The Nikon D2x is supposed to be pretty hot, but I doubt it'll be perfect...
My dream camera incorporates nothing new but is simply a collage of everything I like:
- Automatic startup CCD cleaning on startup like the Olympus E-1
- Full color sensor (come ON, people, it's like back in the day when B&W was paramount and they said that color photography would never catch on... Can we PLEASE repeat history as painlessly as possible and get full 3 layer RGB sensors as soon as possible? Thank you foevon for pioneering this, now to throw away those CMOS and LBCAST excuses for an image sensor. White balance? Interpolation? Give me a break... (yeah, now I'm in the ranting mood, look at me go!)
- For crying out loud, this "fine" and "basic" baloney is killing me. First of all, who in their right mind, owning a DSLR, is going to ever even remotely think about using those high compression options? I know there are tons of average Joe's out there with their nice D70's and 300D's, but PLEASE, we did not buy our DSLR's to post pictures on the internet, we bought our DSLR's so we could print big enlargements and possibly make a little change on ebay to pay for a nice telephoto lens or something. WE DON'T WANT JAGGIES! Give us "fine" compression only. In fact, don't even call it "fine". I want these JPG size options: 4x6 print, 8x12 print, and 16x24 print. With resolition options of 200 ppi or 300 ppi. I know you're getting pretty big there with a 300 ppi 16x24, but that's what interpolation is for. A 6 megapixel camera can print a 16x24 easily if you use a tripod and a $500 + lens, so let's just forget all this "1504 pixel 'small' resolution" nonsense and go with inch or cm print sizes... if my computer crashes while batch processing a size interpolation / scale down one more time, I'm going to have a cow. And then I am going to take my camera out in the backyard and have the cow sit on it. That is, if cows sit down...
- The person that said "hmm, let's make it so that 'bulb' exposure will require the poor chump to hold his finger on the shutter for the ENTIRE exposure" ought to be taken out and tickled unmercifully. Learn a lesson from 4x5 large format photography leaf shutters: click once to open the shutter, click again to close the shutter. This comes in REALLY handy when you want a 45 minute night exposure. Actually, I should be able to simply go into a custom menu and set a "preset" bulb exposure up to a few hours. Some might say this is a bit picky, but it's digital, so that's just a matter of software memory, right?
- As far as interface goes, I like the way my nikon, and some others, have double dials on the front and back for shutter speed and apeture. (having one dial for shutter speed and pressing a button to change that same dial to apeture is rediculous, come on...) I could go really in depth about where I want each button, but I think I'll spare you and just cut to what annoys me the most: I want all exposure information, the histogram and the highlight blinker available like on the D70 where you just press side to side on the joystick to view different info menus on top of your photo. (down with the wheel, long live the joystick!) Except the genius that thought up and down should scroll images while left and right should scroll info has it backwards, I want the interface to be set up so that left and right scrolls the images while up and down scrolls info. And zooming should be all-in-one, meaning that one scroll dial can both zoom out to 4 or 9 images on the screen, and all the way in to whatever x you want. Then I want my joystick to scroll around that image while my other dial will, get this, scroll through each image at that zoom ratio, so as to be able to VERY QUICKLY compare sharpness or DOF between two photos. I can't count how many times I'm on a tripod taking the same exact picture, comparing two, and having to zoom in on the first one and find the sharpest reference point and then zoom out and go to the next picture and zoom in and fine the same reference point again. Scrolling between images @ zoomed in would be awesome. I know it might lag the chip if you're working with different size images, but that's as easy as a "lock zoomed scroll to similar size images" option in the custom settings menu. And any other owners of the D70 will agree with me, pressing one button to enter or exit the zooming application is rediculous and cumbersome. Do away with pressing buttons to zoom, leave it all to the scroll bars / joysticks...
- Get rid of those landscape / portait / action / flower settings, they just embarras me. Anyone who's going to invest in a DSLR, at the high prices they are now, doesn't deserve to own it if they don't know simple rules of how to stop action or blur a background. I just want full auto (long live the puny popup flash!) for pics of friends, and good 'ol PSAM. That's it.
- ISO from 60-1600 like the Kodak body, woohoo!
- 3-5 FPS, I can't EVER see myself needing more than that. I'm not taking pictures of bullets, am I?
- Dynamic buffers = genius. microdrives = cheap AND genius. :-)
- Let's all get together, sit down, order a pizza, and DECIDE IF WE WANT FULL FRAME SENSORS OR NOT, AAUGHH! I have nothing wrong with 1.5x, 1.5x is good. As long as camera companies start taking it seriously and make high quality optics for wide angles, instead of gallywagging around making $200 "travel" lenses that have 20x zoom range and fall apart in 8 months. Okay I'm exaggerating, and yeah I'll probably be buying some sort of wide-to-telephoto travel lens someday, but right now nobody knows what's in and what's out, so we need to figure out what is going to be the standard. Do you really think that for the rest of our lives we're going to be labeling our lenses with an "antiquated" focal length number and then asking about a sensor's conversion factor? Give me a break! I shoot with a Hasselblad 501c sometimes, and I can use a 40mm lens, an 80mm lens, and a 150mm lens. I know what picture angle these will get me, and I hope to goodness that if I ever get into the digital backs, they will be full frame 6x6. As far as 35mm goes, let's either convert all the way to 35mm digital sensors, or start calling it something else. I would throw a wrench in the works and say that I still shoot film too, but I don't think I'll get into that. Film IS on it's way out, like it or not, so we might as well figure out if our technology can create sensors that will print high resolution images with a smaller sensor area, or if we need to go to full frame. (sorry, this one got kinda long winded. It's late and I should be getting some sleep for the sunrise tomorrow. There's a storm raging all night right now and tomorrow morning at the marsh should be spectacular...)
- Mirror lock up is good... (for taking pictures, not for cleaning the sensor. My sensor cleans itself, remember?
- I want to be able to move pics between folders, from the camera...
- I want an option so that I can FORCE the camera to stretch the image's levels to the blown or black side; let me explain. Quite often, you end up with an exposure that's right smack dab in the middle of your histogram, with about a stop on either side of absolutely nothing. Which way do I compensate? Why not be able to compensate in BOTH directions? There should be an image processing custom setting to evaluate the potentilal histogram of the image, before it's taken, and expose so that it's slid all the way to the right or maybe 5 points into blown highlights. Or use algorithms to stretch the image's dynamic range so that it's got data at both ends of the histogram.
- Left handed...
Well, is that it? Hmm, that sounds like my dream camera all right! What do you guys think? It can't be more than two grand for a puppy like that... At least I'm hoping that DSLR's like these will be on the market for that much, in ten years. We'll see!