For the very first time YOU can now use this tool on HuggingFace to generate Videos from a Text prompt. This is a world’s first step into something that in one year from now will work and look much better than it is right now!
That AI tool uses stock images to create videos which is literally a “stealing” of creators content. But the goal of this post is not to talk about the ethical issues, but just to show what the Ai world is trying to do at the moment. One year ago Midjourney images looked like “shit” and today with the release of Midjourney 5 the images look like real photos. The same will happen with video.
This is a problematic, worrisome but I also think inevitable future. We may in future integrate AI generated video in our real workflow.
Nikkei Business has published an interview with Mr. Shigeki Ishizuka, Vice Chairman of the Sony Group, looking back on the company’s digital camera trajectory. And we finally got some real insider news about Sony’s past digital camera business decisions!
Here are a couple of highlights from Digicameinfo (Google translated):
The first model that came out after business integration with Konica Minolta was the “α100“. After that, “α700“, “α200” and “α350” were released. Only the first model, the α100, sold a little, but the rest were not very good in terms of sales.
In 2008, we released a Full Frame high-end single-lens reflex camera called “α900“. But unfortunately, it didn’t sell either.
Then, in 2009, we thought, “If we’re going to do this at Sony, we’re going to have to go electronic.” (that’s where the “translucent tech” idea was born with the A77 and A99 series).
I can say it now, although we made various efforts like this, they weren’t very successful, and they were in the red all the time.
Around 2007, the Micro Four Thirds camp asked me if I wanted to join the family.
It was the fall of 2008. We had a brainstorming session for the medium-term plan for the next three years. Of course, Sony’s interchangeable-lens cameras would have to be made smaller and mirrorless. The question was, what kind of system should be used? One option was: “Let’s go Micro Four Thirds”. Option two was: “Let’s shift to mirrorless while maintaining the assets and brand of α, and do a miniaturized version.” I had a few other ideas, but these two were the most realistic.
“If you do it with Micro Four Thirds, it will definitely be smaller,”. But if we would have done that, we would have been completely on the same playing field as your competitors. And we would have wasted all α assets from Konica Minolta. So we decided it was better to develop an in-house mirrorless solution. That is the “E-mount” that continues to this day.
To be honest, at the time I thought the mirrorless idea was to make a small camera that could fit in a pocket and was aimed at general consumers. That’s why I didn’t intend to create a full lineup of lenses, only the standard series.
And no, I didn’t think at that moment that mirrorless would go Full Frame.
The A-mount system was a failure from a business point of view
In 2008 they seriously considered to join the MFT system
The E-mount system original idea was to create a super compact system. There was no plan to create a full lineup of lenses and also there was no idea to go Full frame.
I am glad Mr. Shigeki Ishizuka spilled out that info. It’s an honest assessments of Sony’s camera business history. I would also have loved to know how he sees the future of the E-mount system now!
BCNranking published the latest video camera sales results in Japan:
Sales of video cameras are gradually recovering. This February, the sales amount recorded a double-digit increase of 112.1% compared to the previous year. Sales volume is still 91.4%, lower than the previous year, but the negative margin is gradually narrowing, and the same level as the previous year can be seen. One of the reasons for the early recovery in sales is the rise in unit prices.
Looking at the market share among manufacturers, as of February last year, Panasonic was leading by a large margin. On the other hand, Sony struggled with 18.5%. However, in August, it overtook Panasonic by a narrow margin and jumped to the top. Although Panasonic lost the lead in September and October, it was Sony that increased its market share from September onwards despite price increases. Recaptured first place in November. Since then, it has stably maintained a market share of more than 30% and is leading the way.
In the video camera market, the number of units sold is 41.7% compared to February 2020 due to the impact of the corona disaster, which is almost 60% less. The market environment is not necessarily favorable. However, new product categories such as action cameras and 360-degree cameras are doing well. Conventional video cameras are also regaining momentum, and we are beginning to see a gradual turnaround.