Interaction Design - Digital Camera Evaluation

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1. Introduction. 3 / 4 
2. Evolution of the photo camera. 4 
3. Types of digital cameras . 5 
3.1 "Point and shoot digital cameras". 5 
3.2 Semi professional cameras . 6 
3.3 Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras. 6 
4. Interface of a digital camera. 6 
5. Drawbacks and accessibility of digital cameras 8 
5.1 Drawbacks and suggested solutions. 8 
5.2. Accessibility for disabled people and suggested solutions . 9 
6. Conclusions . 10 
7. References . 12


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1. Introduction 
In the last two decades, the achievements in the field of technology and especially the consumer oriented technology, such as the today's ordinary CD or DVD or the MP3 were part of a "bigger picture", the major breakthrough of transforming the analogue into digital. The "digital era" has begun and it was the starting point for offering new perspectives to the world of audio and visual information. The technological advantages of the digital systems have changed the meaning of the word "possibility", breaking boundaries, leading the technology to new horizons. The digital camera has gained a well-deserved position on the market of photography, in less than a decade, overshadowing the classical models with the film. The reason behind this accession was the immediacy, the ability to manipulate images, the unbeatable mixture of sleek design, high image quality, unique interfaces and reasonable prices. Although the modern cameras operate on the same basic principles as the traditional ones, anyone who ever used a digital camera knows the difference between the traditional cameras and the advantages of a digital camera, such as: instant image viewing, improved quality of image, ability to shoot short video clips, creating slide shows, uploading the images to the computer. In the early years, the digital camera didn't offer the options we have today. For example, the resolution of the image was not satisfactory, so the 35 mm photography produced by the traditional camera, still offered a better quality of image, but with the ongoing evolution of the technology, the digital cameras became more appreciated. There were also the disadvantages of processing the traditional film, the use of old techniques in the "Camera Obscura" (the dark room), using chemical substances, which contributed to the replacement of the old generation of photo cameras with the cameras of the future. The market for digital cameras is expanding rapidly and significantly as Mark Peters writes in his article "Digital Photography Future and History", the number of digital images printed and stored in Western Europe in 2003 was 3.6 billion, while in 2006 the number increased to 34.6 billion. Due to the latest technologies, the pictures can be transferred to a computer and printed using high quality inkjet printers, or even easier, by connecting the digital camera to directly to the printer, using a USB cable or wireless connection. 
"We are now much more involved in the photography process - after we have captured an image, we can change the colours or even the people in the photo and print it ourselves, making further choices such as the number of copies, size of the photo and type of paper. The most amazing part is that we can do all of this at home and even without a computer. The move towards photo-labs for the home has played a major role in getting people more involved. You can now scan, print and copy images all without a computer. This technology has allowed us to really enjoy the benefits that digital has brought us. You don"t need to be an expert or spend hours producing a photo, as Niepce had to do only 180 years ago." says Ramon Olle, CEO Epson Europe." www.epson-europe.com/content/EU/en_GB/news_events/news/details/180_years_of_photography.ilocal.htm 
The report is focusing on the digital cameras, interface; it will be an evaluation of the features of the digital cameras but not on specific photo cameras. It is introspection into its the strengths and weaknesses as well as making some suggestions on how they can be improved in order to be more accessible by disabled or older people. 
2. Evolution of the photo camera 
To understand more about the digital camera and its technology, we have to look back to the dawn of photography and mark few key points in the history that led to the camera which we use today. The technique of photography carries different ways to produce a permanent image on sensible surfaces, using the photochemical action of the light or other form of irradiation or using the recent techniques of capturing the image through electronic devices. In the early years, J. Nicephore Niepce captured the world's first image (see fig. 1), using a Camera Obscura and some combination of chemical substances. 
Fig. 1 The world's first photograph taken by J.N.Niepce in 1826 Source: Photography schools - Directory of international photography colleges and photography schools Only later in 1830, the chemical technique for processing the pictures was introduced and the "Chemical Photography" was established. The first simplified version of the camera, was produced under the brand Kodak in 1889 and released under the slogan "You press the button, we do the rest!" . This was the first time a camera was introduced for mass production and photography was no longer the complicated process of the past, it became accessible to anyone. 
In 1935 the classical black and white photo was replaced with colour and in 1963, Polaroid invents the first instant colour images. The half digital, half analog camera was launched by Sony in 1981 (see Fig. 2), it was called "Mavica" "(Magnetic Video Camera)". "Analogue cameras recorded images may have been the start of the digital age, in that they recorded images on to electronic media, but they never really took off due to poor image quality and prohibitive cost." Photos: The history of the digital camera on www.crave.cnet.co.uk/digitalcameras/0,39029429,49293172-3,00.htm. Around 1984 Canon was one of the pioneers in digital technology, carrying the first demonstrations for a digital camera. Only at the beginning of 1990's "DCS 100" 
camera was launched for the professional use and in 1998 the digital cameras were being introduced to the market for the general consumers. 
Fig 2 Mavica by Sony 1981 Fig. 3 Digital camera Kodak 1997 Source: Photos: The history of the digital camera Source: The history of the digital camera


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