In Frontpage Featured Content, News, Research


 By Hans Hartman
Chair at Visual 1st 

[Scroll down for And a few more things… industry news highlights]

First of all, I hope you, your loved ones and your co-workers are healthy and safe.

The economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the photo and video market is still unfolding and now is the time to not only deploy measures to weather the storm but to also prepare for the new market realities that will set in once the medical crisis is over.

While we’ve already heard of quite a few initiatives from various players in our photo and video ecosystem – ranging from photo app developers to camera vendors to photo print product providers – my partner Alexis Gerard and I kindly ask that you to fill out a 5-10 minute survey.

The goal is to increase our common understanding and to learn from each other how to best weather the storm and how to best position ourselves for the aftermath. We’ll report on the findings in our next Visual 1st Perspectives newsletter. Thanks in advance!

The questions zoom in on the following topics:

• The impact of COVID-19 on your business so far

• The mitigation measures you’ve taken so far

• The silver lining you see or suggestions you might have for your industry peers

Your answers are anonymous unless you wouldn’t mind being quoted when we report on the results in our next newsletter.

Support your fellow industry executives by sharing your experiences and perspectives!

Please fill out the survey here and do so no later than Wednesday (April 23)!

And a few more things…

Samsung. Overdosing on megapixelsSamsung unveiled the world’s first 108-megapixel smartphone camera sensor back in August 2019, but that sensor is only a taste of what may be to come. Samsung is aiming to one day make a 600-megapixel sensor that’s superior to the human eye.

Google. Creating AI the lite wayGoogle announced TensorFlow Lite Model Maker, which uses a technique known as transfer learning to adapt machine learning models to custom data sets. TensorFlow Lite is a slimmed-down version of Google’s TensorFlow framework for training machine learning models. Version 1.0 supports text and image classification.

YouTube. Creating DIY marcom videosYouTube launches free DIY tool for SMBs to create short video ads.

Fotofabriek. Creating DIY photo print stores. Holland-based Fotofabriek launches InstantDesignTool for businesses or gig-ers to sell customized print product orders. It features a one-minute setup, an optional e-store through WooCommerce plug-in, and no setup fees. InstantDesignTools customers pay per PDF and could use their own print provider, or Fotofabriek or its partners.

VSCO. LayoffsVSCO lays off 45 employees (1/3 of its staff). It’s unclear if this is a result of actual dropping revenues or if its VCs made clear they’d better forget about new funding and be cashflow-positive before their current funding dries up (an emerging theme in startup land). If you’re interested in hiring laid-off VSCO employees, email

GoPro. Layoffs + going directGoPro is laying off 200 employees (20% of its staff) and is shifting to a direct-to-consumer model, with the exception of “select leading retailers in key regions where consumers prefer to purchase offline or indirectly.”

CircleIt. Family time capsule. Yes, you read it right: it’s time to think ahead. CircleIt is a new Generational Platform that allows family members to pre-schedule the distribution of messages, photos, printed products and memorabilia to friends or family in the future.

Zyl. One face shield at a time. Working from home and having a bit of extra time on your hands while your 3D printer is just sitting idle? Zyl co-founder Aurélien Sibiril cranks out 15 face shield a day, which he delivers by bike to facilities in his neighborhood. (Zyl is the French startup that presents your memorable visual memories from the past, shown at Visual 1st last year.)

Mediaclip. Supporting local manufacturersMediaclip launches a temporary eCommerce, which targets Quebec and Canadian consumers wishing to offer photo products and gifts to family members. This provisional marketplace offers local manufacturers a new distribution channel.

EyeQ. Balancing backgrounds. EyeQ, creator of Perfectly Clear automatic image correction, announces Background Balancing technology that automatically improves yearbook portrait pages. It balances the backgrounds of school portraits to ensure the entire page of a yearbook remains cohesive, consistent, and visually pleasing.

Mailpix. Going flatMailPix launches premium ultra layflat photobooks that are specially bound and stitched to ensure long life and durability.

Canon. Going video. The EOS R5Canon’s presumed flagship mirrorless camera, will be a video beast, with 8K RAW, 4K at 120 fps.

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Hans Hartman

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