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PetaPixel asks: What should we call connected, app-based cameras?

By dpreview staff on Oct 1, 2012 at 18:17 GMT

It's a question that's been on Michael Zhang's mind, over at PetaPixel, and ours too. If Photokina 2012 had a theme it was definitely connectivity, and recent months have seen several moves by manufacturers to introduce smartphone-type functionality into cameras. Both the Samsung Galaxy Camera and Nikon's Coolpix S800c combined a fully functioning Android-based operating system with photographic capabilities of serious compact cameras, while Wi-Fi connectivity is becoming almost standard.

There's a new generation of cameras coming out that offer similar levels of connectivity, and functionality, as modern smartphones. But what should we call them? Michal Zhang of PetaPixel thinks he has the answer. [image: PetaPixel]

In his article, Zhang points out that: 'Smartphones and large sensor digital cameras have definitely been choking the life out of 'dumbcameras' as of late, but point-and-shoots have the advantage of being able to do something that bulky DSLRs likely won’t ever do: become 'smart'.

So as camera manufacturers continue to respond to the rise of the smartphone camera with their own solutions, journalists in the industry are faced with an interesting conundrum: what do we call these things? Zhang argues for the term 'smartcamera' but what do you think? When is a device officially 'smart' and what should we call cameras in this new class?

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Comments

Total comments: 134
12
tmok2000
By tmok2000 (Oct 22, 2012)

A Lumia?

0 upvotes
shoukhinsau
By shoukhinsau (Oct 12, 2012)

Camera!!

0 upvotes
shutterhappens
By shutterhappens (Oct 8, 2012)

"social camera"

yes, it implies your other cameras are anti social

0 upvotes
ImagesInstyle
By ImagesInstyle (Oct 5, 2012)

I predicted this coming 2 years ago. Where else can digital cameras go?
the megapixel war is just about over.
The iso race is just about over.

so no other choice but embrace the fast pace society we live in with social media, tweets, instagram, etc.

Laptop sales are about to drop like a "bowl of hot grits"!

0 upvotes
GMart
By GMart (Oct 4, 2012)

Because we would all hate if our Canon / Nikon / ANO cameras could connect without effort to every other device we own or want to converse with.

0 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Oct 4, 2012)

Personally I think all the technology gets in the way of taking photo's, the more apps and touch screens you get the more time you spend fiddling. The digital thing must have been a blessing to companies as they can sell a new, virtually identical, camera every few years and do they improve the art of photography? No, of course not.

Go and dig out some velvia slides (if you even remember film) and have a good cry at how much better they looked than pics from the "smart" gear we all use now - so what if I can't wi-fi them to facebook? they are vastly superior to all my digital cameras, we are trading quality for gimmicks.

1 upvote
Delacosta
By Delacosta (Oct 4, 2012)

I can't believe anyone is still interested in facebook....

Or their shares.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
chillgreg
By chillgreg (Oct 4, 2012)

Because 90% of photos taken in the world now go straight to fb (or Instagram etc). Only a fool would ignore what this portends for sales of connected cameras.

Sure purists and even enthusiasts may not be overly interested, but their next "traditional" camera may well be funded by the sales of a gazillion consumer connected cameras. (CCC's?)

And the camera manufacturers may well wake up in time to realise this emerging category may well be the best (and only) way to survive again the onslaught of smartphone cameras.

0 upvotes
SM7
By SM7 (Oct 9, 2012)

It's worrying that FB is driving camera sales and feature development. Soon, we'll have farmville or some other garbage running on our full frame DSLRs suddenly popping up with bs notifications that a turkey has hatched or some crap (I have never, or will ever, play farmville) when we're about to get our shot of a lifetime, and accidental uploads of a shot of our zipper as our profile pics.

0 upvotes
chillgreg
By chillgreg (Oct 4, 2012)

There truly are some very ignorant people in the world. If one can't see the potential from being liberated from the archaic "firmware" that we are forced to live with now...
Just imagine if someone with the resources of say Google for example, decided to release a new API for Androidcams, and we suddenly have Topaz etc built into powerful multi core cameras with instant facebook etc connectivity!?

I'm surprised the major manufacturers don't see the scale of the threat this is to them.

0 upvotes
Paulo Fino
By Paulo Fino (Oct 4, 2012)

Communicams

0 upvotes
Joe Shaffer
By Joe Shaffer (Oct 4, 2012)

Pointless?

0 upvotes
JohnFredC
By JohnFredC (Oct 3, 2012)

"SmartCamera". The "camera" component implies that the primary purpose is taking pictures/video. The "smart" component implies that the functionality, UI, and connectivity options are "soft", that is, implemented in software, and therefore expandable. I see no contradiction in a SmartCamera ALSO having mechanical controls and frankly am very excited about this development in the industry. It's a long time coming. Can't wait for a camera to use a wi-fi connected disk as its image store. Looking forward to an "open" camera API, too, because I'd like to write my own UI.

0 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Oct 3, 2012)

How about: There's a smartphone born every minute?

2 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Oct 3, 2012)

How about calling them "We've invented gaps in the market and got away with it before; plugging them with flashy yet pointless, overpriced products that no-one actually needed and we're going to do it again. Many times probably."

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Robert Gallick
By Robert Gallick (Oct 3, 2012)

As devices continue to integrate new capabilities, there will always be new functionality that needs to be referenced and compared. I feel the functionality should simply be part of the specification.

Spec: App Enabled (and what OS or Environment), External App Controlled (via Wi-Fi, via Bluetooth, via Wired connection), API/SDK for external Control, GPS Enabled, Time Lapse (internal, external), etc. Trying to put a name to these cameras is sort of pointless. In fact, the iPhone is an App enabled camera and a lot more. The cameras are already smart irrespective as to whether they are running a general purpose embedded OS.

0 upvotes
wil eelsing
By wil eelsing (Oct 3, 2012)

Why ot iPhone? It's just like an iPhone, but you can't make calls. Oh wait, it's exactly like an iPhone.

2 upvotes
tommy leong
By tommy leong (Oct 3, 2012)

"4G camera"

but how do you enter text on a 4G camera??

touch screen keyboard on that little screen ....
or get a bluetooth keyboard each time you need text.

0 upvotes
Ermac
By Ermac (Oct 2, 2012)

How about "More useless junk that does nothing for the world but contribute to the growing E-Waste problem"?

4 upvotes
SM7
By SM7 (Oct 9, 2012)

DPReview has contributed to that problem since the Amazon purchase... :)

0 upvotes
vladimir vanek
By vladimir vanek (Oct 2, 2012)

Smart cameras. I think that's the first and most obvious option everyone would think of...

1 upvote
JaFO
By JaFO (Oct 4, 2012)

That would imply our 'standard' cameras are dumb.

What's next ?
A new name for camera's that can change their lenses just like the existing camera's could ?
Oh wait ... we did that already.

0 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Oct 2, 2012)

Call them "We do it because it makes money not because it's a good idea" or maybe "We make these because no-one knows how to use cameras anymore"

1 upvote
SamTruax
By SamTruax (Oct 2, 2012)

Considering they are all going to be connected in probably the very near future, why do they need a special name at all?

Its just another function on the camera.

WiFi enabled
App enabled
GPS enabled

just functions or specs.

I do like CAMOphone from below though :-)

2 upvotes
pait
By pait (Oct 2, 2012)

Telephones.

0 upvotes
pait
By pait (Oct 2, 2012)

The ones that don't talk? Call them silent telephones.

0 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (Oct 2, 2012)

Smartcamera.

If exist a Smartphone, there will be room for a Smart Camera, no doubt.
Simply changing the priority of the object.

For me is a Smartcamera.

And Smartcamera can have any OS.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (Oct 2, 2012)

Well taking a lead from the iphone how 'bout "noPhone".

netcam (not to be confused with a cam net)
dumbcam - that's double entendre - it does not have a built in means to talk to anyone (it's dumb), which is a dumb idea. Get it? Boom! Boom!

nodecam
ipcam
phoney-cam
droidcam
andicam (andorid icam pronounced but "andy cam")
appcam
acam (a is for app)
socialcam
livecam
lifecam
n-cam - n is for narciscist
synccam

0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Oct 2, 2012)

aCam
Android Camera

0 upvotes
yudhir
By yudhir (Oct 2, 2012)

"AreUsureCam"

0 upvotes
ferentes
By ferentes (Oct 2, 2012)

CloudCam

0 upvotes
Ed Gaillard
By Ed Gaillard (Oct 2, 2012)

"Gimmick"

0 upvotes
samfan
By samfan (Oct 2, 2012)

HipsterCam
GadgetCam
iCam (whoever will name their 'cam' like this will make a fortune)
InstaCam
Face(book)Cam
OnlyGoodForVGAThumbnailsCam
2HoursBatteryLifeCam
LookAtMyArtisticVignetteCam
ChangeMyBodyProportionsCam (there's an app for that!)
ICan'tHoldARealCameraProperlyCam

2 upvotes
samfan
By samfan (Oct 2, 2012)

Oh yeah.

BuyAStrippedDownProductAndPayForEverySingleFeature-cam

1 upvote
xpanded
By xpanded (Oct 2, 2012)

Woscam.

Waste of space camera.

2 upvotes
abi170845
By abi170845 (Oct 2, 2012)

NarciCam

0 upvotes
JanRob3174
By JanRob3174 (Oct 2, 2012)

CAMO-PHONE

1 upvote
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Oct 2, 2012)

IMO, whatever camera connects directly to the net was meant to upload un-postprocessed images. So it seems that manufacturers / users of those either don't care for the output quality of expression, or aim at perfect photographers whose OOC works don't need any subsequent care...
According to what's being posted all over the internet, especially in the "social network", the former seems to be the case... ;)

0 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (Oct 2, 2012)

This is the "raw" vs. RAW argument to some extent. RAW loses. The immediacy and "direct" qualities of a non-processed pic or vid make post processing at best slow, usually dreary, and seldom relevant -- users dont have time for it. The whole "post processing" notion is bringing the side down. Many traditional (read: desperately losing market to mobiles...) makers have no clue how to write software. Nikon come to mind. Workers buy something else, hobbyists either follow suit or press on with the works software, or look at freeware etc. Not something fun that'd fit in with a compact cam user's priorities I don't think.

Additionally, the concept of a "visionary" or "artist" conceiving, capturing, and processing "images" using a "work flow" isn't pleasant. However wifi could help even these poor souls, by immediately and directly transferring pictures to their processing computer etc.

A key capability of mobile phones -- the device with which these compact cams might have been able to compete back in 2007 at least briefly -- is shooting and immediately posting short video. In this case processing isn't as uncommon, although it sometimes happens after the original is already up.

0 upvotes
Rob
By Rob (Oct 2, 2012)

Smartcam or Netcam.

2 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Oct 2, 2012)

TYpo ! You surely want to say "nutcam", don't you ?

0 upvotes
ovatab
By ovatab (Oct 2, 2012)

PPVSSD - Portable Photo & Video Shooting & Sharing Device

0 upvotes
Michal59
By Michal59 (Oct 2, 2012)

Smartphonecam :)
Sooner or later a mobile phone functionality will be added, I bet.

0 upvotes
habicht
By habicht (Oct 2, 2012)

smartcam
netcam
cc (connected camera)

1 upvote
PeterLeyssens
By PeterLeyssens (Oct 2, 2012)

"Gadgets" ? "Toys" ?

Just kidding of course. I'm actually looking forward to having a camera that helps me in publishing content. There will be quite a bit of work to make it both easy as well as capable (I don't want to publish everything and the ones I do want to publish might need certain quick tweaks before they go online). But there's a lot of potential in the idea.

0 upvotes
F 2
By F 2 (Oct 2, 2012)

Appmera or maybe Appamera

A portmanteau of application/app, and camera.

0 upvotes
PCPics
By PCPics (Oct 2, 2012)

...or Capp?

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Oct 2, 2012)

...or Crap?

2 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Oct 2, 2012)

... or Trap ?

0 upvotes
eckhardrichter
By eckhardrichter (Oct 2, 2012)

Simply call them camera - because it's the future .....

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (Oct 2, 2012)

Oh god no... that's not the future I'd look forward to.

3 upvotes
Bruce McL
By Bruce McL (Oct 2, 2012)

"Camera" makes a lot of sense, but unfortunately I don't think it will win. We still use SLR for FSLR when it would be more sensible to use it for DSLR.

I agree that in three years or so smart cams will be the norm for cameras, much like smartphones are becoming the norm for phones, or like phone has become the norm for cell phone. I think in five years or so the difference between (smart)camera and media player such as iPod touch will be very hard to see.

It makes me laugh to hear people say, "I don't want apps in my enthusiast/pro camera." In a few years, people will be saying, "I'm not buying that new enthusiast/pro camera until I"m sure my favorite photography app will run on it." It will be like people wait for Lightroom and Photoshop RAW support now. The photography forums will be full of disciples of one app doing battle with fans of another app.

0 upvotes
GirinoFumetto
By GirinoFumetto (Oct 5, 2012)

I agree with Bruce; but I hope I will never hear somebody say:
"my enthusiast camera" :-)

0 upvotes
GirinoFumetto
By GirinoFumetto (Oct 2, 2012)

I have a fine name for a connected and app-based washing machine. Are they interested?

1 upvote
D R C
By D R C (Oct 2, 2012)

TAMBOWCA…
Tomorrow A Much Better One Will Come Along!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
kff
By kff (Oct 2, 2012)

"smartcamera" is a logical concise such as "smartphone" and it describes accurately main functions of the device ... but there are category: SLR, bridge, compact camera, ILC ...

I think that it will be new direction of line ILC as soon :)
Someone need use small compact device,
someone need use biigger display than 3'' (>= 7'' ... most who can forget the viewfinder and instead apply practical electronic touch display)

it depends on the producers, should offer modular solutions ...
it would be derivative of Ricoh GXR + Asus Padfone etc. :)

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Alex Sarbu
By Alex Sarbu (Oct 2, 2012)

Gadgets.
As those silly things don't deserve a specific name.

2 upvotes
jj74e
By jj74e (Oct 2, 2012)

smartcam sound like a cheap plastic toy you give to your kid.

it doesn't flow the same way smartphone does, partially because of the actual sound, partially because it wasn't a true product innovation and it was more of a necessary step to keep the market alive.

also, not sure on this, but hasn't samsung been calling their wifi enabled cameras smart cameras already? another score against that name?

camera...phone....wireless...just call it the cameroneless.

derp

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
mark25
By mark25 (Oct 2, 2012)

SMARTCAMERA. obviously.

0 upvotes
MichaelRose
By MichaelRose (Oct 2, 2012)

Another: 'Solution In Search of a Problem' [SSP or SiSoaP] (sic).

"Nothing new here, move along, these aren't the cameras you need".

Seriously, why are you trying to invent a catchy marketing name for this class/category of SSP or SiSoaP, are they paying you?

(Oh, that's right, Trivial Pursuit (the hardware version) is your occupation...)

Respectfully Yours

3 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Oct 2, 2012)

Well said. SSP is the upper-educated ones games of nowadays and it is hell-borring if you want my opinion.

Do we really HAVE TO invent a new "concept-name" for every new function ? Imagine if we had when the ABS was introduced in the car field, or the auto-reverse in VCR ! If the nature of the item changes like DVD--> Bluray, it's ok, otherwise it's a waste of time for everybody and the proof the true essence of things is being lost.

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Oct 2, 2012)

Well... we seem to mock the proliferation of "features" that eventually become must haves.

2 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Oct 2, 2012)

camera

5 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Oct 2, 2012)

It says all.

0 upvotes
Topher5
By Topher5 (Oct 2, 2012)

Simply a "Smart Camera"

0 upvotes
jkrumm
By jkrumm (Oct 2, 2012)

I don't care what you call them. I don't wan't a smart phone, so as soon as they make a good camera as slim as my ipod touch, or put a good camera in my ipod touch, I'm happy.

0 upvotes
caskauge
By caskauge (Oct 2, 2012)

It's simply a compact camera with wi-fi connectivity ... what's wrong with calling them compacts like we have been for years?

1 upvote
Nismo350Z
By Nismo350Z (Oct 2, 2012)

SmartCams is a likely choice. But I'll contribute something as well...how about CAMOSA - cameras with operating system advanced?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 134
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