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  1. #1
    n8 is offline
    Senior Member n8's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Rockford, Il

    How many advances are left for dslrs?

    I'm sure there are a million, but I'm just curious what everyone thinks is yet to come with the evolution of digital photography. We all know that bodies come and go, but at what point will the technology slow down to where these advancements are more significant and fewer and further between?
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  2. #2
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Mineral Point, WI, USA

    Re: How many advances are left for dslrs?

    I think we will see even better high ISO noise performance, at a lower price point, built in HDR capabilities and advancements in video capture in DSLR's just to name a few. Refinements of current technology will keep getting better. I would also like to see more articulated LCD screens on DSLR's and full frame DSLR's at a lower price point. Am I asking for too much?

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  3. #3
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Mundelein, IL USA

    Re: How many advances are left for dslrs?

    Except for the very high end niche (i.e. Leica-like prices), I see the mirror itself gone within 10 years - no more DSLR.

    As for the in-camera 'digital', it has just begun. I think the advances may well be aimed at non-traditional still photography (video, 3D, etc.), but they will greatly affect (IMO, enhance) our still photography. The one I am looking forward to is when I can set my Shutter Speed and Aperture to fit the image and auto-ISO Equivalent takes care of the exposure. It has to get to where I cannot see the difference in a 16x20 print.

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  4. #4
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Mar 2004

    Re: How many advances are left for dslrs?

    Quote Originally Posted by OldClicker
    The one I am looking forward to is when I can set my Shutter Speed and Aperture to fit the image and auto-ISO Equivalent takes care of the exposure
    I am sure that already exists.

    Where is there left to go?
    Moore's law shows no sign of being broken, the performance/cost/time relationship in electronics and technology still means we will have cameras you bought for 2500 that are almost worthless in 5 years time compared to new models.

    Well there is a LONG way to go before an electronic viewfinder can match a reflex viewfinder, in low light, in rapid action, in rapid action in low light, in updating while shooting, and in sheer resolution to keep up with the analogue world.

    Then there's sensitivity, where we already see back illumination of the sensor, which means building it with the sensor next to the wafer the chip's deposited on and then physically grinding the wafer to thin it to the point where you can form an image on the backside and detect the light directly in the sensor well.

    I'd like to see the Foveon sensor pushed to higher resolutions and higher sensitivity, because it doesn't have the aliasing filter and the bayer colour filters in front of the pixels there's no software to reconstruct the higher resolution image from the 1/4 resolution array of rgb dots. I feel it's a more elegant way to get colour images - less software magic, more physical technology.

    3D doesn't interest me at all yet, it's just not subtle enough, not real enough. Like the 3D re-make of Tron which was a really simple line animated film. Or the over-exaggerated 3D effects in the current 3D films - where they play with the technology and the story making things leap out at the audience.
    The technology hasn't matured, and nor have the people using it ... give it a few years.

    There is potential for improvement in lens quality, particularly in lens coatings. For outdoor work particularly in weather repellents, de-misting, hardening, easier to clean. Not quite to the point where you can't get a stone-chip, but tougher than now.

    Shutterless cameras are an interesting possibility, where there is no physical shutter just an electronic one. It's going to take a technology shift to do it, so that you can capture a full sensor image without streaking or the jelly wobble on moving images, the data rate is going to have to be higher.
    That may come just from electronics improvements, faster logic, smaller transistors, thinner interconnects, lower operating voltages, all leading to smaller more powerful CPUs.

    Eventually something is going to come along that creates a change in how it's done, a radical change in the camera. Something we can't forsee today - that will be interesting!

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  5. #5
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    Paris, France

    Re: How many advances are left for dslrs?

    In 30 years time:

    - electronic viewfinder only, no reflex mirror
    - end of Nikon F and EOS lens mounts. New lens systems will be more compact (no need to leave space for the mirror box)
    - no "ISO". The camera will adjust the sensor sensitivity according to shutter speed and aperture. If you can see it with your eyes then the camea will be able to take a sharp picture of it
    - scene recognition including subject recognition. The autofocus will follow the subject
    - expanded dynamic range. No need to do HDR, the sensor will have enough dynamic range to cope
    - still photography will be a variant of video. The camera will record a whole sequence of images and for the still you just select the best moment

    I hope we don't have ever-increasing MPix. Light is made up of particles called photons and there are just so many photons that make up an image on the sensor. You can't keep on increasing the number of sensor elements because there aren't enough photons to go around.

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  6. #6
    drg is offline
    la recherche de trolls drg's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
    Route 66

    Re: How many advances are left for dslrs?

    The 'advances' we see now are pretty phenomenal in the short time frame that DSLR based photography has been practical.

    ISO or camera sensitivity is already at a point we can shoot in effectively the dark and have a 'usable' image.

    Sensor design whether the FOVEON or Fuji with multi sized sensor locations or micro-lensing or , (fill-in-the-blank with your choice) has come leaps and bounds from the first demonstration cameras. Far more than film ever advanced in terms of generations of improvement.

    DLSR's are not cameras as much as computers that are optioned to gather data that can be interpreted as a visual image. The in body processing now going on be it still or video is relatively amazing compared to 5 years ago, let ago 10-12 at the beginning of the 'digital photo age'.

    The emergence of large sensor compacts or the EVIL/no mirror type cameras already means that the traditional DSLR is counting its final days/years.

    When a sensor technology is viewed from the engineering standpoint, shutterless cameras should be here now. The major manufacturers of consumer/professional legacy driven cameras are overly secretive with what their sensors are capable of doing. A little math applied to how quickly they can achieve an image tells us a lot about what they could do without a shutter.

    Consider the fact that whether it's Sony, Kodak, or Foveon, sensor forging companies have released specs for their sensors to the engineering/security/scientific disciplines that clearly indicate that common sensors capable of 60 fps without a shutter are readily available. Then there are the high speed cameras for research that have a cycle rate that is astounding. Of course a piece of fiber optic is needed to carry the data from the chip/data port to a high speed data logger to capture it, but so what? We can do real time motion analysis in available light now. It's marketing that lags, not the technology. I mean, after all, a camera has to have a shutter, right??

    How soon some of us are willing to give up the legacy lens systems we have also is a factor. Or how soon we the older generation of photographers die off!! New lens formulas for Digital sensors are now being computed by every manufacturer. Distinct differences in requirements for the individual sensor technology are also emerging. Canon as an example has been offering micro-adjustments in their bodies that let you fine tune a lens to a body for certain adjustments. I see auto-calibration in the next gen or two at most for all most all cameras. The distinct difference of each lens can be accommodated now in after market software easily, why not do it in the camera body?

    Modularity seems to me to be one of the two primary directions that digital photography must explore further or become an entirely disposable technology. If that goes to upgrades in processor capability beyond software updates or to sensor replacement or expandable/reconfigurable interfaces doesn't matter as much as if that is a possibility. Else it is a battle to see who bring to market a known advance first in yet-another-body release.

    Size of the camera is evolving and who says that all of the camera has to fit in one unit? We've had remotes and modular components to stick together for my entire life. We don't need to have the storage in the camera, oh wait we've done that now. We don't have to have all the controls on the lens/sensor unit, in fact we don't need to have any of those on the part of the camera. Remote setting of any parameter or feature could be handled by our smart phone??? One option shown many years ago as a part of a military type product had the lens and sensor combo as a fixed unit. You just upgraded that or the control portion as needed. A couple of manufacturers have already tried some variant of that already.

    There will probably be a further division between professional use equipment and everything else. The emergence of meaningful Digital bodies that support the virtual equivalent of Medium Format photography (Hasselblad, Leica, etc.) or the already modular specialized cameras like RED, already are setting the bar in very different place. My film equivalent of MF or specialty cameras were more expensive than my personal 35mm cameras but not the current order or two of magnitude in difference. From a few hundred dollars for an entry level DSLR to 50-100 thousand for a modern professional system is radically different.

    Photography has changed more than we yet realize as much as cameras are themselves changing.
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