Olympus Australia Adds to the Redundancies List


The imaging industry in Australia is on the decline restructure. Gone are the boom times of rocketing camera sales and profitability. Times are tough for most retailers and this has been reflected in a number of job losses across the wholesale imaging industry.

Today I found out Olympus made 9 positions redundant across Australia.  To my knowledge most of the redundancies happened over in the east coast of Australia with no job losses in the State of Western Australia. The positions made redundant varied from business managers, administration and a position within the accounts department.

Olympus

Recently I saw a similar situation happened with Sony Australia where service technicians and account managers (to name a few) were also given their pink slips .

But it’s not all bad news for Olympus. Industry figures (recently released) showed the Olympus OM-D held a whopping 43% of market share for Digital SLR cameras in the month of December 2013. Historically Olympus have been very strong in their compact range but over the last couple of years sales figures have been in a downward spiral. I’m sure this would have played a part in the redundancies as the rise of smart phones has clearly dominated this category.  However saying this the OM-D is certainly making up for the lack of sales in compacts.  To this day I have never seen a camera sell as well – so I think Canon and Nikon should take a leaf out of Olympus’s book to see what they are doing right!

Olympus OMD

On top of the OM-D’s success its rumoured Olympus will be releasing an updated Digital SLR to replace their flagship E-5 camera . I can confirm Olympus’s marketing department is heading on a plane to Japan for ‘meetings’ this week, where I’m sure this rumoured camera will be discussed and revealed. So stay tuned.

For those who are reading this who have been made redundant I certainly know what it is like. Over one year ago I found myself in the same situation. My role as an Area Business Manager for Fujifilm Australia was no longer required as the company was transitioning itself into more streamlined practices. Online services seemed to be the way of the future and  since November 3rd 2011 (the day I was made redundant *on my birthday*) Fujifilm Australia is believed to have made a total of nearly 50 redundancies (unconfirmed).  As I have been in the industry for some time this was no surprise. Online accounting services and cloud computing  have replaced the expensive employee and at the time of my redundancy my thoughts were reflected in Dave Marshall’s CEO statement to the press (via current.com) –

“By creating clever internet systems that incorporate such initiatives as sophisticated reordering websites, centralised systems, Facebook applications and virtual photo books, Fujifilm aims to provide innovative platforms that will offer new business opportunities for all of its customers.

“Fujifilm Australia has already proved very successful in developing and delivering cutting edge network solutions for its customers within the consumer imaging segment.

“Advanced plans are now underway within Fujifilm Australia to extend its network connectivity capabilities to the Graphic Systems and Medical Imaging Divisions.

“New business models that maximise this trend to ensure customers are at the forefront of new technology is a key focus for our business moving forward.

“In order to reinvent our processes and technology, this represents an opportunity to create a range of new specialist positions within Fujifilm Australia to drive a seamless transition for both consumers and customers.

“Unfortunately, as part of this process, it has also meant some changes to positions that have become redundant in the back office administration area due to technological advancements.

“There has also been a small number of positions that have been rationalised at the front end of the business to accommodate the specialist roles that are being created as part of the transition.

“Our goal is to strengthen Fujifilm’s position and ensure it is suitably equipped to balance current market demands with future business investment.

“Advancements in technology coupled with changes in consumer behaviour, has resulted in a significant transformation in the way businesses such as Fujifilm need to operate.”

So do I have any advice for employees who find themselves out of a job? Certainly! My advice – stay positive and hold no grudges. Look at it this way, being let go is possibly the best thing that could happen to you. It’s a new start, a new you. So don’t be complacent, use this time to reinvent yourself and do what you love. Start your own business or even become a consultant within your industry. For me I followed my love of social media and although I am still working a 9 to 5 I do plan on making this my gig in the distant future.

So based on Fujifilm, Olympus, Sony and Panasonic’s (2011) redundancies the big question looms….what about the big players like Nikon and Canon? When will they be cutting back?

Over the last couple of days I have been doing a bit of research on the subject and have found two hypotheticals which could lead to redundancies (please take my findings as speculation and rumour, not fact):

1) Canon Australia are advertising for a Salesforce Consultant.

I can see the move to Salesforce equating to job losses within Canon Australia in the next year. The reason I say this is because when I worked at Fujifilm I saw the same Salesforce rollout. It certainly is a powerful account management system and it does really replace the need to have extra account managers out in the field. Once the accounts are entered in the cloud they can be seen on any device from anywhere.  Orders, leads, account history and delivery are all the vital information to an account manager. Salesforce easily combines a team of people reporting this information into a manageable feed which can be read by one person and acted upon. Need I say more?

2) The mirrorless camera situation for Canon and Nikon (Nikon especially) is serious.

Nikon 1 Series

Stock levels for the Nikon 1 J1 and Canon EOS M in their respective warehouses are said to be high. For Nikon this is quite alarming. The Nikon 1 J2 (announced August 9th 2012) and the anticipated Nikon V1 replacement (announced October 24th 2012) are simply premature for the market place. There is too much old stock (old models) sitting on retailers shelves. Something has got to give. Either the price has to be lowered and profits cut which in turn could affect jobs in the long-term.

Canon EOS M Cashback

Canon forecasters have anticipated their lack of sales by offering the slow-moving EOS M buyers a $150 cash back when they purchase their camera from an Australian retailer. I’m sure this will work in the short-term but it still early days. Over the next month you will see a huge marketing campaign from Canon to help their sell through across their range of products. I’m sure this is a one of their ways to cut their losses.

So in closing redundancies are never a nice thing.  Unfortunately for industry they are a big part of life and for industry to evolve its a necessary thing. Over the next three years I can envision the imaging industry changing dramatically. The rise of connected smart phones and technology will certainly make the jobs within the imaging industry semi redundant if companies don’t act or embrace the technology.

Autographer Google Glass Project Glass and Memoto Wearable Cameras

I recently discussed the future of imaging over on F Stop Lounge which looks at some of the future technology and how it may play a part in the industry. No longer will industry be able to sit on their hands and wait for product to sell (fine example EOS M), employees and their associated marketing companies will have to be proactive in their marketing approach to reach a new audience that falls outside the traditional photographer. As the generations age and the technology evolves I see a new kind of photo being created and produced. One that will replace the photo industry and be more aligned with the Consumer Electronics Industry. I just hope that day doesn’t come too soon as I do like working in my industry…but hey we all have to live with change…good or bad.

Until Next Time – Happy Shooting.

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Canon N – The Instagramers camera – a Powershot.


CES has certainly started with a bang with the announcement of the Canon Powershot N.

Powershot N by Canon

Who would have thought Canon would introduce something out of the square (pun intended) and call it the Powershot N. Personally I think this camera is designed for the photo sharing communities like Instagram, Tumblr and the New Myspace. In my opinion the camera has been modelled on the successful size of the Go Pro camera. The 8x optical zoom is identical to the previous Powershot A4000 IS which has been a liked feature from many Canon users.

WiFi on the Powershot N

The camera boasts minimal buttons and a really cool design which I’m sure will turn a lot of heads.

Built in Wi-Fi is also a welcome feature for the tech-savvy generation enabling uploads straight to the preferred social media platform via the Canon CameraWindow App which is available for the top iOS devices.

Probably the best feature I like about the N is the flip screen. It’s unlike Canon to develop a screen that rotates up and down as their previous models turned on a horizontal axis. This 2.8 LCD screen is able to rotate 90 degrees which is perfect for the avid skater or general teenager.

Also all the features on the camera can be activated via the stylish touch screen which also acts as a built-in tripod when filming those selfies shots.

To the serious side now and Canon have stood by their quality guns with this barrel. The lens is identical to the Powershot A4000IS which boasts a 8x optical zoom and a minimum aperture of f3.0. I actually played with the Powershot A4000IS yesterday and was amazed at the quality. This camera should be no different.

Canon Lens on the Powershot N

I think this camera is a welcome release from Canon. Previously we have not seen any change within their entry level Powershot line up. I really do think this camera will do very well with some online marketing behind it. I can see the YouTubers and the younger photo sharers embrace this little beauty. I would certainly own one for my YouTube travels.

What camera remote should I use?


Camera Remotes

Have you ever seen images of  lightning, star trails and even light painting and wondered how the photographer captured it?

This little article is all about revealing some of the magic….using one of the low light photographers favourite tool – the camera remote.

The original screw in shutter button remote your grandparents had for their trusty camera certainly doesn’t stand a chance against the modern remote of today.

Screw in Remote Cable

Wireless, timer, WiFi and even Bluetooth are common terms associated with this great device that will change the way you tackle your newly found photographic subject. Remotes are most useful when the camera’s shutter speed exceeds 30 seconds in a mode called bulb mode. When the bulb mode is used you can extend the camera’s shutter speed to what ever time limit you want (although you are limited to your camera’s battery). Shooting in bulb mode means whatever happens in the scene will be captured while the shutter is open.

Continue reading

GEAR FOR SALE


The time has come for me to make the move away from my Canon kit. I won’t say much more as its all in the video. All the prices and details can be seen below the video or on my YouTube channel.

If you have any questions on my gear simply visit the YouTube page and read the comments section under the video – you should find all the answers there. If you have any other questions comment below here on my blog.

A few ground rules first.
I will be VERY selective to replying to people on Youtube and other social platforms about general questions about the gear I am selling.

The condition of the gear is talked about in the video so all your questions should be answered there.

The purchaser will have to pay for any shipping and any landing fees (for example VAT) to their country.
All goods will be sent via AUSTRALIA POST. Items will be very well packed in bubble wrap and double boxed. To work out a rough guide for postage costs see the following links (All items will be sent from Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia 6160):

For international postage: http://auspost.com.au/apps/international-parcel.html
For parcels within Australia: http://auspost.com.au/apps/domestic-parcel.html

There will be no returns on purchased goods.

Payment can be made via Paypal. I will only release the goods once I recieve full payment. I am a man of my word. If you don’t believe me speak with anyone who knows me online (Google+ or simply google my name ‘Leigh Diprose’)

The list of gear I’m selling is:
1x Canon EOS 1D MK IV Body Only – AUD $4500.00
(AUSTRALIAN BUYERS ONLY FOR THIS ITEM due to the item containing batteries)

WORLDWIDE SHIPPING for any lenses:
1x Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens – AUD $1600.00
1x Sigma EX 120-300mm f/2.8 APO DG Lens – AUD $1500.00
1x Canon MP-E65mm f/2.8 1-5x Lens – AUD $800.00
1x Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Lite – AUD $700.00
1x Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Lens – AUD $750.00
1x Sigma 2x Teleconverter (Canon Mount) – AUD $150.00

To get in contact with me you can see all my contact details on my site – http://www.leighdiprose.com

Google+ Communities – Google+ Photographers Community


I have just launched a brand new photography community called Google+ Photographers Community which can be found over on Google+.

Google+ Photographers Community Logo

Google has only yesterday released a new platform called communities which combines the best of Google+, YouTube, Google Groups and Google Events all in the one place. A community is ideally based on a subject, within the subject users are able to post their content directly to a sub-category.

Since the launch there has been many communities formed however I did notice that there was no place which combined the things in photography that interested me. So I decided to create the Google+ Photographers Community (GPC).

Google+ Photographers Community Screenshot

Within GPC I have created the following categories:

No Category – For any unassigned category content

General Discussion – No pictures are posted here. This category is simply about every day photography.

I AM….  – Is a place where new users can introduce themselves to the rest of the community.

Announcements – Any new product announcements.

Rumours – Gear Rumours

Android Devices – Community members post photos and content related to Android Devices.

Apple Devices – Community members post photos and content related to Apple Devices.

Canon – Community members post photos and content related to Canon gear.

Casio – Community members post photos and content related to Casio gear.

Fujifilm – Community members post photos and content related to Fujifilm gear.

GoPro – Community members post photos and content related to GoPro gear.

Kodak – Community members post photos and content related to Kodak gear.

Leica – Community members post photos and content related to Leica gear.

Nikon – Community members post photos and content related to Nikon gear.

Olympus – Community members post photos and content related to Olympus gear.

Panasonic – Community members post photos and content related to Panasonic gear.

Pentax Ricoh – Community members post photos and content related to Pentax or Ricoh gear.

Samsung – Community members post photos and content related to Samsung gear.

Sigma – Community members post photos and content related to Sigma gear.

Sony – Community members post photos and content related to Sony gear.

Events+Leigh Diprose will run a weekly photo competition based on a photographic theme. Participants will be able to share their photos directly to the themed Event.

My future plan is to entangle my blog and Google community together with future events and google hangouts posted weekly to my YouTube channel and here on the blog.

The hangouts will talk about the latest in photographic gear as well as review some of the latest product. I can’t wait to see where this leads. In the first few hours almost 200 people have joined the community and the engagement between the users has been fantastic. ***Update*** 359 Members!

If you have any questions on the new community please let me know in the comments.

Until Next Time – Happy Shooting

Wearable Cameras, Life Blogging, Smart Cameras and Wireless Power – The Future of Imaging


I have been part of the imaging industry since 1999 and since then I have seen some radical changes. Most of the changes have occurred in the last couple of years with the major collapse of one of the biggest imaging companies – Kodak. Social media has had a lot to do with that change.

R&D Logo Leigh DiproseI continually dream about the future…sometimes I even think I’m in the wrong career…maybe I should be an inventor, work in a technology R&D department or be a consultant to the imaging industry. What I’m thinking at the moment is writing a story on my predictions on the future of the imaging industry and how it will affect us. Three things were on my mind today so let me get started with those:

1) Cameras (mainly compact cameras to start with) will be replaced with smart camera technology.

This will only happen if camera companies wake up and smell the technology revolution. I see the imaging industry asleep when it comes to the development of new programs. I mean look at the phone industry. Before the word ‘smart phone’ was invented it was just called the phone but as soon as the big players in the telecommunications industry saw the potential of releasing the API (Application Programming Interface) and SDK (Software Development Kit) there was a huge influx of apps being written which only drew more and more people to the devices bringing much success. Eyebrows raise when someone doesn’t own a smart phone.

My biggest fear is seeing traditional camera companies like Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm and Olympus all sitting on their hands waiting for someone else to come up with the idea. All it would take is for a company to release the API or SDK to build apps for their cameras. The only company I see at the moment doing it successfully is Samsung with Android devices. Nikon have been the quickest as well to jump on the bandwagon releasing the Nikon Coolpix s800c. My only hope is they continue to grow this line of smart cameras. To be honest I only see the Andriod platform working on cameras as a newly developed system would only cause confusion in the market place. The time has passed to release a new version as it should have been done one year ago.

Smart Cameras made by Samsung

I find the biggest problem with the market place is that companies are relying on traditional advertising. The target market of 25-45 year olds are flooded with technology already. The only place left to grow in this area is life blogging and car technology.  Most people in the traditional age bracket already own 1-2 cameras. Wouldn’t it be smarter to pitch the idea of smart cameras to a younger demographic around the ages of 18-24?

2) Wearable cameras offering life blogging will be the next big internet sensation

Autographer Google Glass Project Glass and Memoto Wearable Cameras

Life blogging is going to be huge. You may not think it but let me tell you some people thought digital cameras were a waste of time! These small cameras like Project Glass by Google will only need to be clipped on or worn to capture your life moments in an instant. I imagine as you record every second of your life you will have the opportunity to upload all of your moments directly to the cloud. Once your moments are online you will be able to edit your video sharing the stream via YouTube, broadcast it to your circles over a Google+ Hangout or even send it to family and friends via your favourite social media site like Facebook. Your photos and video would become the new cinema complex with fans following your every move!

I hear some of you saying that’s just weird I would never film myself and put my life online…..you are quite right in saying that….I’m not writing this for you, this article is intended for the younger generation in future years who will probably laugh at the ideas because they were so ‘old school’ in the year 2012. I do now something though….life blogging is going to be popular and I guarantee you will watch someone’s life moment on YouTube or the news one day.

3) Wireless power and wireless technology will replace traditional hardware plugs.

Wouldn’t it be great to walk outside on a holiday knowing that your smart phone had a full battery life from the previous night out? What if you were stuck at an airport due to a cancelled flight only to find that your laptop charger was in your suitcase which had already flown out of the country on another plane or what if you arrive on a planned holiday to your dream destination only to find you forgot to pack your camera charger? Unfortunately a lot of these hypotheticals are happen daily we reply on our wall plugs for so many things. What if I told you in the future this wouldn’t be a problem because in the future we will wireless power.  A new type of power device generated on a wireless technology. Wouldn’t that be great? I can’t wait to see this technology spread across multiple devices. Finally I will be able to get rid of the rat’s nest of cables hanging from my computer desk!

If you have any questions on this article please let me know by emailing leighdiprosephotography@yahoo.com.au or submitting a comment below.

Until next time – Happy Shooting

Free Fine Art Photography – August 2012 – Osprey


The latest FREE fine art photograph is ready to be downloaded.

August 2012 – Osprey.jpeg

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD IT.

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A Free Fine Art Photo of an Osprey

Until next time – Happy Shooting!