Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Demand for Networked Cameras Growing

Unless photographic manufactures make their cameras more internet connected they may face the danger of being supplanted by smartphones and the networking versatility they provide in this digital age.

Analyst: Cameras need networking--pronto

Fundamentally, mobile phones and social networking sites such as Facebook have transformed the practice and purpose of photography so it's less about preserving memories and more about sharing what's happening.

"Smartphones allow people to capture an image and share it with an online site or a social network. You're allowing your friends and family to be in the moment with you as the event is still going on," Lee said.

Indeed, smartphones are advancing rapidly. Apple's iPhone, a standout product when it comes to Internet connectivity, rapidly ascended the Flickr ranks of most-used cameras because it makes sharing images easy. With Android and other operating systems, such smartphones are spreading rapidly. At the same time, their cameras' quality is steadily improving with higher resolution, built-in flashes, and in the case of the iPhone 4, a new HDR mode for high-dynamic range shots.

Some cameras today have network abilities, but it's not enough, he said.

"Wireless connectivity has been around since 2005, most of it's been one-way," Lee said. "In the future we have to make bidirectional communication where you can pull information back down to the camera as well as upload it."
It's a brave new socially networked photo world, welcome to it.

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