Sony Corp. will boost production of CMOS image sensors from current monthly production capacity of 88,000 wafers in 300mm including those produced by the third party consigned partners to 100,000 wafers per month by March 2018. Demand for the image sensors are mounting for smartphone cameras, digital cameras and on vehicle cameras. As smartphones popular in China are getting feature-driven especially camera features to take better photos that most users post their photos on their SNS sites such as Instagram and Facebook. In China, dual camera models are getting popular with a high-quality front camera as well as the main cameras to take better selfie pictures. In order to take better selfies, the quality of the front camera is getting important. Image sensors are being used now to detect color wavelength or depth information that the human eyes cannot recognize, to be mounted on cars and for IoT devices. Sony will absorb such demand for industrial use to sell 680 billion worth sensors for fiscal 2017 ending March 2018 and its semiconductor business including LSI chips to sell 880 billion yen with profit in operation to 120 billion yen from 7.8 billion loss in the previous year.
GoPro recently announced that the first shipment of the Fusion Pilot Cameras has been sent, exclusively to ten brands. The company has selected nine organizations and one travel vlogger to be the first to receive GoPro's spherical camera. This list includes Golden State Warriors, USA TODAY NETWORK, FOX Sports, AccuWeather, Digital Domain, Getty Images, Legend 3D Inc., Rapid VR, RYOT, and travel vlogger Louis Cole (FunForLouis). The company started accepting applications from content professionals in the month of April. GoPro received applications from numerous brands, agencies and talented content creators, seeking to be among the first to use GoPro's new 5.2K spherical camera as part of a pilot program. GoPro has initiated this programme to produce inspiring content that demonstrates the creative potential of Fusion. GoPro has selected its first ten pilot partners from a pool of more than 20,000 applicants. The application process for the GoPro Fusion Pilot Program remains open, and the company expects to add more pilot partners to the program in the coming year. A limited commercial release of Fusion is expected by the end of 2017. GoPro will provide the details on pricing and other technical specifications at Fusion's launch.
Nikon Corp. has released a new FX-format telephoto zoom lens, AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR for full-frame D-SLR cameras. The lens employs a stepping motor to the AF drive to realise high speed and quiet shutter release, also important to videography. The lens is equipped with optical vibration reduction (VR) function giving about 4.5-step advantage. It is also equipped with a SPORT mode to photograph fast-moving subjects. The lens consists of 18 elements in 14 groups, including one ED (Extra-low Dispersion) element to correct chromatic aberrations. The closest shooting distance is 1.2m for the entire zoom. The lens is also designed as ‘antidust and antisplash’. The maximum diameter is 80.5mm, length 146m and weighs about 680g. Suggested list price: 94,000 yen.