The Future Camera

As the owner of a Canon 7D DSLR camera weighing almost two kilograms I am always interested in up and coming photography and film technologies, especially if they aren’t too heavy! If it was possible, I would have my camera on me 24/7 (and with my iPhone I kind of do, minus the quality); however, the bulkiness of the machine is just a bit too inconvenient.

My take-away idea from week 4’s reading As We May Think is the concept of the future camera. The article mainly concentrated on the interrelations of science and technological inventions, the last segment foreseeing ‘the camera hound of the future’ wearing ‘a lump a little larger than a walnut’ on his forehead. The pictures they took would be 3 millimetres squared, but could be enlarged/projected afterwards into enormous dimensions (which I thought was pretty visionary, considering it was published in 1945). I couldn’t help but wonder if anything that small could ever be as good as the DSLR camera I have at home. Surely not, I first said to myself. You need the versatility of being able to attach different lenses! But then I read on. The future lens would have universal focus; this reminded me of the first Networked Media lecture where Adrian Miles briefly discussed the Lytrograph. These Lytro cameras, pictured below, enable the user to forever change the depth of field and focus of a photograph once they have imported the file into a specialised photo editing program.


My prediction is that this technology will grow to fill the need of having to have 38479970 different lenses with you at all times. I would personally love it if they developed a video camera with the same capabilities. Imagine being able to post-edit footage and create a pull focus shot after the actual production process! The possibilities are astounding.

In looking at how rapidly photography technologies have improved over the last 10 years, I think all of the above is very much possible. There will come a day in the near future when something smaller than a GoPro will encompass all of the functions of my Canon 7D. Memory cards will get physically smaller while being able to ‘carry’ millions more bites, batteries will become capable of lasting for days on end, shutters will become faster and who knows, maybe the automatic functions will be able to read our minds… The ideas are there, the technology just isn’t quite yet!

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