Meet the Team: Oliver Baker
Get to know the team behind the Alice Camera!
We’re an ambitious team over here at the Alice Camera. A young group of photographers, content creators, engineers and entrepreneurs with a mission to build a product more suitable to the needs of creators in 2021.
Innovation in camera technology has been lingering over the last decade and we’re building Alice because we believe that connecting with others through visual media should be as easy and intuitive as possible.
Operating most digital cameras is cumbersome, the workflow can be awkward, and they lack basic editing and sharing capabilities. Alice uses computational photography and AI to enhance image and video capture and works with your smartphones to take high-quality content, edit, share or stream it quickly without the hassle of learning how to operate a pro-camera. However, if you want more control you’ll get it through our customisable pro-settings and open-source initiative.
In this series of ‘Meet the Team’ blog posts, we’d like to introduce ourselves to you and tell you how and why we started building Alice.
Second up is Oliver Baker, one of our Computational Photography Engineers.
What is your role and what brought you to the Alice Camera?
Oliver: I am a Computational Photography Engineer, so I am contributing to the software and hardware design that will make Alice so special! I came across the Alice Camera online and loved the ideas and the ambition of the team, I couldn’t believe that there was a job which involved so many things I enjoy, so I applied for one and here we are.
What do you find most exciting about working on and building Alice?
Oliver: I’m very excited by the range of passions and knowledge we have around AI and computational photography and being able to see that translate into the Alice camera; being part of a small team I can have a real impact on the development process and the final product, so when we release the camera I will be able to see people enjoying something I helped create and using features I developed!
What do you think are some of the problems currently facing the camera industry, and how do you think Alice will help overcome these?
Oliver: For a long time, I’ve been interested in trying to create my own solutions to problems that I don’t think the camera industry is interested in solving. When I was 17, I converted a Konica Auto S3, using 3D printing so it could take photos using a Sony NEX-5 sensor and subsequently founded a Kickstarter to do the same for the Leica M3. I decided to design my own camera because I wasn’t interested in the incremental changes that the big camera companies were offering in areas that weren’t particularly important to me and I wanted to create a more personal and novel solution. I see the Alice camera as a similar, but far more ambitious, project: designing a camera by listening to consumers and leveraging cutting edge technology to bring interchangeable lens photography into the present.
Why are you interested in photography and what has photography meant to you personally?
Oliver: I’ve always loved art and creating images but I initially came to photography through cameras, after finding some old film models in my attic, which belonged to my grandad and falling in love with them, I have been obsessed with photography ever since. For me, cameras are the perfect blend of technology and creativity, and they allow you to engage with them on so many levels; I started out shooting film on an SLR, just figuring out what the various settings do, moved to digital and ended up taking them apart and creating new ones. In this way, I think that computational photography is a great extension of traditional photography, as a way to engage people of all skills, from helping beginners to take great photos to giving pros even more tools to work with.
In three words, describe what makes a good photograph.
Oliver: Emotion, light, intent.
The Alice Camera is an AI-accelerated computational camera. It has a 4/3 inch sensor and uses the micro fourth thirds lens mount alongside a dedicated AI-chip to run our deep learning pipeline on device and in real time. For more information about the Alice Camera head over to our campaign page.