Posts Tagged ‘discussion’

Comparing Digital Imaging Technology to the Human Eye

There’s an interesting discussion going on over at the DPReview forums regarding how the human eye compares to the technology we have in digital cameras.

Here are some of the findings that were compiled from various sources on the web:

  • Sensor size: 22mm in diameter
  • Resolution: 576 megapixels
  • Sensitivity: 1 – 800 ISO
  • Focal length: 22mm – 35mm
  • Aperture: f/2.1 – f/8.3

Another interesting idea that came up was the possibility of using the human eye as the lens and sensor for future imaging devices:

Maybe future “cameras” will actually link to your eyes – since the eyeball is such a great lens, who knows? Getting signal from the eye is the trick – would require a surgical implant or a means of reading brainwaves. Maybe that’s 200 years out – similar time [frame] the Mayo clinic is talking about for correcting double/triple vision.

Perhaps in the future we’ll all be documenting our lives at 576 megapixels through our eyes and ears, and storing the photos and videos on petabyte external hard drives at home.

What do you think of this discussion? Is there anything that jumps out at you as being wrong, or do you agree with the comparison for the most part?


Image credit: Eye (please add some funny TAGs) by Michele Catania

Homebrew Scanner Captures 2.5D Photos

Photography and electronics enthusiast Michal Zalewski recently built a simple scanning device using a diode laser and custom gearbox that allows him to create 2.5D images when used with a Canon 5D Mark II. These are regular photographs that are enhanced with accurate per-pixel depth information.

Here’s an example Zalewski gives of a regular photograph and its scan data:

Cameras used for everyday photography do not record any information about how far away things in the photograph are. They simply record what they “see”. A 2.5D camera would allow you to capture photographs with apertures (i.e. a large depth of field), and then decide the focus and depth of field afterward in post-processing.

For an example of what this means, check out this interactive demonstration with chess pieces where you can click the image to bring the area into focus.

Could this be the next step in the evolution of photography?

Nokia Exec Predicts Rise of Cameraphones and Demise of DSLRs

Speaking on the explosive improvement of camerephone technology in Helsinki yesterday, Nokia Executive Vice President Anssi Vanjoki shared his vision of the future for cameraphones — a future without DSLRs.

Pointing at a professional photographer in the room, Vanjoki said, “There will be no need to carry around those heavy lenses.”

From a poll we ran on PetaPixel last week, we found that 59% of our readers didn’t believe cameraphones would replace even compact cameras. We didn’t even think to mention DSLRs, since there currently does not seem to be any answer as to how cameraphones will address their disadvantage of smaller sensors and poorer optics.

However, the idea of cameraphones replacing even the best digital cameras continues to find its way into news articles. Just last month Wired published a story titled, “Quantum Technology Promises Wedding Photos From Phone Cameras“.

Wedding photography with a cameraphone? Really?

Perhaps these quotes and articles aren’t intended to suggest that the DSLR market will be replaced by cell phones, but rather that the quality difference will be reduced to the point that those who simply bought DSLR cameras for casual photography might be satisfied with cameraphone quality.

If that’s the case, these claims might be true. Enough consumers may buy into the megapixel myth and eschew fancier cameras for the increased “megapixel power” of cameraphones. In the same speech, Vanjoki also predicted that cellphones will be capable of filming HD video within the next 12 months.

Once we see a “Last 3 Minutes” caliber film shot with a cameraphone, we’ll be believers. Until then, we’ll keep bringing our DSLR to weddings.

Reuters Retracts Icelandic Volcano Photo

Last week when Reuters released photographs of the volcanic activity at Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland, one photograph stood out to Wade Laube, the photo editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.

After making a few calls, Reuters decided to investigate. Laube writes on his blog,

Reuters had made contact with the photographer, an Icelandic local, and sought access to the original. It transpired that before being acquired by the wire service, the photograph had been in the possession of an Icelandic newspaper and it was there that some fairly liberal digital dodging and burning took place. When a comparison was made with the original, it became obvious that post production had been applied to sufficient extent that it violated Reuters’ very firm position on digital enhancement. So they retracted the picture and supplied the original in its place, and we dropped that image into the Herald for later editions.

Looking at the before and after photographs shown above, you can see that post-processing was done in order to make the plume of ash look extremely dramatic.

What are your thoughts on how far post-processing can go before it becomes too much?


Image credits: Photographs by Reuters

Zero Angle Concept Uses Protective Clamshell Camera Design

The Zero Angle Digital Camera is a conceptual design by Sun ho Sin and Jeong eun Park that protects sensitive components by hiding them when not in use.

The clamshell design allows to camera to be stored and carried safely without a dedicated camera case, keeping your LCD safe from scratches and bumps.

The design is reminiscent of a flip phone, except instead of flipping the camera “open”, one half of the camera is swung all the way around to provide the LCD screen for what resembles a traditional point-and-shoot camera.

What would be even more awesome would be if the camera was completely sealed when closed, protecting it completely from things like water, sand, and dirt.

The idea seems simple enough. Perhaps we’ll see this design in a real camera sometime in the near future. What do you think of this concept?

(via Yanko Design)

Photography Predictions from 20 Years Ago

Google Groups hosts an archive of Usenet discussions from as far back as 1981. These discussions often provide an interesting glimpse at the state of the world and what was considered “state of the art”.

On December 18, 1990, someone named Carl Madson started a discussion titled “Future of Photography..?” Here are some of the thoughts and questions he posed:

Seeing as how 2001 is just a little over a decade away, I was wondering what our resident sages/crazy people thought might be happening in the realm of photography/imaging/etc.(?) in ten years (and the intervening period).

Will film still be popular? What percent of consumers, and serious shooters, will be using electronic imaging devices instead, and will we ‘lose’ many folks to video cameras? Will home imaging (/editing/printing/..) computers be commonplace?

Will darkroomers gradually transition from chemicals to electronics, will there be a mix, or ? Only a small set of darkroomers for fine-art photography? Will regulations put an opressive damper on the use of chemicals at home?

How about ethical issues? The manipulation of ‘truth’ via imaging techniques? Showing the world as it really is, vs. making it look better than it is? And the ever-popular censorship issue?

Some of the responses are pretty funny when considering today’s technology, while other predictions seemed to be spot-on:

Right now, 1 Megabyte of memory costs about $45 retail. This will not drop by an order of magnitude in the next decade without a breakthrough, or an economical Gallium-Arsenide process to replace Silicon. [...]

At-home image manipulation can become as popular as home tape recording was in the 60′s. Many people will have access to computers that can accept a digital image processing board. There could be a new kind of mini-lab that could handle that medium.

I think that electronic cameras will break into the “point and shoot” market. Their ease of use and quick turnaround are very appealing to snapshooters. Film will still be popular, probably as popular as now or more so. Computer imaging still doesn’t hold a candle to good ol’ silver halides for resolution and color. Some computer scanners do a damn good job, but CCD’s? Not anytime in the near future.

Home editing will be very popular among the snapshooters with their CCD still cameras. Don’t want ugly uncle Bob draining that beer in the background? No problem! A few keystrokes and it’s bye-bye Bob! Auto color-balancing will be handy. People could experiment with toning without all those harsh chemicals. More snapshooters could experience the wonder of black and white. It would be very easy to convert a color picture to black and white. Another keystroke (or maybe keys will be obsolete?) and the print could be sepia toned, for that high-tech old-fashioned look. [...]

The old-fashioned silver photography will probably be used, and then transferred to computer via scanners. (I’ve done this myself, actually.) This way editing can be done by computer on those awful, inflexible prints before publication. [...]

CCD photos will certainly be impossible to use for documentation. It’s just too damn easy to manipulate them! The theory that a photo constitutes proof has already begun to erode. This will merely help the process along.

To read more of this discussion, check out the entire thread (54 posts) on Google Groups.

Now, my questions is this: what are your predictions for what photography will be like in 2021?

(via Reddit)


Image credit: timepiece prime time clock closeup watch by zoutedrop

MIOPS: Smartphone Controllable High Speed Camera Trigger

MIOPS is a new smartphone-controlled camera trigger that combines all of the features photographers want in a high-speed camera trigger into one convenient device.

Read more…

ViaU Offers Madison Avenue Photography for a Low Flat Fee

ViaU is a new photography service by Mariano Pastor, a 25-year veteran of the Madison Avenue photography industry whose clients include L’Oreal and Lancome.

What sets it apart from other services is the flat rate it charges for photography regardless of who the client is or what the photograph is used for. Clients simply create a layout for the photo via ViaU’s web interface and ship the product to the studio. The photographs are created within 24 hours, and the product is shipped back free of charge.

Now here’s the kicker: the photography is free, and you only pay the flat fee of $224 if you decide to buy unlimited rights to the photograph. On the website Pastor states,

The truth is that great photography doesn’t really have to cost that much. It’s a simple idea, but also a big idea.

Simple enough, that is, to create your layout online and escape all negotiations. You know what you’ll get before you start. Great original photography, to use as you wish, at an affordable price. After twenty-five years of shooting for Madison Ave. I believe Via U! is my most creative accomplishment.

Rob Haggart over at A Photo Editor thinks this model is a bad idea:

Can’t say I’m complete surprised by this. I know product photography was one of the categories hit hard early on when companies started doing the shots internally so maybe this is just the natural progression of a photographer competing for the bottom dollar there, except something doesn’t feel right to me. Doing this kind of thing for small companies seems like a smart play, delivering the same price to billion dollar companies seems rotten.

What do you think about this business model for photography?

(via A Photo Editor)

Evil Dictator Baby Photographs

Danish-Norwegian artist Nina Maria Kleivan has come under fire for a series of photographs in which she dresses up her year-old daughter Faustina as some of history’s most evil figures. The series, titled “Potency”, has been shown in exhibitions around Europe, and is meant to explore the nature of evil.

Benito Mussolini

Adolf Hitler

Mao Zedong

Saddam Hussein

Idi Amin

Joseph Stalin

The Telegraph quotes Kleivan as saying,

We all have evil within us. Even small children are evil towards each other. Even my daughter could end up ruling Denmark with an iron fist. The possibility is still there. You never know.

Even though my generation doesn’t speak out about the war, silently our cultural circle sees Hitler as evil incarnate. But this is not a deliberate provocation, it calls for reflection. Even though comical, you’re not supposed to only laugh at these pictures. You need to contemplate them, ponder where this evil comes from.

While reaction to the series has been mixed, some groups have taken offense to the work. The head of the Canadian Jewish Congress is quoted as saying,

Surely, there’s a better way to explore evil than to throw a swastika on a baby.

What do you think of this series? Is it appropriate as art, or has the artist taken it too far?

(via Boing Boing)

Wildlife Competition Miffs Photographers with New Megapixel Requirement

Last year the Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition dealt with controversy when the winning photographer was stripped of his award for staging his photograph.

Now, there’s a new controversial decision by the organizers of the competition: a new rule bans entries from cameras with less than 10 megapixels:

Digital images must have been taken on a sufficiently high resolution camera – at least ten (10) million pixels, on the highest setting.

PhotoRadar notes that a finalist from a few years ago would have been barred from the competition under the new rules:

In 2007, American photographer Kari Post made it to the finals of the Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition at the Natural History Museum with a selection of prints entered in the Eric Hoskins portfolio category.

If she entered this year, she would be disqualified before some of her pictures, taken with a 6.1 megapixel Nikon D70, were even considered. A change to the rules in the competition (now the Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition) disallows photographers from entering photos taken with a camera with a sensor with fewer than 10MP.

“The worst part of it is that it’s discriminating against photographers who don’t have the most recent cameras,” she says.

The new rule bars even the professional Canon EOS 1D Mark II, since it only boasts a “meager” 8 megapixels.

The reason for the new rule was a redesign of the contest’s gallery at the National History museum. The gallery requires larger prints, and therefore the competition now demands higher resolution. What’s interesting is how this print requirement affected past competitions even when there wasn’t a rule. PhotoRadar reports,

[...] Colin Finlay, a spokesperson for the competition office, said, “In previous competition years, several images have had to be dismissed during the late stages of the competition due to their technical quality not being sufficient for the demands of large scale reproduction.”

That means images that could have won the competition based on artistic merit were actually dismissed for not having enough megapixels.

What are your thoughts on this new rule? Keep in mind that every current DSLR model offered has at least 10 megapixels.

(via Photoxels)

Wired Still Predicting the Demise of DSLRs

Back at the beginning of the year, Wired stirred up some fierce debate when it published an article titled, 5 Reasons to Ditch Your Digital SLR.

Unless you have a specific use that these cameras can’t meet, or you need the very highest level of performance only a Canon 1D or Nikon D3 can bring, you have no reason to buy a DSLR.

Today, they’re at it again with a new article titled, Do Mirrorless Cameras Spell the Death of DSLRs?.

[...] what does it mean for the DSLR, which has for years been the fastest growing sector of the camera market? A DSLR used to be the only way to go if you wanted a camera that had a big sensor and a reasonably responsive shutter. The other benefits, like interchangeable lenses, are arguably only there for the more serious. Take a look around you next time you’re in a tourist spot and you’ll see mostly sub-$1,000 SLRs with the kit zooms still on the front.

The argument is that the large sensors, small camera size, and interchangeable lenses on the newer cameras will steal all but the most serious photographers from the DSLR market. Their view is summed up nicely in the last sentence:

The DSLR won’t die. But it could become a niche product, and the specialist tool of the professional.

What do you think about this debate? Will DSLR cameras start to decline in popularity, or does Wired not know what it’s talking about?


Image credit: novoflex meets gf-1 by icedsoul photography .:teymur madjderey