Photo gadgets that failed | Popular Science

This article was initially featured on Popular Photography.

Just 4 months after launching, Snap (the corporate previously referred to as Snapchat)has grounded its Pixy selfie drone. The diminutive $230 dronegot middling reviewsand suffered from low presales. Somewhat understandably, given the present financial local weather, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel informed employees that future improvement was being halted as a part of broader reprioritization of firm assets.

But the Pixys swift crash from grace obtained us all pondering right here atPopPhotoabout different merchandise that had been introduced with nice fanfare and thenjust didnt do a lot. Some are pure vaporware and by no means even launched, others had been simply colossal flops.These are a few of our favourite defunct photograph gadgets.

Light L16

The Light L16 digicam fizzled out like yesterdays can of soda.Light

The Light L16, introduced in 2015, crammed 16 completely different smartphone cameras into one super-sized smartphone-sized bundle. It might take 52-megapixel photos with a full-frame equal focal size of between 35mm and 150mm. Because each picture was a composite of the 16 cameras, the ensuing depth map made it attainable to regulate the main target and depth-of-field in publish. Light claimed the L16 provided DSLR-like picture high quality and nice low mild performancethough the opinions (when it lastly launched in 2017)said otherwise, and thought of a few of the person expertise a chore.

Instead of engaged on a follow-up, Light took an enormous $121 million funding spherical from SoftBank and established partnerships with cell phone corporations like Nokia.

That didnt work out both, and in 2020 the corporateabandoned consumer imagingto concentrate on the automotive business. It wasquietly acquired by John Deere earlier this year. Presumably, there isn’t a plan to launch a shopper digicam.

GoPro Karma Drone

The failed photo gadgets that were supposed to change everything
The GoPro Karma drone launched in 2016. Then they began randomly falling from the sky.GoPro

For motion digicam firm GoPro, the drone market will need to have appeared like a gimme. Plenty of drones had been (and nonetheless are) utilizing its Hero line of cameras to seize aerial footage, so why not reduce out the intermediary and launch its personal drone?

When the GoPro Karma launched in 2016 the opinions had been high-quality. It wasnt as feature-filled as DJIs choices, however theremovable stabilizer gripwas thought-about a intelligent contact. Thenthey started falling out of the sky. GoPro needed toissue a recallafter which re-released it a couple of months later.

Understandably after that fiasco, shoppers werent that within the Karma, and with gross sales additionally poor for the companys different merchandise, the corporate was restructured andscrapped its entire drone divisionin 2018.

Lytro generally

The failed photo gadgets that were supposed to change everything
The Lytro Illum was the manufacturers second product. The person expertise left a lot to be desired.Lytro

Unlike many corporations on this checklist, Lytro managed to launch two merchandise that really did what they claimed to. Unfortunately, the underlyinglight-field technologywhereas undeniably impressivejust didnt actually ship in the true world.

Lytros schtick was that its cameras took images at a number of depths. The ensuing merged picture might have the main target and depth-of-field edited in publish. This genuinely labored with each2012s Lytro Light Field Cameraand2014s Lytro Illumhowever the person expertiseleft a lot to be desired.

Photographers, it appeared, most popular having a nice-to-use, high-resolution digicam, even when it meant dealing with focusing and aperture themselves.

Lytro pivoted to VR, flailed round a bit, and was thensold to Google in 2018who promptly shut it down.

Kodaks New Super8 digicam

The failed photo gadgets that were supposed to change everything
Were nonetheless ready for this one, KodakKodak

In 2018, Kodakannounced a brand new Super8 camera. Despite taking pictures movie, it had a couple of digital touches like an LCD viewfinder and an SD card slot. It was due out later that yr and we even obtainedsome test footage.

And then nothing.

So you’ll be able to think about how shocked we had been when researching this text to search out that, at the very leastaccording to Kodaks website, its nonetheless in improvement. Sure, it doesnt appear like its been up to date since 2018, however there’sa reservation formthe place you’ll be able to signal as much as buy a camerashould they ever materialize.

Nikon DL sequence

The failed photo gadgets that were supposed to change everything
We actually, actually needed to see these come to market, particularly the 18-50mm.Nikon

In 2016,Nikon announced the DL series of 4K compact camerasdesigned to go face to face withSonys RX100 series. There could be three fashions with completely different zoom ranges: the DL 18-50, DL 24-85, and the DL 24-500. All had been resulting from price lower than $1,000 and, at the very least from a spec perspective, seemed like they might be an amazing possibility for road and journey images.

But then there have been issues. An problem with the built-in picture processing circuits precipitated a delay. And that delay changed into afull-blown cancellationin 2017without even a single unit sold.

(Nikons KeyMission foray into motion cameras was equally misguided, howeverat least the cameras made it to market.)


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