The Stanford Frankencamera

Stanford Frankencamera

Stanford Frankencamera Front

Stanford Frankencamera Rear

Stanford Frankencamera Rear

One of the best reasons for living in Silicon Valley, Northern California was proximity to projects like this. It’s the first mention I have seen of an open source camera. See here for a summary of the Camera 2.0 project at Stanford University.

I wrote here that it’s about time for an open source extensible camera. Maybe this is a point on the way. The sponsors of the project are interesting:

  • Nokia Research Center Palo Alto Laboratory
  • Adobe Systems
  • Kodak
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • the Walt Disney Company

The Frankencamera uses a Nokia sensor, Canon EF lenses and from the picture other bits of hardware, but they are not publicly on board.

I think it is only a matter of time before we see an open-source product. Nokia’s involvement may indicate they will adopt aspects of it in their future camera phones. They could be more open-minded than the traditional camera vendors.

I don’t know the numbers but by units sold Nokia may be the biggest camera maker now. Almost every phone they sell has a camera. Of course “real¬† photographers”¬† don’t take them seriously (just imagine what Chris Weeks would say about street photography with a camera phone) but they are a real factor in the business.

Of course when an open source camera comes out I will complain because it will need weekly software updates and be prone to infection from malware. As long as it isn’t programmed in LUA.


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