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May 20, 2012

5 ways cameras will change in the next 5 years

via srqpix

Technology is always on the move. So it’s no surprise that there are some pretty stunning new camera tricks coming our way in the near future. Here’s five we think you’ll be enjoying, or not, in the next five years.

1.Compact Evolution

Compact camera sales dropped by 30% in 2011. And it will come as no surprise that this is a direct result of increasingly smart smartphones. In order to stay competitive, the camera manufacturers are having to add more and more tricks to their little point-and-shoots. Touch screen controls, inbuilt WiFi, direct uploads to social media, slow-motion movie functions, timers triggered by winking, vast amounts of new scene modes. It’s going to be a case of evolve or die for the compact.

2. In-Camera HDR

Love it or hate it? Trendy fad or giant leap forward? Whichever side of the coin you fall, it seems High Dynamic Range (HDR) is here for a while yet. Whilst it was previously a case of post-shoot processing, the new generation of cameras and smartphones have the capability to shoot HDR in camera. Is this really going to make our photos seem more like the real world? Or will we end up with a sickly, ‘Disney on acid’ view of reality?

3. Three Dimensions

In the past few years, 3D cameras have begun to make a notable impact on the high street. Staggeringly, 3D films have actually been around since the 1920s and have seen various resurgences over the years, (Does anyone else remember Jaws 3-D in 1983? No? Probably best….). But, like most technologies, where they were once cumbersome and expensive, they are now becoming smaller and affordable.

4. Shoot now, focus later

Without question one of the biggest jumps has come from the US company Lytro and their ‘light field’ technology. Unlike conventional cameras which aim to capture single planes of light, these unconventional looking devices are capable of capturing all of the information about where that light is. So what does that actually mean? Well, it means you can capture both 3D and 2D images as well as shift the perspective of a picture you’ve already taken. But, most astonishingly, it means that you can focus and re-focus the picture afterwards. So the image you capture is no longer a single finite moment, stagnated in time. Rather it is a movable, adaptable, shifting record which the viewer is able to perpetually modify. Initial reviews haven’t been 100% convincing, but as the technology improves expect to see more promising results.

5. Remove

Although removing people and cloning out undesirables has always been possible in post-shoot programmes, you may shortly be able to do this on the spot, within in the camera itself. By automatically shooting extra images the camera will enable you to blend the desired parts of each photo into one composite ‘perfect’ image. Say goodbye to ‘photo-bombers’! (Which is a bit of a shame really…).

What we lose

Many of the changes that are coming our way are set to entirely shift our concept of photography. Everything from aesthetic elements, such as light and shade, technical restrictions like depth of field or theoretical concepts such as freezing a moments in history, will be thrown out of the window. It could even generate the need for new terminology; just simply calling something a ‘photograph’ might no longer be sufficient.

Lots of changes on the cards, but which do you think will have the biggest impact on photography as we know it. As ever, we’d love to hear your thoughts, here or at Nokia_Connects.