Home · Register · Software · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Sony Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1       2       3              19      
20
       21       22       end
  

Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps
  
 
Parariss
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.20 #1 · p.20 #1 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


There are really two possible business strategies with apps. One, is for Sony to use apps as a way to increase revenue/margin through sales of apps created in-house. The other is to harness independent, third-party developers to increase the value of the product on Sony's behalf Sony, and do so not at Sony's own expense. Both strategies have problems, but the worst case is to be stuck in the middle of both, and that's where Sony is now.

The first strategy, charging customers for in-house apps that provide small added features, quickly feels adverse to the customer, especially when (1) Sony is selling a premium product at a premium price, and (2) other manufacturers offer these same features as standard and for free, and increasingly do so over time.

On the other hand, the second strategy, leveraging third-party developers, brings a different set of problems. One, is that (unlike cell phones) cameras are a niche product at this point in history, so it's hard to attract developers to such a small installed base/revenue opportunity. Another, is that allowing third-parties to interact with your firmware puts your entire operating system at risk -- and Sony suffers the brand damage and support costs even if it's not their fault. At the very least, the firmware has to be purpose-built to accommodate third-party code (Sony's isn't) before you can even think about letting someone else inside, and the manufacturer needs developer support infrastructure in place to ensure permitted apps don't cause damage (Sony doesn't) -- that infrastructure carries a high fixed cost for such low volumes (cameras vs phones). And thirdly, there's the security risk. A cybersecurity risk to the consumer, sure, but to Sony, too. The OpenMemories app is a great example. It evaporated the soft wall that Sony installed in the camera firmware to protect it's higher product margins abroad (the PAL/NTSC warning irritant). When you let someone enhance your product you risk allowing them to add features you absolutely do not want inside.

I think Sony got themselves half-pregnant with their foray into apps. Even the server side component, PlayMemories, is half-baked. The in-house business model isn't profitable, angers customers, and hurts the brand. The outsource business model isn't profitable and adds risks that will inevitably hurt the company, and do so unexpectedly. I think the absence of the app store in the a9 is no accident. It signals a recognition of these problems by Sony and a shift in their business strategy going forward. Time will tell which path they've chosen.



Sep 20, 2017 at 02:20 PM
drjs
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.20 #2 · p.20 #2 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


Parariss wrote:
There are really two possible business strategies with apps. One, is for Sony to use apps as a way to increase revenue/margin through sales of apps created in-house. The other is to harness independent, third-party developers to increase the value of the product on Sony's behalf Sony, and do so not at Sony's own expense. Both strategies have problems, but the worst case is to be stuck in the middle of both, and that's where Sony is now.

The first strategy, charging customers for in-house apps that provide small added features, quickly feels adverse to the customer, especially when (1) Sony
...Show more

Very insightful analysis. I think herein lays the problem with companies who has an entrenched interest in a sector it is either dominating or heavily relied on. Disruptive technology often arises due to the none nonsensical walls erected to protect markets/existing business model.

While SONY don't have much to worry about from likes of Canon and Nikon. They should be very worried how APPLE and Google is changing how photography is done. Computational photography are here to stay and if SONY doesn't lead the charge, APPLE and Google will. While the smaller sensor in phones are yet able to compete directly with higher end large sensors, it is only a matter of time before a company put a larger sensor into a software environment already adopted/matured by the phone/app developers.



Sep 20, 2017 at 02:32 PM
ratchfordphoto
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.20 #3 · p.20 #3 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


Cross posted in FE thread. Lower Blue Lake in Mt Sneffles Wilderness SW Colorado.

SR App 32 shots w/polarizer to slow shutter to 1/5s.




  ILCE-7RM2    FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS lens  




Sep 21, 2017 at 03:46 AM
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.20 #4 · p.20 #4 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


It looks like Sony killed the PlayMemories Apps project as none of the recently released cameras support this feature anymore.
IMO, this is a huge loss as Smooth Reflections (which should really be called Image Averaging) was a very powerful in-camera app. It improved SNR substantially while allowing photographers to create a natural ND effect without any filters.

Canon offers 'image averaging' in-camera but it's only up to 9 images. It would be great if Sony added this option while allowing up to 128 images. That would be a regular menu option...not an app.



Oct 26, 2017 at 04:17 PM
Jimi3
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.20 #5 · p.20 #5 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


Ugh. The a7riii ticks all the boxes for me as far as what I wanted in an upgrade from the A7rii. But lately I've been relying on smooth reflections for an nd effect with my 12-24 g and would hate to lose the option. PlayMemories is really dead? Has there been no talk of adding it to the a9, etc?


Oct 26, 2017 at 11:52 PM
kdrk888
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.20 #6 · p.20 #6 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


Even DPreview is expressing disappointment at the removal of the PlayMemories apps from the A7RIII. https://www.dpreview.com/news/9771364233/what-you-need-to-know-about-sonys-a7r-iii?slide=10

Hope Sony is listening.



Oct 27, 2017 at 12:11 AM
engardeknave
Online
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.20 #7 · p.20 #7 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


Just in case any of you don't know, there is an "open as layers in PS" command in LR. I wouldn't think it would be much more work if you're doing these as jpg.


Oct 27, 2017 at 12:22 AM
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.20 #8 · p.20 #8 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


engardeknave wrote:
Just in case any of you don't know, there is an "open as layers in PS" command in LR. I wouldn't think it would be much more work if you're doing these as jpg.


If you do image averaging with 8-bit jpg files, there will be high posterization. Basically, shadow noise dithers tonal gradations and when that's lowered significantly from averaging, transitions start getting noticeably blocky.
From my experience, it works great with RAW files and you are right, it can be done in Photoshop. The problem is processing time.

To give you an example with only 8 images. If I bring my 8 raw files to Photoshop as layers (from LR), and average them using a mean stack mode, the entire process takes 3 minutes and I have a very upgraded Mac Pro machine.

Imagine if you try doing that with 16, 32 or even 256 images! That's the power of SR as it does it in-camera and the resulting file is only ONE RAW file.



Oct 27, 2017 at 12:38 AM
engardeknave
Online
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.20 #9 · p.20 #9 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


Fred Miranda wrote:
If you do image averaging with 8-bit jpg files, there will be high posterization. Basically, shadow noise dithers tonal gradations and when that's lowered significantly from averaging, transitions start getting noticeably blocky.
From my experience, it works great with RAW files and you are right, it can be done in Photoshop. The problem is processing time.

To give you an example with only 8 images. If I bring my 8 raw files to Photoshop as layers (from LR), and average them using a mean stack mode, the entire process takes 3 minutes and I have a very upgraded Mac Pro machine.

Imagine
...Show more

Oh, I thought it would work with jpgs. I'm shocked that the A7RII is able to do this. Does anyone know if the app employs some kind of shortcut algorithm to cut down on processing?



Oct 27, 2017 at 01:05 AM
kits_VA
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.20 #10 · p.20 #10 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


Lately, I'm totally dependent on Smooth Reflections, Digital Filter, and Time lapse apps. I only carry Circular Polarizer. All the more reason to stock to A7Rii as long as possible. It was fun shooting with app at recent workshops while everyone is busy setting up ND, and GND filters.

Fred Miranda wrote:
It looks like Sony killed the PlayMemories Apps project as none of the recently released cameras support this feature anymore.
IMO, this is a huge loss as Smooth Reflections (which should really be called Image Averaging) was a very powerful in-camera app. It improved SNR substantially while allowing photographers to create a natural ND effect without any filters.

Canon offers 'image averaging' in-camera but it's only up to 9 images. It would be great if Sony added this option while allowing up to 128 images. That would be a regular menu option...not an app.




Oct 27, 2017 at 01:32 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 

        


akclimber
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.20 #11 · p.20 #11 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps




kits_VA wrote:
Lately, I'm totally dependent on Smooth Reflections, Digital Filter, and Time lapse apps. I only carry Circular Polarizer. All the more reason to stock to A7Rii as long as possible. It was fun shooting with app at recent workshops while everyone is busy setting up ND, and GND filters.


Right? I absolutely love the convenience and utility of those apps and if Sony is abandoning them all together I'll be shooting my A7R2 and A7R2 IR (and maybe even my A7) for a long time and when it comes time to upgrade I'll keep them. I wonder if they'll keep the apps on the crop series of cams. I don't understand why they'd abandon this idea. It's one of the things I thought was pretty smart and set them apart from other brands. I loved the idea of leveraging the computer power of the camera to enhance its utility.



Oct 27, 2017 at 02:59 AM
sids911
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.20 #12 · p.20 #12 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


kits_VA wrote:
Lately, I'm totally dependent on Smooth Reflections, Digital Filter, and Time lapse apps. I only carry Circular Polarizer. All the more reason to stock to A7Rii as long as possible. It was fun shooting with app at recent workshops while everyone is busy setting up ND, and GND filters.


Absolutely agree. I love those apps too and hated fiddling with filters (especially when its really cold!)

There are very compelling reasons given by Parariss, but I feel the cost of maintaining the app store, developing the apps and associated support could have been the most compelling reasons why Sony decided to get rid of this subsystem. Imaging business is already a tough business to be in and they might want to squeeze every margin available. Revenues from these apps might not have been enough to sustain the app ecosystem.

That said, Sony isn't forthcoming in their reasons, they will probably never tell us why, and at the same time will not tell us if any functionality will ever be provided as part of the firmware update to the underlying Operating System itself.

That leaves us, the users, to have only one choice and that is to hold on to their dear cameras . For me, I feel, A7rii is still really good to be sold for pittance - it could make a great backup body to run timelapses and SR apps while other ILCE does duty for stills and videos.



Oct 27, 2017 at 03:57 PM
retrofocus
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.20 #13 · p.20 #13 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


akclimber wrote:
Right? I absolutely love the convenience and utility of those apps and if Sony is abandoning them all together I'll be shooting my A7R2 and A7R2 IR (and maybe even my A7) for a long time and when it comes time to upgrade I'll keep them. I wonder if they'll keep the apps on the crop series of cams. I don't understand why they'd abandon this idea. It's one of the things I thought was pretty smart and set them apart from other brands. I loved the idea of leveraging the computer power of the camera to enhance its utility.


I suspect that the app selling was not a business success for Sony. Sony likely disregarded how much some apps were liked and used in the meantime - and only looked at the profit numbers coming from the software apps.
Interesting situation potentially for MagicLantern to bring some apps back in a different form.....




Oct 27, 2017 at 04:25 PM
Vcize
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.20 #14 · p.20 #14 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


sids911 wrote
That leaves us, the users, to have only one choice and that is to hold on to their dear cameras . For me, I feel, A7rii is still really good to be sold for pittance - it could make a great backup body to run timelapses and SR apps while other ILCE does duty for stills and videos.


That may be the only choice for now but not forever. If when Canon/Nikon finally release their FF mirrorless systems and they offer some of these features that Sony has abandoned and won't even communicate to us on, that will be a very large factor in whether I choose to stay with Sony or go elsewhere.

If anyone offers an app store open to developers that will be my system as long as the rest of it is even merely competent.



Oct 27, 2017 at 04:48 PM
Paul Gardner
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.20 #15 · p.20 #15 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


I have SR, HDR, TL, and Focus Bracket. Trying to buy the apps and installing using MS Edge does not work under Windows 10. It does work with the latest Chrome.
That aside The only one that I have attempted to use is FB which is damn near useless for landscapes as only three images are not enough and even the wide selection does not go to infinity.
I can't comprehend why Sony did not implement Focus Bracket in firmware with multiple frames as with SR. Surely adding the focus stepping can't be that hard if they are going to do the blending externally.
Better to use Helicon Remote and then go to Photoshop for the auto align and blending.



Oct 28, 2017 at 08:20 PM
bjornthun
Online
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.20 #16 · p.20 #16 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


Vcize wrote:
That may be the only choice for now but not forever. If when Canon/Nikon finally release their FF mirrorless systems and they offer some of these features that Sony has abandoned and won't even communicate to us on, that will be a very large factor in whether I choose to stay with Sony or go elsewhere.

If anyone offers an app store open to developers that will be my system as long as the rest of it is even merely competent.


The only company I think could make a more innovative camera than Sony is Olympus, and I wish they would go full frame. I've had Nikon, and they're not innovative at all. The only thing still keeping Nikon afloat is Sony sensors, in my opinion.

Olympus OM, 43 and MFT lenses are all first rate. Never seen such consistently good lenses.



Oct 29, 2017 at 12:21 AM
Faulta
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.20 #17 · p.20 #17 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


I don't know if someone mentioned that but here's what I think is going on. The Sony a9 and a7r III are faster than all other Sony camera. And with faster, I also mean menus and bootup time. The reason, most Sony cameras are quite slow is, that they have a quite complex operating system in the background that can handle those apps.
With the a9 they changed their software to a lightweight os with a whole new base. They kept the essentials, the connect to phone and baked it into the software but they developed the new operating system, not like it was for a multimedia device or a smartphone (some rumors say, Sony cameras used to use an old ancient Android version as their base) but a camera only operating system that is fast to bootup and does the essentials camera stuff. Nothing more and nothing less.
So if that's the case, those apps will never come back because the whole framework to be able to run those apps slows the camera down if it's loaded all the time.
Actually they could come back if Sony would develop a custom operating system base for them, but that's too expensive I guess. And all other working bases like Android that support apps are not suitable for a fast bootup.

Ok, just introducing a standby mode would do just fine.. maybe noone thought about that at sony



Oct 29, 2017 at 02:01 AM
Vcize
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.20 #18 · p.20 #18 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


bjornthun wrote:
The only company I think could make a more innovative camera than Sony is Olympus, and I wish they would go full frame. I've had Nikon, and they're not innovative at all. The only thing still keeping Nikon afloat is Sony sensors, in my opinion.

Olympus OM, 43 and MFT lenses are all first rate. Never seen such consistently good lenses.


They don't have to be innovative. All they have to do is look at all the innovative stuff that Sony half-assed and then abandoned, and do it right.



Oct 29, 2017 at 04:38 AM
bjornthun
Online
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.20 #19 · p.20 #19 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


Vcize wrote:
They don't have to be innovative. All they have to do is look at all the innovative stuff that Sony half-assed and then abandoned, and do it right.


Nikon doesn't do software well at all, read Thom Hogan's musings on Nikon. If Sony does it "half-assed", then Nikon isn't even that good.



Oct 29, 2017 at 10:28 AM
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.20 #20 · p.20 #20 · Sky HDR and Smooth Reflection Apps


Faulta wrote:
I don't know if someone mentioned that but here's what I think is going on. The Sony a9 and a7r III are faster than all other Sony camera. And with faster, I also mean menus and bootup time. The reason, most Sony cameras are quite slow is, that they have a quite complex operating system in the background that can handle those apps.
With the a9 they changed their software to a lightweight os with a whole new base. They kept the essentials, the connect to phone and baked it into the software but they developed the new operating system,
...Show more

Do you see any possibility for the in-camera 'apps' to be used from the PlayMemories 'Mobile' app instead? (through wifi or bluetooth)
Like that, Sony could continue the development of apps for our devices to be used with all Sony cameras.
Everyone has a phone in their pocket. Problem solved!



Oct 29, 2017 at 06:46 PM
1       2       3              19      
20
       21       22       end






FM Forums | Sony Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1       2       3              19      
20
       21       22       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username     Reset password