Camphones are for Impulses, Cameras are for Memories

Content Insider #91 – Capturing Moments

THE Insider

Content Insider #91 - Capturing Moments
Camphones are for Impulses, Cameras are for Memories

"We've become a race of Peeping Toms. What people ought to do is get outside their own house and look in for a change. Yes sir. How's that for a bit of homespun philosophy?" - Stella (Thelma Ritter), Rear Window, 1954


Recently an ABC-TV news executive recently outlined his department's plan to have a site where ordinary people could submit their spot news videos for possible use on air. His logic was almost impeccable.

With all the camphones and cameras that take video in use someone always has to be at the right spot at the right time.

Why not let Joe Eyeball shoot the stuff and upload it to the net's news web site.

Lenses Everywhere - Look around when you go out for an evening or just walking down the street during the day. Nearly every cellphone today is sold with a camera built in. But the rapid introduction of compact cameras with style and quality makes it possible for young and old to have a camera or camcorder instantly availablejust in case. Image Source - NY Times

Most of the content would be garbage but

With today's equipment anyone can capture a decent shot or video sequence. But the pros training and discipline helps them deliver what they callthe money shot.

And the fact that they shoot 10x more content than they use!

There's a lot of logic in the plan.

This year, according to IDC and InfoTrends: - more than 627 million camphones will be sold - more than 113 million digital cameras will be sold - more than 13 million digital camcorders will be sold - nearly 150 billion images will be stored (most with DSCs) - nearly 1.500 TB of video will be stored - the number of devices sold will more than double by 2010 - by 2011 more than 250 billion images will be stored - by 2010 more than 3,250 TB of video will be captured/stored

When the first cellphone was introduced with a camera in it, manufacturers quickly said the camera was dead.

That didn't happen.

But the "logic" of having the camera with you all the time did get camera/ camcorder manufacturers attention.

They threw together a steady stream of new devicesnew featuresnew capabilitiesnew stylesnew colorsprices for the masses.

Even though it doesn't mean diddle herds of them offer 10+ megapixel sensor elements.

Of course consumers who are impressed with more than big numbers have figured out that anything over 5-6 megapixels only means sucking up more storagenot better pictures.

In fact the overkill can cause video noise and that ain't good!

Sothey started adding useful features.

You know, improved stabilization, light sensitivitylens qualitydust protectionsubject identification circuitry.

One "little" feature is still a work in progressshutter lag.

You know trying to figure out exactly when the camera is going to decide to catch that great shot!

The real money shot circuitry is still only found in the pro cameras/camcorders (read expensive).

But since SD storage can be used again and againwho cares?

Use burst mode, grab a series of images and keep the one with something in it!

Having a camera with you is becoming as natural as carrying your cellphone and iPod.

Don't believe what the iPhone people tell youthey don't sell cameras.

Cameras go along because folks want to capture memoriesnot call you while they're shooting.

They take photos just because it's fun.

Figure 1 - Fond Memories - Today's cameras and camcorders have taken all the drudgery out of shooting photos and videos. They have so many features and capabilities it is almost impossible to shoot content you want to immediately discardalmost. So people are quickly capturing more moments and memories and doing more with the images. Source -- PMA

The great thing about today's digital camera and camcorders is flat simple to manipulate, move the content around and share/enjoy it.

True, most content simply sits on the computer along with your music and work/study files.

Digital Shoebox -- While Tellywood has visions of everyone's computer housing all of their treasures, the truth is that today the majority of the storage space is filled with personal music, personal photos, personal videos and all of the content/information people can download from the Webjust in case. Image Source -- NYTimes

But when you really get into the mood to work with your digital photos and video boy is it going to be easy! You'll be able to enjoy the content on your large screen HD TV, post it on your web site or email it to friends and relatives.

Figure 2 - Take 'em, Share 'em -- Photos and videos people take today are simply too good, too clear, too interesting to be hidden away. As a result people want to show them off, show them around and share them as often as possible. Some are even good enough to print. Source -- InfoTrends If you can't figure out how to get the images off the SD cardno problem.

Some smart folks developed digital frames so you can look like you really wanted to enjoy your last vacation overand overand over.

Maybe content isn't making the five o'clock news but more and more is getting "air time."

Photo/video web sites are everywhere.

Yahoo, YouTube, MySpace, Picasa, iPhoto and firms like Pinnacle have made it easy for us to upload photos and content to embarrass/delight the world.

Sharing photos and videos on the iNet is growing.

Figure 3 - Visual Communications -- Photo/video storage and sharing sites have cropped up everywhere on the web. Online content creation and viewing is growing rapidly as more and more people shift from the formula TV shows to an almost unlimited choice of real people produced videos. Now that the novelty of online video has worn off, people are becoming more discerning for substance, quality and professional looking content. Source -- InfoTrends

According to eMarketer more than 70 million people in the U.S. alone will generate and post content this year. By 2011 the on-line content creators will increase to more than 100 million.

The content doesn't go unnoticed either.

This year it is estimated that more than 150 million folks in the U.S. will sign into these sites to view the content. By 2011 that audience will grow to more than 250 million.

The novelty of throwing up dumb, dumber photos/videos has worn off. People expect to see finished productions orBAM!! outta there.

That's given photo enhancement software like Paint Shop Pro and video production software like Studio 11 a huge boost in sales.

Sure, some of the photo/video sites offer on-line production capabilities so your stuff looks better. But most of it is: 1) only available while you're online and 2) doesn't offer much.

Our kids like the new software at videospin.com that they downloaded to do their editing, authoring, post production. When they're done putzing with the photo-to-video or movie they upload their content to any number of a dozen sites.

The software lets them use a few special effects, transitions, titles, audio/music tracks and post stuff that looks almost professional.

We liked the pricefree.

Of course now that they have discovered that post production is fun and easy they want more featuresmore titlesmore special effectsmore transitions.

That's going to cost us!

The momentary camphone scare got camera/camcorder manufacturers to realize that different age groups had different tastes, different uses.

Figure 4 - Photo Taking, Using Differences -- When camphones shook camera/camcorder manufacturers out of their comfort zone; the firms suddenly realized different age groups use the devices differently. They want different features, different capabilities, different sizes/colors, different prices. Now there's a device to meet almost anyone's requirements. Source -- InfoTrends

We're not stuck with a choice of black or silver.

Gen Z kids like hot colors, web upload capabilities and fun cameras for the impulse and casual shots.

Women like fashion statement cameras.

Men? We're kinda dullblack and silver DSLRs still work just fine thank you!

Boomers and beyond tend to gravitate toward the more sophisticated, more subtle, more automated features that help ensure every shot, every video sequence is as good as it can be.

The only problem is, cameras/camcorders are like computers.

The minute you buy one, units are introduced with new featuresnew capabilitiesbetter prices.

You feel so yesterday.

What's worse is everyone in the family wants his/her own.

Figure 5 - Multiple Units - The new array of cameras and camcorders has also stimulated multiple unit sales in every household. Increasingly families will have point-and-shoot cameras for everyone in the house as well as a fantastic DSLR for the really serious stuff. Camphones didn't kill camera/camcorder salesthey give them a much needed boost. Source -- InfoTrends

Sharing a camera is so not cool!

The new "cheap" cameras the kids are hinting for have really, really neat features.

IR photo sharing, water resistant bodies, dust protection, better composition back-panel screens and yes even faster shutter mechanism circuitry.

Surethen need new cellphones but that's different.

They're for texting, calling, watching TV shows they missed.

The cameras are for good photos, videos we'll want to watch and watch again and again.

That's more than we can say for Rear Window or most of Tellywood's stuff for that matter !


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