After the ISO, Megapixel and Miniaturization Wars: Are Tomorrow’s “Smartcameras” Turning Into Gadgets?

Latter-day cameras are plain astonishing. What happened to noise? Useless JPEGs? Today we got 10 fps, even in a half pint of a camera such as the Sony RX100. ISO surpassing 100k? No problem. Newer cameras make you feel jaded. Take the Nikon D800’s high resolution. You’re struggling to find subjects that give a real chance to use the extra detail. Technology tops the human eye a.k.a. reality. Where have we come to.

Samsung’s Galaxy Camera, basically an app-supported phone that’s turned into a camera… |

A reasonably good camera today gives you picture perfect. Now, camera makers ask, where to go from here? If image quality is so good already, what else to sell? So they’re turning cameras into gadgets.

It started with another trend, when they began turning every phone user into a photographer. What initially was intended as a portable phone has become a multipurpose personal assistant. Including camera. Doesn’t iPhoneography ring a bell?

Now it seems that camera and phone makers alike try to squeeze more and more functions into those devices. Apps, filters, extra functions… Phones are turning into cameras which are then turned into portable amusement parks. Hey they’re fun to use and make you feel good!

The camera world is moving fast and makers need new markets. After the megapixel war, the ISO war, the miniaturization war and the larger sensor war we now face the application support war.


So here they come, tomorrow’s first cameras:

The just released Sony NEX-5R and Samsung Galaxy Camera. And Nikon announced the Android powered Coolpix S800c recently.

The Sony NEX-5R offers Wi-Fi sharing and downloadable apps |
The Sony has Wi-Fi capability and you can add applications. The Smart Remote Control uses your smartphone (with iOS or Android OS) to control the camera… Sony calls it the PlayMemories platform.

And Samsung, on the same day, announced the fully Android powered Galaxy Camera a.k.a. EK-GC10, the first camera running Android (Jelly Bean) sporting Google Play, and and…

And Samsung’s Galaxy Camera will be the first point-and-shoot to which you can add a 3G or 4G data plan, reports PetaPixel, even though you can’t actually make a standard mobile call on it. So the camera is connected to the Internet all the time, taking full advantage of cloud-based services like Dropbox. Each Galaxy camera purchaser will automatically receive a free 50GB Dropbox cloud storage account…

Are “smartcameras” becoming the new standard?

Says Samsung:

Going pro has never been this easy or this fun.

Well what’s easier than to shoot like a pro when you have Smart PRO MODE!


Samsung again:

You’ve never had this much fun with a camera.

The app support hype, I’m afraid that’s the next camera battle. And for once Samsung’s ahead of Apple… Maybe.

They even call the Galaxy Camera a revolution.

Camera. Reborn.

The bulk of the gadget phones will be powered by Android OS. So will photography’s future be Google?!

I’m all for good old-style rangefinders. But who cares!

(Article inspired by Mirrorless Rumors.)