Next innovation, animal eye af?

Started Jan 11, 2018 | Discussions
techjedi
techjedi Veteran Member • Posts: 4,065
Next innovation, animal eye af?
8

Would Sony totally own the BIF market if they added continuous eye AF for animal faces like birds? Imagine if you could eye AF a bird in flight across the entire frame?

Obviously they would need to announce/release a number of long telephoto primes with this  feature, but I think it would kill the competition if it worked as well as human eye af.

What lenses would need to be natively released to make cause an exodus?

Thoughts?

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Jason Switzer Regular Member • Posts: 115
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?
3

Not an bad "eye"-dea (I couldn't resist the terrible pun). Anyway, Sony would sell more cameras if they had Dog eye-AF. Think of how many dog-lovers are out there! I'd be thrilled if Lightroom added animal/pet face recognition (that request comes right after my request that they get rid of their dumb subscription-only model and allow people to purchase stand-alone copies of future versions of their software... I'm not holding my breathe though).

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Bronto99 Regular Member • Posts: 125
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?

techjedi wrote:

Would Sony totally own the BIF market if they added continuous eye AF for animal faces like birds? Imagine if you could eye AF a bird in flight across the entire frame?

Obviously they would need to announce/release a number of long telephoto primes with this feature, but I think it would kill the competition if it worked as well as human eye af.

What lenses would need to be natively released to make cause an exodus?

Thoughts?

I believe the algorithm needed to run just human eye-AF is very resource intensive. I think this is why Eye-Af remains a feature activated by a button and does not stay on by default like face-AF.

Unlike humans, there are probably hundreds of thousands of variations for every dog, cat, bird, horse or whatever, that the camera would need to sift through and identify correctly. It would require an obscene amount of time and energy for Sony to develop and then their chip would be more expensive and take more battery power to support it. And all that to satisfy a niche group of bird photographers or people taking more pictures of their cats?? While I agree it is a nice idea, I would definitely not hold my breath waiting for it.

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Tannguyen
Tannguyen Regular Member • Posts: 135
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?
2

Jason Switzer wrote:

Not an bad "eye"-dea (I couldn't resist the terrible pun). Anyway, Sony would sell more cameras if they had Dog eye-AF. Think of how many dog-lovers are out there! I'd be thrilled if Lightroom added animal/pet face recognition (that request comes right after my request that they get rid of their dumb subscription-only model and allow people to purchase stand-alone copies of future versions of their software... I'm not holding my breathe though).

how about cat eye-af?

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techjedi
OP techjedi Veteran Member • Posts: 4,065
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?

Bronto99 wrote:

techjedi wrote:

Would Sony totally own the BIF market if they added continuous eye AF for animal faces like birds? Imagine if you could eye AF a bird in flight across the entire frame?

Obviously they would need to announce/release a number of long telephoto primes with this feature, but I think it would kill the competition if it worked as well as human eye af.

What lenses would need to be natively released to make cause an exodus?

Thoughts?

I believe the algorithm needed to run just human eye-AF is very resource intensive. I think this is why Eye-Af remains a feature activated by a button and does not stay on by default like face-AF.

Unlike humans, there are probably hundreds of thousands of variations for every dog, cat, bird, horse or whatever, that the camera would need to sift through and identify correctly. It would require an obscene amount of time and energy for Sony to develop and then their chip would be more expensive and take more battery power to support it. And all that to satisfy a niche group of bird photographers or people taking more pictures of their cats?? While I agree it is a nice idea, I would definitely not hold my breath waiting for it.

You may be right, but perhaps if you selected the animal type from the menu it could narrow the neural net training data to a manageable set. I am in software, so I can see that it might be untenable broadly, but if anyone could pull it off, I think it could be Sony.

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davelok
davelok Senior Member • Posts: 2,415
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?
3

Even if it could recognise non-human eyes (possibly comparing against pre-loaded recognition data from a database on the memory card), would the AF be fast enough to keep up with birds in flight?

Next, people would want the camera to determine the optimum time of releasing the shutter when wings were in a specific position, and the light was just right, and so on.

Ultimately, it detracts from the fun and challenge of wildlife photography and just fuels the desire for Likes on social media.

Of course, the above does not mean that I have never wished for such a feature in the camera, or even non-human face recognition in photo gallery apps.

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Mick Porter Regular Member • Posts: 309
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?

I'd like it for monkeys.

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MedicineMan999
MedicineMan999 Senior Member • Posts: 2,301
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?

Haha! I tried on my Maine Coon last night with the A7Riii and no avail. I don't think it that complicated for the programmers....all eyes are round eh

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Brandneutral Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?
1

MedicineMan999 wrote:

Haha! I tried on my Maine Coon last night with the A7Riii and no avail. I don't think it that complicated for the programmers....all eyes are round eh

I would say of all of the applications of Eye AF that I can think of, birds in flight would be the most unrealistic. Their eyes are tiny, they are far away, and they move fast.

If they added large animals like dogs and cats that would make more sense.

ricshaw New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?
2

I believe Philip Bloom has spoken to Sony about Cat-eye af, so it may be coming in future

kamituel
kamituel Senior Member • Posts: 1,339
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?
1

davelok wrote:

Even if it could recognise non-human eyes (possibly comparing against pre-loaded recognition data from a database on the memory card), would the AF be fast enough to keep up with birds in flight?

I'm not into BIF myself, but my understanding is that cameras like A9 (and likely A7rIII) can keep up with birds quite well. If so, I guess eye-AF should be possible. It's probably "only" a matter of training the algorithm to recognize bird's eyes and having enough CPU power to run it quickly enough.

Ultimately, it detracts from the fun and challenge of wildlife photography and just fuels the desire for Likes on social media.

Every new innovation is accused of that I suppose.

First film cameras probably "detracted from the fun and challenge" wet plate photography offered.

First zoom lenses "detracted the fun and challenge" primes offered.

First AF cameras "detracted the fun and challenge" MF cameras offered.

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UncleChip Regular Member • Posts: 193
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?

What about an AF receiving chip?

a little battery powered sender that the af locks onto and tracks,

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kamituel
kamituel Senior Member • Posts: 1,339
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?

UncleChip wrote:

What about an AF receiving chip?

a little battery powered sender that the af locks onto and tracks,

Interesting idea, but where would  you attach it? Say you want to track a dog, would you clip it on the collar? Then AF would miss  the eye (unless DoF is large enough).

However, such a thing for the Rylo 360 camera reviewed few days ago by DPReview might be very nice. I.e. in post, software would automatically be able to follow exactly what you intended.

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UncleChip Regular Member • Posts: 193
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?

kamituel wrote:

UncleChip wrote:

What about an AF receiving chip?

a little battery powered sender that the af locks onto and tracks,

Interesting idea, but where would you attach it? Say you want to track a dog, would you clip it on the collar? Then AF would miss the eye (unless DoF is large enough).

However, such a thing for the Rylo 360 camera reviewed few days ago by DPReview might be very nice. I.e. in post, software would automatically be able to follow exactly what you intended.

Not as an alternative to eye af, and yes the dof would need to be big enough, but pop one on all the football team and it could be a winner

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 8,068
Sony camera apps

If Sony wold open their camera app store to third party developers, we soon would see a whole bunch of these: cat eyes, dog eyes, fish eyes, monkey eyes AF.

Too bad Sony took a step backward and closed the apps on their top models. Nevertheless, I believe this is the future. In 10 years, having all sorts of apps on your cam will be as natural as having apps on your cell phone.

olstrup Veteran Member • Posts: 4,102
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?

That works for humans (best in frontal portrait shots)  and might also work for other predators with their eyes facing forward and with the eye surfaces parallel though the lack of a white sclera in many animals may make it more difficult. But other animals have different eye placement. Spiders for example have several eyes spread out over the head.

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techjedi
OP techjedi Veteran Member • Posts: 4,065
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?

olstrup wrote:

That works for humans (best in frontal portrait shots) and might also work for other predators with their eyes facing forward and with the eye surfaces parallel though the lack of a white sclera in many animals may make it more difficult. But other animals have different eye placement. Spiders for example have several eyes spread out over the head.

I have actually wondered to what depth do they look at eye surfaces. I have seen interesting cases where eye af fails when seemingly unrelated parts of the face are obscured. At first I thought that it was mapping facial features and going into the eye detail, but more and more it feels like a neural net with less emphasis on computation at runtime to identify features individually.. I would love to read a white paper on the approach they are using.

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teddoman
teddoman Senior Member • Posts: 2,830
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?

Brandneutral wrote:

I would say of all of the applications of Eye AF that I can think of, birds in flight would be the most unrealistic. Their eyes are tiny, they are far away, and they move fast.

If they added large animals like dogs and cats that would make more sense.

Except it wouldn't be looking for random bird eyeballs. It would find the bird first and then do bird eye AF.

It might look for an object moving across the scene. The direction of flight tells you the bird's orientation. Flapping wings and a beak confirm that it's a bird. All it'd have to do is find 1-2 eyeballs above the beak.

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WebmasterNeal Forum Member • Posts: 62
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?

Lightroom autodetects my dog's face.

Jason Switzer wrote:

Not an bad "eye"-dea (I couldn't resist the terrible pun). Anyway, Sony would sell more cameras if they had Dog eye-AF. Think of how many dog-lovers are out there! I'd be thrilled if Lightroom added animal/pet face recognition (that request comes right after my request that they get rid of their dumb subscription-only model and allow people to purchase stand-alone copies of future versions of their software... I'm not holding my breathe though).

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davelok
davelok Senior Member • Posts: 2,415
Re: Next innovation, animal eye af?

techjedi wrote:

but more and more it feels like a neural net with less emphasis on computation at runtime to identify features individually..

This is what I was talking about wrt AF speed. Identifying a flying bird's eye, then tracking it while maintaining sharp AF even when the bird moves quickly and changes direction would be a huge challenge for current hardware.

A decade later, who knows?

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