This is not a review of any camera. This is an idea of what I believe the perfect camera could be.
Obviously technical details such as a large sensor, RAW shooting capabilities and good, noiseless shots when in darker spaces are givens and already available technology. So I am going to focus on the other little things.
1. The camera should be small enough to carry around everywhere. It shouldn’t be too noticeable as this can often affect the shot you want when shooting candid shots of people. With a body-size the old film cameras used to have. I’m thinking Nikon FE, or even the new Fujifilm X100 Finepix or the X1 Pro they will be launching in February this year.
2. The camera should have a hybrid viewfinder, which means I only want to use the screen at the back to view my photos, not to take the pictures. The viewfinder can be optical but it must be able to switch to digital, where the shot is seen as it would be captured, the same way you can see the shot change when adjusting shutter-speed or aperture when you are in Manual mode on a Canon G11. The thumb-operated roller wheel is a good feature, and should be incorporated.
3. Shutter-lag is a big problem for point and shoots, and it’s probably the only way the pro cameras can be distinguished from the other ‘bridge’ cameras, and I think it might even be done on purpose. It is the worst thing for a photographer to want to take a certain image, and having to wait a second for the shot to actually be captured. The iPhone’s shutter-lag is almost non-existent, so I think the solution is already out there. I need the shutter-lag not to exist in order for me to capture the shots I see.
4. Interchangeable prime lenses should be offered like they are doing with the Fujifilm Finepix X1 Pro (See above image). Good optics, and compact so it can be carried around with you wherever you go. If there are zoom lenses, they must be non-variable with apertures that go up to f1.4.
5. Wifi-shooting is a concept have been thinking about. What if the camera has a wifi enabled system, so pics can be transferred from the camera to iPhone or iPad as they are taken, without having to plug it in to import or export afterwards. Smaller memory cards can then be used? (There should be an app for that?)
6. Bring the classic style back. The argument used to be that digital cameras shouldn’t look like film cameras because they dont use film, but I say they are flat at the back because its the most comfortable around your neck. Ever try carry a new Hasselblad around your neck? You won’t be able to, the camera is just not designed for it. When it comes to cameras, good ergonomic design should be priority, but do it with a style, make me proud of the camera around my neck, not embarrased about the bright colours or ‘too-liquid’ design.
I think each person should write a list of their needs when it comes to a camera. The smart camera manufacturer will do crowd sourcing of information and needs and hopefully within a couple of years we will have the perfect camera. Please post your needs and wants, and also links to something you have written about cameras. Awesome stuff.