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Thread: Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

  1. #1
    Steaphany's Avatar
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    Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

    I just received a NASA Tech Briefs newsletter with the article:


    Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

    Stanford University photo scientists are developing an open-source digital camera that will give programmers around the world the chance to create software that will teach cameras new tricks. If successful, camera performance will no longer be limited by the software that comes pre-installed by the manufacturer. Virtually all the features of the Stanford camera - focus, exposure, shutter speed, flash, etc. - are at the command of software that can be created by programmers.

    Plans are to develop the Stanford camera, called "Frankencamera," as a platform that will first be available at minimal cost to fellow computational photography researchers, who use optics benches, imaging chips, computers, and software to develop techniques and algorithms to enhance and extend photography.

    Consumers would be able to download applications to their open-platform cameras the way apps are downloaded to iPhones today. Programmers will have the freedom to experiment with new ways of tuning the camera's response to light and motion, adding their own algorithms to process the raw images in innovative ways.
    Here is the link to the full article where they include videos demonstrating their development:

    Stanford University News: Open-source camera could revolutionize digital photography

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    Re: Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

    Sounds interesting; but does that mean photographers will have to buy anti-virus software for their camera's and be plagued by frequent updates such as windows updates that frequently render applications useless?

    I had such an update for my web cam which no longer functioned until I rolled back the drivers, and my sat TV became inoperable by another update.

    It might be good, we will have to wait and see.

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    Re: Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

    If nothing else it might "inspire" (read "coerce") major manufactourers into listing their game. I've sent about 1/2 dozen firmware enhancement requests to Canon ...

    ... still waiting.

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    Re: Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

    Colin,

    Are you aware of the Canon Hack Development Kit ?

    Not being a Canon user, I have no experience using the CHDK, but if you are using a supported camera, it may provide some of what you are looking for or at least a possible direction to achieve it.

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    Re: Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Steaphany View Post
    Colin,

    Are you aware of the Canon Hack Development Kit ?

    Not being a Canon user, I have no experience using the CHDK, but if you are using a supported camera, it may provide some of what you are looking for or at least a possible direction to achieve it.
    Hi Steaphany,

    Yes - I've heard of it (thanks). I don't think that it's applicable to a Canon 1Ds3 though.

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    Re: Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

    Ive used the CHDK, opens up a whole world of things, but colin is right, its N/A for DSLRs, only for their Powershot range. The full list of supported cameras is on the right hand side of the chdk home page

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    Re: Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

    I'm sure the programmable and application installation features would be a direction that we'll see coming soon, but any camera manufacturer who has facilities to load or replace the software of a camera could bring this revolution in just by offering a tool set for programmers to do so, plus scripting features could be added with an upgrade.

    I already sent an email off to Sigma, my dSLR favorite, pointing them to this Stanford development telling them that I would love a camera with such features as Frankencam. If we each contact our favorite brands, maybe we can influence the speed at which cameras become software-open.

    I saw that the Stanford researchers just feel their development's appeal would presently be limited to researchers working in the field of computational photography. If photographers can motivate the brands to descend on Stanford to bring the Frankencam technology main stream, we'll all be in a position where we could add what ever features or functions we desire for our cameras.

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    Re: Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Steaphany View Post
    I already sent an email off to Sigma, my dSLR favorite, pointing them to this Stanford development telling them that I would love a camera with such features as Frankencam. If we each contact our favorite brands, maybe we can influence the speed at which cameras become software-open.
    It's a great thought, but I'd be VERY surprised if it happened any time soon - if at all. It's certainly not Canon or Nikon's style. Obvious parallels with Linux - and yet years later it's made very little impact on the real world.

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    Re: Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    It's a great thought, but I'd be VERY surprised if it happened any time soon - if at all. It's certainly not Canon or Nikon's style. Obvious parallels with Linux - and yet years later it's made very little impact on the real world.
    This is a very interesting concept. What I would want programmed is a feature that would take a pictures in rapid succession when the first, second etc., is blurred, and at a faster shutter speeds until the picture is sharp. The feature would measure sharpness at the points that are at the cross hairs.

    I would pay a lot for this.

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    Re: Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

    I'd love to have a camera which performed a focal sweep shooting a succession of exposures through out the whole, or of a specified limited, range of focus. Then in software to perform a focal blend of the images to achieve very long focal depth.

    I'd also love to be able to set a camera to shoot, align, and stack multiple astronomical photo exposures.

    Another cool feature would have the camera white image files using the FITS format, big in the fields of astronomical and scientific fields, where the pixel luminance values are handled as single or double precision floats instead of integers.

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    Re: Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Steaphany View Post
    I'd love to have a camera which performed a focal sweep shooting a succession of exposures through out the whole, or of a specified limited, range of focus. Then in software to perform a focal blend of the images to achieve very long focal depth.

    I'd also love to be able to set a camera to shoot, align, and stack multiple astronomical photo exposures.

    Another cool feature would have the camera white image files using the FITS format, big in the fields of astronomical and scientific fields, where the pixel luminance values are handled as single or double precision floats instead of integers.
    Come to think of it I can think of a lot of things I would like changed about my camera; why has it got basic settings? What are they for, I don't even know how to use them.

    Why RAW + JPEG, why not just RAW? The flash is rubbish and I don't even use it, so why do I have to have it?

    And a hundred over things; you've convinced me, bring it on.

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    Re: Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

    ... and perhaps voice prompts ...

    Thank you for choosing Open Source Camera Software ... please choose from one of the following 487,234,992 options.

    Slightly tongue-in-cheek, but the point I'm trying to make is that if your not careful then you end up over-complicating the camera for 99% of users so that 1% of users can have things like "Focus Bracketing" (which, by the way, I passed on to Chuck Westfall as a suggestion a couple of years ago; still waiting) (although I also passed on a leveling suggestion that appears to have been partially implimented in the 7D). (Still waiting on more basic stuff like seperate max shot counts depending on drive mode, no MLU timeout, min shutterspeed limits lower than 1/60th (used in conjunction with safety shift; not related to normal shutter speeds which go as low as 30 seconds).

  13. #13

    Re: Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

    Colin

    That 'voice prompt' may have been tongue-in-cheek - but be careful for what
    you wish for... I can easily imagine that being a reality. Along with threads
    such as "Help! My camera has a virus..." :-)

    cheers,
    B

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    Re: Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunter View Post
    Colin

    That 'voice prompt' may have been tongue-in-cheek - but be careful for what
    you wish for... I can easily imagine that being a reality. Along with threads
    such as "Help! My camera has a virus..." :-)

    cheers,
    B
    I can just imagine it now ...

    Camera: "Please state the type of Image that you wish to capture"

    Me: "Landscape"

    Camera" "I'm sorry - I couldn't quite understand that - please state the type of image that you wish to capture"

    Me: "L a n d s c a p e"

    Camera: "You with to capture a landscape image - is this correct?"

    Me: "Yes"

    Camera: "I'm sorry - I couldn't quite understand that - Do you wish to capture a landscape image - please answer yes or no"

    Me: "Y e s"

    Camera: "Thank you - Landscape mode selected. What focal length do you wish to use for this landscape capture?" ...

    *** Insert sound of photographer hitting head repeatedly against camera body *** !

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    Re: Open-Source Camera Could Revolutionize Digital Photography

    LOL

    Now, if they made a thought controlled camera, I could end with a lot of difficult to explain photos

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