With the limited lens and sensor sizes of cell phone cameras, the megapixel race isn’t really doing much to improve the quality of the resulting photos. A new startup called Pelican Imaging thinks it can revolutionize the game by increasing quality without focusing on megapixels. Instead, they use an array of 25 micro-cameras to capture each image, processing the data into a single photograph with fancy software. If all goes well, future cell phones will be taking much nicer photos while still staying thin and compact.
As the cameras on mobile devices are used more and more for augmented reality applications, one thing we’ll undoubtedly see more of is augmented reality gaming, where the real world becomes part of the game. The above video shows some test footage of the upcoming game “Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner”, which uses the camera on the iPhone (or iPod Touch) to turn real locations into places you need to defend from the Empire’s attack.
The leaks suggested that the iPhone 4 would have a new front-facing camera as well as an LED flash in the back, and both these things were confirmed at the keynote today. In addition, the phone will feature a 5 megapixel camera, and high-definition recording at 720p and 30 fps. Read more…
Speaking on the explosive improvement of camerephone technology in Helsinki yesterday, Nokia Executive Vice President Anssi Vanjoki shared his vision of the future for cameraphones — a future without DSLRs.
Pointing at a professional photographer in the room, Vanjoki said, “There will be no need to carry around those heavy lenses.”
From a poll we ran on PetaPixel last week, we found that 59% of our readers didn’t believe cameraphones would replace even compact cameras. We didn’t even think to mention DSLRs, since there currently does not seem to be any answer as to how cameraphones will address their disadvantage of smaller sensors and poorer optics.
Perhaps these quotes and articles aren’t intended to suggest that the DSLR market will be replaced by cell phones, but rather that the quality difference will be reduced to the point that those who simply bought DSLR cameras for casual photography might be satisfied with cameraphone quality.
If that’s the case, these claims might be true. Enough consumers may buy into the megapixel myth and eschew fancier cameras for the increased “megapixel power” of cameraphones. In the same speech, Vanjoki also predicted that cellphones will be capable of filming HD video within the next 12 months.
Once we see a “Last 3 Minutes” caliber film shot with a cameraphone, we’ll be believers. Until then, we’ll keep bringing our DSLR to weddings.