Ten Predictions for the Future of Photography

It's always exciting to think what will be the next big thing in photography. What new piece of gear will hit the others out of the park and change the game. The argument can be made that the technological advances in sensors have made it harder for photographers to differentiate themselves from the #shotoniphone masses, but we all got in to photography to take pictures, with whatever tools we had available at the time. This video shows what could be the future of photography. There's only one way to find out whether it's right or not.

How Photography Might Change

Sensors will have more power. When we talk about power it is with regards dynamic range, file size and detail, and iso value so we have cameras basically seeing in the dark. It might be one of these or all three that can see improvements in the future. According to the video, Microsoft is researching curved sensors that they believe hold the answer to better image quality. 

Cameras will become smaller. We're capturing 4K footage on our phones. Even though it might not have the dynamic range of a RED or Arri cameras, it's a quality we didn't have a couple of years ago. It can only get more accessible and improved from here on in. 

More people will be documenting their stories. Will this lead to better story-telling, or an increase in the noise compared to the great media out there. Will the viewer — in which I mean all of us — need to sift through to find information, or will the level of information rise all-together? 

Cameras might integrate into the human body itself. Samsung has a patent on a contact lens camera. Google has tried to get the Google Glass to take off. It's only a matter of time until it'll seem difficult to distinguish between reality and virtual reality. 

My aim was not to make myself or you feel old. But, one day DSLRs will be the vintage camera that my grand-children will buy on the future eBay to be their era's “hipster-influencer” the same way I bought my Nikon FE.


This video only gives some ideas of what the future will look like for the photography industry. All of these or none of them could happen. What are your predictions? Let us know in the comments.

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Josh Leavitt's picture

Interesting that you mention Google Glass and how digital imaging will become integrated with wearable tech. I think that Google Glass and other augmented reality, and virtual reality devices will play a huge role in how we view photography, as well as capture it. One of the frustrating aspects of digital photography today is that there's no cost-effective way to enjoy the massive 50+ megapixel files we produce. We can make large prints, but at the cost of several hundred dollars. Imagine if you owned a pair of augmented reality glasses that allowed you to view a 50MP photograph as a lifesize print in a virtual gallery. That's what I'm hoping for anyway - the ability to view lifesize virtual projections of ultra-high resolution digital images anytime, anywhere.

Robert Nurse's picture

I'm just hoping for:

- dynamic range equal to or surpassing that of the human eye
- complete tripod obsolescence
- crazy ISO's with negligible noise
- in-camera light ratios

Samuel Flores Sanchez's picture

Hi Robert Nurse!
Are you sure that humans have more DR? Eyes adapt in real time, so in front of a scene with contrast enough, if you look at the shadows of the scene your iris allow more light to get through, but if you concentrate your attention in the bright areas of the scene without moving the eyes, you perceive that those areas are blown up, but in the moment you turn your eyes to them, your iris react stopping some light to came through. And the same in the contrary case. Eyes are easily adaptative but I doubt that they have a lot of more DR if anything at all, seeing the last sensors.

Robert Nurse's picture

I just read somewhere that cameras have a DR of about 7 stops: approx. +/-3.5. I'm 57 years old. Even in my advanced years (LOL) I can still perceive detail in shadows that my camera cannot. In high contrast scenes, I can still make stuff out. To get those same results, I'd need to do some post where my eyes were just fine. Perhaps we have pre/post processing built in where our cameras don't.

Samuel Flores Sanchez's picture

Hi, Robert!

Cameras today have a lot more than that. But of course, if you look at a shadowy area your eyes adapt and you see detail, but the camera too if you expose for that area.
Every way you look at, the eye adapts like with auto exposure adjustment. But if you, in front of a contrasty scene fix your eyes in the brighter areas but, without moving the eyes, concentrate your attention in the shadows, at least myself don't see much more detail than a camera can give me when exposed for the lights.
The thing is your eyes adapt where you look always but in a photo you have the complete picture (so to speak) and you're not obliged to look only the bright or the shadowy areas.

The way your eyes hurt when you open a window in a dark room or the time they need to adapt when you enter a pitch-black place makes me think, too, that our dynamic range is not better than the one a camera can produce.

A chip calculator can beat us in calculation and that doesn't mean that the calculator is a better machine that our brain. I always hear that the human eye have more DR and that's not how I feel it, and in that case, the sensors improve every year and eventually beat us too, so, I'm only curious about the issue. I don't make a statement, I only speak my experience. See if someone with real knowledge can spread some clarity. First, how do you measure the DR of the eyes? And from that on, see where the information take us

Thanks for your answer man!!!

r-----s's picture

#6: See here: https://light.co

Samuel Flores Sanchez's picture

I think this video talks about the area some refer to "democratization of photography", about the permeation of photography into everybody's lives.
But I think Professional photographers always are going to stay one step ahead and on top of the game. For me, the next years I think that we are going to see the rise of the Medium Format Mirrorless systems. And more powerful sensors, of course, this last one goes without saying