Sony and Samyang Take the Photography Industry by Storm: The Highlights of Week 28/2023

Sony, Samyang, strike and summer slump - the photo news of week 28/2023

Sony, Samyang, and the Summer Slump: Photo News of Week 28/2023

There seems to be a misunderstanding about the so-called “summer slump.” This term was originally used to describe the need for non-topics to fill the columns of newspapers and news programs during the summer break. However, with the digital media landscape and the ability to spread breaking news rapidly through social networks, there is always something relevant to report. The photo industry is no exception, as product cycles are no longer solely based on the holiday season and trade fairs.

Sony’s Alpha 6700 is a notable release in the industry. As the successor to the 6600, which has been on the market for nearly four years, the 6700 offers more than just a facelift. It incorporates AI autofocus from the A7R V and enhanced video functions, potentially making it the best mirrorless APS-C camera. The camera’s highlights include a side-folding display, which is advantageous in tight spaces for interviews or documentaries. Additionally, the 6700 caters to photographers who prefer using the viewfinder with a front dial and a large buffer for continuous shooting. Despite the compact form factor, these “small” cameras can be used professionally. However, the price of the 6700 is quite high compared to similar models on the market.

In other news, Samyang and Astrodesign have joined the L-Mount Alliance, expanding the range of compatible lenses for cameras from Leica, Sigma, Panasonic, and DJI. Samyang’s affordable lenses, which previously lacked autofocus for Canon and Nikon cameras, can now be fitted to these other brands. Astrodesign, a lesser-known company, offers cameras and accessories for film and TV production. This development opens up possibilities for using lenses developed with Leica and Panasonic optics with Astrodesign cameras.

Cooperation between Wikipedia and Flickr is also expanding. For the past ten years, images on Flickr with licenses such as Creative Commons have been accessible on Wikipedia. To simplify the process and ensure proper licensing, the “Flicky2Commons” tool has been introduced. The goal is to build a “Flickypedia” by the end of 2023, which will protect authors and platforms from potential changes in license conditions.

Meanwhile, in Hollywood, concerns about the rights to one’s own image and the threat of AI replacing actors have led to a strike. Actors and media professionals fear that their likeness could be used without permission, similar to how corporations and start-ups have used texts and photos for training AI models. Nearly 160,000 actors, journalists, DJs, and others are now on strike, leading to disruptions in the industry. Employee representatives are powerful in the US media business, and the big studios are facing consequences for their unregulated use of AI.

Fran Drescher, actress and president of the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA, has joined the strike. Known for her role in “The Nanny,” Drescher has experience standing up to big media entities. The strike affects various aspects of work, including social media promotions for projects.

The photo news in week 28/2023 showcases the ongoing developments in the industry, from new camera releases to alliances between different brands. The strike in Hollywood highlights the importance of protecting artists’ rights in the era of AI.

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