We hate to admit it, but so much of what makes a good picture doesn't involve a whole lot of human input--that's one reason why digital cameras have made superb snapshots so simple. But consider this: Much of what makes a picture artistic could actually be programmed into a camera. Diagonal compositions, color contrasts, foreground/background? All of these are pretty simple things for a computer to vet.
The logical next step? German designer Andrew Kupresanin has designed Nadia, a little black camera dressed like a Goth Flip that contains an "aesthetics inference engine," which assesses the artistic quality of a potential shot.
Rather than display the image, the screen on the back of the camera shows only a percentage value that indicates how good a photo you're about to take. As you shift positions and angles, the number changes, approaching 100% as you approach the ideal pic.
Obviously, this is a prototype concept, rather than a full-blown consumer product--but it's pretty easy to imagine that one day soon, our cameras will be able to say, "Just a bit to the left! And tilt the camera a bit! That's nice."
What other types of cameras could techno-futurists dream? Filip Visnjic at Today and Tomorrow has collected a couple more intriguing examples, including one that Photoshops a grin onto your face, and another networked with Flickr, which, when the button is pressed, chases down pictures on Flickr that were taken at the same moment.
Brilliant stuff--check them out at Today and Tomorrow.