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Microsoft and Canon Can Disrupt Cameras

Microsoft and Canon Can Disrupt Cameras

Microsoft and Canon Signed Patent Agreements This Week

Yawn? Not necessarily. Putting the legalese aside what are Microsoft and Canon going to do?

Assume for a moment that besides the bog standard sharing of technologies there are some specific aims and objectives here. The first thing I think of when you say Canon is photography then printers.

More interesting is the photography.

Digital Cameras And The Elephant In The Corner

Digital photography has a huge problem. It’s best described in the real world: –

You are at a big event with your DSLR snapping away, saving your images to RAW format and want to upload one or more images to the cloud, your blog or perhaps to your employer. What are your options?

Microsoft and Canon - photographer

  • If you have a WiFi enabled DSLR (hands up out there if you do.. that’s what I thought) you can piggyback on the overtaxed event WiFi.
  • As above just use your Smart Phone Data connection and hope you don’t max your monthly limit doing so.
  • Take the SD (or other flash memory) out of the camera, place in your laptop / tablet memory reader, convert to JPEG and upload the smaller image over WiFi.
  • As above but see if you can beg, borrow or cajole use of a network port to connect your laptop to an available network (assuming there is) and upload your image(s).

Basically, the added value of DSLR quality images and their resultant size prevents you from doing anything with these images until you get back to your own network.

DSLRs may be the most disconnected digital devices we own

The Warptest POV

After searching online and failing to find a solution, I called a well-known photography store in NYC and asked their experts if a DSLR existed with a built in SIM slot and the functionality onboard to directly upload from the camera using 3G / 4G LTE. They told me they didn’t know of any camera that had that feature and agreed with my list above as the best options if you have to upload images from the field.

I’m hoping that the Microsoft and Canon patent agreement will lead to more than Windows Phones that can print direct to Canon printers or Windows devices with built in Canon imaging technology.

If the boffins at Microsoft and Canon see the stagnation / dead end that digital photography has arrived at then maybe the market will get a much needed disruption in: –

  • DSLRs with built in 3G / 4G LTE capabilities and a SIM slot.
  • DSLRs that have a Canon – Windows Embedded OS with an SDK available and subsequently onboard and or cloud-based apps.

In a nutshell, much needed disruption of the DSLR market, dragging it kicking and screaming into the age of connectivity and The Internet of Things (IoT).

When you factor Microsoft and Intel’s investment in IoT with the Intel Quark and Galileo chip and Windows on Devices the potential is huge.

Microsoft and Canon - Intel Inside

Or as you’ll see if you follow that link, “The next big thing is small.” I guess the only question is, will your next DSLR have Windows aboard?

I for one am pretty excited to see just what Microsoft and Canon do come up with. How about you?


I completely agree with you on this: connectivity hardware and software on DSLRs is appallingly behind the times. When I looked into this a few weeks ago I found EyeFi ( which adds connectivity to the memory card. Yes, they’re trying to solve the problem but it’s still extremely awkward.
It will be *very* interesting to see what Microsoft and Canon come up with. Especially apps on the camera itself.
This is what I wrote way back then:

Hey Hagit, hi. Glad you enjoyed the post… hopefully someone at Redmond read it and liked it too 😉

Try looking at the Samsung Galaxy NX – it is an Android DSLR

Photokina, that once-every-4-year event in Germany, has regularly, if somewhat belatedly, convulsed about the topic of camera connectivity. It’s definitely the direction that cameras (not just DSLR’s) need to head if they want to keep up with smart phones. On the other hand, phones like the Lumia 1020 and software like Israel’s Corephotonics are changing photography to the core. Interesting times, indeed!

Try again. That should have read “once-every-2-year event” #doh

Thanks for the comments, much appreciated and yes, I totally agree that the Lumia 1020 and other Smartphone developments have shaken up things in the photographic market. Have a great weekend and keep visiting 🙂

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