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April 29, 2016
Posted in news

New Sony financial report: Significant +72,7% operating income increase in Imaging Products!

Sonyreport

Sony released their latest quartal financial report (PDF file here). And there is very good news for Sony. They managed to increase their operating income by 72,7%! This despite a small 1,7% sales decrease (mainly due the shrinking video camera and entry-level compact camera business).

Sony writes:

Sonyreport2

April 29, 2016
Posted in news

Sony Tidbits…


Canon 80D Video Test vs a6300, GH4, & 70D

Full list of todays Gold Box deals at Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk, Bhphoto and Amazon.com.
Sony Alpha 7 Aktion: Bis zu 80 EUR Rabatt auf ausgewählte Objektive at Amazon.de
Don’t worry, new A-mount cameras will come this year 😉 (SonyAlphaForum)
AF Tracking Test A77II vs A7II by Andreas Peters.
Sony a6300 and long exposure photography (SonyAlphaForum).
Tips for Tethered Shooting (Vanguardworld)
Sony A7r II vs. A7 II vs. A7S: Comparison: https://youtu.be/m2HWLnaN4s0
Sony A6300 review by SonyAlphaLab.

April 28, 2016
Posted in news

Sony patents a new contact lens camera (say bye bye to Google Glass)

blue-eye-detail

Sony recently patented a new kind of “contact lens camera” that gives us a glimpse into an intriguing (and for privacy reasons also scary) future! Yes this is a full working camera worn on an eyeball that has a lens unit, image sensor, microchip processor and storage unit on the contact lens! It also has a built-in wireless antenna to transmit pictures to any device (smartphone or laptop for example).

Now you would imagine the contact lens having a sort of fixed focal and aperture but it has not. Sony writes:

The image pickup unit includes, for example, a lens system including the image pickup lens, an aperture stop, a zoom lens, a focus lens, and the like, a drive system that causes the lens system to perform focusing operation and zooming operation.

And there is some more sensational thing that small contact lens camera can do:

The image pickup signal processing unit may perform image stabilization for correcting blur of a captured image, the blur being caused by motion of the eyeball.

A display unit will display your captured images directly on the contact lens. See the original Sony patent drawing below:

Bildschirmfoto 2016-04-28 um 16.15.41

And how do you control this “thing”?

  • You control the release shutter via a conscious eyelid closure and aperture (there is a sensor that can measure the pressure of the eyelid)
  • When you accelerate shutter speed increases (to avoid blur)
  • All settings like aperture and zoom can be adjusted via eyelid movement

I really want to see this thing for real as I think this could really have a success. Having a wearable camera people cannot see make it unproblematic to wear (unlike the Google Glass device). But of course, wearing an “invisible” camera will raise a lot of question regarding privacy…

The full patent literature is available at Freepatentsonline.

Thanks Raul Frias for finding this!

April 28, 2016
Posted in news

Press text: Status of Sony Group Manufacturing Operations Affected by 2016 Kumamoto Earthquakes

Sony-Image-Sensor-Fabs1

Sony sent out a third press release to inform about the Kumamoto sensor production facility that was damaged by the recent earthquake. Sony plans to resume the production by end of May. I think this will affect the Sony camera release roadmap. This means we may see new E and A-mount cameras announced/shipped 1-2 months later than expected.

Press text:

Status of Sony Group Manufacturing Operations Affected by 2016 Kumamoto Earthquakes (Third Update)

Due to the earthquake of April 14, 2016 and subsequent earthquakes in the Kumamoto region, operations at Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation’s Kumamoto Technology Center (located in Kikuchi Gun, Kumamoto Prefecture), which is the primary manufacturing site of image sensors for digital cameras and security cameras as well as micro-display devices, were halted and currently remain suspended. With aftershocks continuing and employee safety the foremost priority, inspections of the facility and the development of a recovery plan remain ongoing. The current status of operations for the Kumamoto Technology Center is as follows:
  • Damage to the building itself has been confirmed to be primarily to the upper layer of the building, and reinforcement work will be carried out in this area.
  • The clean rooms used for wafer processing and manufacturing equipment, both located on the lower layer of the building have not been significantly damaged, and preparations are now underway to resume production. Manufacturing operations are targeted to resume around the end of May 2016.
  • Regarding back-end processes, such as assembly and measurement, as well as processing operations for components such as camera modules, which are carried out on the upper layer of the building, Sony has confirmed that there is damage to the clean rooms, manufacturing equipment and other equipment. Further analysis of the extent of this damage is currently underway.
  • Damage to finished product inventory such as image sensors at Kumamoto Technology Center is limited, and shipments of these products have already resumed. The status of semi-finished and uncompleted products is currently being confirmed.

The impact of the earthquakes on Sony Corporation’s (“Sony”) consolidated results continues to be evaluated. In the Devices segment, there is expected to be direct physical damage to Kumamoto Technology Center. Sony expects to incur expenses primarily for recovery and reinforcement work in response to the physical damage to the relevant portion of the Kumamoto Technology Center. Sony may also incur large opportunity losses, mainly in the Devices and Imaging Products & Solutions segments due to suspension of production for a certain period of time.

In addition, due to the suspension of manufacturing operations at Kumamoto Technology Center and potential disruption to the supply of components to Sony from certain third-party suppliers that also have manufacturing facilities in the Kumamoto region, it is possible that business operations within the Mobile Communications, Game & Network Services and Home Entertainment & Sound segments also may be affected. This potential impact is currently being evaluated.

April 27, 2016
Posted in news

Sony A7rII and RX1RII are now compatible with the Motion Shot & Multiple Exposure app. Timelapse app updated too.

App

There is a new update on the two Motion Shot & Multiple Exposure apps which adds compatibility with the Sony A7rII and RX1rII.

And the Timelaps App got updated too with a silent shooting mode.

Thanks Thalamus and ADWB for this!

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