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SHORTS & BRIEFS: October 23

Nikon invents new word…Sino Promise registers in Australia…Sony has webcam software…Compact, lightweight binoculars from Olympus…EOS M50 II not launching here…

Nikon invents new word

Nikon is running a Covid-themed photo competition, Nikon ‘Playcation’, through to next year, with a Nikon Z6II as top prize, and a Nikon Z5 and Z50 also up for grabs.

Nikon was apparently prompted to launch the photo competition after conducting some ‘market research’. Among the more interesting findings were that South Australians take more pictures of their pets than their children, Victorians are most likely to take pictures of their food, and 10.01am is the ‘most creative minute of the entire day.’

We have re-printed the Nikon press release to let our readers be the judge of whether this promotion is likely to prompt people to be more engaged in photography, purchase more photo gear or print more pictures: Nikon Playcation

Sino Promise registers in Australia

The Sino Promise factory in Xiamen manufactures a range of Kodak-branded products.

Sino Promise Holdings, the company we have reported as purchasing the Kodak Alaris paper and chemistry business, and a manufacturer of Kodak paper and chemistry, has established an Australian subsidiary, Sino Promise Australia Pty Ltd.

The new company was registered with ASIC on August 20 this year, with a company address in Mt Waverley, Victoria.

The announcement of the proposed sale of the Kodak paper and chemistry business – ‘Paper, Photochemicals, Display and Software’ – to Chinese corporation Sino Promise Holdings, was made internally on July 7, although there has been no public announcement.

Sino Promise describes itself as ‘the largest distributor of Kodak Alaris in the world’. It supplies 8000 Kodak-supporting retailers in Asia Pacific and Russia.

Sony has webcam software too

Sony is the most recent and possibly the last (we’ve lost count) of the camera makers to offer software to upgrade (downgrade?) its cameras to webcams.

Sony’s desktop application is called ‘Imaging Edge Webcam. It allows users to easily transform their Sony digital camera into a high-quality webcam by simply connecting it to a PC via USB. It’s free!

It enables users to live stream and video conference in one easy step. Unlike the webcam which comes with your PC, the Sony software and camera will render you in focus, with high resolution image quality. People will be able to read the titles of those books you take the trouble to place prominently on the shelf behind you.

At launch the Sony webcam software is compatible with 35 Sony camera models including: Alpha 9 II, Alpha 9, Alpha 7R IV, Alpha 7R III, Alpha 7R II, Alpha 7S II, Alpha 7S, Alpha 7S III, Alpha 7 III, Alpha 7 II, Alpha 6600, Alpha 6400, Alpha 6100, RX100 VII, RX100 VI, RX0 II, RX0 and  ZV-1.

Compatible operating systems are Windows 10 (64 bit) and macOS 10.13-10.15. It’s available to download here.

Compact, lightweight binoculars from Olympus

Olympus Australia has announced the Binoculars S series, featuring a wide field of view and high optical performance for nature observation, wildlife, birdwatching and sporting events in a brand new ergonomic design.
The 8×40 S, 10×50 S and8-16×40 S are compact and lightweight. A special coating secures an anti-slip grip. The wide field of view ensures effective tracking of fast-moving subjects such as birds or people playing sports. Aspherical optics provide sharp images up to the periphery while reducing image distortion.

Single-layer coated lenses and prisms deliver clear, extra bright, high-resolution images. A focusing distance as close as 4, 6 or 10m depending on the model allows the user to follow animals up close. Magnification factors vary from 8x or 10x magnification, to a powerful 8-16x zoom.

RRPs are $249/NZ$279 for the 8×40 S; $269/$299NZD for the 10x50S; and $329/NZ$369 for the 8×16-40S.

EOS M5o II launches – but not here

Canon USA and no doubt elsewhere has announced a minor upgrade to the APS-C format Canon EOS M50, to which they’ve added ‘Mark II’. It has the same 24-megapixel sensor and Digic 8 sensor as the original. Shoots 4K. Main differences to its predecessor are autofocus with eye-tracking in both stills and video , and video capture in vertical format. (You can also, in theory, stream to YouTube Live via a smartphone internet connection.) As Gladys might have said to Darryl in their halcyon days, ‘Woo Hoo’!

Anyway, we understand that it won’t be available in Australia for the time being.  The good news is that the M50 (Mark 1) can be purchased locally for around $900 with the 15-45mm kits lens.




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