DXO ONE. Greatest thing since deep fat fried Snickers candy bars or dumb stunt camera that makes your iPhone an unwieldily mess? Caution: Rant.

Brains are tricky things. They are built for and operate around the concept of doing one thing at a time with concentration and doing it well. The more micro stops and starts a brain has to deal with the less efficient and enjoyable the process being performed becomes. At a certain point it's only possible to do repetitious tasks and not creative tasks when the brain becomes overloaded with attempts at multi-tasking. 

With this in mind I am almost always opposed to complicating tools that we use for day to day tasks. Hell, I am against complicating tools even if we only use them sporadically.

So I am always at odds with otherwise smart people like Thom Hogan when he goes on his rant about  the ways to improve cameras to make them sell better. His consistent suggestion to Nikon is to make the camera more connected. He likes connectivity. He love the concept of connectivity. If Nikon were to take him seriously about connectivity (and I always hope they do not!) I can just imagine him in a blind somewhere, camera at the ready, waiting for some interesting predator to wander into range, taking a breather to play a few interactive rounds of Candy Crush with some kid who's online in Plano, Texas. You know, just to take the edge off.  As the camera's connected sonar app senses movement in the brush Thom mutes the game and begin lining up his shot of the massive timber wolf that's lumbered into the clearing. He's using the electronic shutter for silence and so far the big wolf doesn't sense his presence but the camera is thumping against Thom's hands to signal an incoming text from a high value sender and he directs his attention to the rear screen of his camera to read the message. The wolf lopes off into the pines of the permafrost as Thom successfully orders another shipment of razor blades from his online source.

Then, after checking his stock portfolio at Bloomberg.com he quickly looks through the shots of the edgy timber wolf and then watermarks them and sends them off to who knows where in order that they get somewhere quick. I don't know about Thom but I find that most of the work I do benefits from editing and post processing. Nothing is absolutely perfect out of the camera...  So I can only imagine that he's sending the images to his own cloud site where he'll be able to download them back to his working computer and, well, work on them with concentration and diligence. So here he is in the wild and the camera is willfully sucking down his battery charge by grinding out files to send and then sending them over some sort of network, the maintenance and use of also sucking down battery juice like a parched vampire.

I don't get it. I really don't get the advantage of all this race for interconnection. If you are a teenager and you are using social media to connect to your group and you do this by uploading every minute of your day via photos from your phone to your crowd then I guess the interconnectedness makes a certain amount of sense.  But we're mostly grown ups trying to concentrate on finding and capturing images. The editing and post production is all much better done on big, calibrated screens in environments designed to enhance color and tonal accuracy.

I think that industry and industry pundits alike are confusing why people like to send quick snap shots of themselves made with phones and the need for the same speed and connectedness on production work cameras. The number one benefit of the phones is simplicity. On the iPhone you are one button push away from shooting and one button push away from sending. And you already have the phone in your pocket. A stand alone camera features changeable controls in order to give you control and artistic mastery when shooting a subject.  I assume that an iPhone with the right software can give you the same but while I might want my iPhone camera to have more capabilities within its standard size I can't imagine that a camera which doesn't fit in ones pocket (especially when combined with a fast, long lens) would become the same sort of epicenter even if you put the clearest, cleanest cellphone imaginable right into the battery grip. Rather I think it plays into the stereotype of 50+ year old mens' love of add-on gadgetry.

Someone always trots out the argument that the need for connectivity revolves around the need for speed. That getting the images in front of the mythic client right away is of paramount importance. Well....first I'll go back to the need to do good post production and editing----which means at worst you've already downloaded the images to a big tablet or laptop in order to clean them up, add metadata and copyright information etc. I would propose that once you have the images on an external device it's silly to put them back on the camera to send them and most of the devices mentioned already have robust connectivity.

But unless you are a news journalist the argument for speed carries no real weight when it comes to clients. They (advertising clients) are not generally waiting breathlessly next to their workstations just hovering, anxious to press send and speed a file off the the printer the minute your (unedited and unprocessed) image comes whipping over from your camera's connectivity device. Most clients want retouched files. At least mine do. And so do the clients of everyone else I know in the industry, with the exception of newspaper photographers...all three of them.

Where Thom and Nikon and Canon all miss the magic equation is in understanding that a big driver of newer and smaller cameras is not connectivity but electronic viewfinders and better rear camera screens. Now people who didn't understand the nuances of camera settings can see exactly (more or less) what they'll be getting on their memory cards when they push the buttons. This is so because they can see it right in front of their faces! The ability to send the images is an add on. It's this year's 3-D.

You can chalk all this up to me being a cellphone hating Luddite but please remember that I danced on the cutting edge of this connectivity trend at least two years ago when I had the mixed pleasure of shooting with Samsung's highly connected camera, the Galaxy NX.  That camera had a full Android operating system on it, could upload images to Dropbox automatically, could send e-mail via wi-fi connections, and could even be connected via cell networks. And yes, you could play Angry Birds on the huge rear screen. If connectivity had been a prevailing consumer demand you had to believe that the camera would have excited the average millennial user to no end. In fact, this seems to be everything that Thom asks Nikon for. But in reality the mixing together of capabilities was like a man with five legs, all pointing in different directions trying to run a foot race. Turn off all the ancillary stuff and the camera could actually turn out amazingly good images for its class. But the combination of stuff went a long way toward crippling the camera instead. The rush and demand? I can't imagine that more than a thousand were sold, worldwide.

I'm also not sure I'd take a Swiss Army Knife to a knife fight if everyone else was sporting tactical combat knives with wicked eight and ten inch blades. Doesn't matter much in the heat of things if your weapon also has a eyeglass screwdriver....and a nail file.

Nikon will win back market share when they implement a really great EVF in a really great camera. Nikon will win back market share when they implement really, really good and flexible 4K video into a really great camera. Nikon will win back market share when they implement a mirrorless strategy that is backward compatible with 50 years of lens making. People want to see what they are getting without a lot of hassle. Nikon has great sensors. Some high end Nikons feature wi-fi (D750) but they are still seeing declining sales. Looking to phone capabilities to keep them from drowning in losses is amazingly dense. As we discovered with the Galaxy NX, few people will come out of pocket to buy a data plan for their cameras when they are already paying on a data plan for their phones. And the phones aren't leaving any time soon.

And this long preamble brings me to the DXO One. What is it? It's an almost tiny camera that comes with almost no buttons and absolutely no viewing screens and it gets hooked onto your iPhone (and only your iPhone!) through the connection port and turns your sleek phone (which already has a very good camera, all things considered) into a two piece, non-ergonomic photo assemblage which might give your better images if you care to work around a boring and fixed focal length. What does it do that the iPhone can't do? Oh, yes. It has a bigger sensor. And a silly price tag.

My prediction on all this connectivity crap, whether it is resident in the camera or as part of an assemblage of pieces that include a separate camera and phone, is that it is all meaningless. The phone will be the epicenter of sending and receiving for years to come. People will not pay more for a camera-to-phone accessory just because it might be marginally sharper, especially if it has to be wedded to their phone. I am sure DXO will have nice software inside that makes images juicier looking than phone photos but I doubt the photos will be so exemplary as to move the millions (billions) who are habituated to using the their phones to take images to change. If you argue that it's aimed at a more sophisticated market of photo enthusiasts I'll say that they missed the mark here as surely as Thom and Nikon have.

Photographers buy cameras for many reasons but most of them do so for a level of flexibility combined with image quality, not exclusively for the image quality. They want longer and shorter focal lengths. They want control over the exposures and frame rates. But mostly they want the flexibility to shoot a tight shot of a dancer on a stage or a wide shot of the Grand Canyon with the turn of a zoom ring or a quick change of lenses. I watch the general public at trade shows, in the streets, at events and if they want to send an image to a friend they do so with their phones.

I think DXO has also misjudged the marketplace for cameras. The idea of spending $600 for a fixed lens add-on device for a phone that already has an integral camera (the best selling camera in the world?) doesn't make economic sense for the vast majority of enthusiasts and it certainly doesn't make any sense for professionals. That leaves only the great "unwashed" as a marketplace and they have already spoken with their wallets and killed off the traditional compact cameras. Those cameras were trampled under foot in the rush to embrace cameras embedded in phones and I know those people will never look back.

Just as real Leicas are the cult cameras of the well to do Nikon should position their cameras as the cult cameras of the middle class. Accessible and almost affordable by most people working professionally but still pricey and exclusive enough to sell well. Put in an EVF. Kill the cheaper models. Raise the prices on all the remaining models and became a niche maker. DXO? They should stick with software.

If DXO really wanted to make money and help photographers create they could come up with a usable and super high quality raw file that could be universally adopted by camera makers, and their customers. After all, their core competency is in imaging software, non?

Of course, after all this I could be wrong about everything. Tom could understand the race to connectivity much better than I ever will. He's got his ear to the ground on this whole topic. Nikon could be right and maybe they're just waiting out a fad (but I don't think so.....). And DXO could be right on the money. People may want to spend more money to take photos which they will continue to upload via their phones which also have cameras. People might also want to stick more and more stuff into their pockets when they head out the door. And they may want to play "put the puzzle pieces together" when they stop using their phone as a phone and rush to use it as a camera dock. But I don't think so. And I'm going to guess that a couple dozen Samsung Galaxy NX owners could tell them, "I don't think so."

Final thing: Any device you have to attach to your phone, boot up, call up an app, etc. is a way of slowing down photography and making the combined devices less useful not more useful. DXO One? A prediction of how many they might sell...

Note: I haven't met Thom Hogan but I've read his website (bythom.com) for years and I trust his reviews of Nikon products more than anyone else. I also like when he writes about the economics of the industry. I am disagreeing with his assessment of how to improve Nikon sales, not making an ad hominem attack here. I also read his Sansmirror.com site and find it well done. We agree about most aspects of cameras and shooting, with the exception of connectivity in cameras. He thinks it is a wonderful thing while I think it's the tool of Satan. That's all.


Anonymous said...

[Copied from Luminous Landscape]

The DxO ONE is offered at a price of $599. For a limited time, the DxO ONE comes with free licenses of two award-winning RAW image processing software, DxO OpticsPro (ELITE Edition, sold separately for $199), and DxO FilmPack (ELITE Edition, sold separately for $129), which digitally reproduces the look and feel of analog films.

Here are the specs as published.

Still resolution: 20.2MP

Video resolution: 1080p at 30fps, 720p at 120fps

Sensor type: CMOS BSI with a pixel pitch of 2.4?m

Sensor size: 13.2 x 8.8 mm (1” format)

Focal length: 11.9 mm (equivalent to 32 mm in full frame)

Aperture: f/1.8 adjustable down to f/11

Focus range: 20 cm – Infinity

Zoom: Digital 3x

[End copy]

There's also a code available for a free 64GB microSD card, good through August 31st.

What the hell, I think I'll give it a go. It's only 4 AAPL shares and I've got thousands of those.

Besides, I've been pretty impressed with that 1" Sony sensor.

And don't forget, it also acts as a standalone cam, ie, no iPhone required.

Who knows? Given relatively fast AF and some practice at framing and it might turn out to be the best street photography cam ever.

Anyway, I ordered one.

Anonymous said...

DxO could have made the One a prosumer/pro module. Something with interchangeable lenses and a flash-trigger. Instead they gave us nothing but an unwanted 1".

Now for a few words about connectivity. Some photographers working in the hinterlands don't have an Art Director looking over their shoulder. The AD is in a large metro area like Chicago or NYC. They need to send a .jpg for approval.

Other photographers sometime work for clients who want to use their own retouchers. Just as there are star photographers, there are also star retouchers.

I always hire a retoucher. No-one wants a colorblind photographer doing the color correction :-) Sometime it is advantageous to put the files in DropBox, whatever, so she can get started early. She is also proficient in Illustrator and InDesign, which is helpful for some projects.

BTW you were right about the McMansions this morning.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Kirk. Connectivity isn't something I want or need in a camera.

Nigel said...

Unlike anonymous, I don't have several thousand AAPL, but I too think it's interesting.

I won't get one, since like most version 1.0s, it's relatively crippled: in this case by its cludged connection to the iPhone.

A version which connected via wifi would be really interesting, with the combination of really small size, excellent image quality, and devolution of the control system to a far better and far more programmable computer than contained in any dedicated camera, it's a system with possibilities for development, in a similar manner to the recent open system Olympus camera module.

Patrick Dodds said...

"Nothing is absolutely perfect out of the camera..." Amen to that. I think just about the only "perfect" photo straight out of camera I got in the last 10 years came, ironically enough, from the non-focusing, slow and generally all-round frustrating Fuji X100; otherwise pictures just start life in the camera and have to be nurtured to adulthood via some sort of image editing process and, most importantly, further thought and input.

Manuel said...

Can't fault DxO for that add on camera, they want to remain in business and significant in their own terms.
Do you think they are earning that much in benchmarking cameras & lenses and developing apps?
We do have same thoughts. Cheers!

amolitor said...

Thom is in the click business, and his perennial 'Nikon is dumb and should just build a perfect camera for you and me, my fellow technophiles' is pandering click bait.

The web pundits mostly don't get that the connectivity thing is about seamless sharing. Ever put a picture on Instagram? The process is sleek as an otter. So yes, it's about viewing screens and touch screens and apps as much as it is about connectivity. If you remade a Nikon enough to make connectivity relevant, you'd have a cell phone.

There's no way the DXO camera hits that market in any interesting way. It's clearly a weird little neither this nor that niche thing. But, depending on lots of factors, it might still do well enough to make some money. Niche doesn't mean bad.

Unknown said...

Ditto. I think Thom Hogan is knowledgeable does a very professional site(s), but I don't think most photo enthusiasts are interested in connecting jpegs directly from their camera to Instagram. To the extent that they are, they do it with their phones, not with their higher-end Nikons, Sonys, Panasonics....

Unknown said...

well in the old days the trend: Kodak instamatic for the masses, SLRs for the middle class who wanted to take better pictures. Leica for the well healed. And for the middle class upgrader, one SLR could last 20 or more years. SLRs were a mature products and very few of the masses upgraded every year or so.

Digital changed the buying landscape. At a certain price/performance point, the masses bought a digital camera. And every year the technology improved significantly and for a while the prices kept dropping pretty fast. Everyone dumped their film camera for digital. The big cameras were significantly better than the small point and shoots. and the generation that bought the big digital SLR grew up in an era when buying an SLR was the next logical step.

Nikon and Canon (and others) saw extreme massive digital SLR sales every year which was not the historical norm. Camera manufactures massively ramped up to meet demand. People seem to think the massive digital buying was the norm but it is not.

Then the cell phone camera tech got good enough and became the instamatic of the masses. For most people the digital tech in the interchangeable cameras has gotten to the point where next years cameras are not significantly better than last years. Digital cameras are becoming a mature product.

I think camera buying habits of the masses have gone back to the historical norms.

The old days of the digital gold rush are over for the big digital iron (reference to big computer iron). The founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) is quoted "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." DEC went extinct with the advent of Intel and the PC.

Canon and Nikon are behaving like DEC. Coming out with retro digital cameras. Hanging onto mirrors and OVFs. Crippling their mirrorless offerings. Not willing to make good mirrorless cameras because they are afraid they will eat into their big iron profits. Canon and Nikon need to take a page out of Steve Job's book: need to eat your own lunch before someone else does

I agree with Kirk. Canon and Nikon should position their cameras as a step up for the middle class. Concentrate on what makes a camera a good picture taking tool. add an EVF, dump the mirror, and so on.

As the young group growing up with cell phones grow up to middle class (more money), get married, have children, they may likely want a camera that is a step up from their cell phone. Canon and Nikon (and everyone else) could position their big iron to be that step up.

I do think wireless has its place as a cordless form of tethering, but this overall desire by some for massive connectivity should be left to the cell phone

Craig Yuill said...

Kirk, while I don't expect your opinions to match those of other experienced photographers and reviewers, I think you are missing the mark on what Thom Hogan has been saying about connectivity. I doubt that Thom Hogan has any desire to play Candy Crush Saga on his camera while waiting for wildlife to appear. I do think he is right to criticize camera manufacturers for not making a real effort to make transferring photos to where you need to get them a more-streamlined experience. I have no problem with waiting to get home to physically connect my camera to my computer to transfer them, then doing some post production before posting them. The problem is that Nikon, Canon, etc. have relied on consumers buying D3300s and T5i's with kit lenses to expand sales and make up most of their revenue. Those people are giving up the notion of buying a "regular" camera and using the cell phone/tablet camera instead, largely because the cell-phone/tablet camera can be used to take pretty-good photos and videos (within limits), perhaps do some minor post processing with an app, then transfer them to on-line sites for friends and family to see. Better connectivity gives such buyers more of a reason to stay with "regular" cameras, and gives the photojournalists, etc. spinoff benefits such connectivity brings.

Which brings us to your notion that maybe Nikon, Canon, etc. need to rethink what/who they are. I feel that the camera manufacturers were at the top of their game in the late '70s and '80s, and perhaps the '90s too, and smaller than they are today. I too have wondered if Nikon, Canon, etc. should shrink and concentrate on their core products - cameras and lenses geared towards professional and serious (and "serious") photographers. I don't recall hearing or reading about complaints about Nikon products 30 years ago that have been written about some of their more-recent products. Nikon definitely needs to work on design, quality control, and quality assurance. Improving the software that runs the cameras and UI would also be a good idea.

Alan Fairley said...

"tool of Satan" - I almost spit out my coffee! Bingo on your rant!

Bruce Rubenstein said...

When Kodak introduced a box camera with the advertizing slogan, "You Press the Button, We Do the Rest", has defined image capture for 99.9% of all photography from that day forward. The use of the images were for photographic prints, and to a first order approximation, they were 4x6, or smaller, and no one really cared about technical image quality. It wasn't until the Baby Boomers came along and there was much higher amounts of disposable income for things like fancy stereo's, muscle cars, motorcycles, good cameras, etc., that large numbers of advanced cameras were sold. However, starting in the early 70's the biggest selling camera was the 110 box camera with probably worse technical image quality than the first Kodak box camera. Now the phone has replaced the box camera and the vast majority of images are viewed electronically.

The issue for camera makers isn't market share, it's a shrinking market. To a large extent, the camera makers are literally selling to the same people they have been for the last 40 years. Adding all sorts of connectivity to advanced cameras is like adding a USB interface to turntables. It makes little difference to the people who do, or do not, buy them. In the end, it's hard to sell the same amount of things to a decreasing number of people who want to buy them.

Jason Hindle said...

My concern with this is not so much usability, as the direct physical connection to the iPhone. Unless the camera is exceptionally light (or there's some additional support I'm not seeing), that's an awful lot of strain on the iPhone's Lightning connector.

MartinP said...

I would have thought that the smartphone should do the global connectivity thing, while the digital camera would do the photography. Isn't there already tethering software via phone apps? That should be streamlined and bought down market, perhaps with reduced options on the cheap versions - 'problem' solved. After all, how many digital-photographers desirous of connectivity do NOT have a smartphone with them?

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

I don't actually believe that Thom would sit around and play Candy Crush, it was just a funny vision that popped into my head. I think anonymous is wrong (again) because I do understand the whole concept of sharing but I also understand that smart people with good taste edit their shares and are choosier about what they share. And I think cameras can already connect wirelessly to the phone in my pocket if I need to transfer anything to Instagram or Facebook.

My points are: Cellphone users will never turn back. Real shooters who haven't turned into cellphone shooters by now understand how high quality imaging works and why it's valuable.

I think DXO will miss the boat not because people don't recognize quality but because Apple, with endless resources and a team of 60 PHD Physicists and color experts will soon make a phone which has a camera that leapfrogs over the DXO One and renders it a (small) pile of useless junk.

Anonymous said...

Let's get one thing straight. If you are a globe trotting photojournalist embedded in Afghanistan or covering something nasty in Libya you are not likely to depend on local phone services to send your images back (if you need to do so right away), You will most likely be using a satellite phone and you will have to transfer your images in order to use the satellite phone for sending. You will not be uploading via limited area local wi-fi. Just not going to happen.

RiverdogsCrossing said...

I agree with your assessment; would not purchase the add on, ever, not for half the price or even $100.

Anonymous said...

"My concern with this is not so much usability, as the direct physical connection to the iPhone."

No reason to be concerned. I've had an older Tascam mic hanging off my iPod Touch 4G for years (30 pin connector).

Tascam makes the iM2 with the Lighting connector . Zoom make the IQ5 with Lighting . Rode makes the i-XY in both the 30 pin and Lightning. Blue Mic makes the Mikey with Lightning.

Anonymous said...

Kirk said: "Apple, with endless resources ... will soon make a phone which has a camera that leapfrogs over the DXO One and renders it a (small) pile of useless junk."

The rumor is 12Mp for the iPhone 6s/iPhone 6s plus. Apple has also purchased LinX Imaging (multi lens technology). Time does not stand still in the high-tech world. Within 18 months the iPhone "could" have the IQ of a Nikon D3s.

BTW Schneider Optics makes iPro interchangeable lenses for some phones.

tnargs said...

The One reminds me of a typical Kickstarter project. It just has that feel to it. A catchy-groovy add-on to your lifestyle product.

Max Rottersman said...

You have prematurely danced on DxO's grave, because that's where that device is going. The camera is nothing more than a point-and-shoot frankensteined onto an iPhone. For landscape type photos, no one will be able to tell the difference between the camera and the iPhone (as you point out). For single person portraits the camera, as the sample images attest, will deliver pleasing results. HOWEVER, for multi person portraits the quality difference will again move towards landscape and it won't touch Sony's latest face-detection autofocus (for example).

I can see all the executives at the meeting getting excited about a camera that lures people into "real" photography, people who will buy and recommend Dxo. DxO should have just given a bunch of money to schools for cameras and their software--that's a SIMPLE idea that has worked for Apple. Instead, DxO has NOT considered that the camera may tarnish their brand.

I share your "rant" in that, at least for me, people are NOT stupid. When people learn enough, they often get good cameras (I know I've brought some people into this wonderful world). DxO, ironically, is going to turn off the very people it hopes to attract.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the DxO thing won't sell well. One thing they forget is ergonomics – what makes a camera fun to operate. Seeing the DxO unit mounted on a iPhone does not make me feel any desire to use it. PerL

Rick Keir said...

Check your assumptions: "I don't think most photo enthusiasts are interested in connecting jpegs directly from their camera to Instagram."

Apparently, the estimated 300 million people who post photos to Instagram every months are not "photo enthusiasts."

Rick Keir said...

Kirk, I've always understood Thom's ideas about connectivity to be more about making it possible to have many choices of applications that do things with the camera hardware. The Canon hack development kit "CHDK" is an early approach to moving this onto cameras, instead of having to do your programming on a phone that just happens to have a camera added on as an afterthought. I remember reading a lot about modular design and connectivity from him over the years.

As for posting to social media: I notice that a lot of pros are using iPhones to post photos, either taken directly with their camera or taken with a DSLR and then processed & posted while still in the field.

I really appreciate the care with which you framed your discussion of Thom: it's so rare to see a writer who appreciates that someone he/she disagrees with isn't necessarily the tool of Satan.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Rick, Thanks. I think Thom Hogan is a great writer about all things Nikon and don't doubt that he's forgotten more cool stuff about Nikon than I'll ever know. He, Ming Thein and Michael Johnston are my favorite bloggers writing about photography right now. His take on connectivity may be closer to what you describe but I stand firm in believing that programming your own camera or changing massive internal stuff in the camera's software is something desired by a small sub-set of photographers who are refugees from high tech careers.

As to my assumptions about what people like to do on Instagram I would strongly suggest that the vast majority of the 300 million who post there are certainly doing it from their phones and not from OMD EM5.2s or Nikon D750s.


Scott said...

"Apple . . . will soon make a phone [that] has a camera that leapfrogs over the DXO One . . . ."

Apple is a very fashion-oriented company. Thin phones are fashionable. Better camera modules are thicker. Apple's phone already has its camera module oddly sticking out of the phone because of this.

Phone cameras will get better but I would happily take a thicker phone with a better camera, and bigger battery, right now. A little extra thickness is no problem, except for the fashionistas.

Archy the Cockroach said...

"If DXO really wanted to make money and help photographers create they could come up with a usable and super high quality raw file that could be universally adopted by camera makers, and their customers." What's wrong with DNG? Why would DXO want to start competing with DNG at this late date? (Serious question. I use DNG. If there's some problem with it that everybody else on the net knows about, well, I am at least honestly the last person who didn't know.) (Yeah, the files are big. Is that all? Is there any reason to think a "super high quality raw file" would be smaller?)

On the post generally: the thing that always puzzles me about this kind of post is, why can't we just leave it up to the market? If enough people want this gadget at the price, DXO will make money. If people don't want it, they will lose money. What's the use in polishing up our crystal balls?

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Archy, It's not just about DXO's camera it's the contention that everyone wants immediate connection over good design, usability and high quality. Plus it's fun to conjecture. People without opinions are boring. And who wants a dusty, grimy crystal ball?

Rick Keir said...

Kirk and Michael, I should have been clear that I was responding to Michael O'Sullivan's comment when I quoted the line about "most photo enthusiasts."

The point I was trying (and failed) to make is that the comment about "most photo enthusiasts aren't interested" seems really wrong when there are 300 million people using Instagram: what are they if not photo enthusiasts? Numerically, it'd be a lot truer to say that "most photo enthusiasts" don't care about DSLRs or mirrorless cameras; those of us who do are very much a niche market.

If we expect CaNikon and the rest to stay in business, they need to respond to the needs of that market, not just the shrinking market for DSLRs and other interchangeable lens cameras.

bpr said...

Umm. It is possible that this camera might actually be aimed at photographers but, DxO makes most of its money from selling software solutions into the phone and automotive industry so it's probably a technology demonstrator, like the original Lytro.

jlsalvignol said...

The world is so much simpler, Kirk. DxO with its expertise has positioned itself as a potential target for Apple. Is One an additional advantage to increase the price of the acquisition? I think so. Wait & see.

Yoram Nevo said...

BTW - in all the excitement it was forgotten that somebody has already put a one each sensor (with a leica lens) inside a smartphone - Panasonic Lumix CM1.
I think we should all give them some credit . . .

Wally said...

i have WiFi connectivity on my walk arounf MFT Lumix GX7 -which i prfer over my Nikon 1 V1- and find I NEVER use it. Agree with you acessment on Nikon and would add lack of Nikons excelllent creative lighting syslem CLS in their mirrorless line is what moved me to the MFT line for casual shooting in the first place.

almostinfamous said...

I just wanted to holler a great big thank you for this anti-connectivity rant as I would never be able to put it across nearly as well. Also a reminder that Sony their crazy selves put their sensors in stand alone screenless cameras in the QX10 and QX100 which sold................. not well.

Gato said...

I'm on the side of connectivity. I am with you on this part: "it's the contention that everyone wants immediate connection over good design, usability and high quality." I do not want to give up image quality or good handling in a camera.

Right now I have to make a choice - give up quality or give up connectivity. The majority of the things I want to post will never be seen anywhere but on a screen and the phone is plenty good for that - including light post work. And most of my "serious" images will not be posted until they have been through the computer, so not a big problem. But there is an overlap and it is getting bigger - images I want both to post quickly and have the option of making top quality versions later.

More and more I find myself wanting to post lightly edited versions of serious images. Someone already mentioned working with a client or art director not present on set. That can happen. As a portrait guy I see my competitors posting "sneak previews" and "behind the scenes" - and I see the clients very enthusiastic about them. Or maybe it's just a personal picture - I see a great sunset or a pretty flower. Something I want to share with friends while it is fresh but also have the option of making a large print later.

Maybe I don't need a phone built into the camera, but I would like a simple, quick, reliable way to get an image online when I want to.

Unknown said...

I can say that the iPhone image quality is way better than Kodak instamatic 110.

The masses used cheap, easy to use cameras (Kodak Instamatic and that includes me in the 60s through 70s) to make prints to share with friends and family. The Kodak instamatic series was probably the number one camera (in volume) sold in the 60s through the 80s.

Then cheap digital point and shoot camera image quality/price point replaced the Kodak instamatic as the go to camera to make jpegs to share via email with friends and family. Kodak hung onto film with a death grip (and died) even though they had a humongous lead (and with patents) with digital technology.

Then cheap cell phone cameras replaced the point and shoot camera to share via instagram, facebook with friends and family due to increased usability (its always there).

there will always be people (albeit historically a small subset of the masses) who rise above and want a dedicated picture taking machine that is better than an instamtic, point and shoot, or cell phone and are willing to pay more. the labels we use for this subset are advanced amateurs and pros. for this group, I agree with Kirk that super connected camera to instagram is just not where camera makers should go with their advanced cameras.

If I want superconectivity, I will just use my cell phone to take pics like most everyone else or wirelessly connect my better camera to my cell phone to almost instantly share.

Cell phones are all about cheap camera, portability, accessibility, able to fit in my rear pants pocket, and share pics with friends and family.

Tools and technology have changed, but the bottom line is most people just want a cheap camera that's easy to use to share images with friends and family.

Cell phone add on cameras that cost as much or more than a Canon Rebel T5 kit with 2 lenses! Its definitely a niche that commercially I don't see going anywhere. I'd rather spend a lot less and have more fun with a rugged gopro to share my adventures with friends and family

amolitor said...

Most photography pundits are technophiles, and so are most of their readers. (quick, think up a photography themed blog written by someone who is not a self-confessed gear buying addict. just one. come on, you can do it...)

Most people who post to instagram are photo enthusiasts. They like pictures. Some of them like cameras but not most of them. Pundits like Thom, Ming, and others, suffer from the fallacy that liking pictures is equivalent to liking picture making equipment or at the very least liking things like image quality.

The logic is thus: Instagram users like pictures, therefore they are interested in image quality, shooting in low light, cameras, etc, just like me and therefore they are itching for cell-phone like features in a better camera. The bit in italics is both unspoken and wrong.

Historically, most people who take photographs have liked pictures, but not cared much for gear, and not cared much about getting the sharpest best images in the lowest light, they've not cared much if this picture of that didn't work out. They just want a "clear" picture of the kids, of grandma, of the dog, of the christmas tree, every now and then.

Unknown said...

there is one area most people seem to miss when talking about cameras

who makes the lens, sensor, and image processor for cell phones?

Apple doesn't make these components, they buy from someone, same as other cell phone makers.

Samsung and Sony are the two that provide to all segments of the camera industry so are well placed no matter what segment does well.

Canon and Nikon are out in the cold.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

And "Amolitor" goes for the win!!! See his comment two above this. This is exactly right. Exactly right. And he gets it. But the gear addiction is powerful and pervasive. Especially among people who spend their days in front of computers.
Ah well.

Unknown said...


I agree, Amolitor is the winner. Spot on about people, pics, and tech. Said it much clearer than me. Family and pets: Those are exactly the type of pics people love to share. I forgot about the dog and Christmas tree. We shouldn't forget cats for those cat lovers out there.