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Robert Collins

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About Robert Collins

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  1. Robert Collins

    Webcams

    My webcam is rubbish. Well, actually its the webcam video that looks rubbish. My webcam is the popular Logitech C920 - which as webcams go - is a mid/high end webcam. But the image out of it really is bad (especially in low light.) And, in case you are wondering - no, I dont have anything better to do than wonder why the video out of my webcam is so bad. Watching the news when everyone is being interviewed by webcam, you realize that virtually everyones webcam is crap. And it isnt just my lighting. Admittedly my lighting was bad but I bought myself one of those Elgato key lights - better but still really rubbish if you ask me. Now, I know, of course, that I could set up my Sony as a webcam but it seems a hell of hassle - dummy battery, capture card, a stand etc... Surely there is something plug and play. But apparently not - there doesnt seem to be say - a 1inch sensor webcam. Which brings me to my question. Why has there been so little innovation in the webcams? My Logitech C920 was introduced in January 2012 and apparently is still considered by some as the best webcam on the market in 2020 - https://www.tomsguide.com/best-picks/best-webcams#:~:text=There's a reason you've,calls and large meeting rooms. 8 years is an eternity in the camera world (it isnt as though camera companies have been particularly busy) and, I assume, equivalent to several lifetimes in the streaming business. And, secondly, what sort of setups do people on this forum use?
  2. Olympus's camera division has been bleeding for years. To translate those yen figures into dollars - over the past 2 years imaging has lost US$270m dollars on US$800m of turnover. Rather remarkably this doesnt include corporate/central allocated costs that are a seperate line item (to the divisions) in the accounts. Even more remarkably, if you go back and look at when the division reported a 'gross profit' you will find that the gross profit margin was around 50% (which is quite lot higher than Apple's). You really dont get a lot of camera for your money even when the company is losing US$300 on every US$1,000 you spend. When your SG&A expenses are running at over 50% of sales, you realize all those marketing costs add up pretty quickly....
  3. 'Honest advertising' is an oxymoron. The entire point of modern corporate marketing is scientifically crafted deception. Camera companies starting up a fund to pay a bunch of different people and create a different bunch of shills. If you can trick people into thinking your trickery is honesty, you can trick them even better. Thinking of Olympus - at least keep it humorous.
  4. Sad - the OMD EM5 was my first digital camera - but inevitable. Olympus's camera division has only made a profit in one of the last 12 years. It is a pale shadow of what it was - back in 2008, the camera division reported over US$3bn of sales (mostly compacts). Now it is less than US$400m.
  5. Yes, sunk cost fallacy. Realistically, your crowd in 'crowd financing' is self isolating at the moment. Even those with disposable income will likely be saving it in the current uncertainty. And if they are looking to invest (and or take risk) there are plenty of stocks that are off 40% in the last month.
  6. I get that totally. But what I mean by behind the curve is - why has it taken the country so long to start testing people in large numbers? We have known about this virus for quite some time. I live in a 2nd world country - Thailand - but it has been possible for anyone to get a test here, if needed, for well over a month....
  7. It does appear to me that the US has been well behind the curve on this virus all along which is disappointing given the amount of advance warning they had. Today the US announced 1823 new cases which is a 40% increase in cases from the day before (the largest percentage increase of any country.) https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ Hopefully they will get things back under control quickly...
  8. Have you considered the 'worst case' scenario? Well it turns out that the NHS in the UK have modeled the worst case. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/15/uk-coronavirus-crisis-to-last-until-spring-2021-and-could-see-79m-hospitalised Under this scenario it is assumed that 80% of the UK's population contract coronavirus over the course of the next year. According to Chris Whitty the UK's Chief Medical Officer this could lead to 7.9m people being hospitalized and 318,000 deaths. Whilst this figure sounds (and is) horrendous it needs to be put in perspective. In 2018 there were 541,000 deaths in the UK - of which cancer was the most common cause with 150,000.
  9. Well on a more positive note. We can see from China and S.Korea that when you tackle the problem head on with tests and restrictions you do seem to get it under control within a month to 6 weeks - hopefully numbers in Italy will start to come down. Also a major panic in the asset markets, should mean we get some great investment opportunities for those that have some cash....
  10. There is minor panic here in Bangkok. Most people are wearing masks (despite the fact that they are effectively useless for preventing you catching Coronavirus). The schools have all been shut. My 6 year old son had to self-quarantine for 14 days when he returned from a holiday in Japan. I had dinner with a friend who has a birds nest business and in February sales were down over 90% compared to January. (In China, car sales are down 83% for the first two months (YOY)). And this is despite the fact that Thailand has only had 40 cases of Coronavirus so far (mostly Chinese tourists visiting during Chinese New Year.) I doubt a Coronavirus could spread here with temperatures in the mid 80s (possibly explains why there are virtually no cases in India or Africa.) But these worries/concerns/panics tend to be self-perpetuating - easy to stoke and slow to dissipate. The economic impact in Asia is going to be quite dramatic and I expect everyone of us is going to be impacted in one way or another.
  11. I rather suspect the simple answer to this dichotomy is that 'youtuber, actor, singer, programmer' etc were not 'career/job' options in their survey...
  12. For me Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ should definitely have been nominated for cinematography.
  13. Since Tony and Chelsea switched to Sony for stills (with the A7r4) they have been using the EOS-R for video (whilst also still using the GH5 and Blackmagic.) He posted a video about it about a week ago. That being said - the fact that they are using different cameras for stills and video obviously speaks volumes about what they feel about Sony's video capabilities. Sony has absolutely nailed stills photography (particularly autofocus) and seems to have got very lazy with the video side.
  14. Well in the quote from you - you mention 'Sony photographers' so in a sense I can. Sony's success is really built around 'photographers' rather than videographers as I see it. Clearly for video guys out of camera color is way more important. But my real point is this. I dont think there are swathes of delusional Sony users out there believing that Sony's color is great much in the same way as I dont think their are swathes of Panasonic users out there thinking their cameras have great autofocus.
  15. The 'brand loyalty' argument is both naive and simplistic. Afterall, almost by definition, a Sony user has 'switched' from another brand over the past 5 years. The fact is that Sony has a lot of strengths for photography especially mirrorless - it just so happens that 'color' isnt one of them. Also straight out of camera color isnt that important to most photographers as with raw it is always something that you can easily adjust in post. And for those that straight out of camera color is important - they probably arent using Sony. My feeling with Sony though is that their color problems are mostly to do with their 'auto white balance'....
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