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Mike Smith
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Articles written by Mike Smith

Is the Camera Industry Recovering Post-COVID?

The last year has been pretty dire for the camera industry, as the impact of COVID forced a general shutdown of manufacturing and sales outlets. As parts of the global economy have reopened, we have seen the shoots of revival start to spring up. Will the camera industry return to its 2019 pre-COVID levels?

If Fuji's Instax Is the Cash Cow, Should It Produce Digital Cameras?

Fuji's Instax line of products — the legacy of its film heyday — is successful. They've sold more than 50 million cameras, with 10 million alone in the 2019 business year. However, more than that, it's the financial powerhouse for its Imaging division, turning over twice as much money as its digital counterpart. It's strange to think that film is where the money is, but for Fuji, that is the case. So, why is it making digital cameras?

Camera Industry Expects Sales to Slide Further

CIPA recently released February shipment figures for the camera industry, which paint a picture of mixed fortunes and a complex path ahead for manufacturers. This generally looks to be positive news for Sony and Canon but is a warning for Nikon and Pentax.

Is Canon's R3 Enough to Challenge the Sony a1 and Nikon Z 9?

The Sony a1 has arrived and the Nikon Z 9 was recently been announced, so it's now Canon's turn to make an announcement about its forthcoming top-end camera, the R3. Last month, I compared Canon's then top-end R5 to Sony's and Nikon's offerings, commenting on the different strategic approaches of the three companies. Now that the R3 has arrived, what does it say about Canon's approach to the burgeoning mirrorless market, and what are the portents for Sony and Nikon?

Not the Moulton Barn: Carol Highsmith's America

It's not the famous Moulton Barn in Jackson Hole and those definitely aren't the Tetons rising majestically in the background, yet this image of a barn in Idaho is perhaps more impressive. Not because of what it is, but what it represents in the form of the Carol Highsmith Archive.

Why Is the Best Photo an Instant Print?

In an age of digital, of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat; photos are de rigueur when it comes to promoting yourself. News is fast, which means if you want to get noticed, you need to be faster. The tool of choice is obviously the smartphone because it can take and deliver photos instantly. So, why on earth is an instant print desirable?

Is 35mm the New Exotic Focal Length?

I've never been terribly attached to 35mm as a focal length of choice and, given I'm principally a prime lens shooter, it was the last focal length I bought. In short, 35mm is passe, so why now do I find myself attached to it?

Should You Buy Photography Products From Kickstarter?

The traditional route for startups to bring great product ideas to market was to fund them directly or find willing venture capitalists to invest. The advent of crowd platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have dramatically changed the product funding landscape, and this is as true for photography as elsewhere. So, should you buy products from the likes of Kickstarter?

What Are Current Camera Trends and Where is Development Headed?

The last few years have been tumultuous for the camera industry in terms of plummeting sales and COVID-19, but that hasn't stopped the pace and innovation of camera development. So what are the key developments and what direction are manufacturers headed?

Is the Fuji X-E4 Just a Repackaged X-M1?

We're used to iterative developments in camera lines? Nikon's D800, D810, and D850 all provided incremental improvements. So what is unusual about the latest incarnation of Fuji's X-E lineup, the X-E4?

CIPA 2020 Summary: The Year of the Mirrorless Camera

CIPA has released their figures for 2020 production and shipments of cameras and lenses. While it might make for some brutal reading in terms of the bottom line, it was a landmark year for one reason: mirrorless cameras outproduced DSLRs for the first time.

Is Photo Mechanic Plus a Lightroom Killer? An In-Depth Fstoppers Review Part 1: Importing Photos

Lightroom totally dominates the realm of digital asset management (DAM) — a solution to everything, it fits the mold of most photographic workflows. However, the bitter pill to swallow can be the treacle-like performance and that monthly subscription (something I've touched upon before). Photo Mechanic, renowned for its blisteringly fast performance, offers a new solution. Is it a Lightroom killer?

A Full Team on the Sierras: Images From 1866

Is a photo everything it seems and what does it say about why and how it was taken? This image from publishers Lawrence and Houseworth shows a full team on the Sierras, but what is it telling us?

Don't Make a New Year's Resolution...

New Year's resolutions have a bad rap — it starts with a well-meaning desire to lose a few pounds in weight, drink less, or quit smoking. Sure enough, a couple of weeks later those "promises to self" lie in tatters and you discard any further well-meaning thoughts. So don't think about making one, instead, go the whole hog and make three!

Has Nikon Turned the Corner on Poor Results?

Nikon had a torrid 2019 and the impact of COVID-19 on manufacturing and sales has simply added to that misery. However, does recent news suggest they are beginning to turn the corner of poor financial results?