| Cult of Mac

iPhone is most popular camera among Flickr’s 112 million photographers

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Canon cameras
The iPhone has been the top choice among Flickr photographers beginning in 2015.
Photo: Flickr

The longtime Kings of the Camera must know their kingdoms are shrinking. If Canon or Nikon need further evidence, Flickr’s 2015 Year in Review shows the popular tool of choice for an engaged and global photography community is not a dedicated camera. It’s first and foremost a phone.

Apple’s iPhone was the popular device used by the Flickr community, according to an analysis of the EXIF data on pictures uploaded to the site. iPhone cameras accounted for 42 percent of the photos on the site, compared to the DSLRs of Canon, 27 percent, and the Nikon, 16 percent.

Canon just dropped a nuke in the megapixel war

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Canon has developed 250-MP CMOS camera sensor.
Canon has developed 250-MP CMOS camera sensor.
Photo: Canon

Canon has developed a CMOS camera sensor that records a 250-megapixel image. Not that this should kill your excitement about the 12 megapixels you’re going to get with the camera on the new iPhone 6s, but take a moment to consider the number.

How do we even fathom 250 megapixels? Canon, in its press release boasting of the pixel count (19,580 x 12,600), said engineers zoomed in on a photo taken of an airplane from 11 miles away and could distinguish the lettering on the side of the plane.

Samsung outranks Apple where it really hurts… in the patent department

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In an effort to prevent rivals from stealing its ideas, Apple patents everything it invents — from the iPhone and the iPad, to app icons and even “magic” tactile gloves. But compared to its biggest competitors, Apple’s patent portfolio from 2015 looks surprisingly bare.

Microsoft, Sony, Google, and LG have all outrank Apple in the patent department this year, while arch rival Samsung has absolutely crushed it.

Stumptown shooter stalks the sexy and the strange

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The Portland Zombie Walk and similar events give photographer Luke Olsen a chance to stretch beyond his normal studio work.
Olsen's notes for Cardiac: "Strobist: 550ex and Vivitar 285 with a red gel placed in the boxes. WL1600 with a strip bank to the left and above camera. Triggered via pocket wizards."
Organizers boast that the 2010 Portland Zombie Walk drew 3,000 undead.

Olsen's notes for Zombie Lessons: "A shot of Ariel consulting a tome of the undead inside the Zombie Apocalypse at the Scream at the Beach.

"Strobist: 550ex in strip bank at camera right and in front of model. 580exII on floor behind model and aimed at wall. Triggered via pocket wizards."

Makeup artist: Matt Huntley

The annual event only began filing or permits in 2011 after a record turnout the year before.
Olsen's notes for Lucy Stone: "Strobist: WL1600 in strip bank at left of camera. Triggered via pocket wizards."
"I try not to be too involved with posing as I like to see what they bring to the table," says Olsen. "That said, I will shift their pose if they are doing something I don’t want."
Olsen's notes for Waiting: "More color infrared."
"I was never one for jumping off bridges and things but I did pelt a girl in a hazmat suit with eggs for a photo shoot," Olsen says. "I still don’t find that crazy."
The hazmat suit comes in handy for Toxic.
"Like an addiction, I always want to do more photography," says Olsen. "I'm definitely in that camp that enjoys the journey with my only end-goal to see better."

Olsen's notes on Mermaid: "Shortly after she went onto the tire she asked me to make her into a mermaid.

"Strobist (on model and tire only): WL1600 in beauty dish above and right, WL1600 in strip bank to left. Both triggered by pocket wizards."

"Photography kind of crept up on me as the years progressed," says Olsen. "There was no magical darkroom moment when I saw an image being developed and thought, 'I want to do this forever.'"
Olsen's notes on Fez: "Strobist: WL1600 in strip bank for fill behind and slightly to the left. WL1600 in soft box in room right of model. Both triggered via pocket wizards."
"I’m always with a camera, and usually with more than one camera, ready to shoot at all the Portland events I attend," says Olsen.

Grab a camera when the zombies come. They won’t eat your brains — they’ll strike a pose.

It’s a trick photographer Luke Olsen learned when he was surrounded on the streets of his hometown. His shots from the Portland Zombie Walk showcase the lean and mean side of his stylish but macabre portraiture.

The organized chaos of events like the zombie walk offers comic relief from formal photography sessions filled with intricate lighting, staging and models. Any opportunity to capture inspired lunacy is technically practice, but Olsen gravitates toward flash mobs to cut loose with his camera-wielding compatriots. He’s thrown himself into the thick of SantaCon, the infamous alcohol-fueled rampage that grew from absurdist San Francisco street theater into a national headache. The moribund Portland Urban Iditarod, where teams of costumed runners dragged tricked-out shopping carts from bar to bar, has also been shutter fodder.

“It’s a great deal of fun to wander into a large event with a group of friends, shoot the event and reconvene later to see what everyone got,” says Olsen. “It’s like The Bang Bang Club, just 100 percent less deadly.”

Canon G1 X Mark II Ditches Viewfinder, Adds Wi-Fi

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Canon’s new G1 X Mark II brings good news and bad news. The bad news is that it ditches the optical viewfinder that has been found on G-series compacts like forever. The good news is that it adds a faster lens, better manual controls, a flip-up touch-screen LCD panel, Wi-Fi and NFC.

So, on balance, not so bad.

Canon G16 Adds Wi-Fi And Not Much Else

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In camera years[1], Canon’s G-Series is now drawing a pension and should really be scratching out a will. And when a product line is so successful and so mature, it gets hard to improve on it. The G15 had a big sensor, a fast ƒ1.8 lens and a handy front control dial, as well as all the rugged capability that made the G-Series last this long.

The new G16 adds very little, but it get one hugely handy update: Wi-Fi.

Canon’s Vixia Fisheye Camcorder Would Have Been Amazing… Five Years Ago

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Poor Canon. When it comes to compact cameras, its heart is in the right place, but the market is shriveling so fast that sometimes it’s hard to see the point. Today’s example is the Vixia Mini camcorder, a video version of its quirky Powershot N. The Vixia Mini is a square box with a flip-out screen and a fisheye lens. And as a nod to smartphone users, it has Wi-Fi built in. But do we care?

Canon Camera Confusion: EOS 100D Is Smallest DSLR, Like, Ever

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Oh man, this is what happens when companies don’t really know what to do with themselves. We’re familiar with Apple’s ultra-simple product lineup, a hallmark of a focused corporate mind. Canon, on the other hand, decided that — after stripping down the DSLR to make the mirrorless EOS M — it would take that stripped-down camera and, uh, strip it back up again.

So here we have the EOS 100D (or Rebel SL1, to further confuse things), billed as the smallest DSLR in the world, and essentially an EOS M with a mirror and therefore a viewfinder. And corporate confusion aside, it might actually be a cool little camera.