The Future is Here, Today: Some Assembly Required


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?