I am a very lucky guy. I’ve been able to shoot with almost every cool digital camera ever made. And the quality of the average digital camera has risen to unbelievable heights. To add to the good news, the cameras have not only improved dramatically, they’ve improved at breakneck speed. In five short years we’ve gone from good to great to fantastic.
But still, like all photographers, I yearn for the perfect camera. And while I love my D3 bodies, I still don’t see perfection on the horizon. With that in mind, I decided that the New Year would be a great time to let the camera companies know what’s on my wish list.
NOTE! This is not about brands. I would buy the camera I am about to describe even if Exxon made it!
1. I have fallen in love with the full-frame sensor and expect that the perfect digital camera should assume that as a baseline.
2. Megapixel madness can stop. I think a 15-megapixel camera is more than enough for 99% of all photographic use, and certainly enough for me. So, since this is MY dream camera we’re talking about, I want around 15-megapixel resolution please.
3. I want improved high-ISO noise performance AND great detail on my dream digital camera. The Nikon D3 has current state-of-the-art high-ISO noise performance. Now, I just want that paired with the kind of resolving power we see from the larger megapixel cameras.
4. The full-frame sensor on my dream camera MUST be self-cleaning. The self-cleaning Canon sensor seems to work the best of all I have tested. So that’s the bare minimum quality of self-cleaning sensor I want installed in my dream camera.
5. Image stabilization should be built into any dream camera body and NOT just a function of the lens. While I believe it’s not currently possible to give someone three or four stops of stabilization when it’s body only, I’ll settle for two stops. Yes I’ve heard claims otherwise, and people with these sorts of cameras already want to believe they’re getting four stops of help – but they are not.
6. If we’re talking dream cameras, it’s time for full 16-bit color sensors people. Really! Not 14-bit – 16-bit.
7. Histograms and full image info should be available in the viewfinder on my dream digital camera.
8. There should be actual physical buttons and switches on the body for things like ISO, mirror lockup, shutter speed and aperture. My perfect digital camera would have as few nested menus as possible.
9. My perfect camera would come with an adapter that allowed me to use lenses from any major lens manufacturer. Yeah I know it’s a long shot – but hey, this is my fantasy so leave me alone :)
10. There should be an open-standard RAW converter included in the price of my perfect digital camera.
11. I’d like my perfect dream digital camera to capture HD video with decent audio, full exposure control and fast autofocus combined with good ergonomics.
12. While I don’t use Live View that often, when I do, I want my dream camera to offer competent autofocus – mostly for video.
13. I want my dream camera to offer selectable autofocus sensors/points across the entire sensor, not just in the middle.
14. I want HDR built-in to my dream digital camera. If we can auto-bracket, then it’s not that big a leap to HDR.
15. I think we’re at the point where the perfect digital camera should shoot at LEAST 10FPS with a 20-Frame buffer.
16. My perfect dream digital camera will be weather-sealed and light weight.
17. Battery life on a dream digital camera should exceed eight hours, and the camera company should include at least two batteries with the camera as well as a dual charger.
18. My perfect digital camera would offer a flash sync of 1/500th of a second or faster.
19. My perfect digital camera would offer ND filters built in so I could work at slow shutter speeds in bright light.
20. My perfect digital camera would retail on the street for less than $5000.00.
This is MY perfect digital camera. Tell me what you want on your perfect digital camera.