@Bob - I have to agree with you, the consolidation of the various imaging methods into a single product will provide us with one "does it all" product that will be a lower quality than separate specialized pieces of equipment. There are already too many extraneous and non-useful features on most cell phones, digital cameras, etc.
What is it that these manufacturers are trying to build, anyway? If you add enough features to some hand-held thingy with a lens, you won't have anything at all, once all of your compromises are factored in. Perhaps the DSLR is doomed to have features exploding in all directions, but does anyone seriously think that a cell phone with an imaging capability will replace all camera and video functions in 3D and so on? These additions are, for the most part, marketing strategies. Any photographer knows that the bells and whistles have little to do with the photo: that's up to the photographer. And as for video, have you ever looked at the stuff people shoot? Their kid's games, birthday parties, you know the drill. But not 3 minutes of it, as was once the case with 8mm film. Oh no. 3000 hours of the stuff. Oh, you're going to spend a month or two editing? We are talking about systems whose outputs will mostly never be used. Trust me on this: your kid's 4th grade play might get watched once, but never again. That's ok, but it's a shame that even good DSLRs have to be sacrificed on the altar of feature creep.
Agree! If a standalone DSC has to make its position clear enough in the market, it has to go for HD picture and video and smaller file size.
With the advance on DSC, I wonder how the video camera market evolves. With all the DSC nowadays be able to take 1080p HD video, the future of the a normal video camera is not bright. Finally people will own a hybrid camera for serious picture quality while the cell phone can do all the point and shoot picture.
I'm a bit back off with the idea of going 3D video or picture. I don't think it can be very popular in short time, maybe 5 years later there is another story.
I agree that DSC cameras will continue to come down in price. I expect to see video as a required feature with HD, the differential will be price, optics, image DSP capacity, image stabilization is very important given the human element and could be a significant market differentiator. I can not see 3D happening in the near future given all the technological and market barriers. Maybe one day but not for 2 years or more..
How about improving frame rate from conventional 30 to 60 and higher? This will need more research in CMOS sensor development. Also, providing HDMI 1.4 interface will be very good feature for new cameras.
I agree, with so many DSC cameras in the market competition is really tight. DSC are creating the same demand as once walkman did. But these kind of demands always result in reaching to threshold like "what next". Every other company nowadays make DSC. 3D feature would be great to see in DSC.
Yesterday I was checking the "photo info" on some iPhone pictures and realized that low light photography is accomplished by a combination of higher ISO setting (at the cost of increased grain) as well as the traditional approach of longer exposure (aperture is fixed in this model). While film cameras only allow ISO to be changed by changing rolls of film (or shot by shot with a severe quality penalty), digital cameras can strike an automated balance between image grain and exposure time. It is also possible to add external lenses for closeup (one iPhone case offers this as an option) or telephoto. This will probably become more useful when the Smartphone camera has more pixels and a little larger aperture (all such cameras already offer through the lense viewfinders).
I agree with the article that the new direction for the digital camera is to go HD in a smaller file. Point and shoot are already much better in cellphones so either compact professional or HD enabled camera should be the new direction.