Weekly Wash: The 5 biggest camera news stories of the week (04 December)

Digital Camera World

In addition to the latest camera news, the past week has been super busy for us at DCW working around the clock to bring you the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday camera deals as and when they happened. As the Cyber Week chaos has started to settle, let's take a minute to catch our breaths and focus on the important news stories you may have missed this week.

You can expect to find brief rundowns of articles featuring a locked-down photographer who scooped a Red Bull Illume 2021 prize with his ingenious viral video that featured blanket skiing in his apartment! Ricoh could be set to challenge Leica with a monochrome-only Pentax K-3 Mark III camera, and another designed solely for uses in astrophotography. 

In other news, the Sony Airpeak S1 – the "world's smallest drone that can carry a full frame Alpha camera" – is up for pre-order in the US. We found out that a student secretly photographed people in the 1890s using a hidden spy camera, and there are still some fantastic Cyber Week price drops and deals still available… 

Ricoh to challenge Leica? 

(Image credit: Ricoh)

Leaked information from important Ricoh Imaging meetings held in Japan revealed that the Pentax manufacturer is considering an expansion of the K-3 Mark III product line by introducing a monochrome-only camera that could rival the likes of the Leica M-10 Monochrom

The company is also suspected to be releasing an 'Astro' variant of the Pentax K-3 Mark III designed specifically for astrophotography use (as it would allegedly feature a hydrogen-focused IR cut filter, making it inappropriate for general shooting). 

The information came from Japanese outlet Ten Riff, which had been tweeting live updates throughout the Pentax Meeting Online 2021, also revealing that a calibration-free update to the K-3 Mark III's Astrotracer feature will be provided in a firmware upgrade expected in spring 2022…  

• Read more: Ricoh to challenge Leica? Pentax K-3 Mark III Monochrome under consideration 

Sony's new camera drone is here – and it costs $9,000

(Image credit: Sony)

The "world's smallest drone that can carry a full frame Alpha series mirrorless camera", the Sony Airpeak S1 boasts a 22-minute flight time without a payload (reduced to 12 minutes with a Sony A7S III and Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM), and can fly in winds up to 44.7mph. 

Its landing gear retract so as not to obscure cameras, and it possesses Dual Operation Mode to independently control the aircraft and 2-axis gimbal. The big selling point of the Airpeak S1 is that it’s the first drone designed to enable users to take their existing photo setups to the skies.

According to retailer B&H, the drone will start shipping on 24 December, so it won't arrive in time for Christmas. Pricing and shipping info for other regions hasn't yet been revealed but, now that the S1 has broken cover, a worldwide launch can't be too far off…

• Read more: Sony's new camera drone is here – and it costs $9,000

Victorian 'peeping Tom' used hidden spy camera!

(Image credit: Carl Størmer)

Carl Størmer (1874-1957), was a mathematician, astrophysicist and Oslo University student during the 1890s who captured sneaky Norwegian street images with a spy camera hidden under his vest, poking out of a button-hole. 

Candid captures can sometimes be frowned upon when the subject is unaware that they’re being photographed, but on the other hand it can be used as a tool to provide us with historical insight into the 1890s Norwegian lifestyle.

His hidden camera photographs documented famous and well-known individuals during the 19th century period of 1893 to 1897, walking along Karl Johan's street in Oslo, Norway. Størmer often exchanged pleasantries with his subjects and captured their reaction in a timely manner, a sample of the first known street photography. 

The camera used by Størmer had a thin, round, six-frame glass plate and is described as looking like a circular canister "spy camera" with a string leading down into his trouser pocket which took a shot when the string was pulled… 

• Read more: Student secretly photographed people in the 1890s using hidden spy camera

Locked down Red Bull winner skis in his apartment!

(Image credit: Philipp Klein Herrero / Red Bull Illume)

The Red Bull Illume photography contest has been unveiling two winners from each of its categories every night this week. Dedicated to adventure and action sports, the competition showcases the most creative and captivating images around, celebrating the passion, lifestyle and culture behind the photographers that shoot them.

Philip Klein Herrero is the winning photographer of the 'Photo Story' category and behind the amusing home ski slope adventure stop-motion. The category brief was to submit photos "presented in a slideshow from 30 seconds up to 3 minutes.

Photo Story was introduced as a new category this year, and the inspiration for Herrero's concept was the pandemic, experiencing the mountains from the comfort of home. "I taped my camera to the ceiling, put on ski gear and started shooting, one shot at a time," he said…

• Read more: Photographer wins Red Bull Illume prize skiing inside his apartment

The Cyber Monday deals are STILL going!

(Image credit: Digital Camera World/Getty)

The past week has seen the retail world turn topsy turvy with savings, as Black Friday gave way to Cyber Monday – and the savings continued all week long in the form of 'Cyber Week'. 

However, many of the best savings have continued to roll on even further, as eager seasonal shoppers look to pick up presents for the holidays. So whether you're looking for a new camera, lens, printer, laptop, or an affordable gift for the photo lover in your life, check out our Cyber Monday deals page as there are still some brilliant bargains to be had!

 Read more: Best Cyber Monday camera deal – Live blog

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.