Canon rolls out ‘Wonder Camera’ in attempt to merge video and stills

At the Shanghai World Expo last week, Canon showed a new camera concept that provides a look at its plans for the future. Called the “Wonder Camera,” Canon for the first time is eschewing the notion of separating stills and video.

An extremely high-speed focus always keeps the shot in focus and, along with large amounts of storage, would provide static images simply by picking one of the video frames.

The camera would also have a high (though unspecified) resolution that photographers could crop without losing picture detail. Canon also believes it could deliver a camera with fast wireless networking, face detection that could cover many more subjects and super telephoto ranges even with a fixed-lens camera. Image stabilization could be strong enough to handle shots at the far end of the zoom range.

The Wonder Camera is a preview of what the company could do 20 years into the future, though it’s already believed that much of the technology could be implemented much sooner, at least in DSLRs.

Canon also showed it is thinking beyond its current line of conventional still cameras that take video images. RED Digital last year began work on its DSMC system, a new camera concept that allows high-resolution video and stills to be made simultaneously. Such cameras are desired in the era of multimedia, when camera operators are shooting for websites, television and newspapers all at once.