Technology is moving at a rapid pace, with our handheld devices (e.g. mobile phones) becoming more and more capable. It was not that long ago that predictions were made that 512K was all the memory anyone would ever need in their life, now it is not uncommon to find machines with 1TB hard drives and greater. Sadly beyond the technical innovation that is being made with digital camera(s), I don’t see them being more capiable.
Each year we have the roundup of improved DSLR devices. Typically this includes numerous technical features (improved megapixel count, better resolution, better dynamic range) but rarely does it include improvements to the usability of digital cameras.
Sadly although the technical aspects of the camera improve the overall user experience does not. If you give a young person a device today there is a chance they will swipe the screen, and follow an intuitive menu system to get into an app of their choice (e.g. Android(R) or Apple(R)), the same cannot be said for digital cameras which remain locked into their own ecosystems. I am not suggesting that a digital camera should become an all-purpose machine, but rather digital camera manufacturers should create more open platforms for their cameras. Why not create an SDK for the camera which allows programmers to create photography specific applications, this offloads the burden for new development from the manufacturers (once the initial SDK / API) is done and allows people to create new and innovative apps that change our relationship with digital cameras. People could create Skins which make cameras easier to use, or apps that focus on specific types of photography (timelapse, astrophotography, high-speed photography). But instead we are stuck in what appears to be a race to the top in terms of specifications without actually making the devices more feature rich, or easier to use.
So that is my wish, that DSLR manufacturers would take more of an android approach, create an open SDK and API within the camera and allow application developers to create specialised apps which can enhance the capability, useability and other features of the cameras. Allowing for not just a race to the top, but also a race to create the most feature rich, usable cameras (e.g. auto-upload to Facebook, instagram?).
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