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Published on June 14th, 2013 | by John I.

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Mirrorless and Megapixels: The Future of Photography

In the olden days of film, the idea of post-processing was an alien one. As much as possible, all shots must be composed in-camera, with little room for mistakes and untimed shots.

But in this era of photo editing software, most of the photographic process takes place not through the lenses of a camera, but on a computer screen. A photographer can simply scan through a set of photos, pick out the best ones, then let the photo editor do its work from there. The photograph of today can be considered as a first draft- it can be edited, manipulated, modified, shaped, and reinvented according to the needs of the photographer.

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Going Digital and Online

Digital has completely taken over film. Digital cameras, including those on cellular phones, democratized photography. Anyone can become a photographer; given enough time and practice, a person equipped with a phone camera can easily capture magnificent shots as good as an SLR-wielding professional.

Photographs hosted online also offer a lot of advantages over their analog counterparts. Digital photographs often have embedded metadata in them, which can provides valuable information about the shooting conditions that a particular shot was taken in.

The Future of Digital Photography… are Cyborgs?

Academics see the future of photography as one that can transcend the usual way people take photos. While mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have already permeated everyday life, cameras of the future can function on a much “smarter” level, acting proactively without much human interaction. For example, a camera may take pictures based on molecular factors such as a person’s brain waves or blood pressure.

Up and Coming Photographic Trends:

  • 3D Photography
    3D has already made a great start in film; the huge amount of movies in 3D and the 3D television fad are testaments to this phenomenon. But the largest hindrance in 3D photography is the technology itself. As of the moment, viewing stuff in 3D involves the use of specialized screens and bulky glasses that may be too uncomfortable for most viewers. If technology can do away with these awkward gimmicks, 3D photography will surely be embraced by the public.
  • Light Field Photography
    The introduction of light-field cameras (such as the popular Lytro) in the consumer market gave people a taste of photography’s possible future. Light-field cameras use microlenses that can accurately capture the light in any particular scene. This means that pictures can be refocused at will on a computer and there’s no more need to tinker with confusing settings on-camera. Just click the shutter and go. By removing the need to focus before taking a shot, light field cameras allow for faster one-click shooting. Since cameras like the Lytro also captures depth information, light field technology can also help pave the way for 3D photography to go mainstream.
  • Composition/Framing Aids
    Photographers now have the power of technology at their hands. Cameras today are usually equipped with a number of high tech features that were unheard-of a few decades ago. For example, digital cameras now have face-smile recognition, GPS, auto exposure fix, and high dynamic range imaging. Soon enough, a new generation of photographers will emerge who will never have to worry about getting their focus or exposure levels right.

Smart cameras have already been produced that can instantly upload your pictures to the Internet right after shooting. In the future, we can expect computers to read our photos for us, tagging them automatically with the right labels without human intervention.

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The Intersection of Photo and Video

Due to advances in camera technology, most cameras today (especially DSLRs) are capable of shooting high quality video. For example a Nikon D3200 found at Jessops online store can shoot in full HD 1080p video. With this kind of video shooting , video stills are expected to be of high quality with minimal blurring.
Another kind of video resolution also aims to integrate video with photography. 8k resolution is sixteen times more detailed than the usual 1080p resolution found in televisions. Since the shutter speed is faster, motion blur will become non-existent, thereby allowing photographers to lift excellent photos from videos alone. With this kind of technology, photographers need not wait for that “decisive moment” (as the great photographer Cartier Bresson had put it) to make that perfect shot.



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