Now, Android brings “Smartness” to traditional Digital Cameras
The use of digital cameras is changing rapidly as we move towards the more ‘ever-connected’ world. There is an increasing trend in people using their high-end smartphones more than their dedicated digital cameras to click pictures.
Just have a look at the most famous camera in Flickr and you’ll know why Apple iPhone is the most used camera. Sales of digital cameras have declined over the years and some of the most famous camera companies like Kodak have gone bankrupt and shut down.
The digital camera market that was worth £843 million in 2006 is now down by almost 33% to £598 million in 2011. But it is not that smartphones are killing digital camera sales, it is not because of them that their sales have driven down. The problem actually lies with digital camera manufacturers who are not trying to bring radical changes in their camera with what people want.
Most of the innovation has been restricted at improving lens resolutions and the actual number of Megapixels in the image rather than aspects such as social network integration and internet connectivity. Point and shoot digital cameras should renovate themselves by filling all the gaps and equip themselves with what people want the most besides the image quality.
Android is a powerful, flexible and open source operating system. Although it started as an operating system designed for smartphones, its later versions became flexible enough to be used on a variety of devices, starting from media players and tablets to consoles and cameras.
The fusion of a digital camera and Android was unavoidable and the time has come to showcase how Android can improve and fill the missing features in the cameras easily. Samsung has recently showcased the ‘Galaxy S Camera’ while the ‘Coolpix S800c’ is the first model from Nikon cameras to be powered by Android.
Let us see some possibilities which Android can add to the cameras to make them
- 1 Android Improves Possibilities
Android Improves Possibilities
Digital cameras have always been rich on imaging but poor on connectivity features. Even though Eye-Fi cards for digital cameras are capable of streaming all the content to a computer in the same network, its capabilities are mostly limited for file transfer.
People like to stay connected to the Internet wherever they are and Android eases the way to stay connected. Android originally, was designed to be used in smartphones which make it strong on the wireless connectivity such as Wi-Fi, 3G and GPS. Wi-Fi connectivity helps you stay connected to high speed connectivity for free while 3G lets you get connected wherever you go.
GPS on the other hand will help in reminding and keep a track of the places you visited using the built-in geo-tagging through excellent Google Maps (comes pre-loaded on Android).
Power Of Social Media
These days, most of the pictures are uploaded to the social networks when compared those which actually get printed. People use social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus to share their moments with their friends and family members. Almost all major social networking websites have built client applications for Android and they can be used in these cameras to share all those sweet memories with your near and dears.
Think about this, a journalist or reporter with an Android powered camera reporting live on Google Plus Hangouts or UStream. Amazing! Isn’t it?
Power Of Cloud
It is such a pain to transfer media files from your camera to your computer. Won’t you love when you drive home after a party or a day out, all of your images and videos get backed up to a secure place auto-magically? This is where accessibility to cloud storage applications such as Dropbox and Google Drive become useful.
These applications back up your media files on cloud storage for free as soon as you are connected to the Internet. Applications such as Wi-Fi File Transfer will let you transfer files between your camera and a computer.
Applications such as Instagram and RetroCam will help you in making your photos look instantly attractive or retro style using pre-defined filters, better than the actual ones increasing your creativity. Applications such as Clearly, Adobe Photoshop Touch and Movie Maker will help you with basic editing of your images and videos on the device itself.
Standard Apps Across Cameras
Many manufacturers have tried to be more creative by including various effects in their cameras but failed miserably. Android already has a rich ecosystem along with easier and standard ways to develop applications. No developer will actually develop specific apps for any specific camera manufacturer or model. It would be better for cameras to stick with Android and use it ecosystem.
Easier For Camera Manufacturers
As Android is open source, it would be actually very helpful for the camera manufacturers to customize its features and user interface according to their needs. Amazon, Sony, Samsung, Archos and Ouya are already using Android on their devices in a great way to satisfy their needs in a way.
Compact Cameras With Touch Screens
As Android cameras use the touch screens, it would result in cameras with no physical buttons or dials as opposed to normal cameras. All the operations can be performed easily using the multi touchscreens which would result in much smaller and compact camera shells. Also, the accessories such as chargers, HDMI and data sync ports are a standard which every can be found with anywhere which in-turn every makes it easy for carrying.
Other features of the smartphones such as Email, Games and web browsing would be available to the user when in need. Camera won’t be ‘just a camera’ anymore. It would be able to handle many complex and flexible needs from users.
Expect Migration Of Point & Shoot Cameras To Android
With smartphones eating away digital camera market share, expect more and more point-and-shoot cameras powered through Android.
As all camera manufacturers are trying their hands on Android, we can expect a new wave of Android cameras in a year or two. As demand for Android cameras increases, more application developers will create richer and powerful applications related to images and video, be it editing or sharing.
There is a possibility of mirrorless cameras opting for Android as it will help them in being more compact as well as easy to use for new and amateur photographers. Even though all these things are inevitable, only time will tell how it can affect photography on the whole.
What’s your take on Android OS going mainstream on traditional digital cameras?