Photo News Roundup, 10/08/11

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Leading with the more serious stuff this week. Links go to sources’ sites, and original articles.

Photojojo founder Amit Gupta, who recently announced that he has leukemia, needs a bone marrow donor. Details here. (h/t PetaPixel)

Collector of jazz photos and ephemera Frank Driggs passed on September 25. You may not know the name, but if you’ve seen Ken Burns’ “Jazz,” you’ve seen Driggs’s photos; that was but one of many documentaries, albums, and other venues in which photos from his collection figured prominently. Mr. Driggs was something of a polymath, producing records (like the classic “Robert Johnson: King of the Delta Blues Singers”) and writing books like Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop — A History, in between amassing a staggering collection of photos and albums. (New York Times)

Robert Whitaker, who used his unfettered access to the Beatles to capture some of the best-known images of the band, died on September 20. In addition to his Beatles photos, Whitaker photographed more weighty subject matter in Viet Nam and Bangladesh, as well as pictures of Dali, fashion, and pop music subjects. (The Guardian)

And, as practically everyone knows by now, Steve Jobs finally succumbed to pancreatic cancer on Wednesday. Whether you love or hate the company, Jobs was one of the most compelling businessmen in the last half century, as well as being the rarest of all birds in recent times: someone who became famous for doing something. His second tenure at Apple took the company from underdog to powerhouse; ironically, and seemingly overnight, Apple went from “the little company that could” to effectively being “the Man.” Apple products have changed how we interact, consume, and now — finally, belatedly — how we create, as well. Effusive praise for Jobs has poured in from all quarters, while Apple, in the meantime, is already starting to feel the aftershocks; their announcement of the iPhone 4s was roundly panned by the people who routinely buy everything with an Apple logo, and the company’s new CEO, Tim Cook, lacking the panache that practically elevated Jobs from cult- to cult leader-status, has fared little better. (Washington Post)

On to the photography stuff:

JVC announces an NEX-looking camera that shoots stills and video, with a ridiculous 60-shot burst capability for stills. Sigma announces a refresh of its 18-200, retooled to (hopefully) get rid of fringing and chromatic aberration. Two firsts for Adobe: 1: They’re rolling out a touchscreen version of Photoshop — for Droid, before Apple. 2. It’s affordable. Kodak stock downgraded to Junk status. (Adorama)

A smattering of news from CanonRumors, including specs ahead of the November 3 announcement, and speculation that Canon may respond to Nikon’s rumored 36MP D800 with… an 18MP camera. While Canon fanboys may threaten to jump ship, this would actually be a smart move on Canon’s part…

Nikon price increases in the offing. Soon. Like, a week from today soon. If you had your peepers on Nikon gear, it may soon cost you more. Also, if you click here and here, you’ll find that specs for the upcoming D800 (the D700 replacement, which may be announced before the year’s out, judging by the accumulation of leaks) are starting to firm up. (Nikon Rumors)

The Rotor, designed by Charlie Nghiem, is one of those “why didn’t I think of that” innovations that hopefully will make it to market one of these days; it replaces the usual profusion of knobs and buttons with a series of rotary dials, and seems like it’d be a boon to anybody who’s ever wished for more intuitive controls. In other news, Ricoh is letting Pentax keep its name. (PetaPixel)

Phonar, an open photography seminar, kicks off on October 12. Learn more here.

PhotoRumors reports that the street price in the US for the Fuji X10 will be $599.95. The same article also links to test images, which are promising. In unrelated news, the Lytro light field camera has entered production.

NYPD officer Mark DeSimone loses his shit on a civilian photographer for photographing in the vicinity of the 9/11 memorial, threatening her first with arrest, then with “problems” if she or her friends returned to the area. Hopefully, DeSimone — who lost a number of his colleagues in the 9/11 attacks — gets the help he obviously needs. (Pixiq)

Fuji announces the XS-1, a 26x zoom bridge camera built around the same sensor found in the upcoming X10. Around the time the XS-1 hits the streets (early ’12), Fuji has hinted they’ll be announcing a mirrorless interchangeable system (likely at CES 2012). No leaks yet on any of the latter camera’s specs, but word on Twitter (from The Fuji Guys) is that it will have a proprietary mount. (Pocket-lint)

Sony delays the release of the A65, and hints that a new full-frame camera is due in early 2012 (no surprise there, since Sony fabs sensors for Nikon, and their D800 is also on the horizon). The rumors have some credence, since the full-frame A900 has been discontinued. (Sony Alpha Rumors)

 Not Necessarily the News: EOSHD has a timely and thought-provoking editorial on the present and future of imaging technology, wherein they argue that targeting consumers is cutting the more creative among us — that is to say, serious photographers, amateur and professional alike — out of the picture.

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