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Saturday, 01 April 2023


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My first thought: I wonder whether the effects of this will be to devalue the learned experience of expert photographers even more than they currently are.

What will it mean when I can load "Robert Frank" mode into my rig and have the camera point out the revealing ironic tensions in modern day life in a way that makes actual introspection unnecessary? The first order effect will be that "Robert Frank-prime" -- the next deep thinker trying to make images of then-modern society -- will focus more on training his AI than in seeing the world for what it is, I think.

Also, it is hard for us to keep this in mind (well, hard for me anyway), but there was a moment when today's "greats" (Robert Frank, Henri C-B, Sally Mann (insert your list here) were great in part because they were innovators. What are we going to become when the only pictures a camera can take are the ones we have taught it to seek out?

. . . Feeling my age,


I think it may be time to take up sketching.

any ideas for what SINK might mean LOL

Happy April 1!

Excellently covered, Chris. But you did omit a detail than might limit the appeal of SWIM photography; the communications input sensor is a wireless suppository.

The good news: When someone say's "your photos are sh-t" it will have a thread of truth.

Nice April Fools Day piece!

I got half way through this before remembering today is the First of April

Must be April 1.

In case you missed it, this post did go up on April 1st.

In any event, it’s coming whether we like it or not. You can’t stop progress.

Then maybe it’s a good thing DPReview is shutting down. Maybe all of the photo sites should throw in the towel, too. Because it’s not photography any longer. We really do live in a post-fact, post-reality world. No talent or effort necessary.

Have you seen the release about the partnership between Arriflex and Nikon?.
The Arrikon 4-1 fixes the problem of rolling shutter by adding a snap on 35mm film movement to a 200mp aps camera in lieu of a conventional video option.
A spokesman says
"The image quality of film will more than offset the slightly higher operating cost over SD cards".
Initial plans are to limit film loads to 400feet as 1200foot magazines were somewhat ungainly when hand held.

The first April fool article, not bad for starters.

April fools day I hope.

Gotta be an April Fool's joke, right?

SWIM or SINK? Happy April 1st

So no more surprises to see. Yay. I can go back to bed.

Good one. I was fooled until the penultimate paragraph.

A perfect April Fool's article.
Or not.
In any event, if that's what one believes "perfect photography" is going to be, well might as well roll up in a ball and die. Humankind as a failed evolutionary experiment.
Or slip a roll of Tri-X on a Leica M6 and keep shooting, cherishing the joy of imperfection.
For the record, I'm not a Luddite and I've not shot a single analog image since something like 2010.


With best regards.


OK, you almost had me here. I do not look forward to the day when it's not April Fools!

I dunno. Seems the more photography is automated the less fun it is. Years ago I thought to myself “someone is going to make a 200mp camera then photograph the entire football line of scrimmage then extract very detailed action shots”. I suppose they could work but could they ever compete with the soul of a shot like this? https://www.icons.com/muhammad-ali-signed-photo-standing-over-sonny-liston.html
When see see airbrushed photos of celebrities we look at a lot of non reality. AI generated photo mods will be welcome by some I am sure but maybe there is too much fake already? ( no rudeness intended BTY. It’s just what comes to mind.) Thanks for the effort and the article.

Happy April Fool’s Day

Seriously, this will happen, but wait for 10 years or so.

No need to get up before dawn to catch the perfect sunrise. Or to stand around for many hours, hoping for the emergence of a dramatic storm that never materializes.
Well then, Mr. A.I.Photoman, you didn't catch the sunrise or photograph the storm, did you? Nothing wrong with creating an mechanized artist's conception of somthing, but you can't call it a document.

I mean, I am pretty sure you mean this as an April Fool's joke. And I see all the grains of truth Chris Kern put in there to make it seem plausible.

But surely this will come to pass. Ten years may even be short.

I have nothing to fear from "computational photography". I know, because I can still take miserable, boring photos. Or if I try, a good one.

You have self operating cars, why not a self operating camera.

Love the bit about endless cricket.

Arrrg! April Fools indeed. Ya got me, pardner. Ya got me good.... ;)

Dear Chris Kern,

Arriflex and Nikon? Which is better for the beginner?

Reader suduif (cleverly) inquired: "Arriflex and Nikon? Which is better for the beginner?" Those options sounded like classic apples and oranges choices to me, but I decided to refer the question to OpenAI's GPT-4 for an authoritative answer.

Below is the unedited response I received from the GPT-4 "chatbot." (Note: this is word-for-word how the software replied to suduif's question.)

Arriflex and Nikon are brands that produce different types of imaging equipment. Arriflex, also known as ARRI, is a renowned manufacturer of professional motion picture cameras, while Nikon is a well-established brand known for its high-quality DSLR and mirrorless cameras primarily used for photography.

As a beginner, you should consider what type of content you want to create. If you're interested in photography, a Nikon camera would be a better choice since it offers a range of beginner-friendly DSLR and mirrorless cameras with user-friendly features and a wide selection of lenses. Nikon cameras are versatile and can be used for various types of photography, such as landscapes, portraits, and sports.

If you are interested in filmmaking or video production, Arriflex cameras are designed for professional use and are typically more expensive and complex than Nikon cameras. For beginners interested in video, it might be more appropriate to start with a more affordable and user-friendly camera, such as a DSLR or mirrorless camera from Nikon or other brands like Canon, Sony, or Panasonic.

In summary, your choice between Arriflex and Nikon will depend on your specific interests and goals. Nikon is generally better suited for beginners interested in photography, while Arriflex is geared towards professional filmmaking. Beginners interested in video production might consider starting with more accessible DSLR or mirrorless cameras from Nikon or other brands before investing in professional-grade equipment like Arriflex cameras.

Yes, it's becoming increasingly difficult to separate "artificial intelligence" software from April Fool's Day jokes.

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