Here are some videos taken with the Casio Exilim EX-F1, an extraordinary camera that was recently written up by David Pogue in the New York Times. These videos are not mine, they were taken by a colleague in Japan who was nice enough to let me post them.
The Times article has a full description of the camera, but to sum up, it is capable of recording up to 1200 frames per second, where each frame is a full 6MP image. (These videos were at 300fps, probably less now that they've been compressed.) You can go back, watch the resulting slow-motion video and "click" the "shutter" when you see the image you want. You can then delete the unnecessary frames, leaving you with the few 6MP frames that you picked out. Does that make sense?
I'm sure some people might read about this camera and think that this technology is killing off photography as we know it, or the "decisive moment." Hey, mastering the EX-F1 will produce one kind of image, mastering a rangefinder (or SLR or toy camera...) will produce another.
As the B blog points out in a level-headed post differentiating film from video, the limitation of working with a single moment is what makes photography compelling. In this post he writes about photos more from a viewer's perspective -- "it can tell you nothing about a scene and for me that's great" -- but I think this limitation is helpful for a photographer, too. Over a five second span, the empty spaces between three shots might prove to be more useful than 7997 extra frames...
These videos are hosted by Flickr. A sign of the apocalypse? I don't think so.