A VSL reader takes issue with my diminution of workflow as an issue for camera buyers. I think he's on to something. Well thought out.

VSL reader, Kurt Friis Hansen schools me a bit in response to my comments about workflow not being  important to camera consumers. I liked his e-mail to me, and the fact that it educated me, so I asked his permission to publish it as a "Guest Blog."  Here's what he had to say....


Hi Kirk Tuck

I decided against including this in my comment on your web site, but I think the old saying: “What you don’t know is possible, you cannot ask for!" - or something to that effect. 

I think you need to visit and review the camera-image workflow from another viewpoint. You wrote:

"Thom Hogan repeatedly takes Nikon to task for "workflow." To summarize his position he seems to think that the main issues holding Nikon back are a paucity of APS-C lenses (side issue) and the inability to push one button on the back of a Nikon camera and instantly send images directly the social media or other sharing applications. I'm too old school to appreciate this point of view and disregard it just as I disregard GPS on cameras. Since this tech doesn't require much in additional hardware costs I'm all for its inclusion but I think a much more important impediment to Nikon's success, even with existing cameras, is their foot dragging approach to video."

I think you simplify the things - especially in lieu of what modern software already delivers to milllions and millions of people in all walks of (professional) life. Let me try to describe one - my - future scenario. My dream..

  1. Camera design as such is not affected, but enhanced with a communication interface (standardized, fast, not slow and proprietary as today).
  2. Camera can use memory cards as today (a kind of a belts and suspenders solution - especially intended for pro's).
  3. Your preferred "talk to" device is selected by powering on the device and the app (iOS, Android aaand Windows, macOS). Once paired, connection is automatic in the future - unless blocked by camera setting.
  4. Capabilities, configuration,  storage targets, behavior etc. is defined in the app/program - any camera settings required is handled by the app/program as needed.
  5. If no connection exists, camera behaves as normal.

Now we have "intelligence" in a place, where it is easily handled, extended and modified. Imagine named custom settings for your camera.

In theory any number of custom settings, not just three,  that need redefining on a frequent basis. Imagine customized prioritation rules regarding aperture preference and range, shutter speed and range balanced to ISO, focal length of lens, and situational requirements (sports, landscape, walkabout etc.).

Camera side

When a connection is active, and sync is activated (not just remote control), the camera saves any image/video on card. When save has completed, whether a new image/video is made or not), the camera starts transferring/syncing recent data to the connection controller (smartphone/computer) and so on for new images/videos.

Running in the background - selectable mode to sync only when camera inactive, concurrently or manual only. Akin to the workings of Google drive, OneDrive, iCloud etc. with an extra twist.

Optionally, data acknowledged as received by the controller can be deleted as required (oldest first), leading to "unlimited" camera memory.

Optional streaming and streaming quality can be activated by controller.

Whatever happens to the data in the connection controller is of no concern to the camera.

Until connected (or paired), the camera behaves as a standalone camera.

Connection controller

The last connected controller is active. To switch from i.e. computer to smartphone only involves stopping connection on computer and starting smartphone connection (no re-pairing is necessary second time and onward).

In addition to remote control and camera configuration, the sync behavior is controlled. I.e. (Examples) as one or more simultaneous options:

  1. Data is saved locally on controller.
  2. Data is saved (backup) to one or more connected resources (i.e. USB 3 HDD or SSD)
  3. Data is saved to one or more resources (NAS) on local network.
  4. Data is sync'ed to one or more configurable cloud storage providers.
  5. Configurable/pluggable extensions to other targets (i.e. Facebook etc.) may activate a manually "clickable" touch-button on camera screen, allowing targetable sync of individual images to special targets on an individual basis (one-click push to local press/media account possible).

Combinations and implementation is controlled solely in the controller app/program (and options allowed by the camera).

Whether you use the camera by hand or remotely is of no consequence to performance.

The general view is, that the camera can be activated as a controller extension - a specialized image/video extension delivering special powers and capabilities to i.e. a smartphone. Similar to an AirPlay device, that can be controlled and/or extended in scope by an iPhone.

I'm not naïve, but I still have the dream, that the communication protocol would be an open standard. Alas…

I have the impression, that camera companies prefer to risk their own future for even a remote chance of making life difficult for a competitor. The camera industry would never, ever have invented web and mail protocol standards, and the web and mail based internet we have today, would never had existed, if camera manufacturers had been in charge.

But… maybe the "camera makers" will begin to learn to sow - otherwise they cannot be helped, and deserve their self-inflicted decline.

Real life

Imagine you have been shooting all day. On your way back to base, you accidentally drop the bag with your camera over board on a local ferry. Properly set up, your images and videos - all of them - would have ended up on your phone, and optionally also on your home server, your cloud service, and the one special image or video you kicked along would already be visible online at your business connection. Whatever. Depending on preferences and options.

Camera, gear and memory card with contents may be lost, but without any extra effort on your part, your data, your income and livelihood, would be safe and sound. No affordable insurance would help on that front.

You have worked just as you usually do - except for kicking one image along to the right receiver - and you've lost no work. When you arrive home at your base, all your data is already stored as expected, ready for work. Accident or no accident.

Now you only have to handle the insurance company.


A similar solution could have been in use today, if camera manufacturers had had the slightest interest in the well being of their professional and consumer users. It's nothing like rocket science; just intelligent use of known and working technology.

Venlig hilsen - Sincerely - Mit freundlichem Gruß
Kurt Friis Hansen