COVID-19: Canon Software For Counting People And Crowds In Real Time

Coronavirus Covid-19 Ransomware

Not photography related but never the less an interesting news concerning Canon. A software to keep up with social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Press release:

Canon U.S.A. Announces Crowd People Counter Software to Capture Crowd Sizes in Real Time

Software Aids in Social Distance Monitoring, City Planning and Crowd Control at Stadiums, Airports, Train Stations, Houses of Worship and Other Large Venues

MELVILLE, NY, June 1, 2020Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today introduced the Crowd People Counter, a video content analysis software which can quickly provide event management teams and law enforcement agencies the ability to gather crowd size data in real-time. The gathering and analysis of this data can help detect overcrowding and potentially prevent accidents at a variety of locations, including stadiums, airports, train stations, houses of worship, and other venues. An additional application of the software is the ability to support city planning projects.

“Now more than ever, cities and venues are extremely conscious about crowd control and social distancing,” said Tatsuro “Tony” Kano, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Canon U.S.A.’s Imaging Technologies and Communications Group. “With the current COVID-19 pandemic, it has become extremely important to be able to monitor the density of crowds. Our new Crowd People Counter software can help to manage crowds in real time and will provide valuable data to help keep people safe once large gatherings and events return.”

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Canon And Other Companies Free Patent Rights To Fight COVID-19 Pandemic

Coronavirus Covid-19 Ransomware

Canon, Toyota, and other Japanese companies are freeing their patents in a common effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nikkei Asian Review reports:

TOKYO — About 20 Japanese companies, including Toyota Motor and Canon, will release patents and other intellectual property held in Japan and overseas for free to help fight the new coronavirus, Nikkei has learned.

The goal is to make it easier for businesses and research organizations to develop medical devices as well as testing and treatment technologies. The hope is that it will lead to a faster resolution of the crisis, which threatens to seriously affect the global economy.

The idea was initially proposed by Professor Fumihiko Matsuda, head of the Center for Genomic Medicine at the Graduate School of Medicine at Kyoto University. Nissan Motor, Honda Motor, Shimadzu, Ajinomoto Group and Tokyo-based SRL, a member of the Miraca Group, will also participate.

Canon patent applications are something we cover extensively.

Canon Q1 Financial Results: Imaging Profits Down 80% And It Will Get Worse (Covid-19 impact)

Canon Q1 Financial

Canon published the company’s Q1 2020 financial results, and things look everything but good. Once more it’s the COVID-19 impact.

It was clear that COVID-19 would have such an impact on profits of many companies, Canon not excluded. Indeed, the presentation starts with two statements that speak very clearly:

  • Spread of COVID-19 completely changes global economic landscape
  • Global economy faces worst recession since the Great Depression

The impact of Coronavirus is huge:

When we announced our projection back in January, due to factors such as the easing of U.S.-China trade friction, the UK avoiding the possibility of leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement, and economic recovery in emerging markets, we expected the global economic environment to improve while understanding the potential downside risks.

However, the global spread of COVID-19 is casting a long shadow over people’s lives and as a result is having an enormous impact on economic activity and changing the face of the world economy. This is also the view of the IMF, who significantly downgraded its 2020 GDP growth projection from 3.3% back in January to -3.0%. This makes the global economy this year the worst since the Great Depression.

Looking back at the first quarter, the impact of COVID-19 first appeared with the suspension of operations at our production sites in China for both office equipment and cameras. Next, due to supply-chain disruptions, we could not avoid a decline in factory utilization rates in Asia, including Japan. As a result, we faced a situation of tight product supply. On the other hand, the impact on the market was initially limited to only some regions, like China, but expanded to other regions, including Europe and the U.S. This put a stop to global economic activity which had a significant impact on our product sales.

Canon operating profits from the imaging branch (cameras and inkjet printers) are down 80%, and Canon foresees even worse scenarios.

Also, from statements all over the financial results material, it’s clear that Canon puts a lot of stakes on the upcoming Canon EOS R5 (all information, known facts and rumors listed here).

Canon Q1 Financial

More information and downloadable material about Canon Q1 financial results can be found here.

How To Make A Working Lens Out Of A Toilet Paper Roll

Toilet Paper

Toilet paper seems to be one of the most sought after items during the Coronavirus pandemic, at least in certain regions of the world.

Maybe bored by the social isolation, Mathieu Stern decided to build a working lens out of a roll of toilet paper. Yep. He says:

There is no concrete reason why we need more toilet paper than usual during this Pandemic but maybe one good reason is that everyone want’s to make camera lenses?

The 2 minutes video below shows how it is done.

Photos are a bit crappy but I guess this fits with a toilet paper roll lens. And given how expensive toilet paper got in some places, it might even be a somewhat expensive lens.

Stay safe, stay at home, and don’t use too much toilet paper.

Canon Rebel T8i (EOS 850D) Release Postponed Due To Coronavirus Pandemic, Report

Canon Rebel T8i

It was to expect that he Coronavirus pandemic would disrupt supply and production chains, and the upcoming Canon Rebel T8i seems to be the company’s first product to get delayed.

DC Watch reports that Canon postponed the release of the Canon Rebel T8i (EOS 850D in Europe, Kiss X10i in Japan). The Rebel T8i was announced in February 2020 and scheduled to be released in April 2020. Well, according to the report we have to wait until June 2020. I’d like to say “at least” until June 2020. The Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6 might also get delayed in some way.

You can still preorder the Rebel T8i:

America: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon CA, KEH Camera, BestBuy, Canon CA, Canon USA
Europe & UK: Amazon DE, Amazon UK, Amazon FR, Amazon IT, Wex Photo Video, Park Cameras, Canon DE, Canon UK, Canon IT, Canon FR

After the break you’ll find a short description of the Canon Rebel T8i.

Key features:

  • 24.1MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 8 Image Processor
  • 3.0″ 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen
  • UHD 4K24p Video, Vertical Video Support
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March Mirrorless Sales Drop 50% Compared To Last Year Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus Pandemic

Well, this if this isn’t an indicator that tells a long story, and again it’s told by the Coronavirus pandemic.

BCN Retail reports that not only, compared to 2019, mirrorless sales in Japan dropped since the beginning of 2020 but also that March 2020 figures show 49.5% less sales compared to March 2019. That’s a lot.

Brand-wise, we see Sony’s sales figures drop by 44.5%, Olympus’ by 54.9% and Canon’s by 32.3. Canon’s figures are most likely due to the enormous success the EOS M50 has in Japan (where it’s named Kiss M). On the other hand., Fujifilm‘s sales figures grow by 115.6%.

Almost 50% less sales means something. And it most likely means this industry wide down-spiral is set to last for a while. This is not the place to digress into the economical consequences of the global coronavirus pandemic. They will be serious, and not just for the imaging industry. For the time being it’s difficult to foresee what customers will do in the near future but I guess it’s safe to say that mirrorless cameras, or any other tech gadget, will probably not be a priority for a while for a lot of people. We feel close to these people and our hearts are with them.

Stay safe.