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Big bids for iconic photos…Consumers abandon online…Fast 28mm M-series lens from Leica…Thumbs up for digital signage…Olympus upgrade from sea to the stars

Big bids for iconic photos
A collection of classic, Australian black and white photographs attracted strong bids at a Deutscher&Hacket Fina Art auction this month in Melbourne.

Source: Deutscher and Hackett)
Source: Deutscher and Hackett)

Top sale was a print of Lewis Morley’s 1960s  image of Christine Keeler, which sold for $33,600 – well above the $5-10K estimate. This was a record for a Lewis Morley print. Olive Cotton’s Teacup Ballet, 1935, sold for $15,600 against an estimate of $4,000 – 6,000, while David Morre’s Meat Queue, 1946, with an estimate of $4,000 – 6,000 reached $11,400.

Consumers abandon online
A survey of Australian and New Zealand consumers by Pureprofile for server giant Rackspace indicates that there won’t be tumbleweeds rolling through your local shopping centre any time soon.

Nearly a third (29 percent) of the over 1000 consumers surveyed (online) have given up entirely with online shopping and have returned to the bricks and mortar experience.

Almost half of the 1000 shoppers surveyed have abandoned a purchase after experiencing frustrations with a website, while 47 percent have gone to a different website to purchase the same product.

Forty-four percent thought traditional retail outlet shopping was actually quicker if they knew what they were looking for, and 43 percent preferred the service they received in-store.

Convenience,  nonetheless,  is nominated by 83 percent as the reason they shop online, and 54 percent said there was more variety online.

The top three frustrations experienced with online shopping were:
– Too many pop-up advertisements (42 percent);
– Service online is not the same as in-store (34 percent);
– Too time consuming to narrow down options available (28 percent).

The survey also found that only 15 percent of online shoppers think that targeted adverts are hitting the mark, whereas 29 percent of New Zealand surveyed shoppers and 19 percent of Australian shoppers said that targeted adverts would improve the online shopping experience.

Fast 28mm M-series lens from Leica
leica-summilux-m-28-mm-f1.4-asph_smlLeica has announced June availability of the Summilux-M 28 mm f/1.4 ASPH – yours for just $8000.

The wide and fast Summilux-M 28mm is ideal for photojournalism, architecture and landscapes. Its optical design features 10 elements, one of which is aspherical. The optical system features a floating element to ensure high imaging performance at close focusing distances.

The lens is assembled completely by hand, according to Leica, and for $8000 you get an all-metal lens hood thrown in.

Thumbs up for digital signage
Good news and bad news: A report by IDC in the US indicates that digital signage is set to grow rapidly over the next two years, with over four out of five companies surveyed which are currently using digital signage ‘very satisfied’ with the technology.

If you’re a retailer thinking of investing in digital signage this inspires confidence. If you use your wide format printer to knock out signage for local businesses. the news is not so welcome.

The IDC study found digital signage is already disrupting the large-format printed sign market and the broader printed signage market is likely to be threatened in the future.

The report, snazzily titled ‘Survey Analysis Shows Notable Transition to Digital in the Signage Market Within Two Years’, is based on surveys of US businesses conducted late last year.

A recent survey of printers and graphic designers by FESPA, the European screen printers’ association, supported the findings on digital signage, with more than three quarters of the more than 1000 international respondants expecting live media and LCD screen advertising to impact the wide format business in the foreseeable future, with 36 percent of respondents stating that these technologies are already impacting the business.

Almost a third of those surveyed plan to offer digital signage solutions to their customer base in the next 12 months.

The figures come after Samsung released two wide screen TVs aimed at the smart signage market in Australia during March. They can be divided into multiple areas independently showing TV content, video, images or text.

Olympus upgrade from sea to the stars
Olympus has announced firmware updates that will be available in June for its flagship Olympus OM-D E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II cameras, adding features for underwater and astro-photographers.

Main features are:
– A new unified Underwater Picture Mode for enhanced user control over exposure in P/A/S/M exposure settings;
– Enhanced visibility through EVF and LCD screen for night sky or starscape photography with new LV Boost II setting;
– New Underwater Picture Mode enables more control over key camera settings for underwater photography. The separate wide and macro underwater (UW) picture modes of earlier firmware versions are replaced by a single ‘unified’ picture mode. In addition to white balance, exposure, and flash compensation you can now adjust aperture and shutter speed in the P/A/S/M exposure settings for enhanced control of imaging results.
– Higher visibility Live View setting, ‘LV Boost II’, will improve visibility through the EVF or LCD screen for night sky or starscape photography. This setting can be applied to the Live Composite or the manual exposure modes.

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