The world is amazingly open now with the advent of the digital age. We have constant access to any and (almost) all information there is available in the world, and people are changing the nature of the game in almost every sector of the public domain with open-source sharing and platforms. Cameras are no exception now. With the first fully open-source camera now on the way, the new Samsung Android Galaxy EK-GC100 Smartcamera is poised to be the first fully modular (in the digital sense) camera for hackers and camera enthusiasts to mod to their heart’s content.
Samsung has released the open source kernel files to their new camera and now everyone has access to the full system with the ability to bend and change every last bit to their will.
The beautiful thing about this is that no longer are you restricted to menus created by UX (User Experience) designers with a bent on aggravating even the most technically minded photographers out there. Now people with brilliant ideas like the folks at Magic Lantern who have been having to completely circumvent the crappy OS systems that come built in to the cameras have an open door to come into the camera’s stock system and rearrange the metaphorical furniture to suit any style or taste.
Wanna have a camera with options particularly suited to Astrophotography? Done. Timelapse photographers, are you tired of flipping through useless menu options to get to the gear box of your bread and butter? No worries, just tweak it all yourself or pull a firmware update from your favorite modder on the timescapes.org forum. Need to dump all the crap in your way for a trim and sleek sports photographer’s dream camera and have under-the-hood tweaks to boost your autofocus performance? No more waiting for Canikon to pick up the pace, just hit up your best friend who does a bit of programming on the side to give you a hand.
Now given, these hypothetical applications are in the distantly near future, but you can imagine what will happen when other manufacturers aside from Samsung step into this and start allowing people to do what they really want to with the equipment that they own. Once the system jumps from compact cameras to SLRs and professional mirrorless systems, get the champagne ready because it’s going to be a momentous party in the history of photography.
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