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Mike Smith
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Articles written by Mike Smith

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?

How To Back Up Your Digital Photos... To Film

Backing up is easy, right? You import your photos from a memory card, then everything is safe and sound on your hard drive. Wrong. Norwegian startup — Piql — believes the answer is to back up your files to film.

Why Isn't JPEG Dead and Is HEIF the Solution?

It feels like a bad dream, that just got worse. Just when you thought the nightmares were over, you awake in a cold sweat plagued by the same recurring terrors. Yes, the JPEG really is that bad so why do we keep clinging to it? Isn't it time we killed it off and moved on to something better?

When Fourthplace Is Best: Fuji's Game Plan

Fuji sits in an odd place in the camera industry — beloved by camera enthusiasts for their retro styling and image quality, they continue to develop desirable cameras, but have never managed to break in to the realms of the top three manufacturers. Is this perceived failing actually a part of their game plan?

Why Are Sony, Fuji, and Olympus Soaring Ahead?

A camera is only worth what you're willing to pay for it, and the same is true of camera manufacturers. A business is not necessarily the sum of its parts, and its value is reflected in its share price. By this yardstick, Sony is streaking ahead while Nikon is bombing. How do they compare?

Which Camera Manufacturer Has the Best Logo?

You buy a camera as a purely functional object: you want to produce images, and it is the tool of choice. Yet, as photographers, we become brand loyal partisans, identifying with the manufacturer. So, who has the best logo?

Canon Is Resurgent and Sony Is Declining in Japan, But Does It Matter?

Photo Rumors recently covered the latest BCN report on the state of the mirrorless market in Japan, which showed a resurgent Canon growing at the expense of Sony, with Nikon trailing a distant third. However, the report only outlines what is happening in the Japanese camera market and only for current sales. How important is the Japanese market?

Does Adobe Need to Start Again and Build Lightroom from Scratch?

Lightroom totally dominates the realm of digital asset management (DAM) — a solution for 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. Is it time for Adobe to start again?

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: 10 Years of BCN Sales Awards

BCN Retail's sales data is a staple of the photographic industry for providing an indicator of the level of sales across the sector. It's now been 10 years since they began reporting on DSLR and MILC sales, so what does the data show, are their any strong trends, and can it help us understand the future?