2015: The year photography moved (and moved us)

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More than a trillion photos were captured in 2015.
More than a trillion photos were captured in 2015.
Photo: HypeBeast

We were too busy taking our own pictures in 2015 to notice that something about photography had changed.

This was the year the photo moved. It shed its flat, two-dimensional constraints and showed a life once left to the imagination.

The movement could be slight, as in Apple’s Live Photos, a new feature on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus camera that records a snippet of video before and after the frozen moment to add an extra dimension.

iPhone is most popular camera among Flickr’s 112 million photographers

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Flickr photographers love the camera on the iPhone.
Flickr photographers love the camera on the iPhone.
Photo: Flickr

The longtime Kings of the Camera must know their kingdoms are shrinking. If Canon or Nikon need further evidence, Flickr’s 2015 Year in Review shows the popular tool of choice for an engaged and global photography community is not a dedicated camera. It’s first and foremost a phone.

Apple’s iPhone was the popular device used by the Flickr community, according to an analysis of the EXIF data on pictures uploaded to the site. iPhone cameras accounted for 42 percent of the photos on the site, compared to the DSLRs of Canon, 27 percent, and the Nikon, 16 percent.

Canon just dropped a nuke in the megapixel war

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Canon has developed 250-MP CMOS camera sensor.
Canon has developed 250-MP CMOS camera sensor.
Photo: Canon

Canon has developed a CMOS camera sensor that records a 250-megapixel image. Not that this should kill your excitement about the 12 megapixels you’re going to get with the camera on the new iPhone 6s, but take a moment to consider the number.

How do we even fathom 250 megapixels? Canon, in its press release boasting of the pixel count (19,580 x 12,600), said engineers zoomed in on a photo taken of an airplane from 11 miles away and could distinguish the lettering on the side of the plane.

Samsung outranks Apple where it really hurts… in the patent department

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In an effort to prevent rivals from stealing its ideas, Apple patents everything it invents — from the iPhone and the iPad, to app icons and even “magic” tactile gloves. But compared to its biggest competitors, Apple’s patent portfolio from 2015 looks surprisingly bare.

Microsoft, Sony, Google, and LG have all outrank Apple in the patent department this year, while arch rival Samsung has absolutely crushed it.