as a retailer, you must be confident that the answer will be yes. That, in no small part, means asking your staff first: Why should our customers want to shop at our store as opposed to buying from the one down the road or online? We must be clear on our business’s mission and strategy, and how we translate that to our windows and shelves ? You must decide on the kind of store you will be in 2013. Don’t make the mistake of sitting on the fence in an attempt to capture the average punter. By doing this, you’ll create an environment that is attractive to no one. Choose your concept and stick to it. Also, don’t leave the management of your ranging to suppliers. They may be smart, and very capable at data analysis, but at the end of the day, their strategy is not likely to be yours. Of course, most of the above really only
applies to those who are interested and hungry to capitalise on the possibilities that I see eeking through the traditional sector on almost a daily basis. I do also realise that there will always be a need for a specialist ‘photographic only’ store but in my opinion, Roy Sealey had it right when he recently compared our traditional retail sector with the record shops. Ask yourself, how many of these do you have in the town/city you’re in? So I return to my intro. How are you going to remain relevant to potential customers in 2013? Do you have enough ‘traditional’ business to not have to look at diversifying? Succeeding in retail business of any kind means being good on a number of dimensions. They include service, pricing, marketing, and location selection. But range has to be number one. Too many retailers are sitting on the fence and their customers are left asking the question: Why shop in this store? The biggest sign that a business is in serious trouble is when even its own managers cannot answer that question. Happy new year everyone.
News Carl Zeiss Growth Continues The Carl Zeiss Group has announced a two per cent increase in revenue for the last fiscal year, to a total of EUR 4.163 billion “2011/12 was a very successful fiscal year for Carl Zeiss,” said Dr. Michael Kaschke, President and CEO of Carl Zeiss. “We have surpassed the figure we forecast last year: revenue is slightly above the equivalent total in the prior year. What is particularly notable is that our strong portfolio has enabled us to successfully offset the cyclical downturn in the revenue of the Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology business group. This would not have been possible just a few years ago.” In 2011/12 Carl Zeiss hired 900 new recruits worldwide and increased its investments in research and development by 14 percent. Investments in property, plant and equipment totalled EUR 289 million, allowing the company to expand its global infrastructure.
Epson collaborates with Ilford on backlit display products
...The Future Arrives Continued Throughout December, Park Cameras’ sales team team will be further supported by representatives from many of the world’s leading photographic brands, who will be on hand to provide in-depth product information as well as giving valuable recommendations on the best products for visiting customers. In addition to the new Fuji and Samsung brand experiences, Park Cameras are also introducing a new range of photo gifts including photo books. The photo books are now created in-house, with the images printed using the Fujifilm Frontier printer, ensuring memories are presented in a professional format that can be treasured for a lifetime. Reg Atkins, Managing Director of Park Cameras said: “We’re delighted to introduce the latest additions to our showroom. The Samsung brand experience is the perfect way for customers to experience the most up-todate technology and the impressive Galaxy
Epson Stylus Pro GS6000
Fujifilm Display at Park Camera, Burgess Hill
camera, whilst the new Fuji area not only offers a brilliant way for customers to try Fuji’s latest camera models, but the investment in the print labs and new photo book capability are the perfect way for customers to capture their treasured memories.” www.parkcameras.com
Epson Europe has collaborated with Ilford to develop the OMNIJET Display Trans Media Kit for the production of backlit displays. The companies have worked together to develop the kit which includes display film, laminates and dedicated RIP profiles. In combination with Epson Stylus Pro large format aqueous inkjet printers, Epson UltraChrome K3 or HDR inksets, the new Ilford Omnijet Display Trans Media Kit provides a photo-quality, costeffective alternative to traditional silver halide backlit displays. The new solution allows sign and display companies to produce backlit displays quickly and efficiently using their existing Epson Stylus Pro printers. www.ilfordphoto.com www.epson.co.uk
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THE WORLD OF IMAGING
Camera production Rises to Meet Demand CIPA (the Japan-based Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) has reported that camera manufacturing has increased production by 42%. Over two million units were shipped out in October alone, makring a substantial increase in both volume and value over the same period last year. The growth was predominantly driven by interchangeable lens models, and lens production itself increased by more than 20%. Manufacture of fixed lens cameras declined dramatically over the same time scale. The number of cameras leaving the CIPA members factories - including brands such as Fujifilm, Sony, Nikon, Panasonic, Canon and Olympus - overall decreased, although market value remained proportionally good, indicating that in general, more of the higherticket models are being stocked and sold. Shipments within Japan remained consistent, whilst the numbers of interchangeable lens cameras sold into Europe grew by more than 35% and sales into the USA climbed by almost 50%. www.cipa.jp/english
Christmas Comes for Click and Collect UK retailers chalked up record sales on “Cyber Monday” - the first Monday of December, as keen shoppers snapped up deals immediately after payday. David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, believes that the day’s sales figures indicate that sales conducted online this Christmas will significantly exceed 2011 levels. He believes the growth will be driven by Amazon’s expansion, the improvements retailers have made to their online offering and the advancement of mobile devices. David McCorquodale said: “While online giants like Amazon continue to dominate cyber space, UK retailers have also invested heavily this year in their online operations. Cyber Monday was the acid test for many. “Consumers’ take up of the latest technology is undoubtedly a key driver behind the rise of online sales. The tablet in particular has allowed mobile shopping to take great strides forward: its larger screen has really helped customers shop online from any location with a wireless internet connection. I believe sales conducted on tablets will soon outpace those on mobiles and laptops, and this Christmas should provide us with evidence of this trend. “The meteoric rise in popularity of “click and
collect” services is evidence of how technology is shaping consumers’ shopping habits. It’s a great example of how retailers’ multiple channels can interact to drive sales and benefit the customer. Savvy retailers have recognised that the collection of the goods does not herald the end of the sale, and are training staff to offer relevant accessories to the customer when they visit the store to pick up their purchase, enhancing the service offering whilst at the same time boosting sales and offering crucial new opportunities. “While online sales alone cannot rescue an ailing retail operation, they do form the cornerstone of a successful multichannel retail strategy. Well designed websites, highly targeted personal campaigns and good customer service are essential if retailers are to succeed in the online marketplace.”
Put to the Test: Panasonic Embark on the Coldest Journey Sir Ranulph Fiennes and his team are taking on this challenge, using Panasonic equipment to record their journey.
It’s being hailed as the greatest challenge of human endeavour remaining on Earth: to cross the Antarctic in winter. No one has ever attempted it before and with 24-hour darkness and temperatures plunging below -70°C, this epic 2,000 mile expedition is the ultimate test of human endurance. Panasonic was chosen as the official technology partner for ‘The Coldest Journey’ due to its compatible range of weatherresistant products. At the heart of the operation will be Panasonic’s P2 Solid State Technology and the AG-HPX250 handheld camera recorder. The CF-53 Toughbook mobile PC will be used to facilitate the expedition’s scientific experiments and communications via an Iridium sat-link, as well as editing footage taken on Lumix digital cameras and Panasonic camcorders. Nigel Wilkes, PSCEU Group Manager explained: “Our Broadcast P2 camera equipment and Toughbook PCs have a reputation of reliability in extreme conditions.
Our customers often use Panasonic equipment beyond the temperature specifications that we guarantee”. Wilkes says that the scientific discoveries promised by this expedition were one of the factors that encouraged Panasonic to undertake the supply of all the audio visual, camera and rugged computing equipment needed for the project. Panasonic is supplying a mix of professional broadcast and consumer imaging equipment
to the Ice Team, which includes the AGHPX250 - P2 HD professional broadcast cameras, GH2, FT4 Lumix cameras and HCX900 camcorders. “The GH2s and FT4 compact cameras are probably going to suffer the most from the cold,” predicts Wilkes. “Professional kit is designed to cope, but consumer kit, whilst durable, tends to be used in far less extreme conditions. To help them survive in blizzard conditions, they will be stored next to the explorer’s body to keep the equipment warm,” says Wilkes. “They’ll get them out for 30 seconds at a time; they are for times when it’s not practical to use a large, broadcast camera, like when abseiling down an ice cliff.” While the Ice Team are not professional cameramen, they have undergone special training by the BBC. “They’ve been taught how to capture the type of footage which will be suitable for the BBC to use in news broadcasts.” The extraordinary adventure will be covered by various news outlets, including the BBC.
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samsung.com/uk/galaxycamera ÂŠ2012 Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Appearance of device may vary. The Android robot is reproduced from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License. Android and Google Play are trademarks of Google Inc.
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Times, They Are A-Changin’
In issue 881, Pixel set the ball rolling on what we believe to be the future of the imaging retail trade and set a clear challenge to our readers: change, or be left behind. Here, the heads of three of the most relevant and important businesses in the imaging trade give their responses and predictions for imaging’s integrated future.
Terry Carey Tiffen International Ltd
I wanted to congratulate you on a piece well written and with a heartfelt plea to the retail trade to say wake up and smell the coffee! There are very few of us left in the photo industry from what many of us think of as the “good old days”. The real smart operators traded and then switched their businesses when the going started to get tough. They were the real businessmen, not just photo trade stalwarts who have developed their own way of working. Many others spun off the slowing merry go round and the ones that are left have adapted to survive. I do ﬁrmly believe you can be a niche business in a big world, and this is proven out in the ﬁshing, cycle and Hi-ﬁ worlds to name but a few corners of the trade where a limited number of specialists still thrive! Small independent retailers can still support the rent if they understand they will never ever be able to beat the big boys on price selling capital equipment, with their better locations, or the fact that many end users prefer to shop in a bright, air conditioned sterile environment that is open 7 days a week or of course purchase online. The answer for the independent is to stop whinging about not being competitive at the sharp end but - as Pixel suggested - invest in quality accessories and work to provide a level
of service that the majors and internet stores just cannot support. Today more that ever the range of added value items for the imaging industry is enormous and if any dealer reading this is still not keeping iPhone accessories in stock then shame on you! You may well be in the next batch of photo dealers to disappear into the abyss! Personally I have no axe to grind as we make our living from the broadcast and ﬁlm industries, which incidentally is still no push over but inﬁnitely more pleasurably and proﬁtable than arguing with some toss pot on the best price for a camera I am just off for a coffee… have you smelt it yet? www.tiffen.com
Stafford Ford GADGITAL LTD
I have just read the “Joined-Up Thinking” article in Pixel with great interest and I must say, you are so right on the button with this one! I just hope the independents who are left take note if they want to continue in this business. I can give you a simple example of how business has gone with us at GADIGITAL. As you know, I only trade with own brand products. Originally it was just bags but we have now moved onto other products related to the imaging and IT trade, as we clearly saw
“What this trade does need is the ability to step back from the noisiness and make some decisions about what you are going to do in order to stay relevant to today’s consumer” - Roy Sealey, Swains International the overlap between these two markets. Now, the sale of bags is still very important and big business for us, but it has changed. In 2002 when I teamed up with World Richman Corporation in China, every bag we sold was a camera bag. This started to change around 2006, when we got involved with computer bags, and now of course we have tablet cases, e-reader cases and ultraslim laptop cases as well as camera cases. Today the camera case market only represents approximately 10% of the total amount of bags we sell into Europe and this is mainly DSLR bags and backpacks, rather then the compact camera cases which originally made up a large portion of our business. Times certainly are changing, and that’s how I’ve seen it affect just our corner of the business.
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THE BIG INTERVIEW
internet and discount pricing is useless, and we have to sell that expertise itself. How about offering technological set-ups for a fee? Personally, I’d pay someone £20 to come round and hook my Smart TV up through my satellite, wireless, my laptop, my printer… if you’re providing installation services, the consumer needs to buy everything from you, for which you need to be armed with all the kit. Why not charge a minimal fee for a thorough demonstration and trying out of a camera, which is then redeemed off the price of the item if they buy in store? The important thing here is to be a specialist in getting the best out of images. You have to be a specialist as you can’t stock every TV or laptop or phone, you have to look at the relevance to the imaging enthusiast and professional, and choose products which will help you to help them get the best out of what they do.
Pixel publisher Lee Mansfield speaks up about the decline of the traditional photographic industry and the contrasting bright future of the imaging trade. It’s time for me to speak out about the most important issue to this magazine: the future of our trade. Recently I have been to several major exhibitions, spoken to many key people from all areas of the trade, and it’s obvious from the environment that we need to change. People ask me what I would do, and that’s a difficult question for a publisher to answer but having spent so many years in this trade and in my position to see the future developing, I feel I should share my views. It may not sit well with those who are perceived to be Pixel’s traditional readership but it’s not intended to offend anyone - it’s supposed to spur the industry into action and to dismiss some of the apathy and negativity that has amassed in the imaging trade. Now more than ever, the trade is calling on its newspaper, Pixel, to become its voice and speak up as to the future of the industry, if indeed there is one. And there is, but I’ll say this: the basic (low end) compact camera market is dead. That most mainstream avenue which used to be the major arteries bringing life to what was at the time known only as photographic retail is ebbing away, and with it, the opportunities we all identified twenty, even ten years ago are drying up. The idea of a camera shop, as far as I’m concerned, is changing rapidly but this does not mean we should all give up, shut our businesses and go home. Instead, we need to be looking at and talking about the bright and diverse future offered by the term imaging retail, thinking of the differences between this and our traditional offering, and stepping up as an industry. Specialist retail is not dead. I accept that it has been hit massively by online shopping, but culturally we accept that certain stores will always be on the high street and indeed who are benefitting as online and big-box selling wheedles out the weaker stores and leaves consumers with one clear choice if they want to walk into a bricks and mortar store and walk out with a product. In this way, there will always be a market for a select few purely photographic retailers and a whole new future of imaging on the high street. We need to BE those stores, rather than looking at them and denouncing them for stealing our customers or making excuses as to why their methods of business wouldn’t work for us. They would, and they will just as soon as we take on that challenge. So where do I see the future of imaging retail? - Well firstly, it’s exactly that word: imaging. Perhaps camera shops need to consider dropping the words ‘camera’ and ‘photo’ if they’re intending to appeal to a wider audience.
If I were opening, or indeed rebranding, a traditional photo specialist store now to encompass more technologies, I’d go for a name something like The Image Store: simple, modern and leaving behind the connotations of ‘the old days’. The generation that are enthusiastic about imaging now don’t even remember the trade’s traditions, so there’s no sense in clinging to them. We need to be retailing a new range of prodcts, which I will speak about in depth later. - We need to update the look of our shops. This is an area in which Jessops have really got it right with their rebranded storefronts, but it could go even further. Imaging is a category in which we are constantly able to offer up-to-theminute technology, and yet so many storefronts still look like they did in the 80s, when they need to be modern, clean and inviting. - As a trade, we need to stop being afraid of the products which can make us money. The perception that the new entries to the wider imaging trade compete or conflict with a traditional photo offering is a fallacy. We saw a similar situation when the advent of home printing did not destroy the professional print trade - people ARE still making prints in store and online, and I hear this category is now in growth again, which just goes to show that those who supported both avenues of business were right to do so. The New World of Imaging The most important development, in my view, is the whole world of new products that we should be looking at. This does, of course, encompass all the products we traditionally associate with photography: cameras and their accessories; frames and albums; optics; printing and yes, there’s still room for analogue equipment - which is experiencing something of a revival at the moment - and second hand, especially for pro gear. Keeping an up-to-date and comprehensive range of the core products is, of course, essential and key retailers are continuing to do well with this. This is the strength on which we all have to trade. What’s also essential right now, and only going to become more so, is looking at all the products an image maker may need or want in order to get the best from their image. The process is no longer capture, develop, print. It’s a blend of trigger, capture, share, edit, display, print and store, in various orders and across a plethora of different devices, all of which should be stocked by the imaging specialist. This might include smartphones, cameraphones, tablets, notebook PCs, smart televisions, software, all the accessories that go with all of these
things plus many more innovative products still to come. All these products interact so well, we have to demonstrate this with our in-store environments so that our customers can see how the workflow fits together and connects through all of the products. Without knowledge and stock in every area of this connected workflow, we cannot fulfill the needs of today’s imaging consumer. There is no denying that these products contribute to the future of the imaging trade, but for them to provide as much growth as possible for specialist retailers on the high street, we must foster a new kind of retail environment in which consumers can clearly see and try out these imaging technologies, experience their quality and realise how buying these products from you will enhance their imaging experience.
The imaging process is no longer capture, develop, print. It’s a blend of trigger, capture, share, edit, display, print, store and more, in various orders across a plethora of devices all of which should be available from an imaging specialist. We at Pixel have mapped out the products we feel offer the best opportunities to the imaging trade, and you can see our graphic illustrating how they fit in with the core products of imaging retail on pages 6 and 7. The photo printing industry has also changed dramatically due predominantly to the influence of social networking, and we need to embrace this. Making our print facilities able to connect with phones and Facebook is crucial, as is offering a full complement of photo gifts, canvas prints, acrylics, customised cards… everything. There’s a definite preconception that these are more likely to be ordered online, and I think that’s mostly due to some very clever and intensive marketing campaigns. What we’ve so far failed, on the whole, to provide for is the social element of image sharing and the processes of creating photobooks and gifts. A ‘coffee shop’ type environment works, whether you choose to actually serve coffee or not: big banks of tables and kiosks where groups can share their images, chat, work on
Lee imagines that his hypothetical retail outlet, The Imaging Store, would look a lot like this.
books or cards together. Think how many stag and hen nights have printed t-shirts, and how many more we might be able to sell if that group can come in together and pick their styles, then come in together after the event and make a book of all their pictures. The same applies to family groups, clubs and events. Adding this fun, interactive element gives people a reason to come IN store rather than ordering online, and makes your store a destination. Getting people in the door will always be an important part of overcoming the competition from online-only retailers. Further opportunities I have seen include the rental of any studio space you my have or be able to create for portrait sessions, private use, and education. The rise of e-commerce and popularity of sites like eBay means that people and businesses need pictures of the products they are selling, and many are coming to realise how crucial good imagery is for good sales. Offering these sort of services needn’t cost you much, if anything, but can bring in revenue and attract more footfall to your store. Products such as specialist art books, camera collectibles and other items relevant to imaging enthusiasts also come under your remit, whether you’ve traditionally stocked them or not. The other huge growth potential that I can see is based on a traditional value of the specialist retailer: your expertise. For example I think there’s huge untapped revenue in training: not in taking the actual pictures, but in teaching photographers to use their new equipment to its full potential, using feature sand really getting the most out of new technology. This whole concept would give people a reason to come into store. It’s not something you can do online, and it gives the personal touch customers value. Retailers are already having success offering to guide camera buyers through their new device, and expansions on this theme are where we could really be making headway. As specialists, it’s always been the case that we have to sell by expertise rather than by price, as most agree that trying to compete with
Time to change Today’s main independents have the perfect opportunity to turn into specialist imaging stores, which currently don’t really exist, and their doing so would be a great springboard in prompting the rest of the industry to do the same. But it’s not only an opportunity: it could be a lifeline for ailing businesses. Those who do not offer the products and services that their consumer base wants from them will be extremely lucky if they survive the next few challenging years, whereas I believe those who are quick off the mark in embracing this new approach will prosper from it. There are retailers out there that already sell everything or almost everything that I’m talking about, but it’s normally segregated into departments: John Lewis, for example, have a spectacular product range but they’re still failing to demonstrate the connectivity between products as well as they could. These are department stores or general electronics stores, anyway, where you’re also faced with white goods, hairdryers, shavers etc. They’re not imaging specialists, and this is where the opportunity exists for a whole new style of retail experience. This is not an attack on retailers, by any stretch. A huge problem is that manufacturers say they have end to end solutions, they speak freely about the synergies between their technologies, yet within the companies themselves you tend to find business still very segregated. There’s a camera department, a television department, a phone department and so on, and they don’t seem to have a lot to do with each other or know about one another’s products. A few brands have now merged their imaging and audio categories, which is a promising start, but this needs to go much further. The links and connections need to be properly demonstrated to retailers so that retailers can in turn demonstrate it to consumers, and retailers need to be able to stock these interlinking products through one contact rather than being herded through different departments. Floorspace need not be an obstacle. Printed products can go up on your walls, and the
facilities to make them are getting smaller and smaller, and if you’re really pushed for space, you can outsource and still profit from the business. Display solutions like LCD screens can go on walls to, and will double up as point of sale displays for you. One of our longest established readers, Phil from Spectrum TCR said to me once “If you haven’t got it, you can’t sell it”. We were talking about stock levels at the time but how true this is with regards to the current situation I believe that this new outlook is about showing a little faith in these brilliant new technologies and making one or two good examples of each item available, not about filling your shop to the rafters with televisions. I’m talking about a considered investment in new lins that could really help the turnover, margin, popularity and longevity of this trade. Please do remember, I am not a retailer and I don’t presume to tell others how to run
You have to be a specialist. You can’t stock every TV or phone, you have to look at the relevance to the imaging enthusiast and professional, and choose products which will help you to help them get the best out of what they do. their business - you know your customers and ultimately, are the expert. I am, however, a consumer and as such, I see an opening for this new style of imaging store as something I, and my peers, would buy into. All I am suggesting is that those who are concerned that their traditional offering is dwindling give these technologies a chance. In hindsight, it’s easy to look back at the advent of digital photography and assume we all saw its significance straight away, but speaking honestly, we know this is not the case. There were those who doubted digital would ever take off, those who didn’t see it as their remit as photo specialists, and as such many did not change the way they did business until it was too late. Of course, today there are still retailers who stock and even specialise in analogue photo equipment, but those who simply failed to move with the times are gone. Once again, as a trade, we stand on the precipice of such a huge change, and considering our experience with the shift to digital, it is perhaps surprising that we are hesitant to make this leap. We’re not a dying sector. We’re the beginning of a brand new sector, and I for one am excited for our future. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on my suggestions. Please send any responses through the editor, who will pass them on: email@example.com
We exhibit at CES, IFA and photokina. My recommendation in my “retired” years is to skip photokina as it was a “so-so” exhibition for us this year, and talking to some other exhibitors the thoughts were that it is past its sell by date as a global imaging exhibition as it doesn’t reﬂect the wider spread of the market. Perhaps photokina is still ideal just for the German market, but I don’t think it shows the full potential of the imaging trade for a UK dealer. More and more manufacturers are looking at the general electronic shows which embrace imaging and work in tandem with the photographic manufacturers, and it’s my personal feeling that this is the way forward for all of us.
Roy Sealey, Swains International
An interesting article and very much food for thought. “What shall I do?” should be the question on every retailer’s lips. The market place has changed so quickly
that it’s a race to keep up. What this trade does need is the ability to step back from the noisiness and make some decisions about what you are going to do in order to stay relevant to todays consumer and to have a strong view on tomorrow. Pixel’s Joined-Up Thinking article pointed the way to that mindset. I was talking to a colleague not long ago, who pointed out that what I do with some of my retail accounts is get the owner to come out of their store, cross the road and look at their store with fresh eyes, asking the question “would I want to shop in that store?” Often they don’t even answer before rushing back into making some urgent changes to the way they present their business. Every retailer should do this with their business, especially with Pixel’s recent article in mind… it’s quick, simple and effective. The minilab market works very hard to tell the consumer what they offer…. Chains such as Fuji Digital Imaging Services, Kodak Express and Snappy Snaps are very good at that. The independent retailer who specialises in hardware, printers, DSLR, CSC and who has previously always called himself a “photo store” now has a very important challenge on his hands. There is a need to look at the wider picture. The Imaging Store, as proposed by Pixel and I hope soon to be seen on our high
Joined-Up Thinking Feature in Pixel Magazine
streets, sounds and looks great. What was particularly interesting to us was the double page spread showing seven crucial categories. We as a distributor and wholesaler cover four of those areas and have the ability to stretch to a ﬁfth, so if there were enough retailers who wanted to become involved, we can help. The sad thing here is that this idea could be picked up by a major supermarket or chain ﬁrst. They could test it quite easily and prove that it’s worth it and then a major roll out could occur. In the short to medium term, supporting our Daily Mail advertising programme makes a lot of sense for independent retailers. They can act like a multiple retailer and use all the posters supporting the ad, and this is the one time of the year that consumers are looking in the press for gift ideas so we know that works. www.swains.co.uk
Join us on the forum at www.pixel.co.uk to share your views or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Retail trafﬁc receives a boost from consumers shopping online from their mobile devices; Analysis of UK online retail trafﬁc and sales one month before Christmas found that consumers are increasingly shopping from mobile devices and that online sales this year have increased by almost a ﬁfth compared to the same date in 2011. The IBM Benchmark data found that online sales increased by 18 percent compared to the same Monday in 2011. The number of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site reached 21.5 percent, up from 12 percent in 2011 on the same day, and the number of consumers using their mobile device to make a purchase increased to 15.7 percent, up from 9.8 percent in 2011 on the same day.
The iPad Factor: The iPad generated more trafﬁc than any other tablet or smart phone, reaching 10.8 percent of online shopping. This was followed by iPhone at 6.5 percent (from 4.9 percent in 2011) and Android 4.0 percent (from 3.3 percent last year). Out of all tablets including Kindle, iPad generates the most online trafﬁc at 95 per cent. In the UK tablet trafﬁc (53 percent) was higher than smartphone trafﬁc (47 percent) in terms of consumers using those devices to visit a retailer’s site. Shoppers referred from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube generated 0.22 percent of all online sales
...Smartphones Driving Technology Growth Continued Another strong sector was IT, which recorded sales of €14.1 billion between July and September 2012. This corresponds to a growth rate of 4.9 percent, compared to Q3 2011, but this growth is a tale with two sides. On one hand, there are many product segments within the IT sector with high market volume but limited growth rates: the sold units for products like desktop computers, mobile computers, peripherals and external HDDs are on a very high level and the household penetration with these products is also very high, therefore, the growth is limited. On the other hand, there are new products with high growth rates in the market: products like tablets, ultrathin notebooks, Windows 8 and solid state drives will have a high market potential and inﬂuence
the IT market positively. With a growth rate of 1.5 percent, the Technical Consumer Goods markets in Western Europe showed a positive but slightly cautious development in Q3 2012. The UK, Austria and Germany are successfully defying the unsafe economic conditions, so even though conditions are not ideal, there is hope for healthy sales in the next quarter as consumers continue to invest despite the economic climate
Samsung Galaxy SIII
News Jessops Upgrade Tills Ahead of Christmas Rush Jessops has contracted PC-based touchscreen manufacturer J2 Retail Systems to install new EPoS hardware in its stores. The rollout programme has started, with ten of the company’s topperforming shops being the ﬁrst to have the new terminals installed ready for Christmas trading. Dave Wilson took up the position of Head of Business Systems at Jessops in February this year and immediately turned his attention to reviewing the group’s primary line-of-business systems. It was clear that any future software upgrades within its store infrastructure would be reliant on improving the existing EPoS provision. “Some of our tills were up to 10 years old and were creaking. They simply didn’t have the processing power to support an ERP upgrade and were nearing the end of their useful life. It was clearly time to invest in an EPoS refresh.” Dave Wilson joined Jessops from Vue Cinemas, where he had installed J2 Retail Systems’ technology in its cinemas. Jessops aims to roll out a total of 600 upgraded tills in 2013, with the aim of reduced till downtime, improved performance and greater reliability.
GfK TEMAX® is an index developed by GfK to track the technical consumer goods markets. www.gfk.com
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News Smart Search for Shooters A new service aims to help consumers find a professional image-maker to meet their needs, joining the worlds of photo and video in one easy search service. It’s called SmartShoot and it’s currently in beta. The company claims to offer professional filmmakers and photographers access to guaranteed paid gigs, a diverse assortment of shoots and productions and online screening rooms, photo preview tools and project management software to help manage projects. It;s a professional photographer and fillmaker crowdsourcing platform that connects customers with the best local filmmakers and photographers, who are ranked, rated and ready to pitch for business.
Strong Retail Sales Growth Continues
There was positive news from the high street in November with retailers reporting improved year-on-year sales for the third consecutive month and an increase in staff on the shop floor, the CBI’s latest report has revealed. The CBI’s latest quarterly Distributive Trades Survey covers the first two weeks in November and revealed that year-onyear growth in retail sales volumes continued for a third consecutive month, with 49% of retailers reporting an increase in their volume of sales compared to a year ago, and only 16% a reduction, resulting in a balance of 33%. However, the retailers surveyed considered the volume of sales to be below normal for the time of year. Growth in orders placed with suppliers on a year ago has also continued to climb.
Simply Does It
Retailers remained relatively cautious about the overall outlook, despite the strength in sales volumes. Anna Leach, CBI Head of Economic Analysis, said: “The increase in employment, along with expectations for improvement in the business situation over the next quarter, point to a welcome boost to the sector. But the fact that retailers are still reluctant to authorise new capital expenditure shows that there is some way to go before activity on the high street is back to normal.” www.cbi.org.uk
Chancellor’s Autumn Statement provides some relief for small businesses by keeping it simple. The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement contained a number of measures designed to ease the pressure on small to medium sized businesses without overcomplicating the taxation system. David Bywater, Head of Tax at KPMG in the South East explains: “Businesses, particularly in the SME sector will welcome the Chancellor’s attempts to keep it simple with very little tinkering to the tax environment and yet several measures to encourage investment in the UK. “Reducing the corporate tax rate to 21% from April 2014, maintaining business rates relief and a 10 fold increase in the annual investment allowance, should encourage capital investment particularly for small and medium sized businesses, and offer some breathing space as the economy continues to struggle. “Signalling the desire to adopt many of the measures recommended by the Heseltine Review, such as better direction of cash through the local enterprise partnerships to deliver on local needs, will be welcomed by the businesses up and down the country. “Additional measures announced to help businesses with exporting – particularly to the fast growing emerging economies via UKTI will be really welcomed, as the UK falls behind our European counterparts, particularly at the SME level with our exports. “Keeping it simple was an idea that ran through the whole of the statement today, but particularly around the announcement of
the new Business Bank which will be provided with £1 billion of extra capital along with simplifying things through the consolidation under one roof of the numerous existing schemes that provide capital to small and medium sized firms. “Finally, announcements on extra spending on infrastructure projects will be particularly welcome to businesses across the country. Measures to boost the construction sector will no doubt help to stimulate growth all the way down the supply chain to the SME community.” Other groups also welcomed a number of the schemes outlined by the Chancellor. “A 3p rise in January would have been nothing short of economic vandalism in the current climate,” said the Forum of Private Business’ Chief Executive, Phil Orford. “In fact it would have been hard to imagine a worse start to 2013 for the UK economy. “No doubt the Chancellor will have heard the nation’s collective sigh of relief at the news January’s hike has not just been delayed, but abandoned altogether. “Fuel prices have reached a cliff edge, and the Chancellor has acknowledged this with today’s announcement. He has also clearly heeded the overwhelming objections from small businesses that high fuel prices are hampering their own growth ambitions on a number of levels. “The increase in the Annual Investment
Chancellor George Osborne
Allowance to £250,000 is welcome but a tacit admission that the decision to cut the same allowance to £25,000 this year was a wrong one. Given that UK businesses are currently sitting on £700bn of cash reserves, it could be argued that the earlier actions of the Chancellor created a disincentive to invest through 2012, at a time when business needs confidence to create growth. “Nevertheless, we welcome this increase and urge businesses to take advantage of it. “We are now starting to see a change in attitudes, with large corporates beginning to understand the need to contribute more to the Exchequer, and therefore the coffers of UK plc.” “Whilst of course it is disappointing that government is missing some debt targets, the overall forecast suggests the Government should stay the course it is charting to maintain confidence in our economy. It is essential because the Government’s own credit rating is essential to some of its schemes such as Funding for Lending. “We wait to hear more on the Business Bank, and of course just how much of the Heseltine Review the Government is taking seriously come Spring.”
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pixel fullpage DKS4-PBB 232.8x320.1mm.pdf
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Independent Specialists Pixel.co.uk Accredited by EE Win PhotoPlus with Local mobile phone specialist, Intelligent Procurement Consultants has been appointed as one of a select number of independent Mainline dealers across the UK to become an accredited EE 4G partner.
Pixel’s new website is now in action, and if you haven’t bookmarked the page yet, here’s a fresh reason to! In the spirit of Christmas, we’ll be giving away six copies of Serif’s PhotoPlus X6 software, worth £71.48 (RRP) to Pixel readers. Optimised for the latest digital cameras, X6 features non-destructive cropping, professional editing techniques made easy, animated export and improved functionality for the easiest, most effective social networking for your images. To be in with a chance of winning a copy, visit www.pixel.co.uk, where you’ll see our special festive competition password! Simply send this word in an email to the editor - email@example.com - and your name will be entered into the Santa hat for the prize draw. As well as Pixel’s new and improved website, don’t forget you can also be kept up-to-date by joining the Pixel Magazine discussion group on LinkedIn (simply search for Pixel Magazine) and by following @pixelmagazine on twitter. Scan the QR Code to go directly to the competition page on pixel.co.uk.
4G is the fourth generation of mobile network and is ﬁve times faster than 3G. It makes using the internet, sending emails or downloading ﬁles unbelievably quick when using compatible phones, tablets or via dongles - ideal for picture and video sharing. Mainline is the UK’s leading distributor of EE mobile phones to independent dealers, and has recently reported a huge increase in dealers from across a variety of retail sectors looking to stock their mobile phones. Mainline has speciﬁcally selected Intelligent Procurement Consultants, who are based in Rusper, for product knowledge, experience and its outstanding customer service. “We want EE customers to expect a superior level of customer service and complete peace of mind, whoever they buy their phone through,” says Mainline managing director Andrew Boden. “That’s what Intelligent Procurement Consultants delivers.” “We’re delighted to be accredited as a 4G dealer,” said Tom Innes, Intelligent Procurement Consultants’ managing director. “We have a wide range of 4G-ready handsets in stock and our customers can rest assured that we will provide them with the products, service, help and advice they may require.”
EE has also launched a new ﬁxed-line Fibre service with speeds around ten times faster than current broadband. This is now available nationally in 11 million locations.
Nikon 1 J2 A Hit in Girls Aloud Music Video Nikon has secured brand presence in the latest music video from Girls Aloud, ‘Beautiful ‘Cause You Love Me’.
The white Nikon 1 J2 camera features predominantly in the music video as part of a product placement deal, and is used to capture images and self-portraits by the band members. The recent comeback of the group, in line with their 10th anniversary, has been a great success and has shown they continue to have a strong fan base. Jeremy Gilbert, Group Marketing Manager at Nikon UK says: “We’re delighted to have secured the opportunity to showcase this model to the Girls Aloud fan base in the run up to Christmas and we’re conﬁdent that they will respond well to this placement.” Chris Elrin, Commercial Director of Polydor Records said, “The Nikon 1 J2 was a fantastic
ﬁt for the Girls Aloud video, which we were able to work into the video treatment smoothly and effectively, and we’re really happy with the end result.
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Star of the Show
THE WORLD OF IMAGING
Rotolight’s RL48 Ringlight was “star of the show” on set of Tom Hanks’ latest multi-million dollar movie, ‘Captain Phillips’ Directed by Paul Greengrass (Bourne Ultimatum, Green Zone, United 93). Ten Rotolight RL48’s were chosen for use on the feature by Barry Ackroyd, BAFTA winner and Oscar nominated Cinematographer for ‘Hurt Locker’ (2008), which beat James Cameron’s Avatar to 6 Oscars including ‘Best Picture’. Ackroyd chose the Rotolight the RL48’s for their unrivalled portability and versatility on set, as chief lighting gaffer, Harry Wiggins (The Iron Lady, Green Zone) explains:“We shot Captain Phillips on different ships all over the world and there was one light we always took with us – the Rotolight. Perfectly-sized and with a built-in gel kit, it was my get-out-of jail card
and always right there on my belt. “It was neat, punchy and saved time by the bucket load: small enough to hide behind an existing ﬁtting to boost it, powerful enough to key on its own. When we wanted that little bit extra, wherever we wanted it and at whatever temperature we wanted it – clunk! Rotolight.” ‘Captain Philips’, Directed by Paul Greengrass (Bourne series, Green Zone) is based on the true-life story of Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks), taken hostage by Somali pirates on board of the famous freight ship Maersk Alabama. The Rotolight’s were also extremely popular with the cast and crew in particular.
Nokia Introduce Facebook Button Facebook and Nokia have developed an innovation with the introduction of a built-in Facebook button available on the new Nokia Asha 205.
The Asha 205 is the ﬁrst Nokia phone that includes a dedicated Facebook button, designed for people who want the fastest, one-click access to popular Facebook features. “Globally, young consumers have increasingly started using Facebook for socialising, keeping in touch and striking new friendships. The launch of the Nokia Asha 205 responds to this growing demand and gives them a unique option for accessing Facebook while on-the-go,” said Timo Toikkanen, executive vice president, Mobile Phones, Nokia. “We have seen that many people who
use Nokia Asha devices are hyper-social and we are proud to partner with Facebook to improve the user experience of those onsumers further with the introduction of the Facebook button.” www.nokia.com
News Infotrends new Service to Drive Growth As the European digital photography market matures, deeper analysis is needed in order to drive growth in the market, by understanding the needs of speciﬁc consumer segments such as early adopters, mums or hobbyists. Because of this, InfoTrends has launched two new services that will provide in-depth, focused research on the photo capture and photo output markets. While the digital camera market has reached maturity, phones are quickly taking the place of digital cameras for every day photos. Over the next ﬁve years, emerging technologies such as wearable cameras and augmented reality will enable the consumer to interact with images in new and exciting ways. InfoTrends Photo Capture Trends Service will examine existing and emerging technologies and how they are affecting the photo capture market. Digital imaging hardware vendors and software/service providers will beneﬁt from learning how consumers are capturing, saving, and sharing photos and video. Photo output behaviors are in a transitional phase as photo printing numbers decline and the photo merchandise market experiences growth. InfoTrends believes there is opportunity within both of these segments as printing from connected devices becomes easier and customized photo merchandise enters a new generation of products. InfoTrends’ Photo Output Trends European Service will examine this trend among others in the photo output market and provide solutions for retailers, photo print providers, photo merchandise manufacturers, and photo service providers. These services both include consumer research, proﬁles of existing vendors and emerging technology providers, analysis of important industry developments, and forecasts that include imaging activities and related revenue.
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The Imaging Store CAMERAS BRIDGE COMPACTS OPTICS EXTREME
DSLR CSC CAMCORDER BROADCAST 3D
TV STANDS AND WALL MOUNTS
HIGH QUALITY TABLETS
GOLD PLATED HDMI CABLES
LAPTOP HARD DRIVES
MEMORY BATTERY CHARGERS
CLOUD COMPUTING BAGS
BLU RAY SMART HOME CINEMA
SPEAKERS SMART TV WEBCAM
SMART WIRELESS KEYBOARD
EXTR SPO MOU
SOLAR POWERED CHARGER CASE
MONITORING/ VIEWING DEVICE
SOLAR POWERED CHARGERS WIRELESS ADAPTORS
FILM/CINE/DVD TRANSFER & DUPLICATES
BOOM MIC STUDIO FACILITIES
Pixel’s vision of the expanded world of imaging retail has stimulated an immense amount of discussion in the trade. We have reprinted this reference for you to keep and talk about. Please come and share your thoughts, suggestions and additions at pixel.co.uk
GE CTS CS ME
POP UP BANNERS
PHOTO PAPER STYLUS
RETOUCHING SERVICES PRIN
TER P APER
INKS FILM/CINE/DVD TRANSFER
BAGS HEADPHONES UNDERWATER CAMERA CASES FIELD RECORDERS
ORY EXTREME SPORT MOUNTS
SOLAR POWERED CHARGERS
INK-FLO REFILLS TRIPODS
EXTREME SPORTS CASES
Enrich your retail environment with social elements designed to get your customers talking, sharing and coming back for more. COFFEE MACHINES
SOFA PHOTO ALBUMS
KIOSK POOL TABLE GAMES CONSOLES
TELEVISION www.pixellive.co.uk www.pixel.co.uk 15 15
for creative freedom
Photographic Artwork Range Fujifilmâ€™s EZ product range is a selection of quality papers that offer added value for the photofinisher, pro lab and photo retailer.
FineInkjet Art Media EZ Canvas EZ Poly Canvas
EZ Natural Canvas
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ÂŠ David Constantine www.sittingimages.com www.motivation.org.uk
Photo Base EZ Gloss Paper
EZ Satin Paper
EZ Pearl Paper
Paper Base EZ Matt Bond Paper
The imaging industry has trusted Fujifilm for nearly 80 years - trusted us to provide the best products, the best service and the best innovations. Now you can trust us for your Photographic Artwork media. Fujifilm created the heritage, you create the future.
Learn more at www.fuji.co.uk/parange 16 www.pixel.co.uk
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THE WORLD OF IMAGING
Warring Giants Top Digital Market
Despite their well-publicised rivalry, Apple and Samsung have between them notched up the most sales in connected devices over the last year. The strengths of the opposing brands vary: Apple’s individual average selling price for it products is $310 higher than Samsung’s, but this has allowed Samsung to distribute almost 20 million more units in the third quarter of 2012. Data analysts have calculated that Samsung sold 66.1 million “smart devices” (smartphones, tablet and PCs) and Apple sold just under 46 million. Samsung still have the larger market share: approximately 22% of tablets, smartphones and computers to Apple’s
15%. This leaves the remaining brands, including Lenovo, Sony and HP with under 7% of the market each. Analysts IDC said 303.6 million devices were shipped in total for the quarter, and predict that the number of smart devices shipped in 2012 will total 1.2 billion. Within the next four years, it is anticipated that this number will almost double, and that tablets will be hot on the heels of smartphones as the second most popular devices by shipment ﬁgures.
LED vs LCD
News eGift Cards Make Christmas Easier for Shoppers Jessops is encouraging online shoppers in store with new electronic gift cards. When a customer purchases an eGift card on Jessops.com an email or Facebook message containing a16 digit code and bar code will be sent back to them, which they print and present in store. Alternatively, they can show the Jessops store the gift voucher code on a smartphone. Sean Emmett, Marketing and E-commerce Director at Jessops said, “being able to buy a gift online 24/7 and spend the gift card in stores nationwide is a great example of how we’re working hard to engage consumers in ways that are appealing and convenient for them.” eGift cards avoid the postage costs and delay worries that put many consumers off online purchases every Christmas.
App Reduces Filesize, Not Resolution
Major brands to cut back on or even scrap LCD televisions and concentrate on their LED models.
Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic are among the brands reducing their presence in the LCD television market and focusing their efforts on LED televisions instead. The second-generation of ﬂatscreen televisions, LED TVs are often slimmer and offer better image output whilst simultaneously reducing power consumption by half or more. LED televisions are also coming down in price, now retailing for only up to 20% more than their LCD predecessors...for comparison, last year they were around 40% more expensive. LCD tv sales have dropped off by more than half during 2012, but the ﬂat-pannel television market itself has grown by more than 20% over the same period - a difference which is largely accounted for by the growth of the LED screen market. Due to the dominance of LED models, it’s likely that LCD televisions will soon become more expensive to make than LEDs, as their lack of volume in sales will lead to costs for components increasing as they’re bought in smaller batches. Effectively, this will mean the end of LCD televisions and will probably happen sometime in 2013. Panasonic has reduced its LCD line-up from 18 models last year to under ten, and rumour
has it that ths ﬁgure will drop as low as seven next year.
Accusoft’s ThinPic for iOS is designed to maintain original image size, while reducing the ﬁle size for easier uploading - ideal for Apple users using their device for imaging purposes who are concerned about the resolution offered. The ThinPic app works with any photo stored on the iPhone or iPad and reduces ﬁle sizes by up to 70%, allowing faster uploading and transfer plus allowing users to store up to three times more images on the device. Accusoft assert that this offers better resolution options than the proprietary software. “For example, the panorama mode in the iPhone 5 can capture a 17 MB image. When that photo is emailed from the iPhone the user is prompted to reduce the message size by scaling the image to Small, Medium, Large or Actual Size for faster transmission. The Actual Size setting scales the image to half of its original resolution to generate a ﬁle size of approximately 5.5MB. ThinPic will reduce the same image to around 4.4MB, while maintaining the original resolution.”
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Your Essential Guide to the Latest Launches Name: The Zooka Wireless Speaker RRP: £79.99 Release Date: TBC
Name: Adobe Photoshop Touch 1.4 RRP: £ Release Date: Immediate
The Zooka Wireless Speaker rose to fame back in February when its Kickstarter campaign exceeded the backing target of $25,000 - hitting a total of $70,540 with 678 backers. The Zooka Wireless Speaker, which packs a powerful, high quality audio experience into a sleek and sexy form, is a slimline silicone Bluetooth speaker that slides onto the top of your gadget, whether it be a laptop or tablet, and gives you HD Audio Sound with A2DP Streaming. The Zooka easily connects with Bluetooth-enabled devices and transforms Apple and Android products into a big sound audio system that allows anyone to play games, listen to music, and watch movies five times louder. The 3.5mm input jack makes it suitable for non-Bluetooth devices too, making it the ultimate audio gadget. Just slide the Zooka onto the edge of your device, pair it, and enjoy full, rich sound that lights up a room from as much as 30 feet away. Thanks to the slimline design of the Zooka, it’s ultra-portable, lightweight and stylish. The sound can be increased or decreased easily using the control buttons on the top, so you can enjoy your audio at the perfect volume with the click of a button. The Zooka also has a built in microphone and can be paired with a phone for hands-free conversations at home or on the go. www.kickstarter.com
Adobe has announced the availability of Adobe Photoshop Touch 1.4, which brings optimisation for smaller tablet displays including the iPad Mini and Google Nexus 7, further cementing the extent to which these products are being used by imaging enthusiasts on their mobile tablet devices. Photoshop Touch 1.4 brings new features and effects for other users too, including: • Added support for three pressuresensitive styli for iPad: the Pogo Connect, Jot Touch and the Jaja stylus. • New ways to share completed projects to Facebook and Twitter directly from the app • Added effects including Lens Flare and Stamp Pattern. • New performance and workflow enhancement including smoother brush strokes and new colour selection workflow. Photoshop Touch brings the creative and image-editing capability of Photoshop to tablet devices, now expanded to support more tablets and displays to provide customers greater flexibility to create. www.adobe.com
Name: Swann OutbackCam RRP: £99.99 Release Date: Immediate Specifically built to withstand the harshest weather conditions; the OutbackCam is the ideal security observation system for your front yard, back patio, and any rural location. The camera and recorder are both housed in the same anti-corrosive, lockable shell. Video footage or still photos record conveniently to the included SD card. Simply insert the SD card into your computer to quickly and easily view captured video and images. 100% battery operated means you don’t need any mains power when using the OutbackCam. Therefore the unit can be installed in any area as required. Date and Moon Phase stamping ensures you know exactly what time of the day or night the image was captured. The Swann OutbackCam Camera & Video Recorder now ensures you can monitor and record almost any location! Comes complete with a 2GB SD card and tree strap; just add 4 x AA batteries and the OutbackCam is ready for use. www.swann.com
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THE LAUNCHPAD LAUNCH PAD Name: Nokia Lumia 620 RRP: Release Date: January 2013 Nokia has introduced the Lumia 620, the most affordable in its range of Windows Phone 8 smartphones with a youthful appeal, and compact design - a perfect entry point into the latest level of the camera-smartphone market. Continuing the Lumia range’s traditions of innovative imaging technology, this camera phone features exclusive lenses and the Smart Shoot function. The Nokia Lumia 620 uses a new dual-shot colour technique to deliver a variety of striking color and texture effects. Dualshot adds a second layer of coloured, transparent or translucent polycarbonate on top of a base layer to produce secondary colour blends and depth effects. With seven different exchangeable shells to choose from, people can adapt the look of their Nokia Lumia 620 to their own personal taste and style. Among the features shared with the Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820 are exclusive camera lenses that transform the creative power of the Nokia Lumia 620’s five megapixel main camera and VGA front-facing camera. The Cinemagraph lens adds simple animations to still photographs, while Smart Shoot creates a single, perfect shot from multiple images, even removing unwanted objects from the picture. Powered by Windows Phone 8, the Nokia Lumia 620 delivers a more personal smartphone experience. Adjustable Live Tiles update direct to the Start Screen. People Hub pulls together contact information from multiple address books and social networks into a single location, making it easy to stay in touch with friends and set up contact Groups and private Rooms for sharing. From the Me Tile people can check in to their location, post an update, set chat status, see what’s new and monitor notifications across Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Windows Phone 8 also includes Xbox Live, Microsoft Office, 7GB of online SkyDrive storage and faster, safer surfing with Internet Explorer 10. www.nokia.com Name: Pogo Connect RRP: TBC Release Date: TBC
Name: IPS i2757Fh Monitor RRP: £232 Release Date: Immediate
Ten One Design, creator of the world’s first capacitive touch screen stylus, announces the global availability of the Pogo Connect with support for the newly updated Adobe® Photoshop® Touch. Pogo Connect expands on the benefits of Bluetooth 4.0, pairing directly and effortlessly with the iPad to offer full pressure sensitivity, palm rejection capabilities and more. Versions 1.4 and higher of Adobe Photoshop Touch pair seamlessly with Pogo Connect, allowing you to easily edit images, create multilayered artwork and produce unique designs. When used together, Adobe Photoshop Touch and Pogo Connect bring rich, creative possibilities to your iPad and showcase your artistic capabilities. With an application and stylus both custom-built for tablets, users have the potential to create scenes that are visually stunning or totally unexpected. As the first-of-its-kind, the Pogo Connect sports a wild new patentpending technology, a Crescendo Sensor, making the stylus tip highly responsive to pressure and recognizing even the slightest touch. With zero grams of activation force, Crescendo Sensor works at all angles and requires absolutely no calibration, providing hundreds of levels of pressure. Additionally, the solid state design means no moving parts, making the stylus incredibly reliable. By capturing the nuances of any drawing, novice and professional artists alike can easily create detailed, multifaceted digital paintings in a matter of minutes. By applying more or less pressure, users can control line width and opacity of a drawn line. Plus, the Pogo Connect’s palm rejection feature keeps drawings clear of unnecessary and unwanted marks, smudges, blots and more from hands resting on the screen during drawing sessions.
IPS (in-plane switching) is an advanced LCD technology, allowing for extremely wide viewing angles, high contrast and astonishing colour stability. The i2757Fh delivers crisp images with unaltered colours up to viewing angles of 178° (horiz. / vert.), enabling multiple users to enjoy the great picture quality on the large 68.6 (27”) screen from different viewpoints. Featuring a static contrast of 1000:1 (dynamic contrast: 20,000,000:1), an ultra-short response time of only 5 ms and a luminance of 250 cd/m2, the LED model offers great performance not only for professional graphics usage. Offering a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, the i2757Fh with its 16:9 format is perfectly suited for the unscaled display of high-definition content, such as the latest games and movies. With two HDMI as well as an analogue VGA input, multiple signal sources like Blu-ray players, PCs or gaming consoles can be connected simultaneously.
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THE LAUNCHPAD LAUNCH PAD Name: Hahnemühle Photo and Watercolour Cards RRP: TBC Release Date: Immediate The box is available with 30 artist postcards for watercolours, paintings and drawings. The natural white watercolour cardboard with its distinctive surface can be painted on with watercolours, Indian ink or acrylic colours. An imprinted address box makes sending the cards by post easy. Every year, the cover of the box - which itself has turned into a sought-after collectors’ item is decorated with a new watercolour. The edition of the respective year is limited to 20,000 copies worldwide. For the photo enthusiasts, the box comes with 30 inkjet postcards in 10 x 15 format and represents a true small treasure chest. The unique surface feel of true artist paper combined with a special coating for controlling ink absorption, guarantees the finest prints. Available are the internationally acclaimed Photo Rag® (matte), FineArt Pearl (satin matte) and Baryta FB (high-gloss). Name: DxO ViewPoint v1.1 RRP: 35% off! Release Date: December DxO ViewPoint v1.1 improves the accuracy of its perspective and cropping tools, as well as its speed, for an even better user experience. Based on DxO Labs’ advanced geometrical corrections, DxO ViewPoint corrects the distortion of the subjects on the edges of images due to the use of short focal lengths (as with wide-angle lenses). DxO ViewPoint also lets users correct the most complex kinds of perspective problems, including keystoning, without having to resort to costly shift-lenses. Each of these features includes advanced fine-tuning controls to achieve the highest correction precision. DxO ViewPoint can be used not only as a standalone application for Mac and Windows, but also as a plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6 and Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 3 and 4. Name: MobileMount+ RRP: TBC Release Date: July 2013 Whether snapping photos on a tripod, following a GPS to a new destination or watching movies on a tablet, MobileMount+ is making it simple to mount virtually any gadget with a flat surface. Comprised of two suction cups and one threaded ball joint, the MobileMount+ can be used as a camera mount as well as a car mount or a tabletop kickstand. When connecting the mount to a tripod or other camera accessory, users can unscrew the ball from the suction cup and attach it to any camera accessory that supports 1/4” 20 threads. The ball and joint on the MobileMount+ allows users to adjust the mount at many angles making it perfect for getting the right shot, whether it be shooting a Hollywood-style video on a dolly or a self-portrait from your tripod. Keeping the MobileMount+ suction cups screwed together allows you to prop up your tablet on the countertop for easy tabletop viewing and use. It also allows you to mount your device to your car window for mobile use while you’re on the go. Estimated availability for the MobileMount+ camera is July 2013. Starting from today, anyone can support MobileMount+ to production through Kickstarter.com, where early bird backers of $30 or more are rewarded with a MobileMount+. Visit www.jandmcompany.com to learn more.
Name: Easy-Doks CR34 RRP: $99 Release Date: Immediate
The “Easy-Doks CR34” essential smart quick charger, charges and docks up to 6 devices simultaneously, neatly and elegantly displaying your devices in one place at all times. The Easy-Doks CR34 charges all phones (including iPhones, Androids & Blackberrys), tablets (iPads, Galaxys, etc.), MP3 players (iPods, etc.), headsets, Bluetooth speakers, and more at the same time, for a professional looking charging/docking solution. It charges any 6 portable media devices (including phones) simultaneously, in one location. Name: WD app for Windows 8 RRP: TBC Release Date: TBC WD, (a brand of Western Digital) have launched a new product and app of use to every consumer or producer of digital content using Windows 8. The new products offer comprehensive support for new storage features in Windows 8 and an app for the new Windows user interface that makes it easy to backup digital media and files. The WD app for Windows 8 automatically discovers digital content on connected WD direct attached storage solutions and showcases those photos, videos and music on a live tile on the Start screen. Within the app, customers can easily find and enjoy their digital content as well as share their media with the Share charm. Windows 8 automatically installs the WD app for certified WD products or it can be downloaded from the Windows Store. WD products simplify the process of computer backup through support of the new File History feature in Windows 8. File History is a file backup application that makes it easy to schedule automatic backups to any hard drive such as WD’s My Passport and My Book Live products. This simplified process of performing automatic, periodical back up of personal files. WD drives also fully support the new Windows 8 Storage Spaces feature, which allows customers to make multiple external hard drives appear as a single storage volume. Customers can use Storage Spaces in conjunction with File History to create redundant backups for enhanced security.
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INSIDE TRACK SpencerLab Updates Colour Options SpencerLab Digital Color Laboratory has updated its suite with an expanded level of testing capabilities covering additional test objectives, target markets, and color options. Version 4.5 provides “a comprehensive tool for Print Quality analysis and Benchmarking digital printing,” the company says, “an invaluable resource for digital print providers and major users.” SpencerLab says more than a dozen firms sponsored development of Version 4 including Adobe, Canon, Kodak, HP, and Xerox. www.spencerlab.co.uk
Your Year in Video by Animoto Want to see all your online photos from the last year instantly added to an animated video? Assuming your shots are on Facebook, you’re in luck: Animoto can do just that. “The end of the year is nearing and we here at Animoto believe there is nothing quite like an awesome video to recap your awesome year, “the imaging service says, “so, we have made it dead-simple to create one.” All you have to do is choose music and a theme. It’s a clever way to entice you to try out the service, which goes beyond slideshows with its movie-like use of photos. The added bonus of tying into Facebook: the resulting video will have not only the shots you’ve uploaded yourself, but also the ones in which your friends and family tagged you. (Don’t worry, you can excise unwanted images.) Unlike Facebook’s own video feature, Animoto uses already-added captions as well.
CREDITS & CoNTACTS
Photo Sync Means Even More Pictures Posted to Facebook Facebook’s new Photo Sync feature will automate the uploading process — when you take a photo on your phone in the mobile app, it’s sent to the site — and stores your images until you post them. “We’re excited to roll out photo sync, which makes it easier to share photos,” Facebook says. “With this feature, photos from your phone sync automatically to a private album on the web. When you want to share these photos, just pick and post your favorites.” The company began testing photo sync in August, it says, but is now rolling it out more widely in its Facebook app for Android or iPhone. When you turn on photo syncing, Facebook says, your mobile photos will be saved to a private section of your Facebook Photos. Only you can see the photos you’ve synced from your phone. When you later view your synced photos, you can choose shots to send in a private message, or share your on your timeline from desktop, mobile, or
another device. When you’re on a cellular network, Facebook will upload shrunken version of photos (around 100K each, it says), “so they’re unlikely to use much of your data plan.” However, it warns, “Please keep in mind that uploading over a cellular network will use your data plan and may cost you money.” [It can be set to upload only over a WiFi connection.] Facebook’s billion members have uploaded more than 219 billion photos, at a current rate of about 300 million photos every day. The mobile apps however reportedly have less than 250 million users.
PMA’s Big Photoshow: It’s Coming! The PMA are very excited to announce tthe official launch of a new website, thebigphotoshow.com. There are two aspects to The Big Photo Show. First is the event, held in different venues across the USA, where photo enthusiasts can come to see the latest in photography gear; meet representatives from the top equipment manufacturers, retailers and labs; learn new ways to hone their skills and take their photography to the next level; and interact with other photographers. The Big Photo Show inaugural event will be held from 10:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m. on May 4-5, 2013, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, California. Second is an online community at www. thebigphotoshow.com, where people who love taking pictures – at all levels, from beginners to advanced amateurs to professional photographers – can come to share their
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knowledge, questions, and passion. “The website offers photo contests with great prizes, tips and tricks from expert photographers, and a calendar of events, where photo enthusiasts can find out what’s happening in the world of photography, right where they live and work,” said Jim Esp, Executive Director of PMA. Of course, details about all the exciting happenings at The Big Photo Show events are there, too.” Allen Showalter, PMA President, added, “The Big Photo Show and the corresponding online community will bring consumers together with the people who have made it their life’s work to serve them. What a remarkable opportunity for imaging businesses to develop relationships with photo enthusiasts, and for those avid photographers to discover all the wonderful tools and services this industry has to offer, to help them grow in both passion and ability as photographers.”
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News John Lewis to Open New Stores, Tech Sales Strong
Damian Dinning, head of Nokia’s imaging drive, has announced his departure from the company.
Christmas sales at the nation’s favourite department store are off to a strong start, with particularly strong ﬁgures from EHT (Electronics and Home Technology) of 29 per cent up on last year would indicate that the gifting trend of technology products - for both adults and children - continues apace, with the iPad4, mini iPads and the new ‘app toys’ ﬂying off the shelves. This trading news came two days after the country’s best-loved department store launched its latest Christmas television advertising campaign, with 8 million X Factor viewers seeing it in a prime slot last week. Brand Director Peter Ruis has revealed that John Lewis plan to open up to 21 more stores in the next six years. Destinations for potential new stores include Exeter, York and Chelmsford.
Coming from a background in the photographic trade, including major roles at Kodak and Minolta, Dinning joined Nokia in 2004 and has since spearheaded the integration of advanced imaging technology into Nokia phones in his role of Program Manager for Imaging Experience, during which time he was instrumental in Nokia’s relationship with Microsoft for Windows Phone imaging. Following the launch of several signiﬁcant Lumia smartphones, the imaging prowess of which are expected to accelerate smartphones’ impact on the compact camera market, Nokia announced the decision to relocate key operations to Finland, where the company is based. Dinning was said
Nokia Lumia 820
to have made a personal decision to leave the company as he felt unable to move his family. In a statement, Nokia said they had not yet chosen anybody to take over the role, and recognised Damian Dinning’s valuable contributions to the smartphone business with gratitude. It is believed that Dinning will be undertaking a new role at Jaguar Land Rover soon.
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New Pixel website - www.pixel.co.uk - is now ready to bring you the news you need from the imaging world.
After a series of setbacks to the old model, we are pleased to announce that the new Pixel website is now up and running. The improved interface allows us to bring you up-to-the-minute news and product releases in an attractive, easy-to-navigate new format. Now included is Pixel TV, where you’ll ﬁnd informative and interesting video content, easy access to back issues and access to the biggest Pixel Imaging Guide ever, coming soon. The site will also feature exclusive content that doesn’t appear in the magazine so that we are able to bring you more depth and variety than could possibly appear in our printed pages. Pixel’s renewed and cleaned-up forum interface makes it easier for you to chat with the trade about current events and relevant issues. Don’t forget, you can also follow Pixel on twitter
VAT May Rise to 25% The Institute of Fiscal Studies has revealed that the Government may be forced to raise VAT by another 5% in order to meet ﬁnancial targets in the coming years. Despite commitments to reduce spending and improve the UK’s ﬁnancial outlook, Government spending in certain areas has increased due to rising unemployment levels.
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COMET ADMINISTRATION: REDUNDANCIES CONFIRMED
Deloitte have been appointed Administrators to Comet; stores are remaining open but redundancies are being made.
Canon Launches Forum Canon has launched its own online forum, offering Canon photographers a place to discuss their kit and photography. The new forum builds on the success of the company’s 200,000+ likes on Facebook and over 5,000 subscribers on YouTube. Canon USA VP Yuichi Ishizuka said “We are excited to offer our customers a place to ask questions, interact and learn more from their fellow Canon users. With the rise of social media, Canon recognizes the importance of connecting users to each other.” The five main sections of the forums are: Camera, Printer, Cinema EOS, Camcorder and General Discussion, and there is a ‘Kudos’ system, similar to Facebook’s ‘like’s, which allows forum users to see the popularity of posts.
Comet, which is headquartered in Rickmansworth, operates out of 236 stores across the UK, and employed 6,611 people until the administrators announced that they were making 330 Comet Stores are remaining open employees redundant, the majority of whom work in head office and central functions, such as finance and marketing, or the call centre in Clevedon. Like many other retailers, Comet has been hit hard by the uncertain economic environment, slow consumer spending and lack of consumer confidence. The electrical retail sector has been particularly challenging, with fewer people buying big ticket items, and fewer first time property buyers who have historically been an important market for the Company. Comet has also struggled to compete with online retailers. Against a backdrop of continuing weak sales, and speculation that Comet was being approached by prospective buyers, suppliers
Cooke Rebrands Panchro Range Cooke Optics is to rebrand its Panchro by Cooke range as the Mini S4/i range. “When we launched the Panchro by Cooke range in 2009, we were paying tribute to the original Cooke Speed Panchro lenses built in the 1920s. It made sense to us to invoke a legendary Cooke brand name,” explains Les Zellan, Chairman and Owner, Cooke Optics. “However, in response to our customers’ feedback we have decided to rename them. Many people are calling them Mini S4’s anyway, because they provide the same high quality and benefits of the S4/i lenses.”
have been reluctant to provide credit terms, which has had a negative effect on cash flow. The inability to obtain supplier credit for the peak Christmas trading period, means that the Company had no realistic prospect of raising further capital to build up sufficient stock to allow it to continue trading. As a consequence of all these factors, the Directors of Comet had no choice but to seek Administration. Neville Kahn, Joint Administrator and restructuring services partner at Deloitte, commented: “Our immediate priorities are to stabilise the business, fully assess its financial position, and begin an urgent process to seek a suitable buyer which would also preserve jobs. In the meantime, all stores will continue to trade and all employees will continue to be paid. We appreciate the cooperation and support from the management, staff, customers, landlords and suppliers at what is clearly a very difficult time.” www.comet.co.uk
Olympus Profits Despite Imaging Loss Olympus have recorded profits of nearly £100m for the quarter to September, in spite of an operating loss in the camera category due to declining compact sales.
The firm’s report said that the 2.9 percent year-on-year rise in operating profits could mostly be attributed to growth in the medical systems division. The sudden profit spike was also due to the profits made from selling off ITX Corporation’s Information & Communication Business. Over the past quarter, the corporation’s overall operating income increased by an impressive 29.5 percent. The imaging part of the business made an operating loss of 2,904m yen (£23m) and net
sales fell by 21 percent in six months. This was largely due to the decline in compact camera sales, even though CSC sales exceeded expectations. The OM-d in particular has performed better than expected so far, and the CSC market worldwide is continuing to grow. Olympus has confirmed that it will be shifting focus away from lower end compact cameras and onto high end compacts and CSCs in the future.
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News Jessops on the Move Jessops is relocating its Leicester store to a bigger location to accommodate the high footfall demand. The new centre of excellence store on Gallowtree Gate will showcase photo products and services including instant photo printing available within 25 minutes. The store will also feature an in-store large format printer enabling customers to take away posters, personalised wrapping paper and canvas prints within an hour. Jessops Academy photography training courses will be available in-store customers to learn how to get the very best from their photographic equipment - prices start at £119 - and the Gallowtree Gate store will also be offering Studio Express, an in-store portrait studio. www.jessops.com
Strength in Diversification In stark contrast to the digital brands reducing their forecasts for profit, Harman Technology Limited, manufacturer of the Ilford brand of black and white photographic products, has reported a significant growth in revenue and profits. Sales increased to £23.6m from £22.6m in the year to 31 December 2011, with operating profits up to £2.2m from £1.9m the previous year. The company says new products and improved operational efficiencies have driven profits up, and that this trend is set to continue into 2013 when further products and fresh income streams will be unveiled.
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SONY RESTRUCTURE UPDATE Sony has announced steps it is taking to “accelerate structural reforms” of its electronics business, including consolidating (and closing) manufacturing operations and reducing headcounts. Amidst a highly competitive business environment, Sony has been undertaking a series of measures to revitalise and grow its electronics business. As part of its mid-term strategic initiatives announced in April 2012, Sony identified resource optimisation as one of the key ways to transform its electronics business and measures are being taken to streamline, accelerate decisionmaking processes and establish firm foundations for sustainable future growth. In its prior corporate strategy announcement, Sony stated that it expected to reduce headcount across the entire Sony Group, primarily in the electronics business, by approximately 10,000 in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013.
Sony Head Office
As the proportion of Sony’s finished products being produced at its overseas manufacturing sites and by external ODM/ OEM vendors continues to increase, Sony has also been taking measures, such as site consolidation, to better reflect the current scale of production, as well as steps to further enhance operational efficiency. The new restructuring measures announced today, relating to Sony’s headquarters and electronics business operations in Japan are as follows.
Consolidation of Manufacturing Sites In order to enhance the efficiency of Sony’s manufacturing operations relating to its digital Contiuned on page 03
Phones Affect Camera Forecast Camera brands including Canon are altering their forecasts for the coming year because of the effect of smartphones on the camera market.
Demand for compact cameras is now definitely in decline due to the ease and popularity of smartphone photography. Canon has cut its full-year profit and sales forecasts in line with this trend and because of the fluctuation of the dollar against the yen. Canon’s predictions are a good example of exactly the area of the market expected to be affected by smartphones: the world’s largest camera manufacturer has lowered its sales forecasts for the compact part of the business (Powershot, Ixus and other compact models) by 9.5 percent to 19 million units, but only altered forecasts for higher-end EOS models by around 4 percent. Canon’s overall forecast profit was cut by 6.4 percent to 234 billion yen due to slow markets and the fact that Canon based its full-year
forecasts on exchange rates of 78 yen to the dollar and 100 yen to the euro, and the yen gained 2.4 percent against the U.S. dollar in the third quarter. Each 1-yen gain dented Canon’s second-half operating profit by about 5.3 billion yen, they predicted in July. Worldwide camera sales are expected to fall 4.3 percent this year to around 115 million units, whilst sales of smartphones rose 32 percent to the second quarter of this year.
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