Photo News Roundup, 8/27/11

This photo could get you arrested in Long Beach.
This photo could get you arrested in Long Beach.

Quite the busy week this week. Links go to sources’ websites, as usual.

Chalk one up for common sense: a judge has not so much dismissed as smacked down Janine Gordon’s copyright infringement case against fellow photographer Ryan McGinley, stopping just short of saying the grounds for the complaint (she essentially claimed he stole her subject matter, style, and lighting techniques, none of which were all that unique to begin with) had no basis in reality. (ARTINFO)

Canon announces three compacts, the PowerShot SX150 IS, the PowerShot ELPH 510 HS, and the PowerShot ELPH 310 HS. They also announce two printers, PIXMA MG8220 and MG6220 All-in-Ones. The compacts, according to the Canon press release, have improved image stabilization, flash, and optics; the 510 HS, they say, has an improved form factor. You can read more about the cameras here, and more about the printers here. (Canon USA)

Professional photographer Jennifer McKendrick shows her principles, calls off senior portrait shoots with four clients because she discovered they were bullying classmates. She says she won’t photograph “ugly people.” (Huffington Post)

Might Fuji have another winner on its hands? There’s an image all over the web of a page from the current Promaster catalog showing the Fuji X-10/X-50 (the designation will be different depending on the market), with price and specs, which break down as follows: for six hundred bucks, you get a 12MP CMOS sensor, 28-112 equivalent manual zoom, OVF , HD movie function, RAW/JPG shooting, and the looks of a classic rangefinder. No word on whether it’d have the hybrid VF featured on the X-100; assume not, or the catalog would likely have mentioned that. If image quality equals what Fuji delivered on the X-100, and manages to ship in sufficient volume to avoid the shortages that have plagued that camera up to now, this has potential. (Mirrorless Rumors)

As expected, Nikon announced eight additions to its Coolpix lineup, including the S100, S4150, S6150, and S6200. The Nikon Coolpix S1200pj will hopefully improve on the projector feature first introduced with the S1000. It allows easier sharing to YouTube, and allows you to shoot tethered to an iPhone or iPad. The S8200 will have 16MP and 14x wide-angle zoom, plus the ability to do JPG capture during video recording. Nikon Coolpix AW100 is designed to be waterproof (up to 33′), survive low temperatures (to 14 degrees Farenheit), and even falls (up to 5′). The buttons are chunky — just in case you’re wearing gloves or have pudgy fingers. GPS is included for geotagging, and the video will record slow motion at 720p. The Coolpix P7100 replaces the P7000 barely a year after the latter’s introduction, but introduces a handful of improvements, including quicker AF speed and lowered shooting time lag. Hopefully it will also avoid the problems with the lens protector that dogged its predecessor. In an interesting development, Nikon have stuck with a 10mp sensor, which is actually a good thing given the 2.0 crop factor. Will also include a tilt screen (missing from Nikon’s SLRs, save for the D5100), HDR, a built-in ND filter, and an expanded series of “art filters” like those found on iPhones. Nikon users will still complain that it’s not the G12. Press releases, photos, and other goodies available on Nikon Imaging and Nikon Rumors.

Speaking of Nikon Rumors, two more announcements are said to be due in September.

According to Photo Rumors, there’s a new, “lighter” photo file format, “JPEG Mini,” that claims to make your files up to five times smaller with no loss in image quality. Went to http://www.jpegmini.com/, and it seems to work as advertised. It trimmed my 9.01MB test photo to 2.2MB (4.1x, by their reckoning), with no visible loss of image quality. Caveat emptor: while the terms and conditions state that you retain ownership of your images, they do go on to state:

You hereby grant ICVT and our designees a worldwide, non-exclusive, sublicenseable (through multiple tiers), assignable, royalty-free, fully paid-up, perpetual, irrevocable right to use, host, store, index, reproduce, distribute, create derivative works of, and display and perform your Content on the web and on mobile devices, solely in connection with our provision of the Service
Caveat on the caveat: This may just be legalese that allows them to provide the service (you could argue that resizing the photo is, in a sense, a “derivative work”); if you’re concerned, don’t use the service.

Another argument in favor of point-and-shoot cameras: Japanese photographer Kazuma Obara snuck his past tight security to get the first photos from inside the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. (PopPhoto)

Not to be left out, Sony likewise announced several products, many of which have been circulating in the rumor mill for weeks, including the 24mp A77 and A65 SLTs*, the 24mp NEX-7 and 16mp NEX-5N a battery grip for the A77, a 16-50mm f/2.8 lens, the NEX-VG20 camcorder, and three new E mount lenses (Sony-made 50mm f/1.8 and 55-210mm, plus a 24mm 1.8 from Zeiss). Additional press releases and information on Sony Alpha Rumors.

Your weekly dose of WTF: The arrest of a photographer is, sadly, hardly unique. This one… well, Sander Roscoe Wolff was detained in Long Beach, California for taking photos with “no apparent aesthetic value.” The photographer was taking photos around an oil refinery and a regular tourist, apparently, doesn’t take those kinds of pictures; however, the reason given wasn’t one of security, but rather of taste. I’m sorry, but I don’t know a single soul in law enforcement who double-majored in Art History… this reminds me a bit too much of the Entartete Kunst (“Degenerate Art”) seizures/exhibits in Berlin some 70-odd years ago for comfort. (TechDirt, with a hat tip to alert reader Norman)

Just for fun: A photographer spent nearly a year building a working medium format camera out of Legos. As someone who loves both photography and Legos, I found this too cool not to share. (DIYPhotography)

*SLT=Single Lens Translucent Mirror; the mirror allows light to pass through to the sensor, rather than reflecting it the way an SLR does. A more in-depth explanation may be found here.

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