Article – From the horse’s mouth
When Wi-Fi is added to a digital camera or camcorder, it is typically about being able to download the images or footage to a regular computer for editing and post-production.
But Panasonic is using Wi-Fi wireless networking for more than that thanks to the app-cessory model. Here, they provide a downloadable app that works as a control surface for the camera and can use the smartphone’s abilities to increase what the camera or camcorder can do.
For example, they have a “Jump Snap” feature which uses the accelerometer in your phone to detect the peak in a jump to cause the camera to take the picture as you jump. It also exploits the smartphone’s GPS so you can geocode your photos that you take with your camera. Let’s not forget the ability to use the smartphone’s screen to set up and take your photo, as what a control-surface app would do.
For camcorders, the Wi-Fi ability allows for multi-camera filming like what the TV producers do in the studios. Here, the smartphone’s camera works as a second camera. This would lead to practices like picture-in-picture or real-time cuts/fades/dissolves being part of your videography. There is even the ability to purpose the camcorder as a network-capable video-surveillance camera with your smartphone or tablet serving as a monitor.
What I see of this is these apps could allow Panasonic and other camera manufacturers to add capabilities to their cameras and camcorders using a mobile-platform app. The multi-camera filming could be improved upon by allowing multiple camera devices, especially digital cameras or camcorders with the good lenses, to work together for creating multiple video tracks or multi-camera views.
The current limitations with anything that will use a smartphone to add capabilities to a digital camera or camcorder is the fact that the software will only work with a certain range of products supplied by a particular manufacturer. Typically this could be limited to mid-tier and high-end products made since a certain model-year or generation.
Who knows who else will be turning out “app-cessory” setups for their camera and camcorder ranges?