Computer programming your camera?

Started Mar 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
jtan163 Senior Member • Posts: 2,265
Re: very good idea (see my other reply in this thread) (NT)

RoelHendrickx wrote:

jtan163 wrote:

A camera like so many other products these days is a computer with some specialised peripherals.
In the case of a camera the peripherals are a sensor, a lens mount and a card reader/writer.

Most of the rest is software. That's a bit of a simplification but it is close enough to true.

Your idea is technically possible.
Whether it is commercially viable or not is a separate issue.

The problem is increased complexity which increases development and support costs.

I'd like to see the programability of cameras used in a different way.

What I'd like to see is being able to pick and choose what features you want in your camera.
Then you buy a camera with basic modes built in and you choose what extra features you want.

E.g. I want focus peaking, then I buy focus peaking, but maybe not include the HDR mode, or whatever.

I think that would be more complicated that just offering every feature.

It's only software, after all, not like upgrades in hardware (lenses, flash, ...).

Having to devise a system in which different features are bought separately is probably more expensive and creates more unnecessary complexity in the buying process, than just throwing in everything.

Yes it would be more complex in some (probably most) cases but it would allow for the user to choose how the camera's resources (memory/storage) were used.

Say I want focus peaking in my OMD, and say it is possible to write the software module, but the focus peaking module will be 60K and there is only 20K free space in the flash.  The focus peaking software module won't fit in the flash memory. Therefore I can't have it, even though it is programatically possible.

With a mix and match system I could elect to say lose the art filters and use the reclaimed space for focus peaking.

Also in some cases i.e. where people choose not to max out the feature set, the system could also be simpler - and perhaps give higher performance e.g. more memory available for buffer and more CPU cycles to shunt data around, run compression algorithms etc.

I.e. for a given set of resources  (CPU, RAM, flash) it would allow a wider range of features to be available than is available with a one size fits all system.

It might also allow for a cheaper price.

And assuming third parties programmers were given access (which would definately increase complexity) you might find the first camera company to do it (well), generates a whole lot of business and creates a new market and revenue stream.

Sort of like the apple app store, but for cameras. I.e. a new revenue store and maybe a compelling reason for a lot of users to switch brands.

People could have cameras that actually do what they want them to, instead of doing what some theoretical every man the marketing department has come up with wants.

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