Predictions for Camera and Imaging in 2012

The imaging industry has come a long way from the era of films and bulb flashes. While the technology is changing everyday, it continues to open new doors and possibilities in merging several genres together. In our July 2012 issue of Asian Photography, we published a Trends Special, where we gave a rundown on some of the popular trends in photography; both in the past and present, as well as predictions for the future. And we are proud to say that in the three months that have followed, the imaging industry already looks like on the verge of a revolution with some of the things that we had predicted coming true already.

Touch-screen function in DSLRs

The most notable prediction that we made was the touch-screen function in a DSLR. And with Canon’s announcement and release of the EOS 650D, a multi-touch equipped DSLR, this came through. We have also reviewed the EOS 650D in this month’s edition of our magazine so make sure to catch that in detail. Touch screen in DSLR camera is something we have been looking forward to for a long time now, and even though compacts had already made a move towards a touch operated back panel, a multi touch interface similar to a smartphone was still something that seemed very far away into the future. Barely weeks after we predicted it, the touchscreen 650D made an entry into the market.On top of that, Canon is expected to release the EOS M any time now, which is Canon’s first entry in the mirrorless segment, which also comes with a multi touch operated back panel. We expect to see a lot more imaging brands develop this technology further.





Phone-like camera user interface

Apart from touchscreen in DSLR’s, we also predicted that smartphone and camera interfaces will overlap in the time to come, as many users these days prefer their phones over a compact to shoot,as the camera specifications of nearly all the top end smartphones in the market is the same as most of the compact cameras available in the market. Nikon released the S800c, an Android 2.3 powered compact camera with a back panel that looks exactly like a smartphone.

But perhaps the biggest breakthrough in this regard has been of that of the Samsung Galaxy Camera, powered by the latest Jelly Bean OS from Google. Most of a photographer’s problem, like storage space, connectivity, instant uploads to social networks etc. can be solved with the help of the endless apps on the Android app store. The back panel is expected to work exactly like a smartphone, which can be switched to the camera mode whenever required. This does not just affect the camera industry, but also the mobile industry, where the people buying a phone for photography will surely move to the hybrid.



How these products fare in the market remains to be seen, but it seems like the imaging industry is about to see a lot of changes in the hardware as well as the software on the products currently in the market. Do pick up our September issue for the latest updates.

Some of the other predictions that we made in the present and years to come include:

Trends for the future

The progress in technology and the way it has been utilised till now is colossal. With the only constant being change, all you have to do is imagine it and it could very well be achieved in the near future. Here are a few features which we would like to see new or improved in the coming years.

Image Quality

Convenience has, is and will always play a major role in the compact digital camera segment; the primary reason why cameras are becoming lighter and more compact as they evolve. However, the smaller size of the camera should not compromise on the image quality and it is only reasonable to expect compact camera with image quality and tonal ranges to match that of DSLRs.



Cloud Connectivity and Social integration

Connecting to the cloud services and integration to the social media platform is without a doubt going to be the big focus for the next few years to come. Whether it is pulling data in the form of images, videos from the cameras to and fro, or sharing it with your friends, sky is the limit for the same.

Cameras today are equipped with features like Wi-Fi, social media sharing, geotagging, cloud sharing and backup. Further ahead, cameras in the future could include an Internet data card or a sim card which would enable the user to upload, share or backup data in the absence of a Wi-Fi hotspot.


Head-mounted Display

Although this might be a loud thought, it is too good to let it pass. A camera mounted on your eyewear is another possibility where digital imaging may be headed. Google’s Project Glass, a research and development programme by Google to develop an improved reality head-mounted display is an attempt at the same. 

The future of compact digital cameras could be one where they are redundant. The rate at which mobile phone technology is growing, backed by the paradigm of users wanting to carry little or nothing with them could well make mobile phones the next substitute for a camera. It might seem farfetched but it is plausible.