Cameras

Xiaomi is thinking about acquiring GoPro

For the better?

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Here’s a piece of news we weren’t expecting: Xiaomi is apparently considering to acquire action camera maker GoPro.

This development has sparked a lot of talk about the pros and cons of this acquisition and what it could mean to both sides.

For one, GoPro’s has been declining in recent years because of poor sales and failed products. For context, GoPro was valued at more than US$ 10 billion during its peak, and is now only at US$ 761 million.

The Information claims that the struggling camera manufacturer could still manage to receive US$ 1 billion to match the Hewlett Packard acquisition of Palm back in 2010.

If everything falls into place, both sides could benefit. GoPro’s product growth has been stagnant since its early beginnings, releasing what has practically been the same tiny action camera with incremental boosts in features each year.

Xiaomi could be the savior GoPro needs, and may also gain from the technologies GoPro has in place. The Chinese brand is fond of investing in products not related to their own lineups; several startups launch under the guidance of Xiaomi without the company’s actual branding.

GoPro recently released the affordable US$ 199 Hero to stay competitive. The Hero 6 Black is the company’s current flagship product.

Cameras

Olympus bids goodbye to its camera business

Bought by Japan Industrial Partners

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Olympus is a well-known brand due to its reliable DSLR cameras that offered alternatives to mainstream competitors like Canon, Sony, and Nikon. However, its camera business could soon be over. The company recently announced that it is selling its business to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) — the same company that bought the iconic VAIO laptop line.

The announcement means an end to Olympus’ presence in the camera market. The company has been producing cameras ever since the 1930s. Some of its iconic products include the Olympus Pen and Zuiko lenses.

An ever-shrinking market for dedicated cameras and a much competitive market resulted in losses for its camera division in recent years. As such, the company decided to sell its camera division to JIP to streamline its operations.

However, that doesn’t mean an end to Olympus cameras. JIP said that they are going to continue releasing new OM-D DSLR cameras as well as Zuiko lenses.

To formalize the acquisition, both Olympus and JIP will sign a definitive agreement this September. Specific details about the acquisition are yet to be announced by both companies.

Source: The Verge

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Cameras

Sony’s new ZV-1 camera is built for vlogging

Shipping in June

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How much personalization do you want your cameras to have? Some purists prefer completely manual cameras, allowing for absolute control over every aspect of their photos. Other professionals prefer a more consumer-friendly approach to photography, balancing easy-to-use functions with stellar photo quality.

Combining both aspects, the recently launched Sony ZV-1 is an all-in-one compact camera built specifically for casual video shooters. A boon to the vlogging community, the ZV-1 maintains both uncompromising video quality with ease of use.

Featuring a 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS CMOS image sensor and the latest BIONZ X image processor, the camera shoots at 4K resolution with in-body image stabilization. Inside, a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 large-aperture lens allows for dynamic bokeh control. Named the Bokeh Switch feature, the camera can increase and decrease background blur according to preference without losing its main focus.

In the same vein, the new Product Showcase feature allows for an easy transition between different focal points, such as switching between a subject’s face and a focused object. As the name suggests, the feature helps vloggers easily unbox and review products.

A Face Priority autoexposure feature automatically adjusts the device’s exposure settings depending on the brightness of the background. It will prioritize the subject’s face, ensuring correct exposure settings regardless of background. With the feature, it’s easier to shoot in bright sunlight, low-light conditions, and transitioning quickly between the two.

Besides what’s inside, the camera is also built ergonomically for a casual shooter’s hands. Instead of the traditional vertically flipping screen, it carries a horizontally flipping LCD screen, allowing users to easily see what’s being caught on camera. It comes with a 3.5mm microphone jack and a wind screen accessory to reduce wind interference.

Sony will start selling the ZV-1 at authorized Sony stores and through Lazada starting June 2020. It will retail for US$ 799.99.

SEE ALSO: Sony Xperia 1 II camera phone now available for pre-order

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Use your Canon camera as a laptop webcam

Up the quality on your video call meetings

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Video conferencing is the new normal as most of us continue to work from home. Canon hopes to make the experience better with the EOS Webcam Utility Beta.

You may have noticed though that the video quality from your laptop’s webcam is not up to par with your smartphone’s front camera. Most manufacturers tend to put sub-par cameras on laptops. The reason: your laptop’s webcams were not that highly used before the whole COVID-19 situation.

To address this, Canon recently released a tool that will level up your video quality over online conferencing apps. The idea is to transform your Canon camera into a portable webcam. Simply plug-in an EOS or a PowerShot camera to your laptop, configure the software, and you now have a powerful webcam at your disposal.

The utility is called “EOS Webcam Utility Beta”. It’s a software that automatically configures your Canon camera into a portable web camera over a USB connection.

The caveat though is that only select EOS DSLR, EOS Mirrorless, and PowerShot cameras are compatible. The software is still in beta, but if you’re really determined to level up your video calling game, you can view the full list of compatible cameras here.

Grainy and lifeless videos will be a thing of the past for Canon users with this new tool. If you own a Canon EOS or DSLR camera, make sure to give this utility a try to improve your video chats with friends, family, or your fellow co-workers.

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