Digital imaging technologies have been known to add an intimidating number of chores to a photographer’s "To Do" list. There’s that blissful moment of framing a shot of orange mountains at sunset, or laughing children, or a dog leaping for a Frisbee. Then the click. But after that? There’s finding the cable and uploading to your computer. The categorizing by location and date. Then uploading to the Web for sharing with friends/family.
There’s a better way and that time is now. Consumers can buy a highly capable camera at an attractive price, and are now taking even more photos that are ready to print, save or share straight from the camera. But what’s next? Automation is transforming every digital photographer’s experience, making them—literally—happy customers.
The Future: Taking
The distinction between taking and editing will diminish as more image manipulation happens automatically from within the device itself. Already, technology such as the Eye-Fi wireless cards are turning cameras into wireless digital cameras.
The line between phones and digital cameras will continue to blur. There are more capable cameras on phones and cameras that can access wireless networks. This will only continue as consumers come to expect devices that make managing and sharing their photos easier.
The Future: Organizing & Editing
Organizing—one of the most tedious manual chores associated with all of this snapping away—will be automatic. Eye-Fi already helps consumers automatically geotag their photos for better organization, and across the industry, tagging is being made easier with face recognition, scene recognition and the like. Backup and storage will be streamlined and software programs will be more user-friendly.
Living in a multi-imaging device world, consumers will demand a consistent experience across all of their devices. Images can be sent to the same place and organized the same way—regardless of what device was used to take them. Eye-Fi’s iPhone app sends photos to the computer and the Web.
The Future: Share
The boom in social networking and online life-sharing will continue to spur a number of improvements in uploading. With a pocket-size, personal hotspot, Web uploads can happen from anywhere. Likewise, consumers will be able to access their photos from anywhere.
Phanfare already offers an application that will cache an entire collection on the iPhone so users can be offline and still have their images at their fingertips.
According to CEA, more than 40 percent of consumers who share their videos feel like it takes too much time, whereas two-thirds of photographers are satisfied with their options for photo-sharing. There is real room for growth here, as an InfoTrends survey found that nearly half of consumers who own more than one video-capture device choose to use their digital camera most often for shooting video.
Everyone Has a Role
The future of digital photography is not just about the race to more megapixels and longer zooms. It’s about software and hardware manufacturers of every stripe making it easier and faster for consumers to do everything they want to do with their images, whether they’re using a camera, a printer, a storage device or an editing program.
This means the new sequence will be: Orange mountains. Laughing kids. Leaping dog. Click. Share. Repeat.
Yuval Koren is Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of Eye-Fi.