Posts Tagged ‘opensource’

Samsung Releases Galaxy Camera Code, Hackers Talk of Voice Calling

Samsung released the open source kernel files for its new Galaxy Camera late last week, something commonly done in the smartphone world — at least with certain platforms — but a foreign concept in the world of digital photography. This opens the door to all kinds of possibilities as hackers begin to peer into the cameras brain and dream up new possibilities for how it should work.

Developers are already talking about the possibility of introducing voice calling to the camera — a feature Samsung left out of the camera, presumably to avoid cannibalizing its smartphones.
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New Open Source Exhibition Format Asks Artists to Bring Their Own Projectors

“BYOB” is an initialism that’s readily understood by college students who party. To artist Rafaël Rozendaal, however, it means something entirely different. In 2010, Rozendaal launched Bring Your Own Beamer, a series of novel “open source” art exhibitions in which participants were asked to bring their own beamers (AKA projectors). The recipe for the concept is extremely simple: find a venue with plenty of wall space (and outlets), invite a bunch of artists and art-lovers, and have images projected all over the walls for everyone to enjoy.
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Nikon Camera Control: An Open Source App for Remote DSLR Control

Nikon shooters: Nikon Camera Control is a new open source Windows application that lets you remotely control your Nikon DSLR using a PC and a USB cable. Features include tethering, remote control over camera’s basic settings, remote shutter triggering, an intervalometer for time-lapses, and fullscreen review.

Nikon Camera Control (via Nikon Rumors)

Wave this Programmable “Light Saber” to Light Paint Words and Images

Gavin of Sydney, Australia created an awesome 2-meter long programmable staff that makes painting giant words and images as easy as waving/walking the staff around during a long-exposure photograph. The staff, which he call the LightScythe (we would have called it the “Lightsaber”), was inspired by the Wi-Fi light painting project we shared here earlier this year.

The hardware is pretty simple. There’s a 2m programmable LED strip inside an acrylic tube, which is controlled from a small receiver and battery pack. A laptop PC with a wireless Xbee link sends the image data to the scythe at a specified time. [#]

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Open Source Project Aims to Invent the Photographic Light of the Future

About a year ago, engineer and photo-enthusiast Morten Hjerde began brainstorming ideas for the next generation of photographic lighting after concluding that most of the lights used by photographers these days are simply glorified light bulbs.

Using embedded electronics and microprocessor programming, he set out to explore ways to create a different kind of light. A light that would go where the current lights could not go. Exploring the possibility and feasibility of actual digital light. Light that could be pushed and tweaked like you push and tweak the pixels on your computer screen. [#]

He set up a company called Rift Labs, and decided to open source the design and software involved in creating this digital light source. The video above provides some interesting background on the project.

Rift Labs: Chasing the Perfect Light (via planet5d)

Sony Strikes Back at Micro Four Thirds by Releasing the E-mount Specification

A day after Carl Zeiss announced they would be joining the Micro Four Thirds format, Sony is striking back by announcing that they will be releasing specifications for its E-mount, allowing lens makers to develop third-party lenses for the NEX line of mirrorless cameras and camcorders. What’s more, Carl Zeiss, Cosina, Sigma and Tamron have already committed to manufacturing lenses for the format.

It’ll be interesting to see how this growing war between mirrorless camera formats plays out.

Image credit: SONY NEX-5 by DORONKO

Make Adjustments in Lightroom with Physical Sliders

Lightroom adjustment sliders are nice and all, but wouldn’t it be neat if fine adjustments could be made using our hands and physical sliders rather than a mouse and virtual ones? There’s an open source program called PADDY for Lightroom that allows you to map adjustment settings in Lightroom to external devices, including MIDI faders with sliders and knobs. Here’s the description:

Paddy radically improves the workflow in Lightroom 3.0 by allowing you assign any adjustment setting – including moving the sliders and applying a preset – to keys, your number keypad, external keypads, or a MIDI controller. This gives you all editing (and some other) tools of Lightroom at the push of one button. You do not need the mouse any more to get to presets or to adjust the sliders.

The software is completely free and open source, and can be downloaded here. Sadly, it’s currently only available for Windows.
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Shoot HD Video with Any LiveView Canon EOS Camera

It’s almost a given for new Canon DSLRs to have an HD video recording mode, but older Canons can also capture HD video with the open source software EOS Camera Movie Record. The program allows you to shoot HD 720p video with any Canon EOS camera that has LiveView capabilities. The software runs off of your computer and captures HD video from the LiveView of a tethered camera.

Photographer Peter Arboine has an article up at DIY Photography about how he uses the software to shoot video with a Canon 40D.

Obviously, the fact that your camera has to remain tethered limits use of this video feature largely to studio use, but it’s a neat workaround for Canon owners. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the Canon program has been in the works for over a year, there’s still no Nikon equivalent.

3D Webcam Capture Demo at 60 FPS

Kyle McDonald is a programmer working on building open source utilities for realtime 3D scanning using structured light, a technique that requires only a projector and a cheap camera.

Here’s a demo of what 3D capture looks like using a PS3 webcam:

If you’d like to get involved in the project, head on over to the structured-light Google code page to check out the code (no pun intended).

Do you think this might be the future of photography and video?

(via Make)

Stanford’s Open Source Camera Project


The web is abuzz over a project over at Stanford that aims to revolutionize how we think about photography by building an open source camera (dubbed Frankencamera).

That’s right…

Open. Source. Camera.

While you try to wrap your mind around this new paradigm, I’ll point out of a few of the important aspects of the project and throw in some of my thoughts on it.

Linux, Firefox, and now Frankencamera

The established order of things up to this point has been for behemoth camera corporations (i.e. Canon, Nikon, etc…) to sell consumers (i.e. you and me) hardware and software that they spend years and billions of dollars developing and tweaking. The same was true of operating systems and browsers before open source projects like Linux and Firefox crashed the party.

If this research group at Stanford successfully releases an open source platform for imaging, a whole new world of opportunity opens up for photographers and developers alike. Instead of attempting to have features added to future cameras by making noise and requesting them, we would be able to take matters into our own hands, building hardware or developing software to suit our needs.

Advanced In-Camera “Post”-Processing

Imagine if you could program your DSLR with some common Photoshop actions that you always run when post-processing your images, so the photos come out the camera with your edits already applied.

Even more advanced post-processing techniques could be moved into the camera, providing photographers with features that the large camera makers would never add to their DSLRs, since they prefer sticking to the fundamentals and leaving post-processing up to the photographer. For example, a photographer could choose to have his camera automatically bracket, merge, and tone map, allowing him to download HDR photographs directly from his camera.

Camera Apps

The team behind the Frankencamera also envisions a future where photographers can download applications onto their cameras, just like apps can be downloaded to the iPhone from the App Store. Wifi on your camera? Directly uploading photographs to Flickr? Different photo styles and camera effects? The possibilities are endless, and it would definitely be interesting to see what applications developers would come up with.

As Apple’s App Store has shown, it definitely pays to put application development in the hands of individuals rather than keep it behind closed doors with your relatively small group of developers and engineers.


How would an open source software platform change the game in terms of hardware? The Frankencamera is currently being developed with a hodgepodge of parts — everything from Nokia cameraphone sensors to Canon lenses. If an open source camera gained any significant piece of the camera market pie, then third party lens manufacturers such as Tamron and Sigma would no doubt join in on the fun.

I’ve read elsewhere that third-party lens makers are forced to reverse engineer the mounting and focusing systems of camera makers such as Canon and Nikon. This would be completely unnecessary for an open source camera, and the third-party companies would even be able to contribute towards the software side to improve the functionality of their lenses.

A critical piece of the puzzle, however, is the issue of sensors. I’m sure the bulk of the billions spent on R&D has to do with sensor technology, and pretty much no one can compete with the larger companies on this front. No matter how popular an open source camera might be, adopters will likely have to take a hit on sensor quality unless one of the big players decides to contribute their sensors.

Final Thoughts

Personally, I think this is a great idea and really hope the research group succeeds in getting something off the ground and into our hands. I only wish it were a project being done over here at UC Berkeley, though I do know there’s some pretty interesting work being done related to camera sensors and bokeh rendering.

To learn more about the project, you can read the Stanford news article, or watch this YouTube video put out by Stanford.