Friday, September 04, 2009

Cameras go open-source

Bert found this interesting video/article about people working on an open camera platform. This could have a big impact in the long range.

There's talk and an animation of how the "Frankencamera" might work to combine a few near-simultaneous exposures to expand the dynamic range, with contrasty subjects. Interesting because it seems that for me the bulk of difficult subjects are so because of too high contrast.
Of course a single exposure would be best, and there is progress made. For example, RED camera claims their newer chips will be exceptional in this area.


neeraj said...

Do you know CHDK (Canon Hacker's Development Kit), an open source software as replacment for the built-in Canon software?

For example there is a forum in German:
(at the moment I don't know any link in English, but should be easy to find.)

It contains a lot of enhancements especially for the Canon compact cameras ... and the best: it works from the memory card, you don't have to change anything within the camera.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I think I heard of it.
It's interesting that it can exist. I wonder if Canon could shut it down legally if they wanted.

Tommy said...

From the article "Virtually all the features of the Stanford camera – focus, exposure, shutter speed, flash, etc. – are at the command of software that can be created by inspired programmers anywhere."

Holy Crap!!! This is absolutely amazing. I remember my first camera, the old Brownie Hawkeye (or something like that). The simple notion of programming, let alone programming a camera was just unthinkable.

If it gets to my having to program my refrigerator, I think I'll take a long vacation in the woods (grin)..

Alex said...

At least in the US, once you buy a device it is yours. You can run whatever code you want on it (if it has a programmable CPU).

Sure, it will probably void your warranty, and get the manufacturer out of any legal responsibility if you get hurt.

There is a hacker community for most things, such as disposable/single digital cameras, Roombas and cars.

Question is, do you want to get involved in it all? I've used several different operating systems on my Lego sets, with varying success. I remember first investigating that when the Legway code was first demonstrated. No way could the RIS 2.0 native OS support such behaviour, it was done under LegOS instead.

What are the benefits to the hacks?

Open source is nice, gets ideas out there, and they settle to a preferred norm, rather than one companies marketing research preference. However, there is the hassle of integration. If the open source community come up with interface standards it helps with integration, but also hampers flexibility.

I want my fridge, not only to have a tighter temprature range and lower operating costs, but to sense what is present, and TXT me when I am out of milk, soda, beer etc. It could also be a little smarter and direct extra cold air to where I have added warm left overs. Give it and 8x10" eInk screen with touch panel, and zigbee interface (yeah, so it can talk to PG&E/smart meters), and an army of nano bots to clean the coils and fan from all that hard to reach dust. Add coolant pressure sensor and sniffer so Sears don't have to visit. Hey, also back haul the stats to Sears/Maytag/Whirlpool etc so they can send service alerts, just like the check engine light in my car.

Marcelo Metayer said...

I've used the CHDK hack in my Canon A710 for two years and I can tell that I can't imagine using the camera without it. When I read the article about the "Frankencamera", I immediately thought about that Canon hack.