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posted by martyb on Friday October 28 2016, @12:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the who-would-want-a-camera-that-was-heavy-and-dark? dept.

The creator of the new Light digital camera explains how he made it work:

The best digital cameras today are SLRs (single-lens reflex cameras), which use a movable mirror to guide the same light rays that fall on the sensor into the viewfinder. These cameras normally have precisely ground glass lenses and large, high-quality image sensors. In the right hands, they can shoot amazing pictures, with brilliant colours and pleasing lighting effects, often showing a crisply focused subject and an aesthetically blurred background.

But these cameras are big, heavy, and expensive: A good digital SLR (DSLR) with a decent set of lenses—including a standard 50 mm, a wide angle, and a telephoto, for example—can easily set you back thousands of dollars.

So most photos today aren't being shot with DSLRs but with the tiny camera modules built into mobile phones. Nobody pretends these pictures match the quality of a photograph taken by a good DSLR; they tend to be grainy, and the camera allows very little artistic control. But smartphone cameras certainly are easy to carry around.

Can't we have it both ways ? Couldn't a high-quality yet still-tiny camera somehow be fit into a mobile device ?

The Light camera starts with a collection of inexpensive plastic-lens camera modules and mechanically driven mirrors. We put them in a device that runs the standard Android operating system along with some smart algorithms. The result is a camera that can do just about everything a DSLR can—and one thing it can't: fit in your pocket.

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 29 2016, @02:31AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 29 2016, @02:31AM (#420015)

    I shoot both film and digital. Fellow Pentaxian on a shoestring budget, as chance would have it.

    My fav is the Super A (Program A). Try to pick one up if you can, they sometimes go super cheap. Paid 25 for mine. If you like the K1000, you might fall in love with the A. Great electronic shutter, Tv mode with A lenses, small and light. Watch out for light seal/mirror damper degradation.

    In my opinion, digital is not necessarily "better". On the higher end of current-gen full-frame bodies, real resolution has finally left ye olde 35mm film in the dust. Took sensor makers long enough.

    What I prefer about digital is convenience, low-light-capability and in-camera image stabilization. Operating cost, naturally. In the field chasing motion? Bring on the virtual 5fps motor drive and rip through "rolls" like it's 1989!

    Film still has dynamic range and colour fidelity going for it though. If you have good film stock, time for the analogue process and enough light, you can give quite a few DSLRs a run for their money.

    To add some on-topic: synthetic aperture/bokeh may be the future. But hipster reasons aside, there's something deeply engaging about handling a camera with mechanical inputs. Using the camera becomes part of the photographic process in a way that I can't see a touchscreen operated device replicate. Or any device that's too small to be properly held for that matter. Ergonomics do matter and an SLR is close to optimal in that department.

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