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Seize the Moment with your digital camera or the future of digital photography

Seize the moment is a saying we use to remind us to make the best of the valuable moments in our life. When the moment is gone, it's lost for ever and it can never be relived. We can grasp some facets of such a moment through the wonders of today's technology. Sound and video recordings allow us to relive the moment and bring back some of the emotions that we felt when it actually took place. Things are quite different however in still photography, we all recognize that precious moment that we missed because we pressed the shutter button a fraction of a second to early or to late...
Seize the Moment with your digital camera or the future of digital photography - digital camera and photography newsCarpe Momento

The good news is that digital camera technology is at the rescue according to Michael F. Cohen and Richard Szeliski, both working at Microsoft Research.

In their recently published article The Moment Camera, they take us through a scenario whereby future digital cameras will always keep recording and thus, rather than recording snapshots, constantly record time slices of imagery. With the ever increasing speed of the camera image processors it will eventually be possible to record some 500 images in a round-robin buffer for a total of 5 seconds. As a result we will have a huge image collection of at least 25 variations for each "blink of the eye".

Through an appropriate user interface, similar to the scene mode selection in today's cameras, the user can then select the required processing parameters. The images will subsequently be processed in-camera with the selected photography algorithms and the user will be presented a small subset of the processed images to select his favorite picture. Today's Red-Eye elimination and Face-Detection algorithms demonstrate what already can be achieved in modern digital cameras.

The Moment Camera could support several other application scenarios, such as a Flash/No flash option, whereby elements from flash and no-flash images would be combined to get a smoother low-noise image. The camera could even perform little miracles in merging several elements of group photos to assure that everybody has his or her eyes open or even better, is smiling at the photographer...

Read more about the fascinating possibilities of future digital photography at The Moment Camera (PDF - 400KB)
August 31, 2006
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