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A concise round-up of new product updates, international snippets and other interesting stuff from the wonderful world of photography: Michaels Melbourne swap meet this Sunday…New Instax sounds off…Outsourcing the selfie…New Epson Surelab…kinda, sorta…

Michaels Melbourne swap meet

Michaels Cameras
Michaels Camera Museum

Iconic camera store Michaels, (cnr Elizabeth and  Lonsdale Streets) is holding a swap meet this Sunday, June 16, 11am to 5pm in the Michaels Lecture Theatre.

It is a great way for hobbyists, professionals and students to acquire or relieve themselves of used camera and video gear.

Entry is free, although if you have a stack of gear to sell, Michaels is offering reserved tables for a mere $25.  While you’re there, check out Michaels Camera Museum, also on the first floor along with the Lecture Theatre.

Click here to reserve a table or for more information.

New Instax sounds off
As reported in Inside Imaging last month, Fujifilm is set to launch a new photo-taking, photo-printing and audio-capable Instax, called the mini LiPlay. Or maybe the mini HMI. We think it will be released locally this month.
Instax LiPlayAudio? Well kind of. Users can capture up to 10 seconds of audio with any photo. This audio can then be converted into a QR code and printed into the corner of the Instax Mini photo. The QR code then needs to be decode via a smartphone to bring it to life as a sound snippet.

The LiPlay also doubles as a smartphone printer. Users can connect to the camera via Bluetooth and print any photo on their phone.

Other features include a rechargeable lithium ion battery (100 prints per charge), 3 shortcut buttons, a print time of just 12 seconds, and a minimum focusing distance of 10cm.

US price is US$160, so it should come in at around $250 – 300 here. Check out the 30-second launch video:

Outsourcing the selfie
Sometimes a selfie just isn’t enough. What we really need is a photographer on call, 24/7 for when those memorable moments in life creep up on us.

Sure you could simply ask a passing stranger to take that ensemble family pic with Machu Picchu in the background, but that would involve communicating with strangers, and who wants that when you are travelling in a foreign country?

So that’s why the world needs Diya, a new Kickstarter-started project to find on-call photographers wherever you are in the world. Here’s how Diya’s mastermind, Lek Bitic,  explains how he stumbled upon the idea he is asking $244K to fund: ‘When traveling with friends, I noticed that it can be difficult to enjoy the moment, especially when everyone is trying to take great pictures and forgetting to soak in the sights and adventures for what they are – a chance to step away from everyday life and experience something new and memorable. There seemed to be little way around this since finding a photographer was always either too difficult or too expensive. Diya offers travelers and photographers a platform to connect worldwide. It offers travelers, bloggers and businesses to book flexible, quick and inexpensive shoots before a trip or on a whim once at a destination. Diya photographers in turn get opportunities to practice their craft, earn some cash and bolster their reputation through reviews and ratings.’

Unfortunately, it looks like an idea whose time has not yet come.  The Kickstarter campaign ends on June 21 but so far, only $1 of that $244K has been pledged. Crazy when you think that for just about $100 early backers will get a voucher for a booking, and for $1000 backers will get a lifetime subscription to the Diya portal.

New Surelab – kinda, sorta
Epson D870Epson US has announced the SureLab® D870 Minilab Photo Printer,  which would seem to be an upgrade to the Surelab D700, except that all its performance specs are identical.  The only difference we could detect is a change of inksets – the new printer uses a six-colour Epson UltraChrome D6r-S dye-based inkset, rather than the D6-S ink used by the D700.

Same print speeds, same size, same weight. The press release states it has a ‘new roll paper holder designed to make changing media rolls easier’ and ‘a new optional robust media output tray…keeping large runs of prints organized and off the desk’.  Hardly a technological breakthrough.

Like the D700 is produces up to 430 4×6-inch, 275 5 x7-inch and 140 8×10-inch prints per hour. Ink cartridges remain a fairly modesty 200ml capacity. Epson has informed Inside Imaging that ‘it’s definitely coming here and you will have all the local release details at the PrintEx show.’ – And that would be August 13 – 19 at the Sydney Showgrouds.

In the US Epson has set a price of US$2500 for the ‘new’ printer.






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