Posts Tagged ‘prediction’

Canon 3D DSLR Conceptual Mockup

3D photography hasn’t arrived in the consumer DSLR world yet, and existing setups require combining two DSLR cameras. What would a 3D-capable DSLR system look like?

Photographer Dean Francis has created a conceptual mockup of the Canon EOS 3D, a DSLR that can either be used as a traditional DSLR, or can be used for 3D photography by attaching an additional module containing a lens and sensor. Another grip module can also be added to the end to make two handed shooting easier.

Here’s what the system looks like when each piece is separate:

To see the mockup in full screen as a flash animation, check out Francis’ website.

With the recent craze in 3D imaging and display technologies, do you think a 3D DSLR system like this might be announced sometime in the near future?

(via Canon Rumors)

Comparing Digital Imaging Technology to the Human Eye

There’s an interesting discussion going on over at the DPReview forums regarding how the human eye compares to the technology we have in digital cameras.

Here are some of the findings that were compiled from various sources on the web:

  • Sensor size: 22mm in diameter
  • Resolution: 576 megapixels
  • Sensitivity: 1 – 800 ISO
  • Focal length: 22mm – 35mm
  • Aperture: f/2.1 – f/8.3

Another interesting idea that came up was the possibility of using the human eye as the lens and sensor for future imaging devices:

Maybe future “cameras” will actually link to your eyes – since the eyeball is such a great lens, who knows? Getting signal from the eye is the trick – would require a surgical implant or a means of reading brainwaves. Maybe that’s 200 years out – similar time [frame] the Mayo clinic is talking about for correcting double/triple vision.

Perhaps in the future we’ll all be documenting our lives at 576 megapixels through our eyes and ears, and storing the photos and videos on petabyte external hard drives at home.

What do you think of this discussion? Is there anything that jumps out at you as being wrong, or do you agree with the comparison for the most part?

Image credit: Eye (please add some funny TAGs) by Michele Catania

Google Earth Tour of New York City in 3D

Google recently added high-quality street level photographs to Google Earth, presumably using the imagery captured through its Street View van cameras. While it’s an interesting development, the fact that everything is flat is a bit strange, and makes you feel as though you’re looking at an outdated video game. How many more years do you think it will be until we’ll be able to virtually tour the streets of a city in true 3D?

Nokia Exec Predicts Rise of Cameraphones and Demise of DSLRs

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.

However, the idea of cameraphones replacing even the best digital cameras continues to find its way into news articles. Just last month Wired published a story titled, “Quantum Technology Promises Wedding Photos From Phone Cameras“.

Wedding photography with a cameraphone? Really?

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.

Nikon Chief Believes Digital Camera Market Nearly Saturated

Nikon’s new president Makoto Kimura believes that the explosive growth of the digital camera market is ending, and that the market is near its saturation point.

Kimura was previously the head of Nikon’s imaging business and instrumental in leading the company from its film photography business to the new world of digital.

At a news conference in Tokyo today, Kimura stated,

Nikon’s imaging business has been expanding quite steadily over the past 10 years. ‘But can it enjoy the same stable growth for the next 10 years? The answer is no,’ Growth for existing digital camera products will inevitably slow and they are set to move into a phase of saturation. I intend to keep dialogue open for everyone to decide what we should do to achieve further growth despite this trend.

Digital photography exploded between 2000 and 2010, with compact cameras being widely adopted and DSLRs becoming more and more accessible to ordinary consumers. Kimura believes that camera companies will now need to look for new directions to grow besides introducing digital cameras to new users.

What do you think will characterize this next decade in digital photography?

Camera Plans for the iPhone and iPad

As more and more people are ditching compact cameras for their camera-equipped phones, it’s clear these hybrid devices will be playing a big role in casual imaging in the years to come. One of the leaders in this space is the Apple iPhone, which boasts countless applications that improve and customize the photography that can be done with it.

Some recent events have shed a little light into the direction Apple may be headed.

The first clue is a recent job posting on Apple’s website with the job title “Performance QA Engineer, iPad Media”:

The Media Systems team is looking for a software quality engineer with a strong technical background to test still, video and audio capture and playback frameworks. Build on your QA experience and knowledge of digital camera technology (still and video) to develop and maintain testing frameworks for both capture and playback pipelines.

Given that the iPad does not currently offer any kind of photo or video capture, this suggests that camera(s) may appear in the next iPad.

Furthermore, Electronista is reporting that sensor corp OmniVision may play a role in future Apple devices:

OmniVision executives today gave JP Morgan analyst Paul Coster hints that they may have deals for cameras in next-generation Apple devices. After a discussion, Coster understood that ‘top-tier smart phone companies’ would move from three-megapixel cameras to five in the second half of the year. He added that OmniVision was “well-positioned” to provide camera sensors for both the new iPhone and even the next iPad, which in its initial form doesn’t have any cameras.

At the beginning of the year, we reported that OmniVision had developed a 14.6 megapixel sensor for cell phones that is also capable of high-definition video recording.

The iPad is a bit to big to be a carry-around point-and-shoot replacement, so any camera that appears on it might be more geared towards video chatting, while we might see the quality of iPhone photography skyrocket in the near future.

Image credit: iPad Girl by ajstarks

Photography Predictions from 20 Years Ago

Google Groups hosts an archive of Usenet discussions from as far back as 1981. These discussions often provide an interesting glimpse at the state of the world and what was considered “state of the art”.

On December 18, 1990, someone named Carl Madson started a discussion titled “Future of Photography..?” Here are some of the thoughts and questions he posed:

Seeing as how 2001 is just a little over a decade away, I was wondering what our resident sages/crazy people thought might be happening in the realm of photography/imaging/etc.(?) in ten years (and the intervening period).

Will film still be popular? What percent of consumers, and serious shooters, will be using electronic imaging devices instead, and will we ‘lose’ many folks to video cameras? Will home imaging (/editing/printing/..) computers be commonplace?

Will darkroomers gradually transition from chemicals to electronics, will there be a mix, or ? Only a small set of darkroomers for fine-art photography? Will regulations put an opressive damper on the use of chemicals at home?

How about ethical issues? The manipulation of ‘truth’ via imaging techniques? Showing the world as it really is, vs. making it look better than it is? And the ever-popular censorship issue?

Some of the responses are pretty funny when considering today’s technology, while other predictions seemed to be spot-on:

Right now, 1 Megabyte of memory costs about $45 retail. This will not drop by an order of magnitude in the next decade without a breakthrough, or an economical Gallium-Arsenide process to replace Silicon. […]

At-home image manipulation can become as popular as home tape recording was in the 60’s. Many people will have access to computers that can accept a digital image processing board. There could be a new kind of mini-lab that could handle that medium.

I think that electronic cameras will break into the “point and shoot” market. Their ease of use and quick turnaround are very appealing to snapshooters. Film will still be popular, probably as popular as now or more so. Computer imaging still doesn’t hold a candle to good ol’ silver halides for resolution and color. Some computer scanners do a damn good job, but CCD’s? Not anytime in the near future.

Home editing will be very popular among the snapshooters with their CCD still cameras. Don’t want ugly uncle Bob draining that beer in the background? No problem! A few keystrokes and it’s bye-bye Bob! Auto color-balancing will be handy. People could experiment with toning without all those harsh chemicals. More snapshooters could experience the wonder of black and white. It would be very easy to convert a color picture to black and white. Another keystroke (or maybe keys will be obsolete?) and the print could be sepia toned, for that high-tech old-fashioned look. […]

The old-fashioned silver photography will probably be used, and then transferred to computer via scanners. (I’ve done this myself, actually.) This way editing can be done by computer on those awful, inflexible prints before publication. […]

CCD photos will certainly be impossible to use for documentation. It’s just too damn easy to manipulate them! The theory that a photo constitutes proof has already begun to erode. This will merely help the process along.

To read more of this discussion, check out the entire thread (54 posts) on Google Groups.

Now, my questions is this: what are your predictions for what photography will be like in 2021?

(via Reddit)

Image credit: timepiece prime time clock closeup watch by zoutedrop

Canon Working on In-Viewfinder LCD and Sensor-based Stabilization

Based on patents recently filed with the United States Patent Office, Canon seems to be working on technologies that could have a huge impact on how you photograph.

Since these are simply patent applications, there’s no guarantee the technology will find its way into cameras anytime soon. However, it’s interesting to see what the camera corps are working on and what we might expect sometime further down the road:

Viewfinder LCD

One of the developments is the introduction of a small LCD screen in the viewfinder, separate from the live, optical view. In the images from the patent application shown above, you can see the LCD view above the traditional optical view and information bar on the right.

This means you can keep your camera pressed to your face while shooting, reviewing prior images on the in-viewfinder LCD rather than the LCD on the back of the body. If you constantly pull the camera away from your face to review what you just shot, this feature might give you an extra boost in productivity.

Sensor-based Stabilization

Another interesting thing found by Photography Bay in the patent application for the in-viewfinder LCD is the mention of an in-camera image stabilization feature.

This is interesting to note due to the fact that Canon and Nikon have long advocated image stabilization and vibration reduction built into lenses rather than camera bodies, even while other DSLR-makers (i.e. Sony) have offered stabilization built into bodies via sensor shift technologies.

Will we see Canon and/or Nikon introducing sensor shift stabilization soon? This would be a big deal, since it would instantly improve the performance of non-IS/VR lenses.

Your Thoughts?

You can learn more by reading the patents yourself here: 20100003025 and 20100002109.

What do you think of these two features? Do you want them included in Canon/Nikon bodies, or would cameras be better off without them?

(via Photography Bay)

Monstrous 570 Megapixel Digital Camera

Remember the days when a 5 megapixel digital camera was considered top-of-the-line? I do. Remember the days when 570 megapixel digital cameras were the size of cars? That’s a question people might ask years from now, when the most basic pocket cameras boast hundreds of megapixels, and when we have petabyte external hard drives.

The “camera” shown above is one of the largest digital cameras in existence, created by Fermilab, a US national laboratory specializing in physics. It uses 74 CCD sensors to create 570 megapixel images of galaxies and supernovas. Scientists plan on using the $35 million dollar camera to map some 300 million galaxies.

Any guesses as to how long it will be before we’re paying $350 for a 570 megapixel compact digital camera? Will that day ever arrive?

(via PopPhoto Flash)

Nikon Cameras May Soon Include Email


According to a patent filed in June 2007, Nikon is looking into adding an email client directly into their point-and-shoot cameras (DSLR users can breathe a sigh of relief). This would allow people to quickly email photographs from their cameras, rather than have to transfer them to a computer first.

Obviously this is being done more and more these days through the use of cameraphones, and having email capabilities in a camera might not be very useful unless the camera can access the Internet from anywhere. However, email capabilities would be extremely useful on a trip if you don’t have your laptop with you.

What do you think of this idea? Do point-and-shoot cameras need email?

(via Nikon Rumors)