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Modular concept camera captures photographer and subject simultaneously

By dpreview staff on Jul 20, 2013 at 16:00 GMT

It's not uncommon for photographers to feel much more at ease behind the camera rather than in front of it. Duo, a concept from Chin-Wei Liao, a Korean design school graduate, aims to transform the person behind the lens into photographer and subject simultaneously. Each half of the Duo is an individual camera. Assembled as one unit, pressing the shutter will record an image while capturing a picture of the person using the camera.  

The Duo concept camera consists of two imaging modules. They can operate together or as separate imaging units, each able to remotely trigger the others' shutter.

The most obvious application is the 'selfie,' the quick self portraits popularized by the rise of front-facing smartphone cameras and apps like Instagram. More interesting is the Duo's capability to function as two independent-but-still-linked cameras when split into its two units. Each contains its own shutter button, lens and LCD; firing the shutter on one camera remotely triggers the other, capturing two images at once. Both images are saved side-by-side as the final product.

Designer Chin-Wei Liao created the Duo concept as a graduate project at the Royal College of Art, in London. For now, it's just a prototype still tethered together by wires, but it's an interesting idea. Let us know what you think in the comments.

Via: Wired, Source: Chin-Wei Liao

Comments

Total comments: 91
b craw
By b craw (9 months ago)

It is the very purpose of a comment thread like this that we all feel comfortable commenting on the merits - or lack thereof - of this technology; that we should do. But for the overly snarky dismissals of some, I'd suggest a bit of investigation of photo history. I may think that this camera(a) smells a bit like a gimmick, but interesting - both in form and concept - avenues have been explored in photography via "gimmicks". Was not Polaroid technology first seen as gimmick? And has it not been employed in very important work? In fact, the very invention of photography was largely dismissed by traditionalists as not an art form, a mere technical advancement, devoid of the potential or importance of painting. So, please, those of you that poopoo this as useless, please understand that your ideas of application are not the application potential here. I've always been baffled by the quest for exclusivity in photography, the desperate staking out of claims of legitimate means of producing an image. I personally love my Leica and what magic it does to a surface of halides, but I can see the merits in the most experimental of photographic approaches, and how they serve the interests of the individual artist. We need to always be conscious of the fact that we are products of our own limited experiences and extend ourselves in our think of potentials. I don't want to be that guy hunkered down in my darkroom screaming vulgarities at the ways of the "kids these days". [actually hunkered down in the darkroom sounds good minus the latter part]

Still, I suspect this technology will not survive market demands. But I am not the one(s) who will ultimately decide.

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (9 months ago)

I have been doing that for years, aiming the camera at a mirror, and capturing both myself and the mirror. Patent infringement?

2 upvotes
edu T
By edu T (9 months ago)

Not the same thing; the proposed camera allows for two independent points of view.

0 upvotes
kofkitt
By kofkitt (9 months ago)

Does this allow you to take a photo of a specific scene and then without "photoshopping" have your picture appear in the scene?

0 upvotes
MaxiMax
By MaxiMax (9 months ago)

Sounds like.... a useless idea.

1 upvote
Simon Zeev
By Simon Zeev (9 months ago)

The idea to photograph myself together with the subject doesn't interest me.
Maybe the best application for this camera is to photograph 3D pictures, especially of moving subjects when synchronization is critical.

1 upvote
santeKIM
By santeKIM (9 months ago)

He doesn't graduated from Korean design school.
Please check the his homepage out.
He graduated from National Taiwan University.

1 upvote
AngusCNH
By AngusCNH (9 months ago)

Such idea was being used by LG smartphone already....? or different?

0 upvotes
Marvol
By Marvol (9 months ago)

So this custom-built prototype does exactly what a smartphone app can make any number of smartphones do already, i.e. trigger the shutter wirelessly?

Even if an app that does this is not written as such, the principle is trivial. And with the advent of WiFi plus apps in higher-end cameras (Sony's NEX for one) this is even already possible in principle in fairly high-end cameras.

In short this gadget is already outdated before it's even left the prototype stage.

0 upvotes
Johannes Zander
By Johannes Zander (9 months ago)

So if you have about a 100 of this cameras you can do bullet time? Right?
Any other use?

0 upvotes
CBRWizzer
By CBRWizzer (9 months ago)

I'm sure Lytro is thrilled to finally have a competitor in the "Technology that has no need" department.

7 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (9 months ago)

I would have posted a snarkier comment myself, except that I actually went to the linked article that describes the concept in more detail. It's a bit more interesting than the way it's presented by DPReview.

As for the specific idea of simultaneously photographing yourself and the scene in front of you and combining them into one photo, that is not news. You can do that with a smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy S4 which has a mode that will fire its front and back cameras simultaneously and combine the result.

3 upvotes
Optimal Prime
By Optimal Prime (9 months ago)

No hotshoe(s) ?

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (9 months ago)

Q: How have we managed to survive without this?
A: Easily.

7 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (9 months ago)

Actually it would have been easier if we had not heard about it because now I have to spend energy to try and forget it.

4 upvotes
AlanG
By AlanG (9 months ago)

Too many people have latched on only to the idea of a simultaneous self portrait that accompanies the photograph. The best I can tell that is not the designer's intention at all but comes from the writer at DPReview who may not fully grasp the concept.

What is being presented are two wirelessly linked cameras - each that can point in any direction - that can shoot simultaneously and combine those photos. This is simply another tool and it will be up to those with creative minds to figure out various ways to use it.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
JDThomas
By JDThomas (9 months ago)

I find it interesting that people on this forum sit back and bash every new or different concept that comes along while doing pretty much nothing to further any interesting changes in modern photography.

It may be limited in application, but it's a relatively novel design.

9 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (9 months ago)

Any interesting ''change in modern photography'' will be an innovation in the philosophy of photography and new ideas in photography as an art form, not a ''relatively novel design'' in technology.

If you think some nerd's gadget is going to do it, you are mistaken.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

it's difficult to find a good invention from 999 rubbish.
one is 99.9% correct to call everything rubbish.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
xMichaelx
By xMichaelx (9 months ago)

Millions of people have a phone that does the same thing. I don't see any need to back new ideas, but this isn't one.

1 upvote
Mrrowe8
By Mrrowe8 (9 months ago)

Sometimes the tool changes the philosophical approach of " modern photography " & sometimes it's the other way around ..this is an interesting tool especially the separation part.. The same ass hats bashing this I will bet $$$ where the same ass hats spewing philosophical crap from their moms basement about the camera phone idea and how " real photographers " would never lower themselves to the novelty or how teal photographer never would use auto focus cameras or how digital will never replace film .. " see sometimes the tool changes the medium and some tools like the asshats in mom basement will never change ..

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (9 months ago)

As a professor, I am so pleased that you feel ready to declare what will constitute photography's advancement. While I agree that this is gimmickry of sorts, and do prefer rigorous contextual development of the media on the whole, photo history has been advanced by both. Was not Polaroid technology thought to be gimmick when it was developed? And has it not since been employed since in some very mindful and nuanced ways by artists. The market will ultimately decide if this technology featured in this article endures (I suspect it may not for a number of reasons). But do not claim that it cannot have a role as a tool for some artists to push their personal state in photography's future forward. That is not a determination you are in a position to make.

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (9 months ago)

I was directing the above commentary at Tape5.

0 upvotes
JDThomas
By JDThomas (9 months ago)

@Tape5: And what are YOU doing to advance the "philosophy of photography" and while you're at it, why don't you explain to me what the "philosophy of photography" is? Is it not to capture an image? Wouldn't that mean that the philosophy of photography would be different for every photographer and would also change with different applications for each photographer?

And as far as some "nerd's gadget", just about every invention was some "nerd's gadget". Doc Edgerton's electronic flash was just some "nerd's gadget".

@Yabokkie: Just about everything you post makes absolutely no sense.

@Mrrowe8: Spot on.

1 upvote
electrophoto
By electrophoto (9 months ago)

yay... another silly concept.

3 upvotes
krikman
By krikman (9 months ago)

Ha-ha-hah!
They still not discovered usage of scotch adhesive tape!

What else they invent after scotch tape discovering?
A hammer with 2 heads? (If electronically drived second hammerhead beat you while you smash nail)
A scothched dual pensil that writes 2 strokes simultaneosly?
A gun that shoots at you and the enemy?
A cup for tea and coffee same time?
.....

3 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (9 months ago)

Selfie with a context: the idea is interesting, instead foodies or selfies on "social" websites, we will have foodies+selfies at the same time, a great step forward :)

Should I add that's something a simple Android or iOS application could do for free, instead buying these "boxes" ?

2 upvotes
Leandros S
By Leandros S (9 months ago)

That application already exists or at least was announced at one stage.

0 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (9 months ago)

Yes, smartphone apps can already do this by firing the front and back cameras simultaneously. But the idea is more interesting than that, if you read the linked Wired article.

0 upvotes
jjnik
By jjnik (9 months ago)

Must be a smoker

1 upvote
Hassan Al-Rayes
By Hassan Al-Rayes (9 months ago)

of what

0 upvotes
Raincheck
By Raincheck (9 months ago)

The guy holding the camera has a small chip in one of his thumbnails, plus his cuticles are not only ragged but desert dry. And what's up with the yellow tinge of his fingernails in the first place?

0 upvotes
Random Asian Guy
By Random Asian Guy (9 months ago)

I think this makes a much better idea for self portrait and everything around them.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/02/06/Ricoh-concept-camera-makes-Spherical-Panoramic-images-in-one-shot

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (9 months ago)

Thoughts before reading the comments below:
Hmmmm neat "concept" can't really see it taking off but at least the guy was thinking differently about photography- not that we need to think differently about it just for the sake of it.

Thoughts after reading the comments below:
Hmmmm neat "concept" can't really see it taking off but at least the guy was thinking differently about photography- not that we need to think differently about it just for the sake of it.

3 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (9 months ago)

My thoughts after reading your comment, Carl (with all due respect):
"Hmmmm neat "concept" can't really see it taking off but at least the guy was thinking differently about photography- not that we need to think differently about it just for the sake of it."

0 upvotes
Tee1up
By Tee1up (9 months ago)

I guess this will fit in perfectly for the insecure Facebook narcissist that can not get enough of her/himself.

Personally, my favorite books, movies and photos are the ones where the author, director, artist disappears...leaving the medium for us to enjoy.

3 upvotes
yonsarh
By yonsarh (9 months ago)

I think the writer has uneducated background on ASia.
Those names are not Korean. It may be Taiwanese just like
below comments mentioned.

0 upvotes
The Jacal
By The Jacal (9 months ago)

Of course, the journalist must be uneducated, like any other journalist who says Muhammad Ali is American. Sheesh.

0 upvotes
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (9 months ago)

Yes, the dude is from Taiwan. But why bash the writer for his unfamiliarity with Asian names? My original guess was that he would be Chinese.

***********************
From designboom.com,
"the ‘duo’ camera by taiwanese designer chin-wei liao splits in half, and integrates synchronized triggers to capture the moment."
***********************

0 upvotes
The Jacal
By The Jacal (9 months ago)

reginalddwight: It's got nothing to do with unfamiliarity, I'm sure the journalist was working from info he/she was given, not guessing the nationality based on a name.
I guess it's lucky that Yaphet Kotto isn't starting out in the camera industry.

0 upvotes
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (9 months ago)

@The Jacal, You may be right. This reminds of the recent incident of a San Francisco Bay Area television anchorwoman who read the supposed names of the Korean-run Asiana Airlines pilots responsible for the crash at SFO. The racist names turned out to be a massive joke pulled off by a summer intern.

0 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (9 months ago)

You'd better consider "journalists", in many websites, press as well as in TV channels, as "speakers" or "rewriters": they are no more journalists, in the way that they don't search for information themselves and don't double-check them.

At the very least, they have a pool of people that look for informations, without double-checking, and usually it's press releases that just are rewritten...

1 upvote
AlanG
By AlanG (9 months ago)

I also think that if he evolves it so that each camera can show a preview of both views, that would be pretty cool.

0 upvotes
AlanG
By AlanG (9 months ago)

I think the self portrait idea is pretty pointless. But the idea of being able to easily aim two or more cameras at a subject from different angles and capturing an image at a precise point in time might be useful.

7 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (9 months ago)

Isn't that already possible with wireless controllers?

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (9 months ago)

Stereo, maybe. But, seems to me, if you just want a picture of yourself and your subject, you can stand in front of a mirror. Or how about this...you take a picture of somebody and when the shutter closes, both your phones ring and you discuss the photo.

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (9 months ago)

This really IS the narcissist culture to end all narcissist cultures...

1 upvote
b craw
By b craw (9 months ago)

I have a(n) MFA and have been teaching both digital and film photography for 10 years at the university level. It never ceases to surprise me how many in the photographic community are ill-tempered and close minded. It is part of the reason I am apprehensive to call myself a photographer despite nearly all my work ending in a photograph.

While I am capable of seeing the lack of practicality or need in various photo contexts of this technology, I can envision some applications for particular conceptual work. But asking some photographers to think conceptually - beyond technical masturbation - may be a bridge too far.

[i suppose I should acknowledge my own ill temper here.]

2 upvotes
jeffcpix
By jeffcpix (9 months ago)

And asking professors to demand technical proficiency instead of conceptual fantasy might be yet another bridge still further.
I guess that would require a PE rather than an MFA

1 upvote
b craw
By b craw (9 months ago)

Not mutually exclusive - imagine both in balance. Then again, I'm not entirely clear about what is meant by "conceptual fantasy".

0 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (9 months ago)

I agree that many photographers, especially in the DPReview forums, can be highly judgmental about any tool that has no immediate bearing on their personal photographic interests.

But I see both sides of the story. I went to a museum that was quite good, but in one room they supposedly had the year's best student work. But the art and the accompanying descriptions were examples of why some cannot stand academia. The art was half-baked and seemed to lack intrinsic meaning unless you read the text description and rationalized them sufficiently to accept the art. The art descriptions were guilty of the worst kind of content-free academic hand-waving. This was in stark contrast to the fully realized, challenging yet accessible works in the rest of the museum.

As for this article, the main reason I am not impressed with it is because taking a selfie simultaneously with your photo is already a feature of smartphones with front and back cameras. You can buy one in any mall.

1 upvote
jeffcpix
By jeffcpix (9 months ago)

Conceptual fantasy = an idea that a person has no means to execute in a medium he is ill-equipped to manipulate.

It's not uncommon for 'aspiring artists' to choose a 'message'
that might be better expressed in another medium -- except
that medium takes more effort/experience than 'pushing a button and letting Kodak do the rest'.

But these days play=creativity and we wouldn't want to damage their budding self-esteem... or lose those tuition $$$$.

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (9 months ago)

In tens years of teaching, I have yet to witness a program that approaches "conceptual fantasy"; as I an others in academic institutions - and I say that because they seem a convenient punching bag - tend to do is to equip students with both a formal and technical skill sets that work in service of actualizing concept. I agree that the latter without the former is a faulty structure. I, and many I know, also teach the structural and historical contexts of photography and its potentials as appropriate or not for for certain types of work. I too occasionally come upon a group of selected student work and wonder what was the basis for the selection, and often question force-fit conceptualism (depending entirely upon external description). But these are curatorial failures, and isolated. Best not to general as emblematic of academia, as a whole, failing in this way.

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (9 months ago)

In response to the assertion that students are not pressed critically because it would be an assault on their "budding self-esteem, I don't see that either - that seems a very naive perception. The environments I control are supportive but rigorously critical, as I want students to be challenged and ultimately produce the best work possible.

As for the highly cynical prospect that everything goes because institutions are protecting tuition dollars, I wonder what environments you have been exposed to that give you this idea. I teach my classes. I develop the professional expectations and the criteria for a student evaluation. Never have I been pressured, directly or indirectly, to protect revenue by easing standards. I can only speak from my experience ultimately, but I find this whole notion of the academic agenda to be a convenient myth. Yes, institutions are subject to finance pressures to function, but any real criticism that I might see need be directed at admission policies, etc., not the mechanics within the classroom. I work on the behalf students and their interests (assuming they want to improve their art and photography); institutional politics stop at my classroom door.

0 upvotes
LKJ
By LKJ (9 months ago)

"Design" students!

Bless 'em.

0 upvotes
bjhk
By bjhk (9 months ago)

very good for 3d photography

0 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (9 months ago)

So, in addition to the already bad selfies everywhere, we'll now also have photographers taking selfies every time they take a picture. Are we sure this is something we wish to unleash on the world?

11 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (9 months ago)

I just LMAO when i read this. I agree.

0 upvotes
The Jacal
By The Jacal (9 months ago)

So it's basically two cameras with a wifi link.

Reminds me of the Blackadder quote, Lord Percy: "only the other day I saw a horse with two bodies and two heads" Blackadder; "Two horses perhaps?"

12 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (9 months ago)

A camera like this must be the devil's work, surely, so we'd better get the witch smeller Pursuivant on the case...

1 upvote
powersports
By powersports (9 months ago)

Like & double-like. The most pertinent comment, bar none.

1 upvote
David Elliott Lewis
By David Elliott Lewis (9 months ago)

The Samsung Galaxy S4 cell phone is already implementing a similar feature with its dual mode video capability. It simultaneously combines its front-facing camera and its rear-facing camera feed for a combined image. It can be shown either picture-in-picture, top and bottom or side by side.

4 upvotes
0MitchAG
By 0MitchAG (9 months ago)

And yet there are free apps that can already do it.

1 upvote
edu T
By edu T (9 months ago)

Not the same thing, for the proposed camera allows for two independent points of view rather than fixed back-to-back.

0 upvotes
Ulfric M Douglas
By Ulfric M Douglas (9 months ago)

Who wrote this copy? Sack 'em
"pressing the shutter will record and an image"

What has journalism come to? Oh the horror.

5 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (9 months ago)

Go outside.

3 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (9 months ago)

Such petty commentary...please. Yes, do go outside.

0 upvotes
gwcphotography
By gwcphotography (9 months ago)

Umm, I don't think he's Korean (name isn't Korean), and his website doesn't mention graduating from a Korean design school...

Where exactly did that factoid come up?

1 upvote
f8pc
By f8pc (9 months ago)

Yeah, pretty sure he is Taiwanese.

1 upvote
The Jacal
By The Jacal (9 months ago)

Which factoid? It doesn't say that he graduated from a Korean design school, he is Korean and graduated from a design school.

2 upvotes
Frode Hegland
By Frode Hegland (9 months ago)

This is very cool but you can do this with any smartphone already. I made an app called Flipic which takes a picture of both the subject and shows it as a 3d 'card'. It's not on the App Store yet. Maybe I should put it there... :-) http://www.flipic.info is the site.

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (9 months ago)

"graduates" have such pie in the sky, lofty ideas until the reality of the business work hits them.

4 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (9 months ago)

Replace the words graduates with young people and business with old age.

2 upvotes
reality_check
By reality_check (9 months ago)

I love it when older folks criticize youth's desire to innovate. Sure, this might not be a good idea (although smartphones do have this feature already as others have pointed out), but, please, don't mock their ambition and creativity (no matter hwo silly it might be). If it were for people like you, we would still be fighting lions around a fire because that was the BEST way to live! :) Wait, who was the idiot who "tamed" fire? Now lions know where we are? :)

4 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (9 months ago)

This generalization says more about you than them.

1 upvote
b craw
By b craw (9 months ago)

That was directed at RedFox88.

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (9 months ago)

It's hard to be a start up these days with big business against you. Much harder than in decades past. The mom and pop stores are disappearing because of buyers frequenting big box stores. Just like Canon and Nikon are the "big box" giants that any camera company would have to compete again. Not easy at all.

0 upvotes
RamblingDan
By RamblingDan (9 months ago)

Ha! So wrapped up in the social fun use, the developer seems to have missed the stereoscopic use. One of the early comments in Wired mentions this.

3 upvotes
vesa1tahti
By vesa1tahti (9 months ago)

Oooh, we had to see this! Connecting two cameras to take images by one shutter release! Maybe one candidate to get Nobel Physics Price 2014?

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (9 months ago)

Peace prize. You got to have merit for Physics

1 upvote
Mahuna
By Mahuna (9 months ago)

neat....but i dont see the point

3 upvotes
designer who shoots photos 2

Seems to me there could be some interesting prospects if one introduces a second person to wield the second camera. Team photography. Plus documenting the documenting could be cool in many instances, especially in photo journalism.

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (9 months ago)

An answer to a question nobody asked.

6 upvotes
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (9 months ago)

Doesn't the Galaxy S4 do something like this already?

7 upvotes
Bob Meyer
By Bob Meyer (9 months ago)

Yep, nothing new to see here. Move along.

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (9 months ago)

Photography world has not seen something this revolutionary since the lytro cameras.

6 upvotes
OK3 Fotos
By OK3 Fotos (9 months ago)

Mssimo how can I contact you I got a question about what you posted

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (9 months ago)

Sure, PM me

0 upvotes
Bob Meyer
By Bob Meyer (9 months ago)

Except for the Galaxy S4, which does this, too.

0 upvotes
bcalkins
By bcalkins (9 months ago)

Or DuoCam (and apps like it?) on the iPhone...

0 upvotes
georgelien
By georgelien (9 months ago)

A Great Idea

The designer, however, is from Taiwan.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 91