Is 360º Video and VR the Next Visual Media Boom?


I’ll be honest, all of the recent 360º cameras haven’t really inspired me as I poured over the specs and read their press releases. However, I spent the better part of an evening last weekend looking at the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset and watching far too many reaction videos from first time users. The more I look at Oculus Rift, the more I want one.

My personal favorite reaction video:

Virtual Reality is on the cusp of being massively huge. It just needs a little push to make it explode. All of the experiences I have watched seem just a little too forced. The horror video game genre seems to me the most fitting for the experience but it is just not mainstream. [Read more…]

Sigma Ordered to Pay Nikon 1.5 Billion Yen for VR Patent Infringement

Sigma 24-105mm f4-2

We are finally seeing results from a lawsuit that Nikon filed against Sigma in May 2011. A judgment was issued against Sigma last month in Tokyo District court, which awarded 1.5 billion Yen to Nikon (close to $15M USD).

The dispute centers a number of Sigma lenses using vibration reduction technology. Nikon originally sought the equivalent of close to $150M USD; however, the judgment stated that the damages was equivalent to 15% of the profits of the violating products earned by Sigma, cutting damages down from the max profits of 10.1 billion Yen.

This has to be quite the blow to Sigma. The company has been a roll lately with awesome lenses like the 24-105mm f/4 OS and 18-35mm f/1.8 lenses. Hopefully, Sigma’s operations won’t be negatively affected in a manner that would delay future lens releases and Sigma’s momentum will continue to gain traction as a solid third-party lens maker.

[via Nikon Rumors]

Nikon 70-200mm f/4 VR Lens Coming Next Week?

The Nikon version of the famous 70-200mm f/4L IS from Canon is expected to arrive next week – just in time for PhotoPlus 2012.  Nikon Rumors received word that the lens will be the first to feature Nikon’s next-gen VR system.

Given that the Canon equivalent runs $1350 at retail, I’d say that would be a good starting point to look toward for the Nikon lens – possibly up to $1400 or $1500.

Stay tuned for all the news from PhotoPlus next week.

Nikon AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR and AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR Officially Announced

Nikon DX 18-300mm Lens

Nikon has just announced the addition of two new lenses to NIKKOR DSLR lens lineup, the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR and the AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lenses.

Nikon AF-S 24-85mm Lens

Both lenses should be available later this month.  The 18-300mm DX lens retails for $999.95 and the 24-85mm FX lens retails for $599.95.

Also, Nikon announced that total production of NIKKOR lenses for Nikon SLR cameras and Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable-lens reached seventy million at the end of May 2012.

More details in the press release below. [Read more…]