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Earthquake almost a show-stopper…Freedom from choice…Oosting ousts himself…Tenba, MeFoto to Maxxum…

Earthquake almost a show-stopper, says Sony president
While Sony tended to downplay or avoid communicating the extent of the damage to its digital camera image sensor factory due to the Kumamoto earthquake on April 16, Yasuhiro Ueda, president of Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing is quoted in the Nikkei Asian Review as saying; ‘I thought we might have to withdraw from Kumamoto when I first stepped inside (the factory).’

The picture above comes from DPReview ‘via Sony’ and shows just how hard the factory was hit.










The Nikkei report states that it took until September for shipments to return to pre-quake levels, and cost Sony around $1 billion in profit. The knock-on cost to other camera companies unable to meet demand, and the loss of retail sales around the world would need to be added to that to understand the full impact to the photo industry.  

The current PhotoCounter Burning Question sees 67 percent of respondents saying camera shortages in 2016 had a big impact on sales, and another 27 percent said there was an impact, but it wasn’t severe.

Freedom from choice
While Australian and New Zealand customers have (according to the Fujifilm Australia website) a choice of two Fujifilm photo papers – Crystal Archive Type II and Crystal Archive Professional – a report in Photo Imaging News International based on a Fujifilm Europe executive presentation, outlines what’s available in other advanced photo markets: A choice between glossy, matte, silk and high gloss was introduced in 2008. In 2015 Deep Matte paper was introduced (sheet and roll). In 2016 Fujifilm introduced textured substrates: Canvas, Linen and Leather. 

Fujifilm pearlescent paper – another one local retailers and labs don’t have to decide whether to buy.

The report, which was focussed on papers suitable for silver halide photo books, continued: ‘Recent Fujifilm developments (heirloom silver halide emulsion technology) are focussed on professional and also merchandise applications, such as wall decoration papers: Textured Canvas; Textured Linen; and Textured Leather. Luxurious layflat photobooks with Fujifilm Velvet Original photo paper featuring a professional coating: Special top-layer technology to get almost zero reflective top layer which creates a soft and deep matte effect that is resistant to fingerprints and available in thicknesses of 240 μm and 170 μm.

‘In 2016, Fujifilm introduced the super thin Album paper called “AlbumXS” with 135μm paper thickness in lustre and glossy (with special top-layer) providing 25 percent more pages per book block compared to Album paper and 50 percent more pages per book block compared to Crystal Archive paper.

– So maybe a few questions for your friendly Fujifilm rep next time he or she drops by. (Only joking! We know there’s no such thing as a Fujifilm photo specialist rep.) 

But why the lack of choice? Cock-up or conspiracy? Perhaps the special relationship Fujifiilm Australia has with Harvey Norman and Big W acts as a disincentive in providing photo specialists with the ability to offer premium photo products. Luckily, there’s an alternative supplier for premium silver halide papers for Australian and Kiwi minilabs and prolabs. 

Oosting ousts himself
Highly-regarded Hasselblad CEO Perry Oosting has somewhat suddenly announced that he is leaving the role.

‘Having guided Hasselblad to stability, strong sales as well as the partnership with aerial camera company DJI, CEO Perry Oosting has accomplished what he was asked to achieve and has decided to step down from his operational responsibilities and return to a role as advisor to the board,’ the company press release stated.

His interim replacement, effective February 1, will be a current director, Paul Bram. 

Tenba, MeFoto to Maxxum
Maxxum Pty Ltd
, Melbourne-based distributor of Samyang lenses and Benro tripods, has announced it is now the sole Australian distributor for MeFoto tripods and Tenba camera bags. 

These two brands were handled by L&P until January 30.



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