Skip to main content

Weekly Wash: the 5 biggest camera news stories of the week (11 August)

Weekly Wash: the 5 biggest camera news stories of the week (11 August)
(Image credit: Future / Canon / DJI / Blackmagic / Xiaomi)

This week's camera news was dominated by bold technological developments in the photographic industry – along with an audacious bit of copycatting, and a rather dire bit of bean counting.

Blackmagic pipped Panasonic to the 6K flag, Canon resurrected its eye-tracking autofocus technology, and Xiaomi unveiled a 108-megapixel image sensor – in a camera phone

DJI, meanwhile, registered a Chinese clone of Hasselblad's mirrorless camera, and Nikon's latest financial report painted a pretty miserable picture… 

DJI goes medium format – with Hasselblad clone

(Image credit: DJI / CNIPA / Hasselblad)

A Chinese clone of the medium format Hasselblad X1D has been registered online. However, this clone comes from a very specific Chinese company – that being DJI, the drone camera specialist that is also majority owner of Hasselblad. 

It seems probable that the clone, which doesn't yet have a product name, will be a fairly straight rebadged version of the X1D intended specifically for the Chinese or Asian market.

The "X1DJI" could be a clone of the original Hasselblad X1D 50C or the recently announced Hasselblad X1D II 50C. However, the 'new' DJI version has a couple of minor adjustments to the Hasselblad designs…

Read more: Chinese Hasselblad X1D clone appears – from Hasselblad's Chinese owner, DJI

It's back! Canon resurrects Eye Controlled Focus

(Image credit: Future / Canon)

After a 20-year absence, Canon appears to be dusting off its love-it-or-hate-it Eye Controlled Focus system – a technology that skipped the digital age entirely, as the company hasn't employed it in any of its DSLRs. 

Previously used in Canon's film cameras, the tech enables you to move your focus point simply by looking at it – the camera detects where your eye is looking and selects the point accordingly. 

The last time we saw Eye Controlled Focus was in the Canon EOS-3, which boasted 45 AF points (a dramatic uptick from the 5 AF points of the Canon EOS-5 / A2e and the 7 AF points of the Canon EOS 30 / Elan 7e)…

Read more: It's back! Canon Eye Controlled Focus to make mirrorless return

Xiaomi reveals 108MP sensor – in a camera phone

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Xiaomi has announced a belief-beggering 108-megapixel camera phone. By far the highest resolution mobile device ever, this phone will also have a higher megapixel count than any commercially available "proper camera" on the market. 

The as-yet unnamed Xiaomi Mi handset will use a brand new 108MP Isocell image sensor from Samsung. 

If we're going by resolution alone, this will be far and away the best camera phone ever; the sensor possesses even more megapixels than the 102MP medium format image sensor in the Fujifilm GFX 100 (which is intriguing, as Samsung and Fujifilm recently partnered to produce next-gen Isocell Plus image sensors)…

Read more: Medium format camera phone: Xiaomi's 108MP sensor out-pixels Fujifilm GFX 100

Blackmagic reveals 6K Pocket Cinema Camera

(Image credit: Blackmagic)

Blackmagic Design’s original Pocket Cinema 4K camera is a pretty remarkable bit of kit, offering professional film-making features in a small and affordable camera. 

Now it’s been joined by a 6K model with a larger, Super 35 format, sensor and Canon EF lens compatibility. The previous models in the Blackmagic Design Pocket range have used Micro Four Thirds lenses.

This is big news for professional videographers, from film-makers right down to YouTubers. It’s partly because of the increased resolution, and partly because this opens up a whole world of highly-regarded Canon EF mount lenses to film-makers…

Read more: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K raises the bar for video resolution

Nikon fiscal report shows 71% drop in earnings

(Image credit: Nikon Rumors)

As if there wasn't already enough doom and gloom in the camera industry, Nikon has released its first quarter FY2020 financial results. Hit by a shrinking market and the initial costs of developing Z-mount lenses, Nikon has reported a huge 71% decrease in earnings and an almost 15% drop in revenue. 

Nikon's results presentation says that although it is enjoying steady sales of full-frame mirrorless cameras and interchangeable lenses, its revenue has been affected by the reduced sales of entry and mid-range DSLR cameras in Asia including China. 

Nikon looks set to continue expanding its sales of mirrorless cameras and lenses, but this downward trend of digital SLRs and compact cameras is expected to continue to affect its revenue…

Read more: Is this the end of Nikon as we know it? Fiscal report shows 71% drop in earnings

Latest buying guides:

The best 5G phone for photographers in 2019
Hard cases for cameras: the best flight cases for photographers
The best monitors for photo editing and photographers in 2019

James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James started working in the photographic industry in 2014 as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy – successor to David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus. In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus. An Olympus and Canon user, James was previously technique editor on PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine.