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第七十一期杂志——苹果公司将永远改变相机行业

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    发表于 2017-9-29 11:08:32 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

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    本帖最后由 小山林卡 于 2017-9-29 11:13 编辑
    关键词:苹果7照相功能一台为照相而生的超级计算机

    WITH THE IPHONE 7, APPLE CHANGED THE CAMERA INDUSTRY FOREVER
    随着苹果7的出现,苹果公司将永远改变相机行业

    奥姆·马利克

    image001.jpg
    SEPTEMBER 8, 2016
    2016年9月8日

    The iPhone 7 Plus uses circuitry, software, and algorithms tocreate images that look and feel as if they came out of high-end cameras.PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID PAUL MORRIS /BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY
    苹果7Plus使用电路、软件和算法去创造图片,让它们看上去和感觉起来像是由来自高端相机拍摄的。摄影 大卫·保罗·莫里斯/彭博社透过GETTY获得

    Camera companies, like traditional phone manufacturers,dismissed the iPhone as a toy when it launched, in 2007. Nokia thought that the iPhone used inferior technology; the camera makersthought that it took lousy pictures. Neither thought that they had anything toworry about. Of course, neither anticipated the value of having a computer inyour pocket, and what the camera folks, especially, didn’t anticipate was that,as the photographer Chase Jarvis puts it, the best camera is the one that’swith you.
    2007年,当苹果手机发布的时候,像传统手机厂商一样,许多相机公司对此不屑一顾,只把它当作是一个玩具而已。诺基亚认为苹果手机使用的是劣质技术;相机制造商认为它拍出了糟糕的照片。他们都认为自己没什么好担心的。当然,他们也都没有预料到便携式电脑的价值,然而让照相制造者尤其没有预料到的是,正如摄像师查斯·贾维斯说的一样,最好的相机是携带着的那个。

    The iPhone didn’t really start to cannibalize the camerabusiness until the iPhone 4 came out, in 2010. That year, Instagram was bornand a hundred and twenty-two million digital cameras were sold—a record,according to the Camera and Imaging Products Association, a Japanese cameramakers’ trade organization. By 2015, however, that number had shrunk to aboutthirty-five million. Since that time, the iPhone has bulked up its photographiccapabilities and formed a symbiotic relationship with social networks such asFacebook, Twitter, and, especially, Instagram. The better the phone camera became,the more photos we started to snap and share. There are now nearly a billionsmartphones worldwide capturing selfies, birthday smiles, breakfast sandwiches,Tuscan villages, and cats. In the past, such photos were taken by apoint-and-shoot camera. Even today, the interchangeable-lens cameras andhigh-end cameras have their fans, so demand for these monsters still exists.But for how long?
    直到2010年苹果4推出,苹果公司才真正开始进军相机业务。那一年,照片墙软件诞生了,据一家日本相机制造业贸易组织相机影像产品工业协会报道称,数码相机创造了一亿二千二百万的销售量。然而,到了2015年,这一数字已经缩水至约三千五百万。从那个时候开始,苹果手机已经开始拓展它的摄像功能,并且与社交网络, 例如脸书、推特,尤其是照片墙形成了一种共生关系。手机相机变得越好,我们便会拍摄和分享更多的照片。现在全球有将近十亿的智能手机正在捕捉自拍、生日会上的笑容、早餐三明治、托斯卡纳村庄和猫。在过去这样的照片是由傻瓜相机拍摄的。即使是今天,可互换镜头相机和高端相机还是有他们追随者,所以对这些大家伙的需求仍然存在。但是这将持续多久呢?

    We don’t know the digital-camera industry’s own answer to thatquestion, but as of Wednesday the time frame certainly shortened. That was theday Apple announced its new iPhone. While in most ways the device launch waspredictable, the iPhone 7 Plus, with its souped-up camera, made a bigimpression on serious photographers. The iPhone 7 Plus, which retails for sevenhundred and sixty-nine dollars (or higher) has two lenses—a 28-mm.-equivalent,12-megapixel lens and a 56-mm.-equivalent, 12-megapixel telephoto lens. Applehas managed to pack a lot of premium features—longer exposures, betteraperture, and the ability to shoot digital negatives, which professionalscall DNGs. A DNG is, essentially, a photo file that captures all the visualinformation , such as enhancing shadows or removing highlights. The new iPhoneuses circuitry, software, and algorithms to create images that look and feel asif they came out of high-end cameras. Tellingly, Apple’s presentation ofthe camera’s abilities was the one aspect of the biennial iPhone rollout that wasn’t mercilessly mocked on social media.
    我们不知道数码相机产业自身对于这个问题的答案,但是截至星期三这个时间期限明显缩短了。就在那一天苹果公司发布了新的苹果手机。虽然在大部分问题上该设备的发行是可预测的,然而苹果7Plus的改进版相机仍给严肃派摄像师留下了极深刻的印象。苹果7Plus零售价769美元(或者更高),有两个镜头,一个28毫米,相当于1200万像素的镜头,另一个56毫米,相当于1200万像素的长焦镜头。苹果已经成功囊括了许多高级功能,如更长的曝光时间、更好的光圈,还有专家称为DNGs的拍摄数字底片的能力。从本质上讲,DNG是一个捕捉所有可视信息, 这些视觉信息为进一步操作提供了可能,例如增强阴影或去除亮点。新的苹果手机使用电路、软件和算法去创造图片,让他们看上去和感觉起来像是来自高端相机。很明显,苹果对相机能力的展示是苹果手机两年一次的上市新产品而未被在社交媒体上无情嘲讽的唯一一个方面。

    Thus far, expensive stand-alone cameras with great lenseshave been the ones able to offer what is called “bokeh,” a way to blur thebackground and focus on the subject in the foreground. This is especiallyuseful when shooting portraits. It has been difficult to achieve on smartphonesbecause of hardware limitations. Apple designed a new beefy image-processingchip for the iPhone 7 Plus, which, according to Apple’s senior vice-presidentof marketing, Phil Schiller, can perform “one hundred billion operations intwenty-five milliseconds”; he described it as “a supercomputer for photos.” Itis sixty per cent faster than the image processor on the iPhone 6.
    到目前为止,拥有带大镜头的昂贵的单机相机一直以能够提供所谓的“散景”见长,这是一种使背景模糊并且聚焦在前景物体上的手法。这一点在拍摄人像时特别有用。由于硬件限制,这一点通常在智能手机上很难实现。苹果公司为苹果7Plus设计了一个新的强大的图像处理芯片,据苹果主管市场营销的高级副总裁菲尔·席勒称,这款芯片可以在二十五毫秒内执行一千亿次操作;他称它为“一台为照相而生的超级计算机”。它比苹果6图像处理器的速度快百分之六十。

    Apple isn’t the first phone company to reach the market withdual-lens systems. LG and Huawei have already introduced them in theirhigh-end  phones. The San Francisco-basedstartup Light has proposed a device (still under development) that uses datacaptured by multiple lenses. But Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus is the first major phoneto marry the dual-lens system to immense computing capabilities.
    苹果公司不是第一家携双镜头系统进入市场的手机公司。LG和华为已经推出了他们的高端手机。总部设于旧金山的新兴公司Light已经提出了一个设备(仍在开发中),该设备可使用多个镜头捕捉的数据。但是苹果7Plus是第一款将双镜头系统与强大的计算能力结合起来的主流手机。

    This is terrible news for companies making compactcameras—Olympus and Nikon’s compact-camera sales in the most recent quarter hadalready nosedived by twenty-five per cent and forty-five per cent,respectively. The new iPhone 7 Plus drives a stake through the heart of thesemass-market devices. As everyday shutterbugs, we can expect higher-quality photos. Wewill be able to create much more interesting images. Jon Oringer, the founderof Shutterstock, wrote in a recent blog post, “Just like our two eyes canbe used to detect depth, two lenses can do the same thing. By using thedisparity of pixels between two lenses, the camera processor can figure out howfar away parts of the image are.” This new dual-lens system, he said, willchange photography forever.
    这对那些制造紧凑型相机的公司来说是一则可怕的消息,在最近一个季度里,奥林帕斯和尼康紧凑型相机的销量已分别暴跌二十五个百分点和四十五个百分点。新款苹果7Plus在这些大众市场设备的“心脏”上狠狠地差了一桩。作为日常的摄影爱好者,我们可以期待未来出现更高质量的照片。我们将能够创造更多有趣的图像。Shutterstock的创始人乔恩·奥林杰在最近的一篇博客文章中写道:“就像我们的两个眼睛可以用来检测深度一样,两个镜头可以做同样的事情。通过利用两个镜头之间的像素差,相机处理器可以弄清楚图像的部分离我们有多远”。他说,这种新的双镜头系统将会永远改变摄影行业。

    Photography has always been about capturing light. In the earlydays, we used film to capture it, and used chemicals to process informationcaptured on the film to make images. Digital cameras capture light on sensors.In a way, digital cameras were like very early personal computers such as theCommodore 64—clunky, and able to do only a few things. Over time, thanks tobetter sensors and faster processors (which allowed for better software),digital cameras got better, captured more information from light, and were ableto make better images.
    摄影一直与捕捉光线有关。以前我们用胶片来捕捉它,并用化学物质处理拍摄到的胶片上的信息,使之成像。数码相机捕捉传感器上的光。在某种程度上,数码相机很像早期的个人电脑,例如康懋达64,很笨拙,而且只能做很少几件事情。随着时间的推移,由于传感器变得更灵敏,处理器也变得更快(已考虑到会有更好的软件),数码相机变得更好,它们可从光线中获得更多的信息,并能够拍摄出更好的图像。

    Smartphone cameras, too, started out making pictures that werenotably inferior to what could be captured on even the most basic ofstand-alone cameras, film or digital. Small apertures, small sensors, and lowprocessing power inside the phones limited their capabilities. Since 2010, asthe silicon chips inside the phones (especially the iPhone) have become morepowerful, camera phones have been able to push the possibilities. We are nowentering an era when more information from light data is captured, merged, anddeciphered using algorithms and computation.
    智能手机相机也开始制作照片,但是那些照片甚至远不如最基本的独立相机、胶片或数码相机上拍摄的照片。手机中的小光圈、小传感器和较低的处理能力限制了它们的能力。自2010年以来,随着手机(特别是苹果手机)内的硅芯片变得越来越强大,拍照手机已经有能力将这些可能性变为现实。我们正迈入一个时代,在这个时代,人们可利用算法和计算采集、整合并破译更多来自光线数据的信息。

    Apple’s new iOS 10 (which powers the iPhone 7) is capable ofautomatic photo organization, image recognition, video creation, and other suchfunctions—the same capabilities as Google Photos, with the exception that itdoes all the processing on the device itself rather than via the cloud-firstapproach preferred by Google.
    苹果新的操作系统iOS 10(它是苹果7的驱动系统)能够自动进行照片管理、图像识别、视频创作等,这些功能和谷歌照片一样,唯一例外的是,它在自身设备上完成所有的加工,而不是通过谷歌偏爱的云端优先的方法。

    We are splintering what was the “camera” and itsfunctionality—lens, sensors, and processing—into distinct parts, but, insteadof lenses and shutters, software and algorithms are becoming the driving force.And this is not just happening on smartphone cameras. You can expect thesoftware to define and enhance what lenses, sensors, and processing units inother settings can do. Dash cams, security cams, adventure cams, drivingcams—these are just early examples of devices that have specific applications,cameras that could become much more powerful in the future. In the coming eraof augmented and virtual reality, these new cameras will also create content tobe consumed within V.R. headsets like Oculus and Magic Leap.
    我们正在把“相机”及其功能性——即镜头、传感器及处理分割成独立的部分,但是正逐渐成为驱动力量的是软件和算法,而不是镜头和快门。而且这不仅仅发生在智能手机相机上。你可以通过软件定义以及改进其他设备中的镜头、传感器和处理单位能做的事情。行车记录仪、监控摄像机、运动摄像机、驱动摄像机只是那些可得到特别的应用以及可以在未来变得更强大的相机设备的早期例子。在即将到来的增强现实和虚拟现实的时代,这些新的相机还将创造出在虚拟现实的耳机(例如傲库路思和魔法飞跃)里消费的内容。

    The distinct business advantage that Apple has achievedthanks to its hardware is the sheer volume of iPhone sales, which justifies thebig spending on the specialized chips that make that hardware so powerful. Thenew image processor is a perfect example. It can spread the cost of thatinvestment in chips over hundreds of millions of iPhones. In comparison, thefalling sales of stand-alone cameras have hampered the ability of cameracompanies to innovate and spend on core technologies. Given that hardware andsoftware are equally important today, Apple’s advances in both areas makes itdifficult for anyone to beat the company in photography for the masses. You cansee why the camera companies are doomed.
    苹果凭借其硬件形成了独特的商业优势,即苹果手机惊人的销售数量,这也证明了为使硬件变得强大,苹果公司在专用芯片上投入的巨资是值得的。新的图像处理器就是一个完美的例子。它可以在上千万的苹果手机上摊销芯片上的投资成本。相比之下,独立相机的销量下降已经阻碍了相机公司在核心技术上的创新和投入。鉴于硬件和软件如今都同样重要,苹果在这两个领域的进步使得任何人都很难在摄影方面击败它以赢得大众的喜爱。你会明白为什么相机公司注定要失败。

    Om Malik is atechnology writer, the founder of GigaOm, and a partner at TrueVentures, aventure fund based in Palo Alto.
    奥姆·马利克是一名科技作家、GigaOm的创始人,也是TrueVentures的合作伙伴,TrueVentures是总部位于帕洛阿尔托的一家风险投资基金。

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