Sunday, April 26, 2009

New Camera Demands Photographer Upgrade

When I read a new camera review I often find myself wishing for at least one new feature that I don't have on my current camera bodies. I've written detailed specs for my dream camera that continue to evolve as newer cameras push the envelope and I haven't been shy about sharing some of my frustrations with my current gear's limitations either.

But then I got to thinking, what if my cameras could make their own list of features they want in a photographer? I wonder what sort of frustrations my camera bodies might have with me. What would their photographer wish list look like?

A few possible items from the list:

1) Body Color: Not a critical consideration

2) Shake Reduction: Ability to hand hold 1/15 like a rock with shake reduction turned off

3) Dust Reduction: Keeps their gear spotless

4) View Finder: Knows how to find the interesting shot and nail it

5) Manual Zoom: Hello, could we get a model with actual working feet please? How many shots do you really need from the same spot?

6) Auto Priority Mode: Knows what really matters in life and keeps it all in perspective

7) ISO (Sensitivity): Connects with all subjects on a personal level - Even when shooting the obligatory cat, sunset and flower macros

8) Noise Reduction: Patiently waits for new releases and knows when to shut up and shoot already

9) Durability: Has the stamina to get to interesting places and keep shooting all day with energy to spare

10) Auto Firmware Update: Constantly learning and applying new information

11) Intuitive Help System: Teacher at heart with a history of freely sharing what they know

12) In camera processing: Knows how to get it right in the camera

13) Advanced Image Processing Engine: Knows how to post process to fully translate their vision into something stunning

14) Pop up Flash: Random flashes of brilliance constantly popping into their mind and the ability to translate those ideas into photographs

15) Advanced Lighting Control System: Knows how to find, create, place and manipulate all forms of light

16) Internal Controls: Keeps their emotions in check when they miss a shot because I didn't focus quickly enough for them (ouch - this camera's been spying on me)

17) Frame Rate: Takes at least one picture/day, every day.

18) Live View: Constantly framing pictures in their mind no matter what they are doing

and probably most importantly...

19) Pixel (peeping) Density: Less is more - Photographer's pixel peeping density is getting excessive already, what I really want is less noise... refer #8. Would definitely trade a lower pixel peeping density for a higher frame rate any day.

What would your camera put on its list if it had the chance to shop for a new photographer? We all ask a lot of our gear. What if we started focusing on giving a little something back to the tools that work so hard for us now and then? Maybe the best investment in a gear upgrade is an investment in your camera's photographer. Just imagine what that thing could do if it could only get it's hands on the right tool for the job.


  1. Kevin
    Just found out about your blog. You've got a lot of interesting practical info here. I particularly like the fact that you pay some attention to the act of shooting and not just to post-processing. I know I still have a lot to learn (don't we all?) and your blog seems to be a good source for that!
    I'm adding a link to Ice Imaging on my own little blog and I'll keep an eye on your posts!

  2. Ha ha ha ha ha. Very funny, Kevin; I can imagine you felt somewhat inadequate after reading this e-mail, huh? :-)

  3. @ Frank - Thank you Frank. I've been using Photoshop since it was a DOS based program called Photostyler so I probably post process more than a lot of photographers prefer. A couple of years ago I decided to learn photography well enough that I wouldn't have to keep making up for my lack of camera skills in the digital darkroom. What I've discovered is that I am Photoshopping my images more than ever these days but it's for a new reason. I don't have to fix what I screwed up in the camera quite as often, but I'm getting so many more shots that I feel are deserving of the full treatment. I'm definitely still much stronger in Photoshop than I am behind a camera but the two skill sets are coming into a much better balance.

  4. That is brilliant. I forwarded your link to Brooks of Lenswork. Very clever and oh so true....!