Ever been fascinated by the technology of today’s cameras? How they can fit such an amazing high definition video camera into such a pocket able device not even designed for the sole purpose of being a camera (phones).
Camera-philes with their obsession for optical image stabilization, lowlight sensors, high frame rate capture and extreme focus abilities, always on the lookout for advances in camera technology.
It is pretty cool, but cameras have always existed since the beginning of time. Its features are beyond any future technological breakthrough, yet they’ve been taken for granted for millions of years.
Where is this super amazing camera you ask? There’s two in fact, and they’re on your face.
Let’s do a run down of modern camera features versus the abilities of your eyes.
1) Focus. All good cameras have automatic focusing where the lens changes position in order to have crisper shots on closer objects vs distant scenery, for eg. a signpost against a vista. Some times the camera struggles to focus, taking time and causing blurriness. Our eyes have almost instant flawless focusing! Try it, get a pen and hold it to your eyes, notice how fast and well you’re able to see the detail on the pen. Amazing! Now try focusing on the background the pen is held against… flawless!
2) Image stabilization (IS). Whether optical or digital IS, cameras are able to reduce camera blur due to hand shakes. The result isn’t perfect but the ability of this feature to work well is held in high esteem by camera-philes. Now compare your eyes. Focus on an object in your room or environment and shake your head. Did you experience any blurriness?
3) Frame rate. The number of ‘frames per second’ determines how smooth video appears. Movies are recorded at 24 fps. Anything under 20, and the video will appear ‘laggy’. Our eyes see at up to 300 fps! But it only needs about 30 to 60 function normally. Have you ever experienced the world being laggy through your eyes? I don’t think so.
4) Low light ability. Cameras with exceptional low light abilities are often given commendations. But even at that level, the quality is never as perfect as our eyes. If your sitting at a desk, look under it. Notice how well you can see everything despite lack of light. Most cameras would render that view as pure blackness.
5) White balance. There are a number of options to choose from in order to have video look exactly as it should compared to real life. There’s fluoresecent, sunlight, beach, incandescent, cloudy and much more. Pick a wrong choice and the video may look too yellow. In dark situations, white balance may be useful in order to reduce darkness in the video. Now compare your eyes. Walk into a dark room at night and turn on the lights. Notice how fast your eyes are able to adapt.
6) 3D capture. The arrival of 3d video and 3d capture caused a world wide revolution in the film industry. Do you know how they capture film in 3d? They have a dual lens which is able to give perspective of distance to the shot, making closer objects appear in your face. Well we have 2 eyes, designed to do exactly that. Cool right?
Take a moment to just appreciate your eyes. They even have automatic windshield wipers cleaning them every few seconds! Just by blinking. No maintenance required! What a great bounty Allah has blessed us with.
Next time you visit a natural attraction, put the camera aside, and take in the view with the best cameras you already have. Your eyes!