Tag Archives: video

The Future of Photography

A photography prediction: the future will include (1) wearable, (2) video (3) all-focusing cameras.

Eyez by ZionEyez

1. Wearable

By wearable, the camera of tomorrow doesn’t have to be a pair of glasses. It could be on a jacket’s button, hat, belt buckle, etc. What wearing your camera does is free you up from consciously choosing to take a photo. Everything you see while wearing your camera will be recorded from the point of view of your camera. This is like livestreaming yourself, but the streaming to the public part would not happen (unless you opt to). (via BB)


2. Video

As Vincent Laforet talks about, you no longer need to take a single photo. Instead, you might as well video record everything. Afterwards, you would review a time range to pick your ideal photo.

Video takes up significantly more storage than stills. Since this is the future we’re talking about, small devices like an iPhone Nano will have 10TB, so storage won’t be an issue.

Lytro by Eric Cheng/Lytro.com

3. All-Focusing

Lytro is a new type of photographic camera. If I understand correctly, their light field cameras aggregate light at many different points. Think of it as many camera sensors recording many light rays instead of the traditional one camera, one sensor. In addition to picking the time of the shot (#2 above), you would also pick your desired focus. (via NYT)

Put it all together

With these aspects, photography will become a constant lens in your life. Privacy controls would be key. But think of the benefits: Evernote would be on steroids and The Hangover would be solved right away.

The exact configuration has endless possibilities. A team of photographers could cover the Olympic Games with an army of Zeiss mounted to drones.

Japan's Ministry of Defense Ball Drone

The camera of the future could even use gestures (à la Kinect) to control settings instead of the current screen based menu hierarchy.

Camera Design

This is what constitutes popular (good?) camera design today:

Olympus E-P1 digital pen

An obvious design throwback to the days of film cameras, but not very imaginative.

I’m of the firm belief that camera design as we know it today has tremendous room for change. Take the micro 4/3 standard that is mirrorless.  It’s what enables the E-P1 above to be significantly slimmer than a traditional DSLR and retain interchangeable lenses. Going slimmer is just one possible direction.

Below are some camera concepts that break away from “the standard camera” look (think Leica).

D5R Concept by Ned Mulka

This is a neat concept, but not super practical. Why go through all that body change without a number of obvious benefits? Still, +1 for daring to make a camera body that doesn’t conform to legacy design.

WVIL Concept by Artefact

The WVIL concept excites me a lot more. I think the future of professional cameras may involve wireless lenses syncing to a generic touchscreen (think Android phone, iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad). The WVIL concept is great, but why reinvent the wheel with a proprietary touchscreen when an off-the-shelf generic touchscreen suffices?

I can easily envision a world where a professional photographer has many wireless lenses (perhaps with a gorilla pod each) that are all controlled by a single iPad remotely. All a person would have to do is set up multiple wireless lenses before a sporting event starts. During the event, the lenses would (since this is the future we’re talking about) take continuous ultra high-definition video. The touchscreen controller would be used to monitor focus and other settings.

iPhone 4

Another trend in camera hardware is the disappearance of noticeable hardware. With smartphones packing incredibly better cameras (as in “decent enough”), it’s possible to get high quality photos without carrying around a point and shoot. The trend of nearly invisible camera hardware will only get better as phone cameras improve.