Future Image and Corel Predict 'Digital Shoebox' Problem

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July 24, 2006 - *Today, marketing research firm Future Image and imaging software provider and creators of Paint Shop Pro, Corel Corp., released predictions for future digital imaging trends.

Future Image principal analyst Alexis Gerald and Corel general manager of Digital Imaging Business Blaine Mathieu announced mass market trends and new technology standards for the digital image industry for the upcoming years.

By next year, the new standard for camera phones in the U.S. will be a 3 megapixel count, fitted with a 3x optical zoom, stated the Corel news release. Point-and-shoot cameras will also increase their base capabilities to a standard of 10 megapixels and a 10x optical zoom by 2008, according to the analyst and business manager.

By next year, 80 percent of "home image takers" will have at over 5,000 photos and video clips on their PCs, stated the release. The overwhelming number of digital images results in what Mathieu calls the "digital shoebox" problem. People will have an excess of photos on their computers that are not shared with others because people "can’t find [the photos], don’t know how to share them, or are concerned with losing control of their images," said Mathieu. Regardless, those photographers will have used at least three online sharing sites by 2008, predicted Future Image and Corel.

The digital imaging paradigm will also shift towards photographers spending more time on the photos after capture time than before capture time. By 2010, 80 percent of users will manipulate their photos and video on a weekly basis, making a shift towards increased post-production editing over shooting elements such as framing composition in the camera. Shooting will increasingly become more casual, stated the release.

Future Image and Corel also state 2006 is "the beginning of the end of JPEG as the monolithic standard for image file formats" but do not mention what the new image file standard will be.

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"Predictions of future trends are highly speculative," notes the press release disclaimer

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