Panasonic and India's Dentsu Aegis Network have created a specially modified camera that enables color blind photographers to see rich colors.
The two groups collaborated to produce a special version of the Panasonic G90 (opens in new tab) / Panasonic G95 (opens in new tab), featuring a modified electronic viewfinder, for Indian photographer Hizol Choudhary.
"As a photographer, India has always fascinated me with its cultures, its diversities, its festivals, and also its vibrant colors," explained Choudhary, who suffers protanopia – a color blindness caused by the absence of red cones (visual color perception cells), leaving only the cones that absorb blue and green light.
"When I transitioned into being a full time commercial photographer, many of my colleagues told me, 'You can't comprehend the colors, how will you do photography?' And then there was this particular incident that I remember was like, the guy, he booked me – everything was full and final. And later on I got to hear from some of my colleagues that he booked someone else, because I don't know the colors."
That moment was a big blow to Choudhary. "When the incident happened, I thought, no – it is a big, huge part of photography, huge aspect of photography. I got disheartened a bit, I pushed myself again, and throughout time I figured my way out around."
He assembled a team to help him produce his photographs and ensure that the colors are correct – but it eroded his independence. "I do rely on my team a lot whenever it comes to complicated colors. I am not able to bring out the complete justice to my work if I am not with them or if they are not helping me."
Panasonic and Dentsu's Think Tank produced the special G90 / G95 for him, as part of the #RightToColour campaign – an effort to highlight the 300 million people worldwide who suffer colorblindness, and to empower photographers affected by the condition.
“We researched around the deficiency and found a simple solution to solve this problem – a special viewfinder for the camera," said Dentsu's chief creative technologist, Gurbaksh Singh. "This allows a colorblind photographer to see the frame in rich vibrant colors before the shot is captured, subsequently boosting the confidence to capture the subject being photographed.”
Choudhary's heartwarming experience of taking his first images with the camera is captured in the above video, and is sure to bring a tear to the eye. While the equipment was developed exclusively for him, it marks a remarkable step forward in camera technology – and we would dearly love to see this become a product available to the wider public.
Panasonic Lumix G90/G95 review (opens in new tab)
The best Panasonic camera (opens in new tab) in 2020: from long zoom compacts to Lumix mirrorless
The best Micro Four Thirds lenses (opens in new tab) in 2020: lenses for Olympus and Panasonic