The Camera Technologies that will Change the Way You Take Pictures

It seems every day that cameras are getting better: camera phones and digital cameras keep improving – higher resolutions, better color, better low-light performance. But none of these improvements are really game changing. What does the future hold for cameras? Is it more of the same, a revolution, or a bit of both?

A Look ahead with Apple

What’s even more exciting is Apple’s $20 million acquisition of LinX Imaging, an Israeli digital photography tech firm. Linx develops a technology known as ‘multi-aperture photography,’ which is the use of software, data, and multiple cameras to produce a picture far better than anything that could be produced using a single lens.

Camera Phones More Powerful than A DSLR

Why will these pictures be better? Single lens cameras are inherently limited by physics. To resolve a sharper image, the lenses have to get thicker – too thick to fit in a point-and-shoot or camera phone. Hence the ‘camera bulge’ on many phones. Camera arrays can, in theory, get around this limit, by combining information from many thin cameras next to one another. So far, this potential has been hamstrung by difficulties combining the images.

The camera array tech created by LinX, which compares LinX 8 vs. the iPhone 5s, appears to show sharper objects, stunning images at lower light levels, and better, fuller color.

What makes this exciting is that LinX promises to do this with cameras that are smaller in size, weigh half as much as current cameras on the market, and require shorter exposure times.

Futuristic Auto-Focus

What LinX cameras also promise to do is provide better auto-focus.

Nowadays you can focus on an image before taking a picture. The focus is expected to provide for a better picture as it brings light and color “forward” or “backwards” in the picture.

 LinX’s tech aims to provide better auto-focus not only before a photo has been taken, but also after!

This is possible because of the parallax between the images – the difference in perspectives between the many lenses. This is similar to how light-field cameras like the Lytro work.

Better Facial Recognition

This technology will also enable better facial recognition. The parallax between the cameras gives a lot of information about depth. This info can then be used to determine much more accurately which feature is which, and where it’s located. It also allows the background to be dropped, to reduce error rates.

For the Digital Camera Lovers

While camera phones are doing their best to catch up with digital cameras, DSLRs are doing their best to keep their distance. And in fact, digital cameras have come a long way.