Canon published a press release recently about developing a 120 megapixel digital imaging chip. The general response on the blogs didn’t seem all that enthusiastic. People commenting were generally pretty skeptical about the actual value of such high resolution imaging. However this development could bring about a dramatic change in the way we take photographs.
While sensor sentivity (ISO) is seen as the most important competing factor these days things will eventually change as better imaging technology is developed. Higher resolution sensors enable building smaller cameras and will further push mobile convergence. On the other hand cameras as we know them might change all-together.
In the future it may be possible to just snap a shot and the camera will automatically crop several alternative compositions. Basic principle relies on a wide angle lens and auto-cropping algorithm. One very convenient way to store the images would be standard JPEG image with custome meta-data for the alternative compositions.