Mar 3, 2008

Photo industry braces for another revolution

Source: CNET
Written by Stephen Shankland

Think of it as digital photography 2.0.

In the last decade, photography has been transformed by one revolution, the near-total replacement of analog film cameras by digital image sensors. Now researchers and companies are starting to stretch their wings by taking advantage of what a computer can do with sensor data either within the camera or on a full-fledged PC.

Some elements of this new era, which researchers often call computational photography, are refinements of existing technology. For example, some cameras can wait to take the photo only when subjects are smiling and not blinking, in effect placing the shutter release button in the hands of the subjects rather than the photographer.

But more dramatic changes could shift the definition of a camera more dramatically. One major area of research, for example, uses computational processing to create a 3D representation of a scene rather than just the two dimensions of traditional photography.

“There’s a shift in thinking going on,” said Kevin Connor, who manages professional digital imaging products for Adobe Systems. “People are starting to see the broader possibilities and where we can push things…People are realizing that maybe we shouldn’t just be trying to make the best traditional photography experience.”

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