The DSLR is dead – that's what Light CTO Dr. Rajiv Laroia has been saying for years and now former Google Exec Vic Gundotra has agreed (see his facebook post). And Vic took it a step further saying that the greatest innovations are happening in computational photography.

The end of the DSLR for most people has already arrived. I left my professional camera at home and took these shots at dinner with my iPhone 7 using computational photography (portrait mode as Apple calls it). Hard not to call these results (in a restaurant, taken on a mobile phone with no flash) stunning. Great job Apple.

Now, notice he says “for most people” – which is a significant qualifier and maybe I should have said that in the title, but I think that many of us are seeing the end. And there will be hold outs. Believe me, I love the feel of my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Canon 70-200 f2.8 II IS – it is big and heavy and I feel like a “pro” when using it (and people recognize that I might be a pro as well).

Fascinating considering Google now has not only developed Android but is shipping their own smartphone. But also note that he said “for most people” and that's a good way to hedge LOL.

He also mentioned that Google has “fallen back” recently in regards to its development of computational photography software. But where Android-backed smartphone innovation lags, Gundotra said that Apple is far ahead of the competition because it “doesn't have all these constraints,” leading to the best smartphone camera system on the market.

He said that in the comments of the facebook post with this quote:

Also the greatest innovation isn't even happening at the hardware level – it's happening at the computational photography level. (Google was crushing this 5 years ago – they had had “auto awesome” that used AI techniques to automatically remove wrinkles, whiten teeth, add vignetting, etc… but recently Google has fallen back).

Apple doesn't have all these constraints. They innovate in the underlying hardware, and just simply update the software with their latest innovations (like portrait mode) and ship it.

Bottom line: If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone. If you don't mind being a few years behind, buy an Android.

So, he's just a man right? A guy who used to work for Google and doesn't now, but I think there are visionaries that understand the underlying technology shifts and many people think Google understands many of those shifts… and I happen to agree with him LOL.

What do you think? Is he right?

Source: Former Google Executive Vic Gundotra: ‘If You Truly Care About Great Photography, You Own an iPhone' – Mac Rumors


planetMitch started many moons ago with a large airplane manufacturer who decided they didn't need him any more. Now he runs successful businesses including the best DSLR video blog on the planet - planet5D.

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  • Clearly, Vic Gundotra doesn’t understand what “great photography” is.

    He does have a point about the advantage Apple has when introducing new functionality since Apple controls the entire platform and can therefore update it at will.

  • We live in a funny old world!! I started out as a professional photographer with a wonderful camera – Linhof Super Technica 5×4. A selection of Schneider lenses and around twenty 5×4 backs. In addition, I lugged around a heavy wooden tripod. I remember on shot took a whole day to set up in a Cathedral with numerous flat bulbs. Then had to wait a few days to see if the colour transparencies had com out OK (they did!!). So, how do I feel about the advances that have been made over the past 30+ years? I don´t agree with those who smugly say that the old film cameras are far superior to today´s digital cameras. Likewise, “Film is so much better than digital”.

    IMHO, there is so much more than can now be done with digital camera and digital images that film could never do. But, let´s just consider the cameras that are here today. High end DSLR cameras are producing amazing images – above ground and below oceans. How amazing is the GoPro? Top film makers are resorting to digital cameras for block- buster releases.

    Mobile phones are everywhere! My wife never wanted an iPhone and I have never owned one. However, my wife decided to buy one this year and says she does not know how she has managed so long without one. She takes images with it almost on a daily basis and results are IMO brilliant.

    I have a Light L16 on order. I have a friend in the US who is buying it for me as I live in Portugal and would have to wait some time even to be able to order. Hopefully, I will get it this year. What I have seen so far is absolutely amazing. If Light are producing these quality images now, just imagine what we will be seeing in a year or so. Also, what will the next generation L´s be capable of?

    My only gripe with Light.Co is their awful PR. IMHO, they could be doing so very much better with a friendly, weekly update on development and progress. We have been kept in the dark for months with nothing coming from them and this left a great number of their clients even questioning the validity of the company. Now we are beginning to see some positive moves. Cameras are being manufactured but it would be nice to know how many each week. What does the order book look like or is this something Light would prefer not to divulge? When is video going to be released on the camera?

    Yes, it is exciting times and I can´t wait to get my camera as I have several projects planned and would love to see how the camera matches up to my Canon 5DMk2.

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