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08-26-2014, 07:13 AM - 1 Like   #256
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Same here, I'd love focus stacking, pano stitching, apps to support 3D, etc... But realisticly... If Pentax issues a fine ILC with android and the ability to have third party apps on it, will there be any brilliant app developers jumping in to develop such features? Or will they say: "What's a Pentax?!"
What's in it for them? Or for the the smartphone industry? The whole camera industry sells fewer cameras in a year than many of the big smartphone companies sell phones. Even minor ones like LG are about at parity whereas monsters like Samsung sell +/- 300 million units a year. Compare that to +/- 40 million cameras over the whole camera industry. For developers, cameras are hardly a sexy platform. and for the smaller camera companies whose annual sales may be less than a million units, there is hardly a platform at all by some standards.

It's a mess out there. Formal dinner tomorrow and they are still all in their birthday suits. I hope we don't see a tragedy of the commons unfold as companies try to go it alone. For example, it must be tempting for Samsung and particularly for Sony, who already have the necessary hardware and software expertise, to use this advantage to muscle in over Canonikon and co. without joining any alliance to produce the camera OS of the future.

Maybe "camera on a chip" will be the endgame. Mirrorless, global shutter, any size of sensor, standard Android-type OS, the brand adds the body shell, OS skin, some tweaks and proprietary recipes and of course their optics. Sounds ghastly, perhaps, but then the economics may mean it's the only way. Anything short of substantial production runs of standard assemblies - way above the requirements of a single camera brand - won't make financial sense. Who knows.


Last edited by mecrox; 08-26-2014 at 07:19 AM.
08-26-2014, 07:13 AM   #257
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Fair point. This is where Pentax, Samsung, and whoever else is interested needs to form an Android Camera Alliance to educate and recruit developers. It's not unlike Olympus and Panasonic forming Four-Thirds and then Micro Four-Thirds, but instead of the mount it's the OS.
The idea of the small ones banding together to do something big is both appealling and a proven method. I was hoping they would use that strategy in a certain hardware-topic as well, but I don't want to turn this into one of those threads.
08-26-2014, 07:21 AM   #258
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Using Android will also open the camera to countless bugs, security issues (!) and, worst of all, Java It will also ask an unprecedentedly high level of support.

I'm watching the Sony support forum's Xperia SP section, and things are very ugly there. The worst complainers here are a bunch of Pentax cheerleaders in comparison...
By the way, Sony AFAIK is working with 18 months support cycles (for OS updates). My SP is almost outdated, it probably won't get Android 4.4 - yeah, people are angry about that. Android 4.4 is actually old news, we're waiting for L... but not on antiquated, last year's devices. Then, there are custom ROMs, with their bugs and improved functionality.

Do you really want this for your DSLR? I know I don't.
It doesn't have to be like that.

QuoteOriginally posted by konraDarnok Quote
I suspect people advocating a more open software interface are the same people who remove bloatware from their phones and computers before even using them. Or better yet, stick with manufacturers that don't bloat the OS from the onset.

Fact is, there are many different experiences accorss many different platforms. Some good, some quite bad. No one is advocating Pentax emulate a bad experience.
Agreed. I've been more careful with picking my phones. Currently I have the Xiaomi Mi3, which is well maintained by a manufacturer with a good track record, that actually started with Android customization long before they started doing hardware. MIUI is quite popular, and has been for a while. I can see why. Before that the Galaxy Nexus, which has also been good to me.

If Pentax did an Android DSLR, would it really have to keep running the latest Android version? Always getting updates? I don't want a Galaxy camera, or Galaxy NX, etc. Those seem to be Android devices that happen to have a reasonable camera attached to it. That's a bad idea, it hinders usability. I want a camera that looks and feels like a real Pentax DSLR. Same menus, same interface, same controls. But underneath it all: Android, running on beefy hardware, and with a few tweaks here and there that comes courtesy of the improved hardware and Android. If it never sees an update to a newer Android version... so what? It's not like we're going to see it anyway. The only point is giving developers _limited_ access to the hardware... mostly the camera functions. The apps can (should?) be vetted in an Pentax app store. Perhaps the app store can allow some camera apps like Instagram, Flickr, 500px etc. on it, but you'd probably be more likely browsing through the photos and then sending it to the apps (or picking photos that are on the memory card from the apps) than taking photos with those apps.

In any case it has to be a good user experience, one that does not annoy people who don't want apps, who want the same system as they had before. Maybe like a Mercedes C63 AMG. It's a proper normal saloon... except that it is really powerful. But you don't have to make use of it, it doesn't take away the usefulness of the car. The controls are the same, the space is the same, ...

Where apps come from... hopefully from users here who want a feature, can't get it and decide to develop it themselves. In the beginning it will be simple stuff, but that can grow. It can also come from Pentax employees or Pentax itself, adding features as they go along instead of having to wait. They can try out things, do things that are not important enough to be integrated into all cameras, ...

As for why would smartphone makers want to team up with camera makers... expertise perhaps. Camera makers can gain in terms of bleeding edge processing power and operating systems, while smartphone makers get help with improving their cameras. That's one area where they can differentiate. And why not... a smartphone that carries the Pentax brand in some way, shape or form. A smartphone with a Q mount. Smartphones are the new P&S, and camera makers have completely left that field (and all the profits) to other companies.
08-26-2014, 07:27 AM - 1 Like   #259
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
What's in it for them? Or for the the smartphone industry? The whole camera industry sells fewer cameras in a year than many of the big smartphone companies sell phones. Even minor ones like LG are about at parity whereas monsters like Samsung sell +/- 300 million units a year. Compare that to +/- 40 million cameras over the whole camera industry. For developers, cameras are hardly a sexy platform. and for the smaller camera companies whose annual sales may be less than a million units, there is hardly a platform at all by some standards.

It's a mess out there. Formal dinner tomorrow and they are still all in their birthday suits. I hope we don't see a tragedy of the commons unfold as companies try to go it alone. For example, it must be tempting for Samsung and particularly for Sony, who already have the necessary hardware and software expertise, to use this advantage to muscle in over Canonikon and co. without joining any alliance to produce the camera OS of the future.

Maybe "camera on a chip" will be the endgame. Mirrorless, global shutter, any size of sensor, standard Android-type OS, the brand adds the body shell, OS skin, some tweaks and proprietary recipes and of course their optics. Sounds ghastly, perhaps, but then the economics may mean it's the only way - anything short of substantial production runs of standard assemblies - way above the requirements of a single camera brand - won't make financial sense. Who knows.
What is in it for them is the same thing that is in it for DxO, Adobe, and others–money. In some ways, the smaller, more focused market is good. Imagine being an app developer creating a new game. How many other bazillion games are you competing against? And in a flooded market you've got to have buzz and a value prop, so you give it away free and hope that ad revenue carries you. But that only works if you have critical mass. So you spend weeks and months developing the game and then have to spend months marketing the game everywhere you can imagine and then some.

Contrast that with developing a focus stacking app, pricing it at $15, getting some attention on camera news sites and forums and selling 2,000 copies. After the App store percentage, that's ~$20k for writing code that takes a series of photos while racking the focus of the camera through a defined range. What kind of critical mass of Android powered cameras are needed to make that possible? 200,000? 1,000,000?

If anything, developers love a market where they don't have to compete against a culture of Free.

08-26-2014, 08:07 AM   #260
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
What is in it for them is the same thing that is in it for DxO, Adobe, and others–money. In some ways, the smaller, more focused market is good. Imagine being an app developer creating a new game. How many other bazillion games are you competing against? And in a flooded market you've got to have buzz and a value prop, so you give it away free and hope that ad revenue carries you. But that only works if you have critical mass. So you spend weeks and months developing the game and then have to spend months marketing the game everywhere you can imagine and then some.

Contrast that with developing a focus stacking app, pricing it at $15, getting some attention on camera news sites and forums and selling 2,000 copies. After the App store percentage, that's ~$20k for writing code that takes a series of photos while racking the focus of the camera through a defined range. What kind of critical mass of Android powered cameras are needed to make that possible? 200,000? 1,000,000?

If anything, developers love a market where they don't have to compete against a culture of Free.
Yes, that's a very good point, cannot argue with it. However, since this is PF I will now argue with it, lol. I think this might work really well but only if there is a reasonably common platform. Otherwise, having to refactor the app for six or seven different platforms (i.e. for each company) might be a bit of a pain. There are probably quite a few apps which would be pretty useful too. However, first there will have to be a platform and second the camera folks will have to give up their fondness for all things proprietary. No more closed code and so forth. Quite a culture barrier to surmount!
08-26-2014, 08:22 AM   #261
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Yes, that's a very good point, cannot argue with it. However, since this is PF I will now argue with it, lol.
LOL Thanks for that!


QuoteQuote:
I think this might work really well but only if there is a reasonably common platform. Otherwise, having to refactor the app for six or seven different platforms (i.e. for each company) might be a bit of a pain. There are probably quite a few apps which would be pretty useful too. However, first there will have to be a platform and second the camera folks will have to give up their fondness for all things proprietary. No more closed code and so forth. Quite a culture barrier to surmount!
What is needed is a standard API that developers will access to control the camera. The API will act as the abstraction layer between the camera hardware and the app, so that a developer can write the same line of code, i.e.,

Code:
On {loop} set Focus=Focus+{increment}   /* increment for focus stack */
and Pentax's API will convert that to what they need to adjust focus while Samsung's API will convert that to what they need to adjust focus.

There's no way that the big players Nikon and Canon would ever embrace this, but I could see the smaller players trying to make a dent in the market banding together to make this happen.
08-26-2014, 08:54 AM   #262
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Pentax would also not really have to give up all things proprietary (well, ok, Android is GPL, not sure how that can work out). Microsoft is able to provide APIs without showing everyone what's under the bonnet. And providing APIs works out rather well for them. Or for Apple. Or Google.

For something like a focus stacking app that might be written in a day (unless it does the stacking in camera too) I'm not sure there needs to be an API that lets developers access several different brands. And even if the software wants to stack the photos in camera that part of the code may not need to be changed from camera to camera... and the part that takes the photos should hopefully be rather trivial.
08-26-2014, 09:27 AM - 1 Like   #263
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Generic CPUs are generally slower than hardware designed explicitly for a task.

You can save money by purchasing something that is widely made (like a smartphone chip) but other chips are widely made, too.

So it's not 100% straightforward, but I think Pentax is likely still better off with hardware designed explicitly for a camera.

Haven't looked at Pentax's inner workings. I don't know if Pentax does any chip design. I'd be surprised.

08-26-2014, 09:37 AM   #264
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Bingo.
I'd like to see a Snapdragon 802 device capable of working with over 8 24MP, 14 bit frames per second. I'd like to see it processing and churning out DNGs at high speed, without instantly emptying the battery and without getting hot - in Java. *
By the way, the Galaxy NX has its quad core Android processor, and a separate processor dedicated to image processing (a DRIMe IV).

OTOH, it's obviously correct to notice that dedicated solutions like Fujitsu's Milbeaut series have limitations as well. For example the seventh generation not supporting 4K video - was this already mentioned?

* Perhaps it could be done by using the graphic chipset's capabilities/OpenCL.

Last edited by Kunzite; 08-26-2014 at 09:55 AM.
08-26-2014, 10:35 AM   #265
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
LOL Thanks for that!




What is needed is a standard API that developers will access to control the camera. The API will act as the abstraction layer between the camera hardware and the app, so that a developer can write the same line of code, i.e.,

Code:
On {loop} set Focus=Focus+{increment}   /* increment for focus stack */
and Pentax's API will convert that to what they need to adjust focus while Samsung's API will convert that to what they need to adjust focus.
This will probably need a complete re-design of the hardware/software in the cameras. The changes needed might be too much to be able to support existing equipment (both cameras and lenses). I seriously doubt that current Pentax DSLR has features like "Set focus to Y distance" or "Move focus X mm forward/back". The focus distance feedback from lenses is hardly accurate enough to be useful for this.

Q might be able to support this, but there is not much hope that K-mount ever will.
08-26-2014, 10:45 AM   #266
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Generic CPUs are generally slower than hardware designed explicitly for a task.

You can save money by purchasing something that is widely made (like a smartphone chip) but other chips are widely made, too.

So it's not 100% straightforward, but I think Pentax is likely still better off with hardware designed explicitly for a camera.

Haven't looked at Pentax's inner workings. I don't know if Pentax does any chip design. I'd be surprised.
Pentax surely not. Ricoh though...
08-26-2014, 11:41 AM   #267
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
This will probably need a complete re-design of the hardware/software in the cameras. The changes needed might be too much to be able to support existing equipment (both cameras and lenses). I seriously doubt that current Pentax DSLR has features like "Set focus to Y distance" or "Move focus X mm forward/back". The focus distance feedback from lenses is hardly accurate enough to be useful for this.

Q might be able to support this, but there is not much hope that K-mount ever will.
Maybe, but is that even absolutely necessary to have something like move focus to the 3 meter mark?

Not the 802 maybe, but the 810? It can handle 14 bit images, and it can do it at up to 55 MP. When I take 13 MP DNG photos with my phone it is pretty fast... the app doesn't use a buffer it seems, so more or less 1 fps is pretty decent, as that includes the time required to save the photo (26 MB). Don't forget that these chips have dedicated image processors built in too...

Interesting that Samsung chose to use a dedicated image processor in their NX camera though... then again I think their main processor isn't that fast. And the DRIMe should be smartphone CPU based, if Wikipedia is to be trusted.

Pentax is using chips from the Fujitsu Milbeaut family, they are also used by Nikon.
08-26-2014, 12:51 PM   #268
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In short, I'd like to see Pentax innotative and creative, with new and clever ideas and camera properties in APS-C and FF cameras. To lead the way and not be the me-too catcher-up of the big boys. Admittedly, things like getting the better sensors later than Sony and Nikon and lacking the will or resources to take risks may be too much for Ricoh.
08-26-2014, 01:48 PM   #269
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
Maybe, but is that even absolutely necessary to have something like move focus to the 3 meter mark?
It will need a unified way of shifting focus on lenses you pre-set in the App with high precision.
Even if AF speed vary on lenses, the values that is set in the app should give the same focus adjustments on all lenses.
08-27-2014, 06:49 AM   #270
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
It will need a unified way of shifting focus on lenses you pre-set in the App with high precision.
Even if AF speed vary on lenses, the values that is set in the app should give the same focus adjustments on all lenses.
Or it could leave all that up to the user. Take, say, three frames a la multiple exposures and the HDR algorithm runs, but choosing the areas with greatest contrast for the merge.
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