You may recall that a while ago, I decided to start building my ideal perfect “dream camera”! In fact, I devoted 3 blog posts to it, and you’ve patiently waited for the grand finale, so here it is – what rounds out the list for the ultimate dream camera!
For those that need a refresher, here’s what’s included so far (click the title to go the blog post where each item is explained in detail):
- Part 1
- Full Frame Sensor
- EF-S support
- Low Light Performance
- ISO handling
- Multi-card compatibility
- Part 2
- Frame Rate
- HDMI support
- Internal wireless/Bluetooth
- Part 3
- Shutter rating
- Re-designed pop-up
- Flash Focus points
- In-camera IS
Here you go, the grand finale…rounding out my top twenty requests for features to include in a dream camera are:
1. Inter-vendor lens compatibility
So many times I’ve seen a Nikon lens or a Pentax lens where I’ve thought it would be so cool to use that on a Canon body (imagine the Nikon 8-400f4.5 on a 1Ds Mark III!), and with the Red Camera and its interoperability (you basically built it to spec) the idea is not too far-fetched.
2. Firmware Add-ons
Just like with Photoshop and Lightroom, when you open up the firmware for your cameras to 3rd parties for additional feature development – the long run result is that cameras just become more adept. Using the Chkdk “hack” on Canon is ok, but imagine if Canon (and others) just opened it up and said – “Buy it from us if you want support but here’s the firmware if you want to develop your own apps and features” How awesome would that be?
3. An upgrade Program
Some vendors have it, others don’t, and others do, but don’t tell you about it. Imagine you are starting out and you pick up an economical 70-300 f4 lens. It’s nice, but it doesn’t have IS, nor fast optics, and after a while, you notice that the optics aren’t as sharp as the 70-300L lens (or whatever). Wouldn’t it be cool if the vendor then had a trade-up program for you where you send in your lens in exchange for a lower price on the new lens? Then the vendor could refurbish the lens, and let the next newcomer in at a lower price? There’s money to be made there and I don’t think vendors have really seized the day on this one yet. And it’s a shame because with the economy grade glass, I fear too much is just getting thrown out and is not recycled. The same goes for flashes, bodies, etc.! (Think the 430EX to the 550, to the 580…) Computer vendors have upgrade cycles, why not camera vendors?
4. Universal plugs for accessories
Proprietary adaptors for things like flashes, batteries, and other peripherals are right now the bread and butter of camera vendors in my estimation, because many people believe that only the camera vendor parts are able to perform adequately. This is no longer true, and vendors perpetuating this myth only is a disservice to the advancement of photography as a field. Third party vendors have figured it out, so surely getting Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus and the others to agree on a format is worthwhile isn’t it? We’re halfway there, just look at media compatibility (CF and SD are pretty much the industry standards, and it’s rapidly moving to only SD…)!
5. Keep prices reasonable
Now I realize that I’ve just run off a list of 19 features that are pretty pricey – but odds are, if I want all these, I am willing to pay a price for it. If you look at the math, the average price for a decent SLR these days is in the $1200-$1500 range. When you figure that the average enthusiast will upgrade every 18-24 months – I’d rather spent $5000 once rather than $1500 three times in that same cycle. Fewer upgrade hassles, more focus on the work less on the gear – and the vendor could make more!
Customer retention should be coming from your service and support, not from leap-frogging others in the industry every 18 months. It distracts from the larger purpose of actually taking great photos. The gear is only a tool…and forcing these upgrades every 18 months is just silly.
There you have it – 20 features of a dream camera! That’s not too much to ask, is it? What about everyone else? Any must have features you’d rather see? Anything I missed? Sound off in the comments, I’d love to hear others thoughts! I’ll be back tomorrow with more from the White Pocket trip! Happy shooting and we’ll see you then!