The Convergence of Mobile Phones and Digital Cameras Has Arrived
We spent a full week in Las Vegas earlier this month exploring the crowded halls of the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, but it only took about an hour to confirm that the long-discussed convergence of mobile phones, tablets and camera technology is no longer a theoretical topic for discussion; it is a full-fledged reality. As you might expect, iPhone/iPad accessories targeted at the general consumer abounded, but there was also a wide array of innovative technology for the advanced photographer as well.
We saw high-resolution devices that looked like a familiar compact digicam when viewed from the front, but more closely resembled a sophisticated smartphone from the back. We looked at a soon-to-be-introduced POV/sports camera that captures full HD video and 14-megapixel still images that can not only be mounted atop a cycling helmet or on the nose of a surfboard, but operated remotely using an iOS or Android-based phone via an elegant app that controls all camera functions, lets you use your phone as a viewfinder, and enables you to wirelessly transmit images and videos to your home computer, email your files, or upload them directly to Facebook.
There was also a growing number of advanced mirrorless cameras that combined the versatility of interchangeable lenses and other features common to full-fledged DSLRs, with Wi-Fi connectivity and the Android operating system (with access to countless Google Play apps common to the latest smartphones. The convergence even extends to DSLR videographers thanks to cool accessories like the iXY ProMic from RODE that enabling photographers to shoot video without settling for the onboard audio from their DSLR; instead, you mount an iPhone atop your camera with RODE’s stereo, dual-mic kit attached and record audio at up to 24-bit/96kHz using RODE’s slick app called RODE Rec.
In short, the boundaries between smartphone and camera technology are blurring faster that you can focus, and the future is upon us.