Geoffrey Fowler on the state of “connected” point-and-shoot cameras:

Intuitive software design doesn’t come easily to any of these camera-makers, though. Nikon’s app is a study in excess clicking: You dig through the camera’s menus to turn on wireless every time. (Five clicks.) Then you re-connect to its wireless network on your phone. (At least two clicks). Once you’ve got the app open, you click “view photos,” then click again to view “pictures on D5300.” Once thumbnails appear on the phone app, you click “select” so that you can check-mark certain shots. (Clicks 10 and 11.) Then you click “download.” (Twelve.) Then it asks if you what size image you want to download, requiring at least one more click, (Thirteen, but we’re not done yet.)

After downloading, another message informs you it is complete. You have to click “OK” on that. (Fourteen.)

It’s not clear who designs this software. My best guess is no one. 

Craig Mod:

After two and a half years, the GF1 was replaced by the slightly improved Panasonic GX1, which I brought on the six-day Kumano Kodo hike in October. During the trip, I alternated between shooting with it and an iPhone 5. After importing the results into Lightroom, Adobe’s photo-development software, it was difficult to distinguish the GX1’s photos from the iPhone 5’s. (That’s not even the latest iPhone; Austin Mann’s superlative results make it clear that the iPhone 5S operates on an even higher level.) Of course, zooming in and poking around the photos revealed differences: the iPhone 5 doesn’t capture as much highlight detail as the GX1, or handle low light as well, or withstand intense editing, such as drastic changes in exposure. But it seems clear that in a couple of years, with an iPhone 6S in our pockets, it will be nearly impossible to justify taking a dedicated camera on trips like the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage.

I know a lot of people hate this reality. But it is going to be a reality.

Om Malik:

While $199 is a low enough price, they are competing with smartphone as a camera. So as a company they need to take a good look at their roadmap and then at the roadmap of mobile phone makers and figure how best they can get ahead or on par with the handset cameras. And at the sometime they need to embrace the wider web — from storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Weibo or whatever —  and use the device software as a strategic weapon. They need to add Wi-Fi sharing and Bluetooth 4.0 LE to allow me to use the phone as connected device option as well.

I’m still shocked that today, well over six years since the launch of the iPhone, the vast majority of point-and-shoots get away with not only having no social features, but no connectivity. At the very least, every point-and-shoot should have GPS and WiFi — these are now table stakes — yet only a few do. Not sure what these camera manufacturers are thinking. They all seem to just be sitting around waiting for the market segment to die.

Andrew Weissman on his son using a smartphone as his camera:

All these techniques were driven by his ability to see the photos immediately after taking the picture. He could see, right away, the results of his tinkering. Something rarely available in the past.

As a result, he became fearless. About experimenting, using what he had but also trying new techniques, methods. Seeing the results and reacting to them, altering them, discarding them. In real time. He’s wondering if should save up and get at some point a digital single-lens reflect camera. Maybe he will, maybe he will lose interest in all of this.

Regardless, a new technology, one that I worried took away a most important part of the process for him (using the lens of my own experience), instead taught him something much different. And maybe more important. And he didn’t need to inhale any chemicals to learn that.

Sometimes I think the key to life is taking what you initially perceive to be a weakness and figuring out how it’s actually a strength.



And I’m seeing so many people do just that. They are double fisting. iPhone in one hand and a more “serious camera” for different photography experiences.

I like this new notion of “double fisting”, and I’ve certainly seen this trend amongst some friends as well. But I highly doubt this becomes a norm. Most people will always “single fist” and that single fist will carry a smartphone as a camera.

Remember too that while improvements are being made to standalone cameras, the speed of innovation is happening much faster on the smartphone cameras. I can’t wait to see this new “iPhone 5S” camera. I have a point-and-shoot that broke a few weeks back. I haven’t yet had the urge to fix it because I never use it anyway. 99.999999% of my pictures are taken with my iPhone.

Randall Stross of NYT looks at the growing trend of police officers wearing tiny cameras to record all of their interactions with civilians. It may sound intimidating, but at least one study shows this is a very good thing:

THE Rialto study began in February 2012 and will run until this July. The results from the first 12 months are striking. Even with only half of the 54 uniformed patrol officers wearing cameras at any given time, the department over all had an 88 percent decline in the number of complaints filed against officers, compared with the 12 months before the study, to 3 from 24.

Rialto’s police officers also used force nearly 60 percent less often…

Part of this reminds me of Google Glass. Part of it reminds me of End of Watch. Also interesting: Taser makes these cameras — yes, that Taser.

[via @cdixon]

You know that amazing photo you saw everywhere a few days ago… Emi Kolawole of The Washington Post:

Post photojournalist Nick Kirkpatrick did a little digging and found that the lower photo (shown below this paragraph), which features a sea of smartphones and tablets, was, indeed, taken during the announcement of Pope Francis’s election. But the top photo (shown above), which shows an audience with far fewer gadgets was taken during the funeral procession of Pope John Paul II — a very different mood and event type. There was no one addressing the crowd from the balcony, for example. So, the comparison isn’t quite accurate.

We’ll call it correct in spirit, though.

[via scifi451]