The current crop of digital camera is great hardware. I have always be a loyal fan of the Canon IXUS range and bought like 5 of them from the first 2 Megs to the latest 10 Megs (accidentally broken). Recently I bought a Panasonic Lumix TZ5 and it’s (mostly) great. It can snap pictures up to 9 Megs and even record video in HD definition. But the interface is just rubbish. I general Camera software is just lame. It almost hasn’t evolved in a decade.
Apple could design a revolutionnary digital camera, the iCamera. First by it’s form factor : a touchscreen, twice the size of an iPhone, slightly thicker. Video resolution would be HD Ready (720p), so the Screen resolution would be 720 x 1320 pixels at the same dpi res as an iPhone.
Then it would also be new hardware combination, built on a simplified version of the electronic of an iPhone (removing the bluetooth, GSM circuitry) and a Casio Exilim (or similar). The rest of the space would be used for batteries and memory storage.
As of course recording would be on solid state memory (Apple bought a lot of memory to manufacturers) or a 1.8 in 4200 rpm hard drive. It will start probably start with something like 64 Gigs of SSD / 160 Gigs of HD, but would quickly evolve to 128 Gigs of SSD or 320 Gigs of HD…
But storage wouldn’t be an issue as Apple iCamera will of course sync over the air (Wifi 802.11n) with a Apple TV, MobileMe Galleries, iPhones and over Firewire / USB 2.0 with Macintoshes and iPods.
But the real revolution would be great Apple software ! Of course the shooting software will allow Photo Booth like live effects, including background replacement, optical and digital zoom, special flash modes, … But the killing feature would be iMovie 08 and Aperture like video and photo software editors, running on the camera device, using the touch screen interface.
This revolutionary product would define an entirely new category of devices that would allow shooting, editing and publishing Hi def still photography and HD quality videos on the field. This will especially makes HD video easy to produce which may leverage the whole HD video economy.
Digital Still and Video Cameras is a category with great hardware waiting for a decent “Apple quality level” software like computers, music players and mobile phones. Please Apple, give the Nikon, Canon, Sony and Panasonic a lesson in software engineering. Millions of families are waiting for a better experience.