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Andrew Reid

Steve Jobs on Xerox PARC - this video explains EXACTLY why photography companies are failing to innovate with consumer cameras

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This is a great interview, love this bit! I think this is still on Netflix as the Lost Interview.

its true unfortunately. It's also sad that post Jobs Apple now primarily focus on the size, thin-ness and processor speed, all the limp marketing angles their competitors do. I now kinda miss the left-field innovation

in cameras, only Sony seem to push spec and innovation in an attempt to grab market share. Only competition will speed up innovation. If only they could really nail colour...

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Yeah think it is a long interview, only seems to be broken up into smaller chunks on YouTube so will check out Netflix!

I think whenever the Japanese photographic giants do try to innovate the product doesn't sell because they don't back it up with the right software or marketing. Apple were quite good at those!!

Sony are a bit like Samsung... spec spec spec. Ironic thing is the NX1's 'soul' and handling is much nicer than the A7R II!!

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I think that is more or less what happened at Samsung at the end. Their engineers produced the start of something great, but the people running the company didn't have a clue and flushed it away. Basically Xerox.

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What's ironic here is that Apple are now the company with the monopoly in many markets who are no longer innovating. Look at what Microsoft are doing. They have one streamlined OS that works across all devices from phones, tablets to desktops. They've just released new phones (Lumia 950 & 950 XL) that you can connect a mouse, keyboard & monitor to, and use as a full functioning computer with desktop apps. Their Surface range also continues to get better and better. Of course, they also have that Hololens technology that looks quite impressive from the demos I've seen.

And what do Apple release? A big iPad with what is essentially the same OS as what the original iphone was running back when it was first released.

 

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Andrew, I very much agree with your second point about seamless design and functionality, the wifi functionality, is hideously implemented and mostly unusable as is today, even with mirorless makers, sony etc.

But i think the fourth point is the real issue and game changer. Even people who remember the optical viewfinder era, find it much easier and natural , to see the results of changing settings imediately before their eyes.

In everything we opt for simpler more efficient and  WISIWUG designs, and once EVFs evolve a bit more in speed and quality, they will totally render OVFs obsolete, along with the whole design structure built to support them.

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It's ok to spit on canon from time to time, I would like them even more... if they could get their head off their own ass and push a bit more innovation to a general mass and stop protecting that much Cinema EOS. 

But clearly they aren't doing everything wrong here. 50% of the top 8 most wished items of B&H is not bad when it comes to what it does really matter for them.... sales. 

Anyone have save the CEO interview where he says the 5dmk2 was a error for Canon and they are a lens manufacturing company?!

 

Screen_Shot_2015-11-22_at_5.41.15_AM.thu

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Having lived through the PC/MAC years I don't remember it as a slam-dunk.  Keep in mind that Gates did the same thing with IBM.  Hindsight for all this is 20/20.  

I see the opposite with modern cameras.  What they've been able to achieve in the past 10 years is nothing short of astounding to me.  When I get into film in 1970s, the technology had been more or less the same for 40 years, the high end being 16mm and low-end 8mm.  Think about that, if the tech we were using today was petty much the same as what we were using in 1975!  Yet, I have a Panasonic LX100 in my bag that shoots as well as, if not better, than the quarter-million dollar cameras in "Phantom Menace" 15 years ago.  

Better WiFi would be nice, but keep in mind that an app can't access the password to the wireless network and the only real solution is to build a second transmitter and that's not up to the camera companies (it's up to the smartphone makers).  That it works at all, given the constraints, is to be applauded.

The number one problem all cameras make is light sensitivity (as it was in film).  Software can only do so much.  Anyway, there is a rich ecosystem of camera software out there, though not from the camera makers.  Building cameras and building software are two different skill-sets, IMHO.

The biggest problem today is people don't spend the time to experiment and learn how to use the technology they have.  Most people put whatever gadget they have on "auto."  There needs to be more respect, love, and FUN with THE ART OF PHOTOGRAPHY/FILM.

This blog does a great job at that, except when it looks at the glass as half-full and gets into arm-chair business discussions that are better left to the nit-wit junior financial analysts down in The City :)

 

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I think that is more or less what happened at Samsung at the end. Their engineers produced the start of something great, but the people running the company didn't have a clue and flushed it away. Basically Xerox.

I think, Samsung is a very different story.

With the NX1, they have made some serious strategic mistakes and taken tough choices.
Samsung placed their new product, as we say, in the worst of "red ocean". They aimed for a segment but didn't realize, what it takes to be successful there. The H.265 codec is also a brave but tough choice.

Blackmagic has made clever strategy, by sticking to their core competence and buying the sensors from elsewhere and using mounts like EF or MFT.
Sony teamed up with Zeiss in order to have a reasonable choice of glass.
Offering a fair range of lenses is one of the main success factor in the prosumer/pro segment. That's why Canon is still doing OK, despite of their almost total lack of innovation. I think there is only place for 2-3 mount systems on the global market and my guess is for the future:

Canon EF
MFT
Sony E
Maybe Nikon also, if the get bought by a capital-strong Chinese company. If not, I believe, Nikon will disappear.

My 2 cents :-)

 

 

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What's ironic here is that Apple are now the company with the monopoly in many markets who are no longer innovating. Look at what Microsoft are doing. They have one streamlined OS that works across all devices from phones, tablets to desktops.

They played catch up big time with that one my friend.

Apple have had a common OS over their mobile, tablet and desktop devices for years.

So fail to see how that is a Microsoft advantage or even unique to Microsoft.

They've just released new phones (Lumia 950 & 950 XL) that you can connect a mouse, keyboard & monitor to, and use as a full functioning computer with desktop apps.

Yeah because nobody with a high-end smartphone cannot do that already with their laptop!?!?

Their Surface range also continues to get better and better. Of course, they also have that Hololens technology that looks quite impressive from the demos I've seen.

And what do Apple release? A big iPad with what is essentially the same OS as what the original iphone was running back when it was first released.

Essentially the same OS as in 2007?

You really do not have a clue about Apple devices and probably don't use them.

It's ok to spit on canon from time to time, I would like them even more... if they could get their head off their own ass and push a bit more innovation to a general mass and stop protecting that much Cinema EOS. 

But clearly they aren't doing everything wrong here. 50% of the top 8 most wished items of B&H is not bad when it comes to what it does really matter for them.... sales. 

Anyone have save the CEO interview where he says the 5dmk2 was a error for Canon and they are a lens manufacturing company?!

 

Screen_Shot_2015-11-22_at_5.41.15_AM.thu

Again you are making the same mistake that the salesmen running Canon are making...

Saying things like sales are more important than the product.

Sales of Nokias were great before smartphones!

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Again you are making the same mistake that the salesmen running Canon are making...

Saying things like sales are more important than the product.

Sales of Nokias were great before smartphones!

I'm not saying product isn't important, but we live in a world of specialization, Luxury lenses and Canon cinema lenses are great products. 

I don't blame them to focus a bit more on that side:  EF mount is adopted everywhere already. BM, RED, KINEFINITY, even SONY design the E mount looking at the EF mount

Just like sony with their recent announcement of Sony Semiconductor Solutions division. They now represent more a bit more then 40% of the sensor market. It wouldn't make sense for them to push too much the R&D for sony lenses. 

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Apple have had a common OS over their mobile, tablet and desktop devices for years.

So fail to see how that is a Microsoft advantage or even unique to Microsoft.

Technically, yes, but not on the level of user experience and applications. You can't take an iPhone or iPad, connect it to a keyboard and monitor, and it turns into a Mac with the full Mac OS X experience (so that your iPad doubles as a Macbook Air and Mac Mini). This is what Windows can now do, and what Ubuntu has been working on, too.

Here you exactly get the limitations of today's corporate mindset at Apple. Apple, as a hardware and gadget company, wants to sell you the iPhone and the iPad and the Mac, and has no interest in you buying only one device that can do all at once. Just like Canon and Sony don't want their DSLR/A7 mirrorless camera to double as a Cinema EOS or FS camera because they want to protect their higher-end hardware sales.

- Unlike Apple, Microsoft and Ubuntu don't live from hardware sales and therefore don't need to restrict their product R&D in the same way that Apple does. I don't like Microsoft at all, but it deserves credit where credit is due.

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Apple have had a common OS over their mobile, tablet and desktop devices for years.

So fail to see how that is a Microsoft advantage or even unique to Microsoft.

 No, they have OSX for their laptops and iOS for their mobile devices. If you want a tablet, you have to buy an iPad which doesn't let you run any full featured apps like Photoshop, FCP, Premiere, etc. If you do want to use those programs though, you also have to buy either a MacBook, or a desktop machine. That's two devices, and to transfer app data from the tablet to computer can normally only be done via iTunes, which can be an extremely painful experience.

With a Surface Pro, or even a '2 in 1' like Lenovo's Yoga range, you get one machine that's a tablet and can still run the full featured apps. That's the advantage. And if you have one of their phones, it will be the same one OS again.

 

Yeah because nobody with a high-end smartphone cannot do that already with their laptop!?!?

 

A laptop won't fit in your pocket. Seriously, think of your average consumer doesn't do any high end video editing, photography, music or whatever. They just browse facebook, Instagram, do a bit of book keeping or whatever. These kind of people will now no longer even need a computer. They could do everything on the phone while they're out. Then when they're home, all they need to do is hook the phone into a monitor or their tv, grab a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and with Continuum on the phone running the full desktop versions of their browser and office apps, their user experience would be exactly the same as if they were on a desktop or laptop. And that's huge. Less environmental waste if people are only using phones, and much less confusion for older people like my in laws, trying to familiarise themselves with multiple devices.

Why are Apple not doing this with the iPhone? If they're putting desktop performance A9 chips on their iPhones, why not let people connect them to monitor and run OSX? Possibly because they don't want to lose sales of their iPads and Macs? That's like Canon limiting the video features in their DSLR's so that people will still buy their C300 etc.  

Essentially the same OS as in 2007?

You really do not have a clue about Apple devices and probably don't use them.

I'm running iOS9 on my iPad, and apart from the different font they're using, the user interface is still the same as a 2007 iPhone. There's no way of putting a big slideshow gallery of my favourite photos on there like I can do with my Lumia, I can't put a big tile on there with a photo of my wife, or a Fitbit tile showing me how far I've walked and the number of steps, I can't put a big tile on there showing the latest posts in my blog reader app, such a new EOSHD post, or even a Flickr tile showing new photos my contacts have posted, and so on. You can't do any of this with iOS. All you get are boring icons, which if you're lucky, might have a number on them.

Even Android users can do a lot more with widgets and whatever else they have.

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Fascinating organizational insight in that Steve Jobs interview, I'd never heard that before but makes sense intuitively.

But with photography companies, you'd have to understand the specific organizational process of each company. Because it seems to me that marketing would likely play a role in specifying cameras specs. After that, engineers are tasked with producing a product which meets that spec. Somehow I doubt that engineers at camera companies are these garage geniuses that come up with great products all on their own. Product development is too complicated for that. They have so many considerations to account for before the design is even made, like manufacturing capabilities, supply partners, etc. If anything, product design is probably a very iterative team process from across the company, which makes Jobs' explanation seem a bit simplistic.

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Nice interview - also ironic because Apple post-jobs is releasing crap.  Ipad sales are down.  The iwatch is a flop.  Apple Music doesn't seem like it will be anything more than Spotify.

 

Anyway, cameras can't compete with smart phones - except in one way - better image quality.  They need to adopt that new film-like invisage technology to make the image just better.  I see stuff on the iphone that looks as good as most stuff I see on the canon 5d.  And the end product is instagram.  

Also, using depth of field for portrait shots.

The fact is, I think the consumer camera model is dying out - no one needs point and shoot.  All focus should be on high end dslr or medium format or mirrorless.  That game is over.  I was shooting on the nx1 and uploading to instagram but honestly I couldn't really see much of a difference vs just shooting and coloring well on my galaxy s4 phone.

 

Also let's remember Samsung is killing it with smartphones.  Their entry into photography wasn't needed really.

Canon and Panasonic and Nikon aren't that diversified.  Sony is, they got rid of their computers and TV division and I think trying to create more innovation.  I don't know.

Canon has always been kind of a mess.  I remember before the C300 they had no professional option.  Just glass.

Man I am rambling.

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No, they have OSX for their laptops and iOS for their mobile devices.

iOS is OSX based. They are very similar with same development tools.

If you want a tablet, you have to buy an iPad which doesn't let you run any full featured apps like Photoshop, FCP, Premiere, etc.

Why would you want to run desktop apps on a touch screen device that are designed to be used with a mouse and keyboard?

Just get a laptop!!

With a Surface Pro, or even a '2 in 1' like Lenovo's Yoga range, you get one machine that's a tablet and can still run the full featured apps. That's the advantage. And if you have one of their phones, it will be the same one OS again.

Surface Pro, apart from being very expensive, does it do the desktop apps better than a desktop or the tablet apps better than an iPad Pro?

No to both.

So what is the point??

There is a reason to have a separate device for your power hungry desktop apps and a separate device for your tablet apps & games.

Tablets are not that useful for creative work anyway. Most people use them for internet, email and games. They have not taken off for Photoshop and video editing at all.

A laptop won't fit in your pocket.

And Surface Pro does?

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When I was growing up, the only people carrying 35mm SLRs were enthusiasts...school newspaper dweebs like myself...and professionals. "Consumers" carried Kodak Instamatics, Polaroid SX-70s, etc.

Today, SLRs have been supplanted by ILCs, and Instamatics by cell phones.

So maybe nothing has changed, really. And all this hand-wringing about the death of DSLRs is just the market figuring that out.

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Why would you want to run desktop apps on a touch screen device that are designed to be used with a mouse and keyboard?

Just get a laptop!!

Why would you want to shoot video with a photo camera that was designed to shoot stills? Just get a video camera!

(Just saying...)

 

EDIT: Present-day A9 chips are as fast as top-of-the-line Core 2 Duo CPUs in 2007, and still faster than entry-level laptop CPUs today. Smartphones and tablets have become absolutely adequate for creative work if you don't run heavy-duty stuff like color grading and 3D animation on them. There's no reason why a tablet along with a bluetooth keyboard (and some clever snapping/convertible mechanism like in the Yoga or the new iPad Pro) shouldn't be used as laptop replacement. The division between an iPad Air and a MacBook Air has more to do with marketing and sales than with engineering or usability.

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If a theatrical release can be filmed using an iphone, what more do "real directors" really need?  Putting images onto a screen is a "solved problem".  Dynamic range, 4k/8k, slow mo, etc... are all aesthetics.  Things that do matter, but not as much as the enthusiastic think they do.  Innovation can occur, but it's not going to be related to putting images onto the screen.  Perhaps it will be about content delivery... special effects, etc...  I don't know.  If innovation is so easy, everyone would be doing it :-)  Camera companies are starting to become like pen and paper companies.  One can only innovate pen and paper technology so much.  At the end of the day, what counts is trying to facilitate the creative process.  Innovation can only happen if the camera companies look past their cameras and equipment and ask, "what can I do to help X put his ideas onto the screen?"...   Everything else is fluff...  Nice to have, but not necessary.

 

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Look at what Microsoft are doing. They have one streamlined OS that works across all devices from phones, tablets to desktops. They've just released new phones (Lumia 950 & 950 XL) that you can connect a mouse, keyboard & monitor to, and use as a full functioning computer with desktop apps. Their Surface range also continues to get better and better. Of course, they also have that Hololens technology that looks quite impressive from the demos I've seen.

Really? You think Windows 10 Mobile and the 950 are a bright spot?

Microsoft has flushed it's mobile OS 3 times in the last 7 years. Twice, Microsoft attacked its own early adopter user and developer base: killing off WP7 (fucking over users) and WP8 (fucking over developers). Both Android and iOS have supported wireless displays and keyboards, with Android also supporting mice.

So now they're shipping Windows 10 Mobile. Have you seen how buggy it runs? Have you seen how gutted the core apps are? What the hell has happened since WP7? I don't mind running beta software but even I reverted to WP8 on my 640. I honestly cannot fathom who in Microsoft thinks that W10 Mobile is ready to ship.

What's the point of Continuum? What's the use case for someone having to connect their phone to a display, bringing with them a keyboard and mouse? If you need to be productive on the road, you use a laptop. Need to display something on a TV? Like I wrote earlier, iOS and Android support wireless display. Being able to transition an app from device to device sounds useful, but what app do I need to do that? Most of the apps I use sync to my other devices already (tabs from the browser, netflix for videos, google play for my music.)

iOS Continuity is a far more useful feature. You sit down next to your computer or laptop and receive all your notifications on the bigger display. No dialogue screens, no physical connections. Just a seamless transition: your computer has phone features.

And with regards to the 950. This is what Microsoft did to Nokia? Less impressive camera (since the PureView 808), regressive design (since the Lumia 700), complete lack of colors, and, and asking price of $600 USD for specs you can currently get for $300 or less (far less if you look at the Asus ZenPhone 2 and LG G3).

 

7 years later: dwindling user base, zero support by other manufacturers and an OS that is almost up to feature parity with iOS and Android.

 

And this rant is from someone who loved the Metro design language. Someone who bought a new Lumia  nearly every year because the phones were genuinely awesome, with competitive features and an OS that was on the cusp of becoming great. Someone who acted like a fucking marketer every time he was asked "oh, what phone is that?"

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