Photography's Bright Future
By Kirk L. Kroeker
Researchers working in
computational photography are using computer vision,
computer graphics, and applied optics to bring a vast array
of new capabilities to digital cameras.
While the first digital cameras were bulky, possessed few
features, and captured images that were of dubious quality,
digital cameras today pack an enormous array of features and
technologies into small designs. And the quality of pictures
captured on these cameras has improved dramatically, even to
the point where most professional photographers have
abandoned film and shoot exclusively with digital equipment.
Given that digital photography has established itself as
superior to analog film in many aspects, it might seem safe
to assume that the next breakthroughs in this area will be
along the lines of more megapixels or smaller handheld
designs. However, researchers working in the emerging area
of computational photography—a movement that draws on
computer vision, computer graphics, and applied optics—say
the next major breakthroughs in digital photography will be
in how images are captured and processed.
(This article appeared in
CACM, vol. 52, no. 2, Feb. 2009, pp. 11-13.)