The Shake of Things 2 Come

Pre and Post -dictions

I'm just vocabulating...

Updates in Green!

After seeing what has landed at our collective feet in 2009, we consider the future of HDSLR cameras to be wide open.

Today's cameras are already in their second full generation of design, and 18 months since the first one (Nikon D90) appeared hasn't passed us by, yet.

Milestones along the way have included technologies of (rough chronological)

  • Skip-Bayer rolling shutter image scanning (and it's artifacts). [All]
  • Introduction of 720p24, "consumer" HD. [Nikon]
  • Introduction of 1080p30 "pro" HD. [Canon]
  • First lenses designed for HDSLR use. [Panasonic]
  • Electronic eye viewfinder. [Panasonic]
  • Color moiré suppression. [Panasonic]
  • Value upgrade to old manual focus, manual aperture Nikkors. [Nikon]
  • Adaptation of Nikkors to Canon for cine use. [Haoda]
  • Flip out monitors. [Nikon, Panasonic, Samsung]
  • Monitor viewfinder magnifiers for 1 arm + 1 leg. [Zacuto]
  • Introduction of useless 1080p20. [Canon]*
  • Invention of 1536p30 in 3:2 aspect. [Pentax]*
  • Response to user outcry for Manual HD exposure control. [Canon]
  • Continued ignorance of the meaning and purpose of cameras today. [Nikon*]
  • A killer eBook about HDSLR camera use, practice and techniques. [Here]
  • More manufacturers jumping on the bandwagon with "models." [There]
  • Full 1080p30/25/24 and 720p60/50 options in one camera. [Canon]
  • Raging ISO sensitivity. [Nikon, Canon]
  • Photographer awareness of moiré. [All]

Not a bad one-year progress. It is way faster than, say, growth during 2002-2004.

Nikon was the first to announce astronomical ISO reach, followed a few moments later by Canon's version of the exact same thing. The deal here is that Canon had full HD with their camera (1DM4) and Nikon came in fifty lengths back with their 720p24 only.

While this story still causes flames to emit from my ears, I keep reminding myself that it's just a snapshot of the NOW, not a picture of the WHAT WILL BE.

In a year's time, we will be staring at a plate full of WHAT REALLY IS, and this little essay is a preview of that.

My official predictions for the top 10 HDSLR stories of 2010:

By winter, 2011, the world of digital photography will have changed. Again. For the better. Here are the stories that will shake out, in order of importance:

1. Nikon will have awakened. Our article on the Killer App will have made the rounds in the Tokyo offices, and several designers will have joined the ranks of the quickly and quietly retired. New Models--call them the D90s, D300xs and D3x∞--will appear or be announced, and they will, at last, incorporate 1080p30, 1080p25, 1080p24 and other shooting options.

Manual exposure control will have joined the line, and in keeping with their practice of offering truly valuable in-camera processing options, movie retouching will sport a bunch of valuable options such as in-camera grad filter addition, in-camera cross star addition, In-camera flicker suppression for time-lapse sequences and anything else they read in my eBooks.

As of 2/17/10, sort of. Their Coolpix P100 has 1080p30 HD recording. It's a start.

2. Canon will have seen the light. In this case it will be the way light behaves on an image chip when you whip the image off by skipping lines of Bayer Pattern information using a Rolling Shutter. It seems that any sharp detail can influence some individual horizontal lines of RGRGRG or GBGBGB Bayer patterned sensors, causing color moiré. And not just a little.

They will realize that an adaptation to their low-pass filters can kill the issue. Just move the low-pass filter farther from the image chip during cine shooting. Patent pending.

Almost. They did intro an $800 Rebel T2i camera with all the EOS 7D movie modes, but no moire fix. 2/15/10

3. New optics will appear with silent autofocus and f-stop adjustments. They will only be usable with certain camera bodies, adding to the compatibility confusion. These new qualities will not at all interfere with still photography from the same bodies.

Almost. Zeiss introduced lenses (4/15/10) for HDSLR cameras with ergonomic setups perfect for cine mode shooting and attachment to external manual focus and zoom controls. But no automation. Good news: they fit several bodies.

4. Crossover Still/Motion Zooms will be introduced. These will be based on existing zoom prescriptions, tweaked and mechanically enhanced for movie and still photography.

Zoom-in, focus, then zoom out focus tracking will be good. F-stop coordination will be made up with ISO cross-linking, for smooth exposures as coordinated f-stop and focal length changes are made.

Still photographers will appreciate their novel smooth zoom and focus controls while motion photographers will demand those qualities. Variable drag will help zoom controls a lot.

5. Camera shake will be flattened. Especially for motion shooting. As we showed in our first HDSLR eBook, Canon's existing Image Stabilization is far superior to Nikon's Vibration Reduction for moving scenes, but both manufacturers will expand and refine their products.

Nikon's MVR and Canon's MIS lenses will be fine. The M is for moving image shooting.

6. Camera monitor viewing will become part of the reflex viewfinder (Canon's at the left). Already certain eyeball-oreinted optics include superimposed visual material supplied via a beamsplitter, and full electronic image overlay will be incorporated for moments when the reflex mirror is up. It beats arm's-length viewfinding instabilities.

They won't abandon the mirror reflex design, yet, even though Panasonic has shown the path to the eventual future of that idea.

Monitor image over real image viewfinder techniques will have been realized here, first.

7. High FPS rates will appear. Casio started it. Blame them. Then Red One showed it, too. Now others will get chugging on the idea. Already we know that super slow-mo can be made out of software, if you can live with certain artifacts. The higher the original frame rate, the fewer the artifacts. Someone will announce 1080p60 and possibly 720p120.

At right, Canon's current 720p60 turned into 720p240. It's in our eBook. Double click on it.

8. Third-party lenses will go motion-aware. Minor modifications to existing lens designs will make them more suitable for movie work. Infinity focus stops, smooth manual iris adjustments, focus wheel interconnections and t-stops will become "features." OR: the used Nikkor lens demand for older models with some of these features will cause twenty-year-old lenses to sell for double their original prices. Either way.

9. Wireless Viewfinding. Camera manufacturers will design and introduce tiny transmitters of the live HD image for remote monitors. They'll simply plug into existing HDMI sockets on the camera and remote TVs or monitors, and throw the image around the studio. They will have gotten the idea here.

...or they thought it up themselves. Here's one from Pixel Enterprise that sort-of fits our description. 2/20/10

10. The five letters "HDSLR" in a row that we invented and have incorporated in our writings and products since before the camera products appeared, and which we have described by using them, will become ubiquitous. All we ask is 10 cents a box.

And that's only the one-year outlook. Perhaps it is too optimistic.

Tune in next year at this time for the completely remote viewfinder, modularly component cameras, TotalPixelCapture (TPC) predictions with the hyper HD formats plus six more.


* What the...

The Available eBook

HDSLR cameras are the hot topic in DSLRs these days, so we are have created a new form of eBook about them.

It includes hundreds of items that will help you shoot better, edit more gracefully and end up with on-screen results you can be proud of.

In the eBook, images spring right off the e-page as you read through it.

Unlike previous titles, this one is not camera-specific, so the focus is on the HDSLR genre, specifically the movie mode, not the cameras themselves, but oh boy, is it packed.



© 2010 Peter iNova. All rights reserved. Do not reprint. Simply add a link to this page.