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November 13, 2009


I agree that it will be a wonderful day when sensors get to the point that it won't make much difference which sensor is capturing the image because they will all be good enough. While I have been generally pleased using the Panasonic GF1... and I not sure these days have arrived yet.

I would like to suggest that the camera is not the best place to worry about getting a character of the image right. The camera should be mostly ergonomics. Once we can collect adequate data, we should deal with the character issue outside the camera.

I would suggest that the best place to define "character" would be in the processing of the RAW sensor data. Ideally in tools that make photoshop look primitive. Today we have crude tools... we can look for edges and sharpen them, we can play with color curves or dynamic ranges, etc, etc. I look forward to the day when I can apply "my look" to the raw data. I would suggest this will be best accomplished in general purpose computing devices rather than in the camera thus freeing the camera designers to focus on ergonomic issues. One idea bucking this vision is the frankencamera work http://graphics.stanford.edu/projects/camera-2.0/ which could enable getting a customizable character in the camera itself.


thank you for this post. I think it will inspire my husband who is looking to purchase a digital camera and is not sure where to start since we only have a small budget and he is thinking of getting a used one.

Our three year old daughter has a child camera and is having fun taking picture on our numerous outdoor activities.

Heidi http://outdoorbaby.net

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RYAN JORDAN is the Founder and CEO of Backpacking Light, and a wilderness adventurer, speaker, writer, photographer, instructor, and guide. Learn more about Ryan and his services.
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Ryan also serves on the Board of Directors for the Continental Divide Trail Alliance and the Winter Wildlands Alliance, is an Eagle Scout, Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 676 of Bozeman, Mont., and the High Adventure Committee Chair for Montana BSA.

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