Not Kickstarting Sears and Wal-mart Family Ultrapixels

Kickstarting Pressgram

Pressgram is a current kickstarter project, 6 days and $3,000 dollars off its $50,000 target. What is Pressgram?
It is according to John Saddleton its founder, a new photo sharing site like Instagram but functionally and philosophically different. There has been some nervousness around Instagram and where it is going since its copyright misstep at the end of last year. Although it seems that everything is OK, we are paranoid of future surprises.

Saddleton was also fed up with the perceived rights grabbing by Instagram and decided to create a new place where people can share their images, keep track of their view count and most importantly retain their rights, using a WordPress powered blog.

This kickstarter campaign  seems like an interesting idea, but do we need another photography blog/sharing site/app, it seems that there is an over saturation of images with portals to see them. To view good work you need to sift through the chaff. Of course we will have to wait and see what happens. All eyes will be focused on this in the coming days.

RIP Sears and Wal-Mart photography

Although I have never lived in America I have seen through my cultural window to America, via films and television, that it is a child’s worse nightmare when they are dragged to the local store for their photograph to be taken on some holiday and this will be the beginning of something funny.

Both Sears and Wal-Mart have announced that they will no longer have an in house photography studio, with their announcements being made differently.
Sears announcement was made via a splash page with a PR sad message, black text on white background. “After many years of providing family portrait photography, we are sad to announce our Sears Portrait Studios are now closed,”
Wal-Mart was not so clear with many sources reporting the closure and Wal-Mart is yet to make a formal statement. It is known that some stores will have third party photographers remaining.

In a way this is good news for photography. Portrait photography has changed, people no longer want the same background and the family bunched together in their Sunday best. People want fun portraits of that offer entertainment during the shoot and fun in viewing the prints. Also people want an art work as well, something to hang on the wall that goes with their faux Swedish furniture.

Ultrapixels; Bigger is Better and Less is more

It is true that bigger is better, especially in photography. A larger sensor with fewer pixels  is better than a smaller sensor with more pixels. The myth of “the more pixels the better” is one that still needs to be debunked. The new HTC One has taken this argument to a new level and at the same time is trying to debunk the myth.

The new HTC one has ultrapixels that are larger than standard pixels, and HTC argues that less of them on the sensor  will create better images than 8- 13 megapixel rivals. The analogy by Symon Whitehorn is of pixel rain;

“The old analogy that the industry uses is called pixel rain, so you can imagine photons coming down as rain—with photon rain being collected in buckets with the buckets being the pixel. Now you could put a lot of little cups out and try to collect the same amount of rain and you wind up getting noise between the cups as opposed to it all falling into one big bucket.”

There are other benefits of having ultrapixels; smaller files that can be uploaded and processed without being compressed and maintaining image quality. Images can be printed at full resolution up to 10 by 8 inches.

The analogy is sound, the larger the pixel does mean more light is captured and less noise is created but will this be easy to sell to the public. In essence the camera is a 4 megapixel camera, which people will see before understanding what ultrapixels are.

Smartphones are successfully eating into the compact market and it feels that in the compact arena it is smartphones who are making the big steps as it becomes a necessity for the cameras to create higher quality images as people are moving to these cameras  and leaving their compact in the draw. It seems though that all manufactures will need to start debunking the myth that more pixels are better as they all develop their sensor technology.

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One thought on “Not Kickstarting Sears and Wal-mart Family Ultrapixels

  1. We used to have family portraits taken at Sears. The workers behind the camera were far from ‘photographers’ though and the backdrops were overly ridiculously ugly. I too think this is a step forward for photography so hopefully now the Sears/WalMart business will go to up and coming amateurs who are looking to improve their portfolios while not charging an arm and leg.

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