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Mike Smith
London, London, GB

Articles written by Mike Smith

What Must Camera Manufacturers Do to Challenge the Smartphone?

Cameras just aren't good enough at processing photos — witness the inexorable rise of the smartphone which leverages adequate hardware and clever software to produce images that look as good as those from a high-flying $2,000 camera. What can manufacturers do to remain relevant in today's market?

Is Photo Mechanic Plus a Lightroom Killer? An In-Depth Fstoppers Review Part 2: The Image Catalog

In Part 1 of this In-Depth review, I outlined the core philosophy of Photo Mechanic Plus before going on to summarize and test the ingestion process. Arguably, this is the star in the crown however, Camera Bits have now added an image catalog allowing it to manage your photo archive. Read on to find out how it performs, as well as a comparison with Lightroom's own catalog.

The End of the Strobe? We Review Viltrox's Weeylite Ninja 300

Viltrox has released a new single-color LED continuous light under their Weeylite brand. At $179 for the base package, it's a compelling option. So, is this the end of the strobe? Find out in this exclusive Fstoppers review.

The Nikon Coolpix B600: Everything You Need to Know About the Camera Market In One Camera

Nikon quietly — or maybe not so quietly given the press — announced the demise of the innocuously named Coolpix B600, a product name that just trips off the tongue and screams cheap and cheerful. What is startling about this camera is that it only hit the market in December 2020. Some eight months later it has bitten the dust. Why is this and what does it say about the camera market?

If Cartier-Bresson Were Shooting Today, Would He Use 6K Burst Mode?

Henri Cartier-Bresson is hailed in the pantheon of photographers as one of the leading lights of his time. He is also inextricably linked with Leica. If he were shooting today, what brand would he choose and how would he shoot? It would of course be Panasonic and 6K Burst Mode.

Has Sony Altered the Camera Market Forever?

The mirrorless camera was an innocuous enough invention that stemmed from Olympus' early innovation, but is it Sony that has managed to change the camera market for good and upset the CaNikon apple cart?

Nikkei Market Share: Bad News for Nikon... Or Is It?

Nikkei recent published a synopsis of Techno System Research's Market Share Survey for 2020, a detailed paywalled survey of camera shipment data from major manufacturers. The headline is a 5.0% drop for Nikon, decreasing its total market share. This isn't great news for Nikon, but is it all it seems?

Instead of Praising Nikon, We Should Be Asking Why the Industry Has Been So Slow To Replace GPS With GNSS

The recent press about an upcoming Nikon camera — denoted the "N2014" — highlighted a government registration filing that suggests it will be "equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)." This has been a positive media development for Nikon as, if correct, it would make them the first camera manufacturer to integrate GNSS into one of their products. Is the camera industry being disingenuous by their slow adoption of existing technologies?

Nikon Increases Earnings But Loses Ground

Nikon recently posted its first quarter financial report which shows improved sales but still leaves many questions unanswered about its post-COVID recovery. Is it making or — indeed — losing ground to its competitors?

Deleting Photos: When Is It Too Much and Should You Stop?

Back in film days, you loaded up a 24 or 36 exposure film and shot away until it was used up. Frames were precious because when your film was gone, it was all over. Digital removed that barrier, which has just created different problems. So, should you delete photos and, if you do, when should you stop?

Fuji Refocuses Away From Photography

Fujifilm — the clue is in the name, except it isn't. Fuji was a behemoth in the film world, with Kodak its only rival. And then film went bust, and Kodak rapidly followed suit. Meanwhile, Fuji evaluated its business position and refocused principally around the healthcare sector and document management divisions. The architect of this remarkable turnaround was Chairman and CEO Shigetaka Komori. His retirement in March 2021 has precipitated changes that could have repercussions for its Imaging Solutions division.

Protests Are Iconic, So Why Do We Want a Riot?

If there is one type of news story that is a recurring theme in journalism it is the protest. Think "Tank Man", "The Burning Monk", or "Taking a Stand in Baton Rouge" (with Ieshia Evans). They stick in the memory, their iconographic status forming a peg from which we hang related memories. So why then are we more interested in riots as opposed to protests?

Canon Benefits From the Death of the DSLR

Notwithstanding problems with ramping back up production to pre-COVID levels, manufacturers have been generally optimistic about the emerging camera market as consumers start spending money that has been hoarded over periods of lockdown. Canon looks set to be the big beneficiary, but what about the other manufacturers?

Why Does the Nikon Z fc Have an APS-C Sensor?

Nikon's new Z fc has been widely praised for its return to retro styling and — indeed — taking the design cues of the much loved FE/FM series. It's one thing to make a retro camera, but it's quite another thing to sell it. So, who is it targeted at?

Is This the Oldest Photo of a US President?

It is a truism that the rich and famous are early adopters of the latest technology. Given that photography was unleashed on the world in 1839, what is the earliest surviving photo of a US President?

The A Mount: Sony's Future That Never Was

Sony's not a camera company or at least hasn't been until relatively recently. Its heritage is as un-optical as any recent manufacturer can be and is certainly far removed from the heritage of the likes of Nikon, Canon, Leica, and Pentax. Yet, among the gravestones we see littering the photographic landscape, it seems likely that the A mount will soon join them, finally severing any link to the past. So, why wasn't the A mount Sony's future?

Who Was the First Global Social Media Travel Infuencer?

You take photos, you write books, you're published in weekly and monthly newspapers and magazines, and travel the world with the sole purpose of... traveling. You sound like one of the early social media influencers of the 2010s who was "living the dream," constantly on the road, distributing a drip of photos and articles to the travel-enthused general public. However, it's 1888, and your name is Frank Carpenter.