LUMIX Picture-making Philosophy
©G9 Bence Máté (G9)
1. What is the picture-making philosophy that appeals to the senses?
Picture-making is the individuality of the camera manufacturer!
What is picture-making? In the silver halide film era, this was a field where film manufacturers competed with each other, but in the case of digital cameras, the signal captured by the image sensor is responsible for that. Although we do not have much history as a camera manufacturer, we have been developing video cameras and professional imaging equipment for many years before the dawn of digital cameras and have accumulated a vast amount of image processing technology in that time. Our strength is that we are skilled in digital technology, which is the source of the picture-making process.
Camera image quality is evaluated in two ways, including “objective evaluation,” which can be expressed numerically in terms of noise and resolution, and “subjective evaluation,” which is based on human sensibility, such as color tones and texture expression. The latter "subjective evaluation" is referred to as picture-making, but it is an ambiguous area that is influenced by personal feelings and tastes and is therefore an important part of the individuality of a camera manufacturer that determines the impression of photographic and visual expression.
©Rob Knight (G9)
History of LUMIX's picture-making
Since entering the digital camera market, we have worked diligently on picture-making, but in the early days, the emphasis was on faithfully representing the color and contrast of the subject. As we proceeded with development, we realized that it was more important to be faithful to human sensibilities than to be faithful to appearances, and we began to focus on reproducing the colors that people emotionally perceive and remember. These efforts gradually bore fruit and eventually led to trust and appreciation of LUMIX’s image quality.
We therefore came to the conclusion that in order to gain even more trust from creators as a camera manufacturer, we needed to have a firm guideline for the sensible work of picture-making. We often hear from professionals that they do not want our picture-making to vary with each new model. If we unify our picture-making according to our philosophy, we can keep it consistent whether it is full-frame or micro four thirds, even if the generation changes. We believed that this picture-making philosophy and continually evolving camera performance would lead to a sense of trust and peace of mind in LUMIX.
Capturing it all
Capture life’s complex tapestry, the flow of time, history in the making, and even the tension and feel of something in the air.
©Bence Máté (G9)
This is the picture-making philosophy that LUMIX set forth to realize when the G9 was announced.
Simply put, the LUMIX picture-making philosophy can be expressed by the phrase, “Capturing it all.” Photos are merely still images on flat surfaces, but LUMIX aims to capture life’s complex tapestry and the flow of time so that viewers can feel them. A photo that expresses life’s vitality conveys the subject’s vibrancy, enabling the viewers to almost see its motion and almost hear its breath. A photo that expresses the flow of time lets the viewers envision the change of seasons and the subject’s history.
This philosophy has been reflected in all LUMIX models since the G9. While the philosophy is meaningful only in its consistency, picture-making itself is constantly evolving toward the ideal form, updating its methods and approaches as devices improve and formats change.
All the engineers who cooperated with us for this interview (same for Chapters 1 to 3)
Akihiro Okamoto (Image Quality Design)
Takayuki Tochio (Image Quality Design)
Takaaki Yamasaki (Software Engineering)
Continues to Chapter 2