Digital photography sees advancements almost on a monthly basis. Last year's top-of-the-line equipment was surpassed by this year's cameras that offered better performance and more convenience. Decade-old cameras can be found in garage sales and flea markets. One writer calls it “digital rust,” but it could really be considered progress in electronics.
Where will photography be in another ten years? Here are a few predictions:
Point and Shoot vs. Camera Phones
Camera phones are steadily replacing point and shoot models already. Expect this to continue, but the niche market for point and shoots will remain for several reasons. Their lenses are capable of telephoto, wide-angle, and macro modes while camera phones rely on fixed lenses with digital zoom. Point and shoots are far less expensive than a phone, so people will use them underwater or in other hazardous situations. Presently, “extreme” sports cameras are an example of this trend. Some workers use point and shoot cameras for documentation, photographing job sites, intricate wiring, and mechanical assemblies for later study. While this can be accomplished with a phone camera, some dedicated point and shoots are designed for macro photography that better suits this work.
The sensor is the heart of any digital camera, and a physical sensor size is more important than pixel count. Larger sensors produce less noise – colored dots that appear in the darkest part of an image – so as to produce better images in dim light. Micro four-third and APS-C sensors are a compromise - larger than the tiny ones found in point and shoot cameras and smaller than the full-size 35mm equivalent sensors found in big DSLRs. These mid-size sensors can be installed in smaller, lighter camera bodies along with smaller, lighter lenses.
A trend is underway to put even larger sensors in camera bodies equivalent in size to the micro four thirds units. In turn, this will require larger, heavier lenses, making portability of these cameras questionable. For some, notably old 35mm rangefinder camera fans, this would be a welcome change. But if the price is comparable to a DSLR, the market could doom that change.
Camera movement ruins numerous photos when we shoot long exposures or use telephoto or macro lenses. Some cameras or lenses include mechanical anti-vibration systems that help to reduce motion blur, but it's possible to go the next step toward eliminating blur through the use of ring laser gyros and software. Gyros can indicate both the speed and direction of camera motion. When combined with software, the system could further reduce blurring.
Wi-Fi & Connectivity
We already see a crossover between cameras and phones, but recently cameras have embraced more phone-like features. Some have built-in Wi-Fi connections that enable uploading photos to other devices or the Internet simpler. Cameras that do not include Wi-Fi can do so simply by installing a suitable SD card. It would be relatively simple to include a cellular phone card in a digital camera, allowing for instant photo uploads.
Richard Aitken has recently taken up photography as a new hobby. When he was looking into having professional photographs taken of his family, he approached Whitby photographer, Debra Baydak-Poray as his trusted source. Her portfolio impressed him and the variety of emotions she could capture on camera were diverse.