Author Topic: Leica announces first CAI equipped camera  (Read 532 times)

Offline carlseibert

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Leica announces first CAI equipped camera
« on: October 26, 2023, 09:12:53 AM »
Hi Kirk and everyone,

Leica launched the P variant of their M11- with CAI capabilities - today, beating out Nikon in the race to market the first CAI-enabled camera. (There's a phone out there somewhere, but that's a different thing.)

(The Content Authenticity Initiative, for those who haven't been following it, is a project to create encrypted, un-alterable, and largely un-destroyable embedded metadata for photos. It includes things like copyright statements, captions, changelogs, and thumbnails of the photo at various stages of its life so that a viewer tell at a glance that an image is truthful. Or whether or not it's stolen.)

While this is a huge deal for CAI members (including me), I wouldn't exactly call this a software emergency. Apart from Magnum members, you and I can probably count photojournalists who use, or can even afford, Leicas on our fingers and toes. And even of those people, almost nobody uses rangefinder cameras exclusively. The world won't depend on CAI-enabled Photo Mechanic tomorrow afternoon.

But it will. Photo Mechanic is what professional photojournalists use for metadata. Full stop. In my opinion, if we are to live in a world in which we can trust our information and isolate those who undermine our culture, Photo Mechanic will be a keystone element in that.

So the question is when. Sooner is better, of course. But you've got time to, you know, develop some code. It will probably take a minute for Nikon to do a model with CAI, especially since the Z9 is still pretty young in the market. Sony and Canon will follow along shortly thereafter, I'm sure. And it will take some time before the factual media make the feature available on their sites. We have this critical mass thing where everybody waits for everybody else for an agonizing time and then the dam will break. You just need to be in place well in advance of then.

Cheers! (in both senses of the word)

-Carl

And no, I can no more afford to run out and buy a brand-new M11P than I can leap tall buildings in a single bound. 

Offline jjohnson

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Re: Leica announces first CAI equipped camera
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2023, 09:57:11 AM »
Nikon demonstrated CAI built into the Z9 last year as a proof of concept. Whether or not they'll bake it into the firmware kinda depends on how they want to implement it - for instance, if they want/need to cryptographically sign the images with a special chip, or if their on-board processor can handle it in production. My understanding is that the M11 offloads the crypto functions to a special chip. This is largely a speed issue, related to the signing algorithm.

Regardless, the CAI has PoC tools that allow the signing and creation of the metadata on existing files. While a camera may not have the capability, a photographer could enable the digital signature/verification data as soon as it's copied from the card. It's not a "perfect" solution like having the data added at creation, but having it added as early as possible in the process helps to ensure the authenticity. The authenticity data would be added with the metadata, and any subsequent edits from Lightroom, etc. would be tracked.

In short, implementing CAI into PM, from my perspective, looks like either an integration or refactoring of existing code into the ingest workflow. Not to suggest it's "easy", but it also wouldn't be reinventing a technique.

Offline Kevin M. Cox

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Offline carlseibert

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Re: Leica announces first CAI equipped camera
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2024, 04:24:48 PM »
@jjohnson   Indeed. I think that doing C2PA signing whenever the image leaves your hands would be pretty valuable. "This is what it looked like the last time I touched it." Not to mention the possibility that the C2PA may be giving us durable, relatively strip-resistant metadata.

@everybody    I have posted a fairly comprehensive look at what (I think) C2PA means for photographers on my blog and YouTube channel. Both can be found at:

https://www.carlseibert.com/first-camera-with-cai-content-credentials-introduced/

Cheers.

@Kevin M. Cox     I'll pop over to that other thread and add the blog post link.