With CES, this week, lots of eyes are on .. the near future.. of technology products and cameras. Nikon showed us the D4 last week and may release another pro-level shooter in the coming month. Canon, Sony, are all prepped to display their warez, coming off supply chain issues. Heck, Fuji even surprised with a mirrorless potential game-changer of their own.
As I edited this post, I looked down at my desk and realized... sitting there, was the future of Photography. Sitting near one another on my desk, a Panasonic Micro Four Thirds Mirrorless, A Sony A77 "Transclucent Mirror" DSLR and a Light Field Camera.
If the A77, the Lumix GF3 and Lytro could get a hotel room for the weekend and partake in some late-night-cable inspired, three-way nocturnal activities, I believe their offspring is what we will all be carrying in 5 years. Bow-Chikka- Wow - Wow.
Trey Ratcliff editorialized, last week that DSLRs Are a Dying Breed and man, is he ever right.
The days of the flippy, clunky mirror mechanism must, inevitably be numbered. I agree with assessments that mirror-less is the future but I take this whole notion to the next level. I think sensor technology can only improve in light sensitivity and resolution for so long. Something new must come and maybe Light Field Imaging will be that "new thing."
I imagine a franken-device, with the sexy-sleek design of a Lytro but with interchangable lenses, mirrorless like a GF3 or V1/j1 or NEX, a very-high-resolution and light-sensitive light field sensor with a sleek OLED display like the A77. RAW files will be more like Lytro's Living Pictures concept but your camera will post-auto-focus on what it imagines you wanted to focus on. You can still change them, in-camera or in post. It will generate normal images across varying apertures using the light field concept as a step in post processing.
Oh yes, I've been to the mountain and seen the future and it is a groovy-one lacking of mirror-flippy assemblies and clunking sounds.
The real question in my mind is what technology company will be the true innovator to usher in the next-big-thing in photography? I'm wondering if the likes of my favorite camera companies are too close to the fire to see the smoke.
Possibly, a young... up-and-coming start-up will rise to the challenge to remake photography. It has to start somewhere and that somewhere... isn't in a professonal DSLR. yet.
Or.. maybe we'll just all go back to Polaroid. What do I know?