This issue hits the stands just before Photokina and naturally all eyes will be focused on new technologies that will be on display. SP expects improvements in the following areas:
1. Sensor technology – The larger the sensor, the bigger the technological gap between smartphones and the others. This explains the recent plethora of full-size sensor introductions by Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony. Again, the higher the megapixels, the greater the need for memory and faster software. Therefore, expect bigger, better and faster sensors.
2. Focussing – To those who thought that focussing was dealt and done away with the advent of autofocus, there are lots of surprises in store. Faster and more precise autofocussing is the goal; expect focussing sensors to get even better.
3. Image stabilisation technology has also leapt ahead. Horizontal, vertical, sidewards, forwards, backwards – all shakes can now be compensated. Expect further reinement in this area. As image stabilisation gets more sophisticated, we see the camera body gaining more importance over the lens based image stabilisation system.
4. In today’s world, video is a must. 4K is now trickling down to even compact cameras. 8K seems to be the next step. In the ‘YouTube’ age, a camera without capable video is just not good enough.
5. With OLED TVs gaining traction (thanks to LG and Panasonic) expect camera viewfinders to also gravitate in this direction. The viewfinders of tomorrow will make you wonder how you managed so far without them.
6. Finally, there is also an optical revolution underway. The new lenses that you are seeing in the last eighteen months are an eye opener. The lead here is being taken by the likes of Sigma, Voigtlander and Samyang. Lenses are getting better and better.
Let’s not forget that the smartphone companies like Samsung and Apple have individual R & D budgets that can drown the combined R & D budgets of the camera makers. Be assured that they will also be working feverishly.
For the rest, await our detailed report from Photokina 2016.
H. S. Billimoria