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View Poll Results: smart OS on camera .. is it

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Thread: Smart cameras .. or what?

  1. #1
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Smart cameras .. or what?

    Dumb idea?

    Just read an article last night(Petapixel and Nikon Rumours) on a rumoured Nikon cooplix Android powered camera about to surface soon.
    Now Petapixel have a story on a Sony NEX6 that looks to be smart OS powered too(probably Android too) .. with apps availability ... diallers, wifi, etc.

    I like Android. Not really being the type to embrace technology just because its there, I like my technology to give me something I've wanted for a while .. not something I'll use just because it's available.
    Being a techno geek type myself, most people that know me were surprised that it took me so long before I got a smart phone myself .. and that was because for my phone requirements all I wanted was a phone that made phone calls!(phunny about that huh? )

    So I got a Samsung Galaxy phone once my phone started to play up, and kind felt apprehensive about it.
    Having a fully featured OS rather than a proper firmware type operating system that works fast and reliably, now you have to wait for your phone to 'boot up' and load device drivers and software that runs certain features and stuff!!!

    But I was surprised at how well Android works and it's 'quick' enough for the most part, and once I finally gave in to my old PDA and retired that, I now use the Galaxy as my PDA replacement.

    So now that I understand the Android OS system a bit better, I can see that having it run the camera could be an advantage too.
    Being Android, some smart folks will eventually write some cool apps to allow some cool features for them too which you load onto the camera and away you go.

    So far I haven't had any crashes from my Galaxy phone, but there have been some annoyances. Such as the update to the latest OS version(ICS) had the gallery app go a bit AWOL on my phone now.
    It stopped auto rotating, and I have to manually rotate images now(which is more annoying than diabolically crippling!)

    But it kind'a begs the question, if manufacturers start a migration to Android on compact cameras, the sure bet is that DSLR's will eventually migrate to the same system.
    If this happens, will the advantages outweigh the potential disadvantages(or say slower speed, or possible OS glitches and crashes)?

    Just wondering what others think of having complex operating systems on a device that really only needs basic and reliable software? .... I suppose just like phones used too!


    I suppose I'm about to test the waters soon anyhow with these 'smart cameras' .. my daughters birthday is coming up and I'm thinking I'm 99.9992% certain I'll get her one.
    Whether it's a Nikon or Samsung or whatever is unimportant to her, it's the cool features she'll like .. like playing music or adding bunny ears to photos of her bunny!! .. and so on.
    She's not as into photography as much as my son and I are, and just likes taking pics and doing other stuff.
    So it'll be a case of having something like Instagram on your camera.
    While I hate apps that do crappy processing to crappy images to fool users into thinking that they now have a cool photo!! ... just my personal view on the subject which seems to be at odds with the general consensus on the topic .... but having, Instagram on your camera makes a lot more sense that having Instagram on your phone does!!
    And secondly, having Instagram on your camera is something many people will enjoy having access too.

    Would you?

    If you're an iPhone photography supporter, would or could you see the value added enjoyment component of having these features and apps on your camera?

    I see the technical value added component only at the moment, things like easy wireless remote connections or web server capability(like the D4 has) and so forth, but then I'm thinking in camera HDR .. probably a cool idea to have .. or focus stacking automation or whatever.
    These are the kinds of apps that could become available directly from within the camera.

    Good, bad ..... ugly?
    if good, why, if bad, why ... if ugly then obviously you're not interested.

    stuff it I'll do a poll too while I'm at it
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  2. #2
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    There are photos on the net that purport to be a camera that the iPhone can dock into, and then the phone become the back LCD for the new combined camera. How real these photos are, is not yet known, but Apple could be onto something here.

    It is being referred to as the iCam : http://www.petapixel.com/2011/11/28/...ne-for-brains/

    I think a third party (Android is google owned) software package could be good or bad. At present we see the camera companies designing their own menu systems and features, which has seen the camera improve in a heap of varied ways as one company brings out something different, and then the others follow along if the feature is good. We have multiple developers in Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax etc. If they went to a third party OS, then whilst this OS allows apps, I wonder if the actually development by the camera companies would go by the way-side and we would lose the uniqueness that exists now.

    Though all cameras using the same OS would mean we could swap brands and use another brand without having to hunt the menu for how to change ISO etc, as it should be standardised.

    So my thoughts. I am going to sit on the fence on this one. I voted Ugly cause it could be either good or bad, or neither good or bad
    Last edited by ricktas; 10-08-2012 at 6:24am.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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  3. #3
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Well, there was no "Gravy" button, so I'll write it as:
    Hook Airs?
    CC, Image editing OK.

  4. #4
    Other side of the hill ... WhoDo's Avatar
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    That's a big NO from me, Arfur!

    Along with an upgradeable OS with an API, of any sort, comes the threat of virus, worm and trojan infiltration - we've already seen that, unless I miss my guess - and the spectre of paying for updates if your OS gets too old to support, etc. I think it's an evolutionary "blind alley" but you never know what Gen Next is going to think/want/do.

    If they were able to keep the OS within the chip and just use bigger chips, that would be cool. Somehow I doubt it though. Remember, we aren't talking disposable equipment when we get into the realms of DSLRs. What's more, interchangeable lenses are getting their own smarts, too, so what would happen if a virus (for example) got into your expensive lens rendering it useless! The manufacturer's would probably love it, but not the photographers. At least not THIS photographer!
    Last edited by WhoDo; 10-08-2012 at 3:30pm.
    Waz
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    My Flickr images ...

  5. #5
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    Smart? Well, yes, in that I suspect they will sell and become the norm for P/S cameras.

    But I don't think (for a fair while, at least) it'll change the DSLR market.

    I think the trend is for consumer electronics to become 'smart.' In our new world, gadgets are adopted not only on the basis of their core purpose but how well they integrate with users' increasingly online, socially networked lives. No longer is an iPod a music player or a TV a TV, they are portals to an interactive online world, and I think similarly consumers will soon be demanding cameras that connect them with their online worlds, providing slightly-better-than-smartphone photos to upload to their digital albums and show their friends.

    Oh, that's another thing... the demarkation between phones and computers is getting blurred, I suppose that will happen with P/S cameras as well.

    The reason I don't think DSLR camera (particularly the high end ones) will need Android any time soon is that they are usually used for better things than Facebook.

  6. #6
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    to add.

    Smart! I reckon DSLR's are fairly darn smart as it is. Some have a myriad of scene modes and can pretty well ensure a good exposure with auto. The tech that goes into a current model DSLR is fairy darn smart as it is.

  7. #7
    As smooth as hessian undies
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    I'm of two minds.
    Pros:
    The apps side of things - The iPhone actually already has HDR built in. It's not something that could be developed, or might be a cool idea, it's already part of it. It's early days yet, so you need to be dead still for it to work because it doesn't align moved layers at all well, so you end up with ghosting if you moved the camera between the three shots (which it takes very quickly without you realising it's taken several shots), but it's definitely a start, and surprisingly damned good actually. The results were better than my first set of HDR's done with CS5.5 and it's built into an iPhone camera, not part of a very expensive photo manipulation suite of software, so to do a better job than CS did is impressive.

    Secondly, there's not much that is simpler than holding up the "camera" to the scene you want to shoot, and just touching the screen in the area you want it to expose for. Great if you want that roo hiding in the shade instead of the bright overcast sky to be your exposure point. Tap where you want, and then take the pic. From the "hard for an amateur to stuff it up" aspect, these are getting seriously easy to use. Something iPhone has seriously excelled at. Even when it was missing major features (no "cut & paste" for years) it was still so easy to use that my technophobe wife, who still cannot send or receive a text message on a standard mobile phone because it's too complicated, was able to use all the features, and operate it with ease. I believe ease-of-use (plus a lot of sex appeal) is what made them the massive seller they have been for so long. A full fledged camera in a mobile phone, that is Apple-easy to use? Now that has sales potential.

    Thirdly, no matter how fantastic a photographer you are, you can't take a photo if you don't have your camera with you. Having a camera with you everywhere you go, at pretty much all times, could see even the most amateur photographer just happen to be in the right place at the right time. An amateur on a plane got her photo of the Space Shuttle launch included in some "Best photos of 2011" category, not because she was a great photographer, but because she had a camera on her at the right time, at the right place, and took a shot.
    Having high tech, easy to use, full featured cameras in your pocket everywhere you go, is pretty much a major plus to the whole debate. Even I might manage a good shot or two with that kind of constant access to a camera. And it sure beats lugging your very expensive full DSLR with you at all times (where it would become a target of theft anyway).

    But the CONS:
    I definitely, very very definitely do NOT want my "serious" camera. The main camera I use for this hobby of mine, to be as susceptible to vaguaries of software glitches, boot problems, freezes, shut-downs, etc etc, as the average software phone such as on a mobile or PDA.
    Hell, my first "proper" digital camera had vastly less megapixels than my phone camera now has (and took worse photos than my phone camera does too), so I can only see these phone cameras continuing to get better and better. I believe there's a Nokia in the wind with more than 40mp. That's up with a blasted 'BLAD for mp count. There may easily come a time when the modern mobile has a better camera than my current DSLR, but I'd never want my main "serious" camera to be so unreliable, and I'm not a professional. I'm even more certain that a Pro Tog is definitely not going to want anything unreliable. Pretty sure the bride and groom at the wedding you're shooting aren't going to be too thrilled to pause the ceremony while you reboot a frozen camera, or miss a shot because just as you took it, you got a Facebook Notification come up, that shut the camera down to take you to your browser.
    Frankly that might be the only CON to the whole thing, but it's a big one in my opinion. So for me - not matter how good these cameras get - they'll always be my "reserve" camera, the one I have with me all the time, just because it's in my pocket with my phone - but that I only use when I have no real other choice.
    Canon EOS 60D ..... EFS 18-200mm f/3.5 - 5.6 IS - 430 EXII Speedlite - "eBay special" Remote Control Unit - Manfrotto 190XPROB w 804RC2 head.

  8. #8
    A royal pain in the bum!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    .....
    I think a third party (Android is google owned) software package could be good or bad. ......
    Even tho Android is 'Google owned', they only really own their own incarnation of it ... it's in the public domain(as far as I'm aware, as in Linux, which Android is based on), so its open and free to anyone that wants or needs to hack it to their own satisfaction.
    That is, you can download a copy of Android and hack it to work with on the device you invented, as long as the hardware can be supported.
    That I'm aware there is no royalty payment requirement to Google, as the 'owners' of Android.


    As I think I'm reading it, where Appall discourages the further development of their iOS, Google releases the code to the public who then hack it further, find bugs and report back. Android then gets updated officially at the Google end if you want a plain vanilla legit version, who then gives it to the device manufacturers to allow their supporter base to load it to their devices
    Or alternatively you can get it via the legitimate hacker forums if you want something different again.


    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Well, there was no "Gravy" button, so I'll write it as:
    Hook Airs?
    As gravy is the ugly sister to creamy mushroom and wheat germ sauce, I guess that ugly option fits best here!!


    Quote Originally Posted by Ezookiel View Post
    I'm of two minds.
    .....
    Same here.. I can't wait to see what's going to happen on one hand, and yet on the other, the fear of OS lockups and slow boot times, and more importantly 100 shot battery life as opposed to the 1000 shot battery life we currently get.
    A more complex OS requires faster processing power, which then relies on more electrical power which reduces running time for a give package size.

    Gone are the days of 14 day battery life in your mobile phone, and people don't flinch at the thought that their phone(although quite slim now) need to be recharged after only a single game of tetris or something!

  9. #9
    As smooth as hessian undies
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    Good point. Forgot all about battery life.
    My iPhone doesn't make it through one day without a recharge. For a while (it died after one too many drops) I even had a case for it that was an extended battery, and it often wouldn't get through a day using both the extended, and its own, batteries, if I played any games. Mega Ouch on the camera doing the same thing.

  10. #10
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    I don't want to get into the discussion of the pro's and con's since it's basically a system that isn't available to the public so let’s not start judging something that doesn't exist just yet.

    But I've seen one thought on it though that made me think it's a great idea. You see all these aftermarket products like intervalometers, sound activated triggers etc... If you could build an app to do that in camera wouldn’t it be great?

    You could probably also reduce the cost of some accessories too because the computing power would be in the camera and just because it has the extra "smarts" wouldn't mean you need to use it. I still mostly use my iPhone as a music player and phone, I rarely use apps apart from mail.

  11. #11
    Drifter, Racer and Picture Taker
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    I'd like to see built-in wireless in a phone so you can download directly to a TV or PC, or use it for tethering.
    The ability to upload new features for your camera would also be handy, and being able to use it as a phone in an emergency wouldn't be a bad idea either, especially if it gets lost or stolen, then it can ring you, or you can ring it, and it can tell you where it is , similar to the i-Phone app.
    I wish I could ad verbal notes on some of the pictures I take, and I believe this already available on some P&S cameras.
    When you take shots at an event, it would be handy to be able to put the peoples' names to the photos, and their e-mail addresses, so you could sell them a print of the shot(s).
    When you look back at photos you may have taken say, 10 years ago, you will often wonder where and when you took it, and who are those people in the shot.
    If you could take verbal notes on the photo as or just after you took it, you could easily replay the notes to refresh your memory of the events.

    I think there are lots of good reasons to smarten up our cameras.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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  12. #12
    Sir Rattus79 - The Proclaimant
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    Smart - Ever wanted a feature on your camera and it just won't do it? (Like use video mode to create a timelapse in camera rather then taking 800 still images) : just download it.
    Greg Bartle,
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  13. #13
    A royal pain in the bum!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    I don't want to get into the discussion of the pro's and con's since it's basically a system that isn't available to the public so let’s not start judging something that doesn't exist just yet.

    ......
    I'm not so sure about that.

    While it's technically true to a point .. see Samsung's newest camera announcement for a glimpse into what the future holds.

    I can see some credibility in the rumoured Nikon coolpix and Sony NEX-6 developments becoming reality too.

    How far they end up going with the actual O/S itself, whether it's a closed source Android based offshoot that can't be easily accessed or hacked is the real question.
    But seeing the Samsung's feature list, it won't be long befor the first manufacturer striving for that marketing edge to bring out a fully fledged open Android camera that works the same way as your phone does .. using the same apps, connecting directly, as the Samsung will supposedly do I'm assuming with a Samsung phone .. etc.


    Polaroids impending smart camera

    I just hope that the announcements come soon, my daughters birthday is in about a month's time, and I want to know if they're going to be worth waiting for(or a waste of time or money).

  14. #14
    A royal pain in the bum!
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    Well I reckon I'll found out if they're a smart contraption or dumb idea soon enough.



    Nikon Coopix S800c


    .. not so sure about the Gingerbread version of the OS tho.

    Had GB on my Galaxy SII, but apart from one annoying anomaly with the inbuilt gallery program .. the update to ICS(4.0.1) made for a much nicer, smoother OS and interface.

    My sister's Galaxy SII still had Gingerbread on it(some people just don't give a stuff I guess) .. and I tried to WiFi Direct transfer some pics I had from my phone to hers and it' just wouldn't connect.

    I then set about getting her phone updated to ICS too, and once that was done WiFi direct was a dream to use to transfer 10Mb of images over to her.
    In fact it was so quick, I thought it failed again, and I went on a futile search to find out why it wasn't transferring checking device names and mac addresses to be sure .. and there the folder was! On her phone.. couldn't have taken more than a sec or two.

    So having only Gingerbread as the OS, whilst it may the safe and cautious approach as it's a well proven OS now, ICS is just so much nicer to use if you don't use the pretty ordinary built in image Gallery software.
    I then switched to a much better(faster) image viewing app called QuickPic.
    Gallery on my and many other Galaxy SII's that I know of doesn't auto rotate(eg. from portrait to landscape) but the rest of the OS and apps all work perfectly.

    I reckon I'll almost certainly be loading a a modded version of later Android release (JellyBean (4.1) most likely).


    Anyhow, daughter's birthday is coming up in 4 weeks and she needs a new camera.

    I reckon this one will be close to perfect for her.
    (and I get to dip my toes)

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