Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Five Cameras of the Future

Technology is evolving so quickly. As such, it is not a surprise that there will be amazing new camera tricks and innovations that might be coming our way soon. Here are five of them, which you might probably enjoy, or maybe not, in the near future.

Compact Transformation

Did you know that compact camera sales dropped hugely at 30% in 2011? This is definitely a direct result of increasingly smarter smartphones available in the market. Today, smartphone cameras are considered as an alternative to point-and-shoots, because aside from being handy and convenient, the features and picture quality are getting better. From touch screen controls, built-in WiFi, direct and quick uploads to social media to slow-motion movie functions, automatic color fixes, timers triggered by smiling or winking, and other more interesting enhancements – all of these just makes it even easier to leave the compact point-and-shoot at home. The challenge though for smartphone camera manufacturers is to keep on adding more tricks over the years.

Three-Dimensional Photos

While 3D cinemas and television screens are so popular these days, 3D cameras are also slowly making a notable impression to the photographer’s eyes. Staggeringly, three-dimensional photos are becoming wanted, since it is cool and unique. As a matter of fact, some applications today are capable of converting a normal photo into a 3D copy. After various developments over the years, like most technologies, having a 3D picture has gone from cumbersome and expensive to the more affordable and convenient as they are today.

Siri Technology on DSLR

If you think about it, putting Apple’s Siri technology into a DSLR is very much possible and, if successful, will quite be useful. Imagine having a camera with Siri on it, where it is capable of communicating with humans and responding to commands from the simple shutter release to menu configurations. With WiFi on cameras starting to be a norm these days, putting on a voice-command feature will not be far from reality.

Shoot Now, Tweak Later

Photography becomes even better with the innovation of the US company Lytro, which makes use of the “light field” technology. Unlike traditional cameras that capture limited scope of light, these unusual-looking devices are capable of capturing all of the elements. As such, a photographer can capture both 3D and 2D images, as well as shift the perspective of a picture already taken. More amazingly, similar cameras would be able to focus and re-focus the pictures after shooting them. Tweaking then becomes easier, because photos become movable and adaptable depending on what the viewer wants to see. The Lytro camera’s initial reviews haven’t been 100% convincing, but the technology is expected to definitely improve over time.

Instant Photoshop

Some of the cameras these days have the capability to beautify the portraits of people with undesirable elements. However, we haven’t heard of cameras that can instantly remove photo bombers. Perhaps soon, cloning out these photo-trashers maybe done on the spot, within the camera itself. By automatically shooting extra images, the camera will allow the blending of desired parts of each photo into one composite image, therefore eliminating the ‘bad’ parts.

These and other more changes will surely shift the concept of photography over time. While lots of developments are about to happen, which do you think will have the biggest impact in the field of photography? Tweet me @GlennOng.

This article is my 69th contribution to Manila Bulletin -- one of the Philippines' leading broadsheets -- published on May 28, 2012 (Monday) in the TechNews Section. You can view the PDF version here (lower left portion).


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