Nikon Corp.Grey Market
Mon, Apr. 25, 5:30 PM
- Startup Light’s L16 camera is the first salvo in the company's attempt to upend a digital SLR market dominated by Canon (NYSE:CAJ) and Nikon (OTCPK:NINOY). The L16 contains 16 different sets of lenses and sensors - five shoot at 35mm, and the other 11 at 75-150mm - in a form factor resembling that of point-and-shoot cameras. Up to ten of the lenses/sensors simultaneously fire when a picture is taken.
- As a result, only zoom and shutter speed are determined at the time of shooting. Unlike with conventional cameras, qualities such as focus and depth-of-field can be adjusted afterwards thanks to the L16’s use of computational imaging. Meanwhile, having up to ten lenses/sensors fire at once allows the L16 to create images as large as 52MP, and helps a lot with low-light photography.
- At $1,699, the L16 isn’t cheap. And even if one was willing to spend that much to buy one, pre-orders have sold out. However, Light insists the L16 is simply a proof-of-concept, and that its long-term goal is give consumers cameras that can deliver both professional-quality photos and smartphone-like simplicity. Light could have a tough time winning over professional photographers who depend on DSLRs and their professional-grade lenses. However, the company insists enthusiast consumer photographers are a larger opportunity.
- Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be looking to provide similar functionality on a much smaller scale with the iPhone 7. The next-gen iPhone is rumored to sport a dual-lens camera that leverages technology developed by computational imaging startup LinX (acquired in 2015).
Fri, Jan. 8, 12:08 PM
- GoPro (GPRO -4.6%) CEO Nick Woodman used a YouTube CES keynote to disclose his company plans to release a "more casual" spherical/360º camera soon. The company already offers a $15K, 16-camera, spherical array for professionals, and there has been speculation GoPro's upcoming Karma drone will support 360º video capture.
- The disclosure came just a couple days after Nikon (OTC:NINOF), one of the two marquee names (along with Canon) in the SLR market, unveiled the KeyMission 360, an action camera capable of recording 360º video in 4K. Nikon's camera ships this spring; pricing is still unknown. (sample videos)
- Also announced during the keynote: GoPro is expanding its partnership with YouTube to help bring more 360º content to YouTube. Users can change viewing angles by dragging their mouse cursors or swiping left or right on a phone/tablet.
- Though the VR headset market remains in its infancy - Facebook just began taking pre-orders for the first consumer Oculus Rift model - Woodman insists VR footage is a major long-term opportunity. "[Virtual reality] does add an entirely new emotional experience that is very meaningful and real and is a way to experience other people's lives and experiences in a way that was never possible before ... You can imagine a future where perhaps on the GoPro channel on YouTube, every piece of content we shoot is available in traditional format and VR to help raise awareness of it."
- The news hasn't been of much help to GoPro shares, which have sold off on a day the Nasdaq is up 0.4%. The tumbled yesterday amid a 3% Nasdaq drop.