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Author Topic: Nick Devlin's article  (Read 10016 times)
Rhossydd
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« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2011, 02:47:11 PM »
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My apologies for being unclear in the article.  Voice control would/could/should only be driven with the camera *up to the user's eye* -- that is, right up to their face.  It would require only a whisper, all but imperceptible to anyone around. 
Well thanks for that clarification.
Do you think whispering into a mic works well for voice recognition ? It doesn't. I'll add the issue of wind noise in microphones used outdoors and how that diminishes the possibilities of successful voice recognition.
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As re:  focus masking, my suggestions has little or nothing to do with EVFs, which generally suck and presently have zero application in serious photography.  This would be on the rear LCD initially, and on a wirelessly tethered larger screen, ideally. 
A tablet becomes an EVF(electronic viewfinder) as soon as you use it as such. I regularly use the Sony HD100VF which is a 10"OLED viewfinder, even at 22k it leaves a lot to be desired.
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.if you're doing anything serious in the landscape realm,
You might be walking and need to carry a light weight kit, some us like to photograph more than 100m from a car. One of the key benefits of the high end DSLRs is that we can now get LF performance from handheld kit.
Lugging kit needing tablets and tripods is a retrograde step, not progress.
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mtomalty
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« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2011, 02:47:40 PM »
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"if you're doing anything serious in the landscape realm, you are carrying a tripod. You can't tell me that adding an iPad or playbook adds any significant load."


Then why not go all the way and have a voice activated tripod ?
Sample dialog,  " C'mon baby. Just a little lower.A little more. That's good.  Now, a little left.  Oh Ya!!. That's the spot !!"

Then to camera with zoom , "  Open up. Wider!  Good. Good. f 8. That's the ticket. OK.   Now let's frame this thing. In a bit! In. Out! Out! No!! Still too tight. No!  Out! Out! In a bit! ......"

All performed, of course, in a husky whisper  Smiley


Mark
www.marktomalty.com
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allenmacaulay
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« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2011, 03:07:42 PM »
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Perhaps the most useful thing that we will NEVER see would be an open API or scripting language like the CHDK, but with support and more robust options.  This could enable tinkerers to evolve the technology and could cause a surge in transformative innovation much like the those caused by the apple IOS development kit.

Agreed.  The CHDK software has enabled me to get so much more use out of my Canon compact; multiple histogram display modes, clipping warnings, better flash control, and countless other useful things which allow me to take more & better pictures.  If you require a new function you can just write it up yourself or if it's beyond you, suggest it to the development community and someone will whip it up for you.
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michael
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« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2011, 03:31:00 PM »
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Always amusing to read the reason's why something won't work.

I went back in the LuLa archives and found some of Nick's earlier suggestions. Here's what people said about them back then...

1955 - Have the mirror in a SLR return right after the picture is taken... and how pray tell would that work? You'd need a giant spring or a motor inside the camera to cock it. Forgedabout it.

1960 - Put a light meter inside the camera behind the lens... Ya, right! How on earth would you get a large selenium honeycomb inside a camera? And when you did, you'd also need a battery to move the needle, a scale in the viewfinder etc, etc. It would make a camera as big as a shoebox.

1970 - Automatic Focusing Lenses.. Oh sure, I can see it now; you mount a robotic hand on the hot shoe and it turns the lens until the rangefinder windows overlap, at which point you flip a switch to stop it focusing.

1985 - Replace film with silicon..  The largest CCDs anyone knows how to make are 300K, nowhere near big enough for anything useful; Maybe by 2000 we'll have 1MB sensors. What a waste of time. Film will be with us forever.

2002 - Shooting video with a DSLR...Why on earth would anyone want to do that? Camcorders are the right tool for the job. DSLRs are for taking picture not movies. Next thing you'l;; tell me is that one day million dollar TV shows and Hollywood movies with be shot with consumer Canons. Right. Pull the the one, why doncha.

Anyone else care to do some research in the archives? Best entry by this coming weekend wins a free download video of their choice.

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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2011, 03:51:21 PM »
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Well, Minolta made a talking camera. That was pretty much a bomb. I can't see talking to your camera any more of a hit. Besides, with everyone talking to their smart phones, talking to your camera is just more noise. I am not sure having photographers mumbling to their cameras are going to make them anymore endearing to the public.

What I find funny about bashing Asian camera manufacturers is that that have been the most innovative. It is also interesting and fairly common that those on the outside of an industry think they know more than those on the inside. Being a photographer qualifies you as a camera designer just as much as a smart phone customer qualifies you as being a communication engineer.

I don't mind folks dreaming about cameras. But why do you have to bash others to do it?
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2011, 04:17:18 PM »
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Always amusing to read the reason's why something won't work.

I went back in the LuLa archives
1955 ?? so even you're starting to troll now ;-)

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2002 - Shooting video with a DSLR...Why on earth would anyone want to do that? Camcorders are the right tool for the job. DSLRs are for taking picture not movies. Next thing you'l;; tell me is that one day million dollar TV shows and Hollywood movies with be shot with consumer Canons. Right. Pull the the one, why doncha.
There's a good piece in the latest Guild of Television Cameraman's journal pointing out the emperor has no clothes on about this issue. DSLR vidoegraphy is just a passing fad that will laughable in ten years time.
A couple of fashionable trials and interminable clips on the internet don't alter the facts.
There's too many pretentious pundits claiming to be "cinematographers" when they've never shot anything that been commercially shown in a cinema....or on TV...or even got further than a few hundred views on the net. The remarkable thing is that some gullible folk pay money for their advice.
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michael
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« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2011, 04:24:03 PM »
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I don't necessarily disagree, but you might find a few members of the ASC who do.

Michael
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2011, 04:32:17 PM »
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you might find a few members of the ASC who do.
It doesn't seem to be the guys with really successful careers who act as pundits though.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2011, 04:52:10 PM »
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As re:  focus masking, my suggestions has little or nothing to do with EVFs, which generally suck and presently have zero application in serious photography. 
Personally I thought you made this pretty clear in your article by comparing it to Sony and PhaseOne who already provide this.  Nothing innovative here, for those using live view for focusing the concept is proven so your point was more that Canon and Nikon could certainly do it.  No innovation here, just an "it's about time" for those two.
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alban
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« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2011, 05:04:58 PM »
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More of  a Coffee corner subject then an article .....
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dreed
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« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2011, 05:26:50 PM »
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Lastly,if there are 40 other photographers at a location, why the fuck would you want to be there?Huh I can't think of anything less pleasurable than doing nature/landscape photography in the company of the masses. Indeed, it's rather antithetical to the experience.

Sometimes (and this is one of them) I really wish that this website had some sort of "+1" for the forum posts
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John.Murray
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« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2011, 05:41:25 PM »
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make that a +2....

I'd love nothing more than a clean live view i/f to say an iPad or iPhone.  As another mentioned, dSLR remote is a *great* app for tethered shooting, the technical chops are there.

A funny thought came to mind..... Canon offering a voice activated mirror lockup function but *still* no dedicated button  ;
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LesPalenik
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« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2011, 05:45:58 PM »
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Then why not go all the way and have a voice activated tripod ?
Sample dialog,  " C'mon baby. Just a little lower.A little more. That's good.  Now, a little left.  Oh Ya!!. That's the spot !!"

Then to camera with zoom , "  Open up. Wider!  Good. Good. f 8. That's the ticket. OK.   Now let's frame this thing. In a bit! In. Out! Out! No!! Still too tight. No!  Out! Out! In a bit! ......"

The nice thing about such a command set is that it would work also in low-light situations.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2011, 06:11:21 PM by LesPalenik » Logged

tom b
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« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2011, 05:51:08 PM »
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With 6 billion images uploaded to Facebook every 2 months I have a good guess as to what market camera manufactures are concentrating on. It's certainly not esoteric features for a small group of people who know about the zone system.

I got an email early February from a battery company saying something like there was 120 new cameras launched in January alone. I'm sure that's the market where R&D is going.

Cheers,
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John Camp
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« Reply #34 on: August 15, 2011, 06:16:57 PM »
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The thing about an iPad connection, if I understand what Nick is saying, is that all the camera would necessarily have is the *connection.* You don't want it, don't use it. It's like having a nearly invisible hot shoe. Just because you've got a hot shoe, doesn't mean you have to walk around with a strobe stuck on top of the camera. On the other hand, for some people, like landscape or wildlife photographers (or even people doing surveillance, to get a little esoteric) an iPad connection could be really useful. And if it's just another little plug in, so what? As I've been sitting here typing this, I've been thinking of all kinds of other possibilities, especially for phone-connected iPads...I'm sure you can think of some on your own.

Voice control...ehh. I've tried using speech-controlled word processors, and guess what -- keyboards are better. I doubt many photos are missed because of button-pushing problems, especially among those who are familiar with their menus. Could be useful for the physically challenged, though, I guess.

I think the ETTR thing is obvious...I think. I'm still not too clear about whether ETTR benefits are unalloyed, and apparently this is not going to be cleared up for me, here.

The other stuff, I don't care about. But, even in the course of typing this, I've gotten more enthusiastic about the iPad thing. It's so *obvious.* But then, so is mirror lock-up.

Maybe the place to look for (a non iPad) version of this would be Sony, with its ambitious but deeply third-place DSLRs...and it's really good flat-panel and computer capabilities.

JC

Edit: I was thinking about the replies to Nick's article, and what they most reminded me of is the arguments on a Leica forum, where the traditionalists don't want *anything* that they feel might be unnecessary to them. They don't even want the capability buried in the camera, accessible only on a hidden menu, that they'd never find unless they went looking. They just simply don't want the camera to have the capability, because it break from tradition.    


« Last Edit: August 15, 2011, 06:20:52 PM by John Camp » Logged
dreed
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« Reply #35 on: August 15, 2011, 08:00:48 PM »
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To follow up further, if a shutter speed of 1/212 of a second gives optimal exposure, why shouldn't we be able to choose that instead of something close to it?

If we can have 14bits of colour precision, why can't we have similar granularity in our shutter speeds?

Because of some old preconceived ideas of how fast a shutter can move?

The "standard" shutter speeds are 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, etc. Isn't it time to abandon the idea of shutter speeds only being meaningful in terms of what fraction of light they let through relative to each other, and introduce the idea of the shortest time required to fill any photo site on a sensor with photons?

If we want to use ETTR to the maximum of the camera's capability then for a given aperture, the camera needs full control over the shutter speed so that it can choose the one that delivers the most amount of light without clipping (in the raw data) rather than just a handful of fractions.

Without this, I don't believe that any "ETTR mode" on the camera can achieve 100% of the camera's potential - except for those lucky  situations where one of the small number of selected fractions does indeed provide optimal light setting.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #36 on: August 15, 2011, 08:13:01 PM »
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With 6 billion images uploaded to Facebook every 2 months I have a good guess as to what market camera manufactures are concentrating on. It's certainly not esoteric features for a small group of people who know about the zone system.

Considering that 99% of those 6 billion came from camera phones, and considering that high end cameras are extremely profitable compared to the cut rate market of point and shoots, I think Canon and Nikon are still very much interested and indeed have been putting a substantial investment into R&D.  Personally I think one reason it's been longer than normal for new models is a 30+mp sensor isn't just enough, they're trying to get to 36+, and at least Canon realizes they need better glass so several lenses have seen some nice improvements in the meantime.

But for the past 5 to 7 years, they are selling more dSLR's than they ever have ... how many more dSLR's are sold each year as compared to 35mm film cameras only 15 years ago?  It's a big number. Additionally digital has created a pretty nice upgrade path, something also not typical with film cameras for them.  This is slowing down, but they are still working on ways to outdo each other.

A lot of intriguing ideas, but lets be honest ... there are always threads about what we have is good enough so does it really matter what they do?  New things would be nice, and I'm guessing someday the whole dSLR thing is going to implode on itself with some of the amazing technologies being researched today, but in the meantime what a time to be alive and seeing all of this happen.ne hand, then long for the simple throwback camera
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #37 on: August 15, 2011, 08:21:53 PM »
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To follow up further, if a shutter speed of 1/212 of a second gives optimal exposure, why shouldn't we be able to choose that instead of something close to it?

If we can have 14bits of colour precision, why can't we have similar granularity in our shutter speeds?

Because of some old preconceived ideas of how fast a shutter can move?

The "standard" shutter speeds are 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, etc. Isn't it time to abandon the idea of shutter speeds only being meaningful in terms of what fraction of light they let through relative to each other, and introduce the idea of the shortest time required to fill any photo site on a sensor with photons?

If we want to use ETTR to the maximum of the camera's capability then for a given aperture, the camera needs full control over the shutter speed so that it can choose the one that delivers the most amount of light without clipping (in the raw data) rather than just a handful of fractions.

Without this, I don't believe that any "ETTR mode" on the camera can achieve 100% of the camera's potential - except for those lucky  situations where one of the small number of selected fractions does indeed provide optimal light setting.

I've thought for a long time how nice it would be to have an option that based exposure on length of time per site to fill to a set saturation point.  For those occasions where shutter speeds really aren't critical this would be sweet. 

Current shutters are still partially mechanical (only the front "curtain" of canons is electronic (simulated), so accuracy is limited. Currently cameras offer shutter speeds equal to 1/3 stop increments, so there are two other choices in between each of the speeds you mention, which seems to be enough granularity for about any shooting condition except high contrast subjects where an HDR mode based on the the this idea would really be sweet.

I don't think it's possible with current sensors, based on how they charge each pixel then read the charges, but here's hoping some bright person somewhere is thinking outside the box and developing a sensor that might be able to do this.
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lenelg
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« Reply #38 on: August 16, 2011, 03:04:09 AM »
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Well, Minolta made a talking camera. That was pretty much a bomb.
Don't forget that whether an innovation succeeds or not usually has more to do with the niggly details of how it is implemented than with the basic concept.
"It ain t what you do, its the way that you do it"..
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dreed
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« Reply #39 on: August 16, 2011, 03:09:16 AM »
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I've thought for a long time how nice it would be to have an option that based exposure on length of time per site to fill to a set saturation point.  For those occasions where shutter speeds really aren't critical this would be sweet. 

Current shutters are still partially mechanical (only the front "curtain" of canons is electronic (simulated), so accuracy is limited.

I was thinking this myself, but then consider this.

If you've chosen 1/1000 for the time a shutter is open, what is the acceptable error in exposure length? 1% 10%? I've got to believe that it is less than 1%. A 10% error margin would mean 1/60 was anywhere from 1/54 to 1/66 - unacceptable. At 1%, 1/100 is from 1/99 to 1/101. So whilst I agree, there is likely some error in the precision, it's also got to be very small or else it would be a very big problem. So thus, I put that out of my head as a concern.

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Currently cameras offer shutter speeds equal to 1/3 stop increments, so there are two other choices in between each of the speeds you mention, which seems to be enough granularity for about any shooting condition except high contrast subjects where an HDR mode based on the the this idea would really be sweet.

To think about this differently, if 1/50 does not give me a histogram that is far enough to the right, I've got to allow in 20% more light and shoot at 1/40. 20% is relatively huge. What if 1/40 clips your red and blue channels but 1/50 is still not close to the maximum? What if the best exposure would be 1/48?

At the very least, every digital camera should allow both 1/3 and 1/2 stop selection as an available choice, so that I get 1/50, 1/45 and 1/40. This is currently not the case. But even when it is possible, there is a 10% drop (or 11% increase) between 1/50 and 1/45.

Or to think about it differently, the accuracy with which a camera using 1/3 stops to meter a scene is really rather small - with a fixed aperture and 1/3 stops in use, the camera has an error margin of 10%. Anything that is properly exposed with 1/46 to 1/55 will be exposed at 1/50. If the camera can use with 1/3 and 1/2 stop shutter speeds, the accuracy improves to 5%. Is that good enough?

If your camera can provide you with a highly accurate 1/1000 of a second exposure with the shutter, why can't it provide you with an exposure of the scene with just as much accuracy?

Or to put this another way, a medium format digital back from Leaf or Phase One that costs $40,000 and is only able to meter a scene with an accuracy of 5% (assuming it can use both 1/3 and 1/2 stops conventional stops.) Is that acceptable?

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I don't think it's possible with current sensors, based on how they charge each pixel then read the charges, but here's hoping some bright person somewhere is thinking outside the box and developing a sensor that might be able to do this.

The sensor collects charge and there's some circuitry somewhere that drains each pixel to read a value through a DAC. Somewhere there is a "timer" that expires, triggering that to happen. That is now going to be a byte or two stored in the cameras memory that are loaded somewhere as a count down for something to expire. The only part of the circuit that is digital is the memory in which those numbers are stored. Capacitors that are used to hold charge are all analogue. It's not the sensor that is the problem but the circuitry around it.

Consider that the sensor can be read in 1/2000th of a second or 2 seconds. The sensor is just a bucket. To think of it differently, imagine trying to fill a bucket with water from water falling over a waterfall. Is it the bucket itself that determines whether or not it can be filled or is it the decision about how long to leave it under the water?
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