Have you ever thought about what the images and cameras of the future might look like? Well, Nikon’s Japanese development team certainly has. For a sneak preview into what the future may hold for the world of photography, check out the prototypes below that were on display at Europe’s largest science museum, in the Hello Tomorrow exhibition at the City of Sciences in Paris (Hello Demain, La Cité des Sciences). The exhibition, which ran in the last week of June, offered an insight into the technology that we could be using in our everyday lives in the future.

But before you start getting too excited, it is worth remembering that these are just prototypes so there’s no guarantee we’ll ever see them on our shelves. And if we do, it could take a decade! But, did you know that the first Nikon prototype digital camera was presented at Photokina 1986, 13 years before the marketing of the Nikon D1? So, you never know what the future of photography may hold!

But one thing is for sure, these space-age concepts show that the pace of innovation in photography certainly isn’t slowing down. Allow us to introduce you to…

The Multi-ball: This device is capable of photographing multiple viewpoints to capture the atmosphere of a scene. We’re very intrigued about what the resulting images might look like!

The Multi-ball, Nikon's potential prototype camera for the future
Image © Nikon / I Am Nikon

The Big Screen Camera:
A camera with a 6 inch screen for taking photos and looking at images. It has adjustable levers to suit the user’s needs.

The Big Screen Camera, Nikon's potential prototype camera for the future
The Big Screen Camera: Image © Nikon / I Am Nikon

The SLR Unit: There are three interchangeable parts within this gadget: an LCD screen, a lens and a grab handle. Notice the box-shaped lens.

The SLR Unit, Nikon's potential prototype camera for the future
The SLR Unit:
Image © Nikon / I Am Nikon

And last but not least the i-Ball. But what is it? A next generation rugby ball?! Tell us what you think…

The i-Ball, Nikon's potential prototype camera for the future
The i-Ball:
Image © Nikon / I Am Nikon

Can you see yourself using any of these prototypes in the next decade or do you have another vision for the future of photography? Which aspects of photographic technology do you think most needs improving upon? We’re eager to hear your thoughts.

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  1. Belal Khan

    The multi-ball definitely was my idea ! no i kid! but i did want such thing to come in market for a photographer like me for panorama effects on a bigger scale,which i hope and think is the main benefit of this gadget.

    cant wait for a decade now i guess.

    ( http://www.facebook.com/bkhub )

  2. rune

    I guess third displayed camera wouldn’t be very comfortable to use when turning the camera to take pictures in a different format.

  3. Lewis Brown

    I think the one thing that needs more development and should be incorporated into SLR cameras is Geotagging. However, it’s not just the case that the metadata of a photograph holds the long/lat co-ordinates, we need better software to help us remember where we took our photographs.

    How many times do you get “Where did you take that?” and the common answer is “I think it was…” or “I can’t remember…”

    Geotagging seems to be developing for those sites where you upload and share your images such as Flickr, but having said that, there are many people out there who don’t wish to put their photographs up in “the cloud”.

    We need good software that we can run locally to help us identify where our photos were taken.

  4. Lewis Brown

    The one other thing I would like to see in dSLR cameras is the ability to see the image you are about to take on a totally seperate monitor, or say through your iPhone or BlackBerry.

    Why? Well how many of us have wanted to put our camera in an awkward position and then not able to see through the viewfinder so you are basically shooting blind. Imagine putting the camera on the floor and then being able to move it because what you would normally see in the viewfinder is being shown on your SmartPhone… You haven’t even had to lay on the ground and get all wet and dirty!!!

  5. Helmuth Lohmann

    I am on the run to buy a new midprice compact camera. and I need some help. kind regards Helmuth

  6. Paxton

    I would be happy if they just put an articulating LCD on the next D300 and D3.

  7. Amy

    The multi-ball sounds great! I always wish for a camera that can capture the atmosphere of the room or the vast landscapes outside. I love panoramic photos. I am interested as well what the images would look like. The map of the world has always had problems showing accuracy when a circular image is flattened. There are now 360 degree views on Google maps so I guess I see it as more of this virtual world able to be captured easier.