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Picture it — iOS on Canon, Nikon camera hardware

And at that moment, I realized the limitations of my iPhone; the camera just ain’t what it ought to be. Why? Microsoft Photosynth is asking a question the iPhone can’t answer. But if Apple teamed up with Canon, Nikon et al, and got iOS running on their camera hardware…

And at that moment, I realized the limitations of my iPhone; the camera just ain’t what it ought to be. Why? Microsoft Photosynth is asking a question the iPhone can’t answer. But if Apple teamed up with Canon, Nikon et al, and got iOS running on their camera hardware…

You with me? Of course you are. No, I’m not talking about playing Angry Birds on your Nikon D7000 or your Canon 55D. In this scenario, Apple’s iOS would be a leaner animal, allowing applications like Microsoft Photosynth to run on dedicated cameras, doing justice to that ornate cathedral interior, or that arboretum you just visited.

So what’s Photosynth? Much to the dismay of the Windows Phone 7 crowd, launching on the iPhone first, Photosynth let’s you take a series of photographs, which it then stitches together into 360 degree panoramas. Believe me, getting the most from Photosynth takes some practice, but the results can be amazing.

But this is just one application. I’m sure there are plenty more out there, just aching to find their way onto an actual camera, rather than eking out an existence shuffling 5 megapixel resolution graphics around when so much more lay beyond.

I have absolutely no idea of the practicalities of making this happen, but I can imagine a lot of people welcoming the ability to run a limited collection of applications on their camera, enabling a wider range of possibilities and letting them squeeze even more out of their camera hardware.

Apple could work out some novel licensing deal, the camera companies get to work with software developers to make the most of their features, everyone wins!

The sad truth is, Apple just don’t like licensing their core software, even when there’s good business to be had in doing so — it’s a control thing. By contrast, it’s exactly the kind of thing Microsoft like doing — gaining greater exposure for their Windows franchise.

As I said, the technicalities aren’t exactly black and white, but the final composition could be a real Kodak moment…

By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

3 replies on “Picture it — iOS on Canon, Nikon camera hardware”

Hi Pip!

“You have been able to download Microsoft Photosynth for years.”

Not for Windows Phone you can’t, and that’s the context of this article.

“You can use a better camera and lace it all together on your laptop / desktop.”

You’re missing the point — I don’t want to do that, and that’s specifically what having some mobile device operating system on a camera would allow us to avoid. And that’s just one example. If your argument were the over-arching case, then there’s no point having any applications on any device at all.

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