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Inspiration

Google Glass May Not Be The Future Of Photo Tech, But What It Now Does, Could Be

By Kishore Sawh on September 26th 2014

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Cameras, and I don’t know why this is, tend to evolve at the speed of a moving glacier. That is to say, slowly. You may be thinking to yourself about all the ‘new’ tricks cameras can do now, from shooting 4k, mirrorless cameras, to flip out LCD screens, touch screens to control settings, and the list would continue. There is some validity to thinking that these are all updates that are happening extremely quickly, but I beg you to take a look at the forest for the trees.

In reality, they are generally small variations of primary things that have been around for ages, but the bigger picture is often lost through the noise. The noise is typically marketing static hailing these little features to sell you what is mostly the same thing you currently have. It’s not innovation. Where is the next step to come from? Google Glass may not be the answer, but I would say that one thing it’s now capable of doing for photography, is a leap forward.

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A new application for Google Glass called Light Meter is integrating tech and voice commands to manual photography. Developed by the pioneering and innovative David Young at LeicaLux, it is, in my book, a true forward thinking application. He created it after dealing with hand held light meters which he needed in conjunction with his old school Rolleiflex SL66, a camera with no metering. He wanted something more intuitive, less cumbersome, and more natural, so he integrated software into Google glass that would allow him to use his Google Glass as a Head Up Display to show him critical metering information.

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The software is continuously reading the light sensor and displays pertinent information for the correct exposure you’re going for. You would input your ISO and preferred aperture, and the software will provide you three options for aperture/shutter speed combinations. It’s quite brilliant, though I won’t be caught dead using it. It does bring me neatly into the future, however.

[REWIND: Why Your Photos Get No Likes, And Why Ones Much Worse Do Much Better]

Thoughts

It’s so strange this came to my attention this week, as a friend and I over drinks last weekend were discussing what we could create to take the functionality of cameras to a new level, and make the shooting experience more seamless. I mentioned how wifi as an ability for DSLRs was nice, but many don’t care for it and won’t until the transfer speeds were truly fast. Button layout came up as a topic people obsess over and what we figured would be the easiest way around this was to use voice commands.

To use this Google Glass app, you need to speak out basic commands to bring up the application, and I think what it signals is that there is a place right now for this tech integrated into many cameras. Instead of holding down a function button and turning a dial for shift shutter speed, exposure comp, ISO, or aperture, or anything else, how wonderful would it be to have a camera that understood a basic set of commands and would do these things fo so you so you wouldn’t lose the momentum of the moment? “Camera, set ISO to 400,” or “Camera, change metering to ‘spot.’ I would adore this, and I think you would too. We can’t be the first to discuss this, so why is no one doing it?

Sources: LeicaLux.com, Google Glass

About

Kishore is, among other things, the Editor-In-Chief at SLR Lounge. A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ralph Hightower

    This may be the app for me to become a glasshole. But I would like to own a meter with spot, flash, and incident light metering. I don’t know if Google Glass does trifocals or not, but I’ve used graduated trifocals for years; yes, I’ve messed up a few shots when I used the wrong zone with my manual focus cameras.

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  3. Stan Rogers

    HUD is cool; augmented reality is cool too (remote finder, HUD, focus peaking and zebras could all be managed simultaneously with a little practice, as anyone with a little flight sim time — real or video game — can confirm). Voice activation? Not so much (unless the camera is awkwardly remote). Talking just plain takes too long most of the time, and there’s often a better-than-even chance that your social interface transducers are engaged in other activities. You can put a semi-transparent overlay over part of your eye contact, but it’s really hard to semi-audibly talk to the camera while conversing with a subject (or doing your utmost to be quiet, or explaining what you’re doing to a client, etc.). With decent feedback, finger-fumbling becomes immediate, almost think-it-to-do-it direct control, even when you can’t feel the controls (or your fingers). Hey, it works for fighter jocks. (I was an air force techie before I decided that I could go broke faster as a full-time photographer.)

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  4. Greg Silver

    Very cool – I also think seeing a histogram would be very cool!!!

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