Product: Camera: Digital
Time-reversing camera   (+11)  [vote for, against]
Retrieve the shots that got away

Photographer's remorse: you're looking through the viewfinder, a candid scenario comes and goes and you realize "that *would have* been a great shot!" The moment is lost - until you hit the Second Chance button. The camera has a big (60 sec.), fast (24 fps) buffer that is always remembering the last minute of images it sees; the aforementioned button freezes the streaming and you can run it back and pick out the best frames. I think this would require continuous autofocus and autoexposure and probably an assistant to change the battery every 5 minutes. But maybe a nice feature when the technology is ready.
-- bpilot, Jul 17 2004

they have high res digital video camereas that you can capture stills from, so this is already available.
-- xclamp, Jul 17 2004

I can't see the point of the camera being on permanent record; the chances of the camera pointing at something useful while on a neck strap, or ina bag or pocket are negligable.

What might be useful is a video mode that is activated when you are composing a photograph. You not only get to shoot video interspersed with higher resolution stills but would get some record of that 'moment you lost'.

You might be able to survive without the lovely battery assistant, too.
-- st3f, Jul 17 2004

[st3f], ok, make the streaming feature run only while your photo is being composed; it could trigger from the usual halfway depressed regular shutter button. Re: the video modes; the difference here is that the buffer runs at the full resolution and compression selected for the desired photos. [xclamp], how high is the res on these things?
-- bpilot, Jul 17 2004

If you're going to have it recording from when the button is semi-depressed, why didn't you press the button rather than miss the shot?

It's not possible to have a camera continuously recording at the resolution of high end digital stills cameras and still be ecenomically viable (otherwise they'd be on the market.)
-- scubadooper, Jul 17 2004

Most (if not all) shots get away because the camera wasn't pointed in the right direction or was still in the trunk of the car. If you're looking at a good shot through the viewfinder, and fail to press the button, you just need to improve your photography skills (or lose your fear of wasting film - a non sequitur in this digital age).
-- DrCurry, Jul 17 2004

[scooper] and [DrC], the reason I didn't press the button, i.e. missed the shot, is that I'm a crappy photographer. The point of the feature is to help the rank amatuers who don't want to invest a lot of time in becoming serious hobbyists. Good for kids' birthday parties and sports meets and such.
-- bpilot, Jul 18 2004

My Casio QV-770 had a feature that would record three pictures at 1/20sec intervals BEFORE you clicked the shutter button. Drained batteries pretty quickly, though.
-- supercat, Jun 29 2006

I think that if you JUST missed the shot, it would be great. Like if you pushed the button a little too late. And I think the camera should have a setting where it starts recording when you turn it on. But it doesn't have to, you can turn it off for regular camera mode. And, of course, the recording wouldn't stay in the camera for long. A minute, maybe. Constantly deleted. Just run the thing off your own energy supply in your body, and you'll never see it die!
-- TahuNuva, Nov 02 2007

[DrCurry]: A camera with a small buffer and the ability to capture the last few pictures would be useful not just for bad photographers, but also for people wanting to have photographs of an event where it's hard to time the shutter click perfectly (e.g. trying to get a pitcture of a cat pouncing, without knowing exactly when it's going to pounce).

Your comment about the difficulty of capturing acceptable resolution at an acceptable frame rate is a good one, though I suspect that having a buffer of 4-16 pictures would be cheaper and easier than having to capture a continuous video stream. For example, it may be useful for a variety of reasons to have a camera contain a mosaic of separately controlled pixels (e.g. all pixels with even x and y coordinates are controlled together; all pixels with even x and odd y are controlled together, etc.) Elsewhere, for example, I've suggested such an arrangement as a means of trading resolution for latitude. With proper control circuitry, such an arrangement might allow a photographer to exchange a 50% reduction in resolution for a 4-picture buffer.
-- supercat, Feb 19 2011

We've had these for years in England.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 19 2011

random, halfbakery