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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

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Would a Panasonic GH2 (Hacked in many vafriations for great video) and almost all Canon's (Hacked with Magic Lantarn) fit the bill. Or this baby that is Open Source from the word GO! in Indigogo!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/axiom-beta-the-first-open-digital-cinema-camera

Greats, Ed.

Not just that, they have underestimated the value (and the work it takes) of good software altogether. When did you last hear: "You have to use (camera maker)'s own software package, but it's fortunately excellent!"

The obvious improvement that camera makers could implement is to allow the camera menus to be customized and/or settings to made on a larger screen device to be then sync'd with the camera by cable or wifi.

The ability to backup and load settings would allow for considerable flexibility with negligible impact on camera firmware.

Cameras have largely been computers for about 10 years now, it is time to take advantage of connectivity to other computers for some common tasks.

I agree with Jim. I recently acquired a discounted Samsung Galaxy NX camera which is a 20mp interchangeable lens camera with a built in Android tablet. This allows for any number of photo apps to be downloaded for tweaking images right in camera. It also supports email, maps, weather etc. It also comes with 2 years of 50GB of storage via Dropbox. I can shoot RAW and instantly backup my files to the cloud and they sync automatically with my computer in the office. It has wifi but also has a sim card slot so you can buy a data plan and use the tablet features when in the field. The camera was seriously overpriced when first released but, at the price I acquired it, it was well worth it. And the IQ is very good as are the Samsung lenses. Now I wish all my cameras had this capability.

Sounds like a welcome return to 'choosing your film'. Yes please!! Being able to spot 'that's Canon' or 'that was taken on a Nikon' needs a return to YOU can choose how you want it to look without need to spend hours in front of a computer. It must surely be possible now, and they have definitely missed a trick so far. Anyone cracks/hacks this possibility and they're onto an instant winner. Damn do I wish I was a software pilot sometimes. :-)

"... Given the choice of spending $1,000 on a new lens that might improve your pictures or spending $15 on five new apps that you can go out and play with tomorrow, I think lots of photographers are figuring out where the fun is."

And oddly enough the camera makers prefer the profit on one $,1000 lens to the $0 profit from 10,000 $15 downloads of an app from an independent developer.

Yes, of course, it is theoretically possible to create good, useful apps in-house, create and maintain firmware safeguards against unlicensed apps and convince users to install them.

There are already many camera users who are ignorant of firmware upgrades. And others, me, for one, who don't update unless there are changes of use to me.

The user mindset is so different from smart phones/pads, where we all recognize the risk that the next OS update may make something important to us stop working - and that another one will likely fix that, sometime soonish.

In practice, how many Japanese camera companies can you think of that are likely to undertake creating what amounts to a skunk works inside their corporate culture to do firm/software things completely differently than they do now - let alone be successful at it?

It's a wonderful idea for users, plug-ins for camera OSs. Is it practical for those who are afraid of losing function(s). Is it possible for established camera companies?

OTOH, are you aware of the CHDK and Magic Lantern independently developed OS enhancements for Canon cameras? They dramatically increase the function and flexibility of those cameras. They are also crowd sourced - and free, which kinda limits the expectations of developers who might want to make money.

Samsung makes a camera that uses Android based apps. I haven't looked too closely at it but I know there is at least one camera that does that.

Isn't that called Photoshop?

speaking of computational apps, I kinda like Hydra : https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hydra-amazing-photography/id947824428?mt=8

takes multiple (40+) images and does math to them

Unfortunately, if theres any movement in the subject, you get a weird screen door sorta bokeh, but what I like is that it has a zoom mode, which lets the iPhone camera take adequate close up shots:

https://flic.kr/p/rfMuYr

I couldn't agree more. I love my 5D Mark 3 but Hipstamatic is my "camera" of choice for fun or artistic photos.

Seems to me that the photography market and technology are at a maturity where a truly modular camera is now viable.

Say, a handsome milled alloy frame with a managed but open-source firmware and operating system.

The camera would accept a host of modular add ons including sensor, shutter, viewfinder and LCD.

The operating system could run apps and be user-customisable to the point that photographers could discard all the fluff and nonsense that is superfluous to their needs, resulting in a pared-down workhorse without the myriad of menu options and feature bloat of existing mainstream cameras.

Open sourcing of the modules would keep the cost down and the competition would accelerate product development and consequent quality.

Existing manufacturers would be falling over themselves to deliver previous generation sensors, modules, shutters, etc., to such a camera.

Exciting technology startups would use the opportunity of a camera testbed with a readily available user base to develop the next generation of sensors, shutter units and more.

Just thinkin' out loud here.

Two things: 1.) I believe the Galaxy line of cameras from Samsung are based on the Android OS and therefore already supports apps; and 2.) what we really need is an open-source software based camera platform. Based upon what Konost is doing with their new digital rangefinder a new company could source the sensor (or negotiate with Sony or Fuji for one of theirs). And there are plenty of available lens "platforms" to choose from. Someone should launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund this new company. The closest thing to add on functionality to a camera platform is probably what Magic Lantern is doing on certain Canon models.

I would spend $1000 on a printer before I bought another lens...

Whatever app in question is ultimately limited by the hardware, regardless. An app is not going to enable any new features that are not available via public APIs, and in some cases the manufacturer’s app will have accss to private APIs, and thus, more full featured than any competitor could possibly be. Apple and the iphone fall into this category. Talking about real features here, not 'filters' and the like.

Agreed!!!

Sony is offering downloadable apps for its mirrorless cameras (including the A7* full frame series). These "PlayMemories Camera Apps" comprise the usual digital filters and photo retouching apps, but Sony also offers apps that allow the user to remote control the camera from any smartphone, use one's phone as an advanced intervalometer, do time lapse animations as well as upload pictures to Facebook or Flickr.

Of course, the Sony mirrorless cameras use proprietary firmware so there is little chance that any third party app will ever be released. But Olympus is due to release the Air A01, an "open source" M4/3 camera. Olympus will publish the Software Development Kit and 3D Data for this new "Open Platform Camera" on a dedicated website, thus allowing developpers to create their own software to offer new functionalities. Here's the link to the press release on Olypus' website:
http://www.olympus-global.com/en/news/2015a/nr150205opce.jsp

Cheers!

Abbazz

At one time there were Box Brownies, most families in the Westrrn World had one and most of the pictures were beyond improvement. There were also Leica's and because they were mostly used by skilled photographers they produced better pictures but they could also produce rubbish. Now the bar has been raised, even without the Apps. With the Apps, there us little difference and skill is rarely a factor. This has disillusioned me and is pushing me back to film and my lovely to handle film cameras.

Ironically, the latest article on Luminous Landscape makes the same point -- with examples. Times they are a changing...

When did you last hear: "You have to use (camera maker)'s own software package, but it's fortunately excellent!" Eolake.

There is always Phase, with Capture One. I use that and don't own one of their cameras (unfortunately).
:)

I agree that camera makers underrate the value of interchangeable software. I think I know why. They have been selling cameras based on planned obsolescence and vendor lock-in for decades. That is their mindset. The idea of selling a camera based on “fun” is not going to fit into their brains easily.

The reason camera manufacturers are making good cameras today is because they fear the iPhone. But their response to the iPhone has been limited by their experience. They have generally stopped withholding features and some of them even try to make their cameras more pleasant to use. But fun? Traditionally, nothing in the camera industry is fun.

I think Samsung is on the right track with their Android cameras. A camera maker has little choice but to use Android for camera firmware if they want to have a robust app ecosystem and attract outside developers.

" An app is not going to enable any new features that are not available via public APIs, and in some cases the manufacturer’s app will have access to private APIs, and thus, more full featured than any competitor could possibly be."

The CHDK and Magic Lantern developers have gone far beyond that limitation, in effect breaking into the camera OS and doing things that would seem impossible.

"Of course, the Sony mirrorless cameras use proprietary firmware so there is little chance that any third party app will ever be released."

Probably true, as there likely just aren't enough out there to interest developers who want to hack in as has been done with Canon.

" Sony also offers apps that allow the user to remote control the camera from any smartphone, use one's phone as an advanced intervalometer, do time lapse animations as well as upload pictures to Facebook or Flickr."

Other brands do all those things but the last in the firmware. They also upload to smart thingies, whence access to any web social/photo sites.

In this particular case, all Sony is offering is function it was missing that others have.

"Olympus is due to release the Air A01, an "open source" M4/3 camera. "

This is a really interesting project I had forgotten about. Looks like the initial camera is pretty limited in capability, compared to the OMDs. If it catches on, it could lead somewhere good.

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