Both digital cameras and digital video camcorders have been advancing at a rapid rate. Even the point-and-shoot digital cameras have achieved the mythical 10 megapixel resolution. On the video side hard disk storage and high definition resolution (1k) are similar landmarks. The competition will stay hot due to ubiquity of camera-phones, but there are no more easy improvements in high-end pro-sumer gear. Picture quality can only be improved by cutting costs in electronics and putting more money in costly glass. A good guess would be that the two intertwined industries will have to start directly competing with each other.
Phenomenon is picking up speed. It is not clear what this fusion will mean in practice. The form-factor and usage habits of the two groups of devices have been completely different. Digital viewfinders are finding their way to digital single-reflex (DSLR) cameras. It is however absolutely clear that the technology solutions will have to start converging. Still cameras can already capture 30 fps in PAL resolution or full quality (4k) sequences in 15 fps. Time will double those variables and devices match current professional television cameras. Pro-sumer video cameras are able to capture 4 megapixel still images and the possibilities to control the lighting are expanding.
From automation point-of-view two parallel technology paths converging is an excellent sign. However the risks involved in developing process tools are substantial. It is not clear which interfaces to support or bet on. It is highly likely that many of the current players will have to adjust their operations. Hopefully this shake-up does not take too long and a clear standard or a dominant design will emerge promtly.