Photography’s future is software & computation

DPReview, the soon to be shuttered photography website has an in-depth interview with Sigma CEO Kazoo Tamaki. In this interview he talks about the need for special lenses, importance of cameras and what makes his company so special. What caught my eye were his observations about the impact of computational photography and the rise of camera phones. 

The technology that has impressed me the most is computational photography. The image quality from smartphones has improved drastically over the past several years, mainly due to computational photography. I’m amazed. This might change imaging technology. Camera and lens manufacturers need to learn something from it. Of course, we shouldn’t just copy the technology because we have much better hardware: bigger and better sensors, and better optics. But that kind of software is very powerful.

I believe they [the camera manufacturers] recognize the importance of computational photography. Still, as a camera and lens manufacturer, I feel we need to satisfy the very serious photographers and the history of photography culture. We don’t need to satisfy customers who just want to play with images or want a cartoon look. We have to follow the tradition of photography. People have been pursuing better picture quality in photography for over 150 years, right? So we have to respect the photo culture. But if there’s technology we can use to enhance picture quality that can also contribute to photography culture, why not? We should use it.

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