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Canon Launches E-Commerce Platform

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Canon Middle East, world-leader in imaging solutions, has announced the launch of its new e-commerce platform in the region bringing Canon products and merchandise closer to consumers. The online store will carry over 450 products ranging from cameras, printers, office equipment and lenses, as well as official Canon merchandise: apparel, household equipment, travel accessories, and more.

Anurag Agarwal, Managing Director, Canon Middle East, said: “The launch of our new e-store is a major step that will bring our products and merchandise even closer to our customers in the UAE. Online shopping is growing in popularity in the region, and this launch symbolizes our commitment to making the Canon experience enjoyable for our customers from the very start.”

Analysts Frost & Sullivan estimate e-commerce in the UAE to grow to be a $10bn business this year, and view it as one of the fastest-growing sectors in the region. This is being driven by online shopper behavior in the Middle East, and according to a study by PwC, nearly half of all respondents said that they prefer to shop online due to a wider product selection and overall convenience. The single most popular reason for online shoppers to shop from single-brand online stores is for the superior customer service that they can expect.

Venkatasubramanian Hariharan, Business Unit Director, B2C, Canon Middle East, said, “Consumers are our core, and with the launch – www.uaestore.canon-me.com, we are now uniquely positioned to curate the very best of Canon products alongside an array of merchandise. Our vision with this launch is to make it easy to find the most compelling products to inspire Canon users and help them create their own stories and memories.

The product assortment offered at the e-store reflects Canon’s commitment to creating products bundles with higher values as well as tailored offerings for different audience demographics. Set on playing a part in every story created, Canon’s “Shoot-Remember-Share” ecosystem is reflected and directly tied to the consumer- bound range of products that are offered at the e-store. With products suitable for professionals, enthusiasts, and families, the e-store will engage digital-savvy shoppers with a vast range of product offerings that fuel their interests and hobbies as well as official Canon merchandise for all Canon brand enthusiasts.

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Digital Cameras

Fujifilm Launches INSTAX Pal

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FUJIFILM Corporation has launched the “INSTAX Pal” in the market. The palm-top size camera joins the INSTAX series of instant cameras, allowing users to take photos anytime and anywhere. It will be available in five colours to suit different lifestyles, broadening the scope of shooting situations and experiences. The INSTAX instant photo system marks its 25th anniversary this year since its original launch in 1998. The system evolved with time, embracing trends and new technologies, to expand its lineup from analogue instant cameras to hybrid instant cameras and smartphone printers. The INSTAX series offers diverse ways of enjoying photography to broaden its user base covering young people and middle-aged groups.

The new INSTAX Pal is INSTAX series’ first model specialising in taking pictures. Removal of the printing function has made it possible to reduce the size to a palm-top level for even greater walkaround capacity. The INSTAX Pal features a variety of functions to facilitate shooting situations and photographic experiences. The Standard mode, activated by pressing the shutter button on the rear panel, takes advantage of the wide-angle lens to shoot from an elevated position or at a sharp angle, difficult to achieve with smartphones, using just one hand to capture a dynamic image that brings in more of the background.

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The Remote mode connects the camera to a smartphone installed with a dedicated app via Bluetooth so that pictures can be checked on the smartphone as they are taken. The Interval mode takes photos continuously at a three-second interval. These features set this camera apart from smartphones with unique shooting experiences. The INSTAX Pal can also establish a Bluetooth connection with the INSTAX Link series of smartphone printers to produce INSTAX prints out of images taken with it.

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Sony MEA Launches the Alpha 9 III

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Sony Middle East and Africa has introduced the new Alpha 9 III camera equipped with the world’s first full-frame global shutter image sensor.  The new global shutter full-frame image sensor enables the camera to shoot at burst speeds of up to 120 fps with no distortion or camera blackout.  By combining this innovative sensor with Sony’s most advanced AF system to date – boasting AI autofocus with up to 120 times AF/AE focus calculations per second – as well as the ability to sync flash at all shooting speeds, the Alpha 9 III opens up a new world of possibilities for professional photographers to capture that decisive moment.

The new Alpha 9 III is equipped with a newly developed world’s first global shutter full-frame stacked CMOS image sensor with approximately 24.6 effective megapixels and built-in memory, combined with the latest image processing engine BIONZ XR. It achieves blackout-free Continuous Shooting Speed with AF/AE tracking of up to approximately 120 frames per second. The new Alpha 9 III is equipped with high-density focal plane phase-detection AF. A Designated AI processing unit uses Real-time Recognition AF (autofocus) to recognise a wide variety of subjects with high precision.

By combining the high-speed performance of up to 120 frames per second with highly accurate subject recognition performance, it is possible to easily photograph decisive scenes and moments that cannot be captured with the naked eye.  The AI processing unit in the Alpha 9 III supports movies as well as stills with accurate subject form and movement recognition, providing a significant improvement in human eye recognition performance with Real-time Recognition AF and Real-time Tracking automatically recognising, tracking, and focusing on the eyes of a specified subject. The Alpha 9 III is equipped with 8.0 stops of optical 5-axis in-body image stabilisation, allowing for high-quality image rendering.

Shutter speed is freed from the limitations of conventional mechanical shutter image sensors and achieves a maximum shutter speed of 1/80000 second (1/16000 second during continuous shooting), making it possible to capture at high speed without any distortion. When a compatible Sony flash is attached, such as the HVL-F60RM2 and HVL-F46RM (sold separately), it is possible to synchronise the flash and take pictures at all shutter speeds up to 1/80000 second.

Previously, if the user released the shutter at a speed faster than the flash’s synchronisation speed, the amount of light would drop sharply, but with the full-speed flash synchronisation function, it’s now possible to photograph scenes that could not be easily captured with conventional technology. Also, when shooting stills or movies under LED lighting, the Hi Frequency Flicker function can significantly reduce high-frequency flicker problems by allowing the shutter speed to be finely adjusted to match the flicker frequency while viewing the monitor.

The Alpha 9 III features selectable release lag modes which allows the user to prioritise release lag or viewfinder/monitor display. The newly installed Pre-Capture function allows the user to go back up to 1 second and record the moment before pressing the shutter, a Continuous Shooting Speed Boost change during shooting, and enhanced burst stamina ensure that important moments are reliably captured due to a large buffer memory and increased overall system speed allow up to approximately 390 Fine JPEG images to be captured in one continuous 30 fps burst.

Customisable focus areas have been expanded to include from XS to XL instead of the previous S, M, and L sizes. The Preset Focus/Zoom function allows preset focus and zoom settings to be memorised in the camera for quick recall when needed. In addition to the existing custom white balance frame size, the user can now select other sizes as needed which allows for fine white balance adjustment after an image has been composed. The Alpha 9 III has upgraded features such as the latest AF algorithms to achieve high AF precision down to light levels as low as EV-5 in AF-S mode (ISO 100 equivalent, F2.0 lens), AF tracking for continuous shooting at F22 and a composite RAW shooting function that gives the ability to combine multiple consecutive images into a high-quality composite.

The global shutter image sensor provides distortion-free image expression for videos as well as still images. For example, the user can shoot images of nearby scenery from a fast-moving vehicle such as a car or fast-moving subjects with ease. This camera is the first in the Alpha series to be able to record 4K 120p high-frame-rate video without cropping, allowing the user to shoot at the angle of view intended. It is also possible to shoot high-resolution 4K 60p videos with 6K oversampling.

The Alpha 9 III has the image creation process S-Cinetone, created through the development of the VENICE digital cinema camera for video production, making human skin and subjects stand out beautifully, creating natural highlights. The Alpha 9 III is equipped with the latest video performance including rich gradation performance and S-Log3, and when in Log shooting mode, it can reflect and display the user’s favorite imported LUT. Alpha 9 III is compatible with the mobile app “Monitor & Control” for video creators.

Sony has listened to the voices of professional photographers and created operability and reliability that supports professional image makers. The shape of the grip is improved and ergonomically designed so that it can be easily held in the palm of the user’s hand to avoid straining the user even when wearing a telephoto lens or using it for long periods of time. The VG-C5 vertical grip (sold separately), provides the same operability and versatility as when shooting horizontally; the user can comfortably support long shooting sessions.

The grip and shutter button area share the same design as the main body, allowing image capture without feeling uncomfortable, with the same operability as the camera. The Alpha 9 III is equipped with a 4-axis multi-angle LCD monitor that can be operated by touch, allowing for intuitive operation using the latest touch menu. The electronic viewfinder uses a 9.44 million-dot Quad XGA OLED and achieves high visibility with the same brightness as the α7R V and a magnification of approximately 0.90x. Also, a custom button is placed on the front of the camera, and the continuous shooting speed can be changed by operating the custom button assigned with Continuous Shooting Speed Boost with the finger holding the grip, allowing for highly immediate operations. It supports professional photographers when shooting in all environments.

New features for the Alpha 9 III include a playback image filter that allows the user to efficiently select a large number of images using high-speed continuous shooting and a function menu that can be used even during image playback, strongly supporting professional workflows from shooting to delivery. A function menu can now be used during playback so the user can efficiently select a huge number of images using high-speed continuous shooting.

The “Playback Function Menu” can be assigned in advance, so the user can perform protection, smartphone transfer, FTP transfer, etc. during image playback. The user can select images narrowed down with a playback filter and play them from the function menu, allowing for quick delivery of specific images. The camera is equipped with a dedicated microphone for voice memos on the back, and the built-in microphone located near the mouth allows clear recording of audio even in noisy environments. The recorded audio data can be transferred via FTP along with the images. The camera allows the user to set up to 20 presets from the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC), an international consultative body in which news organisations from various countries participate.

The Alpha 9 III can transfer data up to twice as fast as the Alpha 9 II. 5 GHz communication offers maximum speed and stability for news and sports shooters who need to deliver immediately via FTP, as well as for studio environments. The Alpha 9 III allows stills and movies to be recorded to memory media in numerous ways including the two media slots that support CFexpress Type A cards as well as UHS-I and UHS-II SD cards.

It is compatible with the professional mobile application “Transfer & Tagging” which speeds up the image delivery workflow, and the application “Remote Camera Tool” which allows remote shooting of PCs using wired LAN. In addition, the Alpha 9 III is scheduled to support functional enhancements such as FTP operability, relay playback, and C2PA  format support through a camera software update. Sony says it will continue to expand functions such as breathing correction, relay playback, and C2PA format support for the Alpha 1 and Alpha 7S III in the future to meet the needs of professionals along with the Alpha 9 III.

The Alpha 9 III camera will be available in the UAE from Q1 2024 (calendar year). The VG-C5 vertical grip will be available in the UAE from Q1 2024 (calendar year).

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Digital Cameras

Fujifilm Launches INSTAX Square SQ40 Instant Camera

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Fujifilm Middle East has announced the launch of INSTAX Square SQ40. This is an exciting new addition to the INSTAX series of instant cameras compatible with square format films, allowing users to enjoy on-the-spot photo printing. The SQ40 is an analogue instant camera that sports a premium and classical leather-look design, focusing on a texture that fits comfortably in the hand. It runs on plain operations to produce square-format prints with ease.

Released on the same day, the square format film “SUNSET,” is characterized by graininess and gradation around the frame of the film. The INSTAX series has been affectionately called “Cheki” in Japan since its initial launch in 1998. The series has gained popularity for its ability to not only print and preserve a precious moment right on the spot but also as a new tool for users to communicate their emotions. Offered in this series are card-sized “mini format” prints, “square format” prints, and double-card-sized “wide format” prints to expand the range of photographic expressions.

Square format film can cover a wider range of photographic scenes and is suitable for group shots and landscape photos. It can capture the subject with the background and atmosphere of the scene, expanding the user’s pallet of photographic expressions. The Square format film is well-liked across countries and generations because it offers the advantage of taking pictures with a 1:1 aspect ratio and arranging the creative composition, square format films are able to turn casual scenes into the artistic work of photography.

The camera features the “Automatic Exposure” function, which achieves optimum exposure for a given scene by simply turning the lens barrel to turn on the camera, pointing the camera at the subject and pressing the shutter button. Users can also switch to the Selfie Mode for taking selfies and close-ups by simply rotating the lens barrel to turn the camera on and rotating the barrel again in the same direction. Such simple operations are all that are needed to bring joy to photography.

Fujifilm will continue to expand the world of the “INSTAX” instant photo system that allows people to enjoy on-the-spot photo printing.

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