' ); } }) .catch(function(err) { (console.error || console.log)(err); }); }());

Photo industry turnaround? Image sensors propel Sony to record profits

As camera sales stabilize after a multiyear decline, the imaging sensors inside everything from cameras and smartphones to cars are propelling Sony to record profits. Sony’s first quarter profits for 2017 are the best-ever numbers for that quarter reported by the company, according to a statement released on Tuesday, August 1, due in part to camera sensor sales.

Imaging sensors were responsible for about 55.4 billion yen of the company’s total 157 billion yen, or over a third of Sony’s $1.43 billion profit in the first quarter. Sony is now estimated to be responsible for about 45 percent of the image sensor market, according to DigiTimes.

The record numbers are important to note because just five years ago, Sony was struggling before making the decision to focus on three areas, including image sensors alongside gaming and mobile. According to the latest numbers, that focus appears to be working for the company.

Image sensors are amounting to around a third of the company’s profits — but these numbers don’t count just the sensors inside Sony’s popular cameras like the a7 series and the new a9. Sony attributes much of that growth to the sensors powering smartphone photography, and in particular, dual camera smartphones.

The numbers are also good news for the industry after an earthquake last year near a major manufacturing center in Japan disrupted several imaging companies, delaying camera releases, as the factories that produced those cameras became inoperable due to the catastrophe. Sony was one of several companies affected and the company says its latest numbers show a healthy recovery from the earthquake.

Sony, however, is being careful not to rely too heavily on these new record profits. As more smartphone companies, particular those from brands based in China, move toward using cheaper hardware, the company expects to see a decline of around three percent in image sensor sales.

Sony researchers are responsible for a number of innovations affecting digital sensors, including the stacked sensor that gives the Sony a9 its headlining feature: speed. The company also recently shared the development of a two-millimeter sensor that could bring cameras to smartwatches, a 1,000 fps sensor for robots and autonomous cars, and a prototype sensor that features a built-in polarizer.

If Sony continues in the same pattern, the company could post their best profit margin in about 20 years.

Product Review

One look at the Mi 8 Pro, and you’ll wish every phone had a transparent back

Xiaomi has officially launched in the U.K., and its first major device launch is the Mi 8 Pro, a phone that looks quite a bit like the iPhone XS but with a very cool transparent back panel and an in-display fingerprint sensor.

AMD Navi: Everything you need to know

With a reported launch in 2019, AMD is focusing on the mid-range market with its next-generation Navi GPU. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Home Theater

PlayStation Vue adds more local channels, bringing the total to over 600

PlayStation Vue is Sony's answer to live TV without the need for a cable or satellite TV subscription. To help you understand the service, its plans, and numerous features, we've created this handy guide.
Product Review

With the Z7, Nikon gives DSLR holdouts the mirrorless wonder they've waited for

Nikon’s long awaited full-frame mirrorless cameras are here, and the Z7 is the new flagship model. But does it stand up to the company's DSLR pedigree, and, more importantly, does it have what it takes to compete with the likes of Sony?

Flickr just expanded Pro tools — but free users may have to delete some photos

If you have more than 1,000 photos on a free Flickr account, you might want to decide which to delete . Flickr announced some changes following an acquisition by SmugMug, including a new way to calculate the free account storage limit.
Product Review

Rylo is the 360 camera that finally makes 360 video useful

The Rylo puts a new spin on 360 video by focusing on flat, fixed-frame output. It can’t quite replace your action camera or camcorder, but it shows a glimmer of what the future of consumer video could be.
Product Review

Airselfie 2 may as well be a GoPro stapled to a drunk hummingbird

On paper, the Airselfie 2 is marketed as flying photographer that fits in your pocket and snaps selfies from the sky. Unfortunately it’s more like a HandiCam controlled by a swarm of intoxicated bumblebees

Premiere Pro A.I. plug-in for Adobe paints your videos in the style of van Gogh

CyberLink is bringing its suite of artificial intelligence-based video effects directly to Adobe users as a plug-in for Premiere Pro. The A.I. Style video plug-in "redraws" video in the styles of artists like Vincent van Gogh.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.

Photography News: Flickr keeping Creative Commons photos, ONA gets colorful

Flickr has confirmed it's saving all Creative Commons images, ONA has released a new capsule collection in partnership with Passion Passport and 7Artisans has launched a new drone-specific 35mm f/5.6 lens.

Get your Sagan on with 60 awe-inspiring photos of the final frontier

Few things instill a sense of wonder quite like the final frontier. The best space photos show off the beauty of Earth, our solar system, and the far corners of the universe. Here are our current favorites.

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!