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CamOS

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by TheMenWhoDrawSheeps, Sep 8, 2016.

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  1. TheMenWhoDrawSheeps

    TheMenWhoDrawSheeps Mu-43 Regular

    152
    Jun 15, 2016
    Insiperd by death of digital camera.

    Leap from Digital to Social camera - will require a new CamOS
    What will it Take? how do you see it working? do you really see need for App market? and basicaly your thougths.

    In my eyes it should be absolutely the opposite. Camera manufacturers should become HARDWARE manufacturers ONLY. I never saw any camera brand making it´s own software at least good enough for general use - they should just give it up, and concetrate themselves on the points which they are advertizing themselves in - Stats/Ergonomics/Design/Lenses.

    The most benefitial would be, to get a software developer and making brand new CamOS. It´s basicaly like Linux/Windows/MacOS - you pay your 100$ for the OS included in the camera, and the guys work full time bringing it uptodate to current software technology standart, making room for specific appmarket, assuring connectivity between platforms.

    Why i belive that the CamOS should be build up from scratch? All current OS weren´t designed for professional camera specific use. we had Samsung Android cams, we have cameras like Olympus air or sony, which works only with mobile phone - but the Android platform and current UI architecture don´t fit the needs of enthusiast or professional photographer. It´s just like old windows phones - it´s part of OS which might interact with bigger system, but doesn´t work in the same way , feels bad, looks bad, and was bad(maybe even is is still bad). Thats why we needed Android for our mobile devices.

    Thats why we need CamOS for our Photographic devices. The leap from Digital camera to Social Camera is a huge one - think this could be one of the few directions a camera manufacturer could go without loosing it's own identity (unlike Smartphones).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. TheMenWhoDrawSheeps

    TheMenWhoDrawSheeps Mu-43 Regular

    152
    Jun 15, 2016
    Answering own questions - Touchscreens on the camera's are much smaller than our mobile phone devices, and even biggest touchscreens prooved to be less effective in operating the whole system and settings, so it has to both - touch and buttons.

    now the app market is a big question. Whichparts of the system should be OS, and which should be considered app? There aren´t basicaly many features you could wish for - but there is always room for impoovement, so i think app store should be implemented.
    There should be at least 2-3 different OS settings - amateur and pro, you could always upgrade to pro with more and better features, but have to pay for it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere

    273
    Aug 19, 2016
    Burnaby, BC
    I think Olympus is flirting with this idea in the Air camera. It isn't as open as I would like to see but is certainly a unique step in the camera world.

    As I see it, these days a real camera (Canikon, M4/3, etc) takes better pictures than a phone but smartphones are where all of the software innovation is happening. Things like Google's photosphere are hardware agnostic, allowing clever programmers to enable smartphones to do some amazing things. As phones become more powerful this will only increase. Olympus' Live Composite mode is an example of making a camera smarter, but even that leaves me seeing possibilities I think the Japanese dinosaurs will never realize.

    The camera world is a very closed environment that doesn't just stiffle innovation but actively works to prevent it. Canon and Nikon are wholly commtted to their 'upgrade' path of crop -> FF and a closed lens ecosystem, while only m4/3 is trying to do something open. Even then only Sony has any sort of 'apps' you can add to your camera (very limited and pricey from what little I know) to expand functionality.

    Just imagine if your camera could be programmed to do amazing new things by smart people? To answer your question, I don't think we need a CamOS, but for Olympus to create a truely open api for the whole Pen/OMD ecosystem allowing powerful (ie not limited to just a few functions a la the Air) apps to be written, and for the whole Camera world to move past the extremely closed world mentality.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. coffeecat

    coffeecat Mu-43 Top Veteran

    708
    Aug 4, 2012
    SW England
    Rob
    I really like your camos idea, I think if it existed it could be great for us consumers, but I can't see the (incredibly conservative) camera companies willingly giving up part of the "value chain".

    I suppose it might work, if in the future some very innovative non-camera company came in and basically stole their lunch. But since the camera business is not really profitable, and shrinking, that doesn't seem that likely. Unless someone like Apple decided to have a crack at it, to open up a new market (like they did with watches).
     
  5. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    This is the crux of the matter. Whenever I switch between my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge with the beautiful 5.5" Quad HD display to ANY digital camera I feel like I am stepping 10 years back in time to 3" screens with lousy resolution.

    But I disagree with touch and buttons. Everything needs to work on the screen.
     
  6. TheMenWhoDrawSheeps

    TheMenWhoDrawSheeps Mu-43 Regular

    152
    Jun 15, 2016
    lets agree to disagree.) i don´t say, that functions must be limited either to buttons and dials or touchscreen only - it rather needs to be operable in both ways.
    Why both? I can imagine that quite many, including me don´t want to put your hands off the camera, going into touchscreeny mode. your hand position is part of a workflow, and there is no real need to change it to adjust all the settings you need. it´s like finetuning an instrument, you won´t get the idea to finetune instrument, by laying in on the ground in first place. YES there is quite bit that involves habbit, but it´s also part of photography process. And yes, even in menu i often operate with dials, same as in supermenu, etc.
    I still love touchscreens, and possibility to operate camera without pushing a button.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    290
    Oct 12, 2013
    Certainly, I think there's some merit to your idea, though we could point out some flaws in the thinking -- the ergonomics of cameras are much more varied than those of cell phones or computers. Still, I agree with the basic premise that the ease of sharing photos with a cell phone means I'm starting to use the cell phone a lot more.

    That said, a simple interim step would be to have strong Google Photos integration. I'd love it to be able to take RAW plus compressed jpegs, with the RAW saved on camera and the jpegs automatically saved on the cloud. Google Photos offers free unlimited photo backup (with some extra compression) and makes sharing from your phone, computer, or wherever very easy.

    Integrating with Google photos could theoretically be a relatively minor firmware update to any camera that has wi-fi abilities. It would not require a whole OS development, but would let us have one of the major features of cell phone cameras.

    PS If any m4/3 camera already does this automatically, please let me know!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    No disagreement here; buttons are knobs and dials are needed too for all of the reasons that you mention. But all the features should be available on the touchscreen so that niche cameras like the Air 01, GoPros, and others can be operated remotely or without buttons at all.
     
  9. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Personally I see the issue with digital cameras is the lack of processing power. The phone manufacturers such as Apple Samsung can amortise the cost of developing fast processors and dedicated image processing chips over 100's of millions of units... which i would reckon to me to one or maybe two orders of magnitude more than any individual camera manufacturer

    just my thoughts

    K
     
  10. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    Nothing unique about it. If anything, it's a shameless copy of Sony QX-series "lens-style" cameras.
     
  11. rloewy

    rloewy Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 5, 2014
    Ron
    The unique part about it is the open api - which is why it makes sense to discuss it when discussing a CamOS - you can write your own additions to it, which is basically the OS version - a well defined set of APIs for applications that provides basic functionality and access to hardware.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    Just a few tidbits. Android was first conceived as a camera operating system, but the camera market was too small to make that viable. So they adapted it to phones. Having said that, Android is the operating system that is used in some cameras. People just don't know nor care as long as the camera works. There's nothing about the structure of Android that will not allow it to work just fine as a camera OS. The UI is basically an app that just sits on top. Remember that Android is basically a stripped down version of Linux which was itself a stripped down version of UNIX, not so stripped down anymore, which ran on teletypes and old 80x25 line CRTs. Yeah VAX 11-780!! There's nothing about Android/UNIX that binds any part of the UI. Android is so close to it's UNIX roots that you can fatten it back up. For a couple of years, I ran an Android phone that had been fatten up as a low power "UNIX" server.

    As for what you are proposing. It's not a technical challenge. In fact, that's probably the easy part. All these cameras have APIs, it would not be that difficult to put a compatibility layer on top. It's political. There's simply no reason for any of these companies to cooperate with one another. Why would Nikon want to be compatible with Sony? For Android, the phone manufacturers had a common enemy, they had Apple to bind them together. Another big problem is market size. The camera market, especially for professional cameras, is too small to make it worth it for a developer to write software for it unless they charge a lot of money per app. Now we are used to paying $1 for an app, how may people would be willing to pay $100? $200? $500? That will only get worst as time goes by and smartphone cameras get better and better. The camera market will only continue to shrink.
     
  13. skellington

    skellington Mu-43 Regular

    171
    Mar 4, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Keith
    I don't see Instagram going to the trouble to port their app to some other OS, unless there's REALLY widespread penetration. And I don't necessarily see the motivation for all of the phone companies to adopt some thing new. (Now they might all run Android, and treat it as a mini-tablet...)

    But what would be nice is for cameras to easily share their file system with a phone wirelessly.

    So your phone app can just transparently browse your jpegs, etc. and let you edit and save it (locally or back to the camera) and then post it to the Internet.

    My tablet will always have more screen real-estate and probably more processing power, and will be much easier to use (with the camera in a bag) than trying to fiddle with a touchscreen on the back of the phone.
     
  14. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Well there is the Samsung NX(not to be confused with the P&S Galaxy Camera, Camera 2, Galaxy S4 Zoom, and Galaxy K Zoom) mirrorless, which pretty much meets all you are asking for. Sure it's version of Android is a bit dated(partially cause it's around 2.5 years old), but it did come with a model that offered data. Even with all the software innovation, I don't think it would do too much to improve what the NX can do, besides editing the raw file in camera with their app of preference.
    Samsung also has Tizen based(their modular OS, which is aimed to compete with Android) NX cameras. I'm told the interface was solid(different interface from what their Gear line of smartwatches, and budget smartphones use), and with either wifi, or 3G one could post to facebook, and I think Instagram support was suppose to be coming.