Equipment / Gear

LYTRO - ! or ? by James Shanks

Saw this CNN article about the newest Lytro camera: Lytro refocuses with a new $1,600 camera

In case you are unfamiliar with this technology, it allows you to select the focus of an image after you take the photo. Kind of cool but sort of a one trick pony as far as I am concerned. This new camera is supposed to be marketed towards higher end users:

"The company says its new camera is "professional grade" and should appeal to full-time photographers and artists."

Um, I'm not so sure this is such a good idea or what "professional grade" is supposed to mean. Even this new camera yields a very small (4 to 6 megapixel) image that, in my opinion, would be useful for little more than on-screen applications.

I think eventually it could be a useful tool and am glad that there are companies doing this research but for now, well, not so interested.

R.I.P. Calumet by James Shanks

Wow, I just learned that Calumet photo abruptly closed today without warning and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I am a little shocked. Although I didn't shop there much lately (neither did others apparently) I have had a 20+ year relationship with Calumet and bought equipment & supplies as well as rented gear from them in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Amsterdam. I am most sorry for the employees who must now look for work elsewhere - they have some great people on staff and I wish them the best. I think this is a sign of the changing photo marketplace and indicates the shift away from the specialized "professional" world of the good 'ole days (back when I was buying 4x5 film and Polaroid at Calumet) to the "everyone is a photographer" digital world of today (the B&H universe, if I may.) Calumet also had a line of it's own branded items (strobes, backdrops etc.) and I am sure, or at least hope, that those will be purchased by someone and marketed under a different name? We shall see. They have (had) the best, most neutral white background seamless paper I ever found...

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