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Photo FOMO: From tiny cards to little lights, small accessories gain more oomph

Afraid of missing out on the latest photo industry news while you’re out, well, actually taking pictures? Photo FOMO is all the news you might have missed this week, published on the weekends. Alongside the biggest stories of the week, like the new Sony a7 III, Canon finally adding 4K to a mirrorless with the EOS M50, Wacom’s giant Cintiq Pen display, and a flash that uses AI to find the best bounce, find briefs on the latest in accessories and photo industry news from this week with Photo FOMO.

Western Digital
Western Digital

Western Digital launches fastest MicroSD yet — and teases 985MB/s SD

Tiny storage doesn’t have to means slow storage — during Mobile World Congress, Western Digital launched the fastest MicroSD yet, the SanDisk Extreme UHS-I MicroSDXC. The card hits a read speed of 160MB/s, which the company says is more than 50 percent faster than the current UHS-I category cards. The faster card is designed for recording 4K and higher resolution files, along with of course, using to add more storage to a smartphone with the speed rating allowing for faster app performance.

Along with the new MicroSD, the company also shared tech that could help make future SD cards even faster. A PCIe-enabled SD card is designed for boosting speed and could achieve speeds of up to 958MB/s to handle 8K video, super-slow-mo and RAW bursts.

The little Cactus RQ250 packs three times the flash power

The trend of packing more power into smaller tech continues with Cactus’ latest announcement. The Cactus RQ250 is a flash head with as much as three times the power of a typical hotshoe at 250Ws. The light is designed for packing a punch without packing a lot of gear for on-location shoots. A built-in (but removable) reflector helps eliminate hot spots. The light is battery powered for 400 flashes per charge, communicates via wireless and uses a specially designed bulb. The light is expected out sometime over the summer, but Cactus hasn’t yet shared pricing details.

The ShiftCam 2.0 is one phone case — with 12 lenses

After successfully launching an iPhone 7 case with six lenses built-in, Shiftcam is back with an update designed for the latest iPhones — with even more lenses. Shiftcam 2.0 has the same sliding six-in-one lens set that allows for easier lens swaps, but the latest generation also includes pro lenses and even an option for the front-facing camera. The deluxe version includes those six travel lenses, plus three of what the company calls a ProLens for macro, wide-angle, and telephoto; two advanced Pro Lenses for fisheye and long-range macro; and a wide-angle lens set for the front camera.

Like the first version though, the ShiftCam 2.0 is launching on Kickstarter first — though exceeding its original goal over four times helps negate some of that risk. If the prototype successfully makes it into full production, the deluxe kit with all 12 lenses goes for a $349 pledge, while smaller kits start at $49.

The Eyeball Camera is a security cam that can go anywhere

Security cameras are typically bolted to the walls — but why? Eyeball Cam is a set of three security cameras that can be placed anywhere but still sends footage to a smartphone via cloud along with storing data on a MicroSD. Each one has 12 hours of battery life, but a wireless charging plate can double that number, or the included carrying case can recharge the cameras with a built-in battery. The startup company by the same name says the go-anywhere possibility means bringing security cameras on vacation to watch your hotel room as well as switching up the spots the cameras hide around the home.

The 4K cameras also use facial recognition, including the ability to create profiles for recognized family members, which allows the camera to ignore the family member when they are supposed to be home but send an alert if, say, your teenager is home instead of at school. The Eyeball Camera is hoping to launch on Indiegogo, where the company is already over 90 percent of the way to their campaign goal. Pledges for a three-camera set start at $199, which is half of the expected retail price.

500px is now owned by Visual China Group

500px users could see some more innovation coming their way — this week, the photo platform was acquired by Visual China group, a major photo licensing company in China. The new owners say that the acquisition will “accelerate innovation and further inspire, connect, and reward millions of like-minded creatives.” The companies also shared plans for improving software as a service programs for creatives, while 500px content will be distributed on VCG channels as well.

Shutterstock is now integrated with Consumer Acquisition

Shutterstock photographers could also see expanded reach with a new agreement. Shutterstock announced an agreement with Consumer Acquisition on March 1 that integrates Shutterstock photos within the Consumer Acquisition marketplace. The images are now accessible to the video editors, designers and copywriters that work to create Facebook ads for companies through the Consumer Acquisition platform.

Photographers could save on batteries … by shopping at Ikea?

Flash performance can vary with the batteries inside, so one photographer decided to test whether or not $26 Eneloop Pro batteries are better than Ikea’s $7 rechargeable batteries. Photographer and YouTuber Martin Cheung said that in his tests, the Ikea batteries actually had faster recycle times, though he didn’t test the actual battery life.

Firware update process for the Olympus E-M1 Mark II.

Update your firmware — Nikon, Olympus update several cameras

Check your camera’s firmware — several models received an update this week. Olympus updated several models, including the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, PEN-F, and OM-D E-M5 Mark II. Updates including the addition of focus stacking for the E-M1 Mark II and original, while the E-M1 and E-M5 series updates add the Look up Table or LUT file for color grading videos, and the PEN-F gains monochrome and color profile control custom settings using a computer. Nikon cameras gained support for AF-P lenses with bug fixes, including the D4, D4s, Df, D800, D800E, D810, D810A, D7100 and D7200.

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