You’ve barely mastered digital camera terms like “exposure compensation,” and now the genius designers have thrown a new term into the mix: Face Detection. Face detection? Are today’s digital cameras now smart enough to tell a human face from a pumpkin, or a balloon? Really? Yes, really.
Taking people photos with your digital camera can be very challenging because your digital camera likes to guesstimate what you want in focus, and then “average” ambient light readings, resulting in poorly focused and incorrectly exposed images. You probably have many shots sitting in your computer files, where the red tulips in the background are in focus, but your pretty blonde niece is all blurry. Or you’ve taken a picture of three children; one is perfectly in focus, while the camera has blurred the other two kids. It happens all the time. And it’s frustrating.
So, the digital camera industry has come up with a smart way for the 2007 digital cameras to fix this problem. Newer cameras can now determine, in a potential photo, not just a single face but up to several faces (some cameras can identify as many as 10 faces). This new face detection technology is also called, “Face Recognition,” or “Face Priority Mode.”
It’s a simple matter of turning on the face detection function in your camera, and then letting the camera use its own complicated mathematical formula to figure out the rest. According to 40–year veteran camera reviewer, Jason Schneider, the technology is so sophisticated the new cameras can tell the difference between human and animal faces. “They will not focus on dog, cat, and cow faces,” he writes. For an in-depth overview of the 2007 digital camera face detection technology, visit Jason Schneider’s review.
Now that you can improve your people shots, you’ll probably have a lot more images worth storing on your computer drive. Be sure to have a cataloguing system like the PicaJet FX photo organizer to ensure a quick and easy search when you want to show off those great photos.
The new face detection technology is currently limited to point-and-shoot digital camera models, so don’t look for it on the SLR digital cameras. At least not yet.