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.
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.
Venus Optics recently unveiled the Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) for Sony Full Frame E-mount cameras. The Laowa Magic Shift Converter is a lens adapter built with a patented optics system, which expands the image circle of the ultra-wide angle lenses. The shift mechanism on the adapter takes advantage of the enlarged image circle and shifts the camera sensor along the axis. The MSC is specially designed for the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens and it converts the lens into a 17mm f/4 Zero-D lens with +/- 10mm shift capability. It comes with a close-to-zero distortion feature. Additionally, the MSC comes with a 360° rotation structure which allows the user to shoot in both horizontal and portrait orientation. The lens structure includes 5 elements in 4 groups. Its dimensions are 69.6 x 44.1mm and weighs about 360g. The Laowa Magic Shift Converter's Canon variant is currently available on the official website of Venus Optics (http://www. venuslens.net/) and their authorized resellers. The shipment of its Nikon variant is expected in two months.