Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What Would Your Camera Look Like?

Have you ever felt like the camera you would really like to have does not exist? I'm sure almost every photographer has had that feeling once or twice. So if you were able to tell the camera company of your choice how to make a camera that would best meet your needs, what would it be like? Would it have a stylish retro look, like a 1980's film camera, or would it be modern and sleek? What about controls, both external and in the menu system? Would that camera have a fast auto focus system with many automated features (think D3s or Canon 1D X), or be simple and fully manual (like a Leica M9)? Would the camera be a mirrorless compact with interchangeable lenses, a fixed lens compact or a typical SLR? 

What if you could take an existing camera and change it to be more of what you would like it to be? I remember hearing many voices over the years asking for Nikon D40 camera body, with higher end controls and features. A more modern request would be to take a camera like the Panasonic GF1 and make it into a pro ILC camera, something many people feel the recently announced GX1 still falls short of. That line of thinking would be in sync with question I'm asking here.  In addition, if you could take any older camera (film era) and make it digital, which one would it be? 

Personally I think the best camera is the one that does the work that you need it to do, but I do have some thoughts on this topic as well. I would love to have a camera with the controls and speed of a professional modern DSLR, in a more retro and compact SLR style body. To me the ideal retro style DSLR would be a Nikon FM2 style camera, with a fast burst rate and manual dials for changing things like the shutter speed (think Fuji X100). Although most modern F mount lenses are the G type, Nikon could put a digital aperture ring on the camera (think of ring on the lens of the Canon S-95) to make up for that loss.  From the sounds of things Fuji might be designing just such a camera, so I may get part of my wish in that area. I say part of my wish, because if the Fuji X100 and X10 are any indication, the camera wont have the speed (in terms of FPS or AF) of modern pro DSLRs.