Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Focus on Software of a Camera's Output

Focus on Software
of a Camera's Output

Innovation: What next after the megapixel wars?

By: Tom Simonite

Digital cameras steadily improve every day with more options, more megapixels, and overall better quality. However, for the average person, all these extra are not really that necessary and useful. The new technology rests within the software of what these digital cameras produce: pictures.

Pictures are becoming closer and closer to the interactive, real-life pictures and portraits of the fantasy Harry Potter! With new programs, such as Microsoft's Photosynth, the pictures we take can be made into a 3D environment. As Simonite mentions, the pictures we now view are even better than seeing the sights in a video in action.

I actually experienced this application myself and must agree. Recently, I was able to see many of the sights and buildings in Florence, Italy. I took photos and video too. Reviewing the photos through Photosynth, I discovered much more within the sights even though I had been present to see them in person. The details of the statues, exterior of the building, and the ceilings were better viewed and enjoyed through Photo Tourism (software used to better the experience of viewing a photo collection). The following website explains how Photo Tourism works: http://phototour.cs.washington.edu/findingpaths/.

A better description of Photosynth:

Photosynth analyzes each photo for similarities to the others, and uses that data to build a model of where the photos were taken. It then re-creates the environment and uses that as a canvas on which to display the photos."


The new technology associated with Photosynth is better understood through actually experiencing it for yourself. At first, I was not able to grasp the new technology until I watched multiple videos displaying the capabilies and the actual environment just regular digital photos could create.

The new technology with digital camera software has a lot of potentional compared to the actual hardware of a digital camera. The camera can only be improved so much and with the discovery of programs such as Photosynth, the extra megapixels and other options are not ever necessary.

I do however, think that improvements within the settings division of digital cameras can be improved. Often times, I fail to take decent pictures with low light or scenic sights with city lights. I mean with all the digital cameras I somehow break the price to pay for another decent one (with the great settings expensive digital cameras have) can still be lowered! I am sure these improvements will take place as digital camera companies still need to make money even though there is not so much money to make with limited room to improve. If these companies are smart, they would look to invest into software for digital camera output that are specific to their products. Soon the software could be added inside the actual digital camera and could be viewed in the palm of your hand on that LCD screen. Digital cameras have taken a new turn and I think there will be a lot more to come with the software programs such as Photosynth. Maybe one day our pictures and portraites will be how they really are in Harry Potter!

Heather Cooke

A helpful video explaining Photosynth:


Site of article: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16770-innovation-what-next-after-the-megapixel-wars.html

Photosynth website: http://photosynth.net/default.aspx


  1. I tried to edit my blog for various reasons (mainly checking on grammer etc...), but the blog would not let me. Sorry in advance!


  2. By the way, if anyone wants to view the video embedded in my post you might want to fast forward to the second half where the video talks about Photosynth.