It’s been a while since I wrote one of these posts about the camera of the future. In the past, I would approach this with a “Here’s what I want” approach. This time I’m going to take it a little differently. I am going to create a list of what I actually think we will see coming. In no particular order, here’s what I think we’ll see soon.
1. Cameras with built-in HDR. There’s no need to do this in post. The camera should be able to handle it just fine. We’re already seeing this feature in compacts and it will soon be in DSLRs.
2. DSLR cameras with built-in stitching. At least some sort of pre-stitch that will combine three or more shots into one file for further editing.
3. Cameras with built-in neutral density filters. Lots of video cameras already offer this feature, but with more and more hybrid video features being offered, this one is a no-brainer and should be no big deal.
4. Cameras that can auto-focus while shooting video. This one is going to be a bit tougher, but again, you can do it in some video cameras already so I know it is possible. The problem probably has something to do with the contrast-based autofocus that most hybrid HDSLRs use rather than phase detection autofocus they rely on when shooting stills.
5. Cameras will have even Higher ISOs. While some cameras shoot very clean into the 1600 and even 3200 range, the manufacturers know this is one place where the camera buyers want more, more, more. The camera of the very near future will be able to shoot ISO 6400 VERY cleanly.
6. Cameras will have more dynamic range. Our eyes are at least twice as good as our cameras. This is an area where imaging engineers have been spending lots of time working to correct the disparity between the two and I think we’ll see cameras with another stop or two of dynamic range soon.
7. Cameras will be like computers – programable. If there can be a WWDC for Apple where all the developers get together and learn how to write software for Apple products, why not an equivalent for Nikon, or Canon, etc.? Making cameras customizable, like computers would open up a next wave event for photographers.
Nobody can actually predict the future. But I bet I end up being pretty close.
This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store