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JCDoss
18th of April 2001 (Wed), 10:25
Aside from amazing, technological feats like a multi-megapixel imager capable of ISO 6400+, what features would you like to see in the next D30-level camera? I've noticed some discussion on LCD preview in another thread, which spawned this idea.

Here are my suggestions:
1) Flip/swivel LCD, 2", with full-time preview.

Note: If you read www.dpreview.com's D30 review, you'll see this quote on page three:

"Sub-note: there was a suggestion / question to the manufacturers from our discussion forum: Wouldn't it be possible to make the whole of the mirror semitransparent and replace the AF sensor with a cheap CMOS / CCD unit (say 850 K pixels) which could provide AF information and the ability to have a live preview on the rear LCD?"

That was my suggestion.

2) Voice annotation.

3) Automatic image rotation. I know many digital cameras already are capable of sensing when they're horizontal or vertical, and they rotate the images accordingly.

4) An IR AF assist light to replace the annoying and useless white light. Either that, or a better low-light AF module.

5) Wireless flash control. The Minolta series of film SLRs have wireless control of flash through their own pop-up flash units. A really neat feature, which when combined with Item #4, completely eliminates the need for accessories like the ST-E2.

6) A cheap, remote, IR shutter release like Canon includes with the G1.

7) Finally, I think a 5-6 megapixel imager would probably completely eliminate debate between film vs digital. Cleaner images at ISO 800 and 1600 would be nice too. Perhaps this wish will come true in the pro model.

Thoughts and suggestions?
JCDoss

Pekka
18th of April 2001 (Wed), 11:35
1) I'd like to see it have an computer controlled exposure function which would go automatically though different possible exposures and present one which would produce a "full" histogram (like auto contrast in PS).

2) I would also like to see a user setting for desired "direction" of exposure, normally cameras seek 18% gray - what if you could define this in menus?

3) More ISO, less noise.

4) Dust-proof design.

5) Live preview. They can do if it's required, I'm sure. Most pro's have never needed such a thing.

6) If no. 5 happens, then tilted LCD.

7) Keep price of the new unit the same as the former similar model. Like in computers, every year something better for same amount of cash.

8) A body which could accommondate different CCD chips: if you need more resolution change the chip. Same goes for buffer RAM - buy more if you need it.

JCDoss
18th of April 2001 (Wed), 12:12
Pekka wrote:
1) I'd like to see it have an computer controlled exposure function which would go automatically though different possible exposures and present one which would produce a "full" histogram (like auto contrast in PS).

2) I would also like to see a user setting for desired "direction" of exposure, normally cameras seek 18% gray - what if you could define this in menus?


I'm NOT speaking from experience, but aren't these two things more appropriately done in the digital darkroom? I would think tweaking exposure and levels is better done on the PC with a big monitor, rather than the relatively small LCD.

Pekka wrote:
3) More ISO, less noise.


If I had to choose between more ISO (say, 6400) or less noise at currently available ISOs, I'd choose the latter. But I'd welcome higher ISOs if they were available cheaply.

While thinking of high ISOs and fast shutter speeds, the following unrelated question arose... The D30's top shutter speed is 1/4000s. However, some film SLRs have top speeds of 1/8000 or even 1/12000 (!). Has anyone actually used shutter speeds this fast? What are the results?

Pekka wrote:
4) Dust-proof design.


Good idea. Maybe some kind of thin screen incorporated into the lens mount to prevent dust from getting in?

Pekka wrote:
5) Live preview. They can do if it's required, I'm sure. Most pro's have never needed such a thing.

6) If no. 5 happens, then tilted LCD.


In a series of emails to Phil Askey about LCD preview on digital SLRs, he said the following: "Trust me.. we'll see live preview in SLR's sometime soon ;)" This was in October, 2000.

Pekka wrote:
7) Keep price of the new unit the same as the former similar model. Like in computers, every year something better for same amount of cash.

8) A body which could accommondate different CCD chips: if you need more resolution change the chip. Same goes for buffer RAM - buy more if you need it.


Unfortunately, interchangeable chips would negate any attempts to keep the interior of the camera dust free. Also, these chips are the most expensive part of the camera, and keeping track of these small chips when they're not in use could lead to some very expensive accidents. Long and short is... if it can be done without compromising the dust-free interior of the camera, and if some way to store and protect imagers not in use can be devised, then I'd be for it. But it seems like pie-in-the-sky right now.

JCDoss

stripes
14th of May 2001 (Mon), 09:19
I would love to see the image be pre-rotated when taken on it's side. I think AMD sells solid state acceloromiters for less then $10 that could probably let Canon do that. Which digital cameras do that?

As for seeking something other then 18% grey, you can already do that. If you are shooting in M you let the light meter fall on something other then 0, in the other modes you dial in some exposure compensation depending on what you want the metered tone to look like in the print (er, jpg/crw). +.5 is "dark light", +1 is "light", +1.5 is "light light", +2 is "extremely light", +2.5 is "textureless light". If you meter a patch of blue you can have it show up light blue, or very dark blue, depending on what you think will make the best picture. It is better to do this in the camera, that will preserve more of the dynamic range, or at least it will preserve the dynamic range around the metered tone. If you capture an image at +0 and later manipulate it to +1 your light range will go from -1 to +3 rather then -2 to +2 (these are not the exact ranges, just an example).

My guess is if they reduce the noise at the current ISOs then we get higher ISOs automatically.

My film SLR only goes to 1/4000th, but I think the need for very fast shutters in a digital SLR is at least partly reduced. One reason to use a very fast shutter is to cut the light when shooting outdoors on a bright day with fast film. On a digital you can just cut the ISO back until a more normal shutter speed will do. There are other reasons though. Capturing motion for example, however I think 1/4000th can capture a whole lot of motion! It is also helpful sometimes to use a really fast shutter time to cut ambient light in a flash picture (to get a black background). That will also cut the amount of flash light you get, and I expect at 1/8000th the GN on the 550 will be quite low. A neutral density filter could do this as well.

The screen would catch dust itself, and might reduce the quality of the image a little. That might be a good trade off if it were somehow easily user cleanable. Or maybe a small vacuum to suck dust out of the mirror chamber automatically after every lens change?

Maybe the live preview could be done with the existing CMOS sensor in mirror lockup mode (if you are using the viewfinder you won't use the live preview, if you are using the live preview you won't use the viewfinder...). An advantage of the CMOS is that it is/should be simpler to read out just some of the pixels unlike the CCD, or to do on-chip averaging of areas... The LCD should definitely move as you would very rarely want to use the LCD when you could use the viewfinder.

A changeable sensor seems unreasonable just now. If the sensor size changes the whole light path size has to change. Once they hit full frame sensors it makes more sense. However even then they would need to change out the CPU and other support chips, unless you want the camera to get slower every time there you go to more megapixels. The imager+CPU+support chips is also likely to be half or more of the cost of the camera, so it will help defray the costs of keeping up, but not by a huge amount. (it might bring resale costs of the older digital models up a little though)

Voice annotation would be nice, as would GPS annotation.

Combine the built in IR AF assist, and the built in ST-E2. I would even be willing to lose the built in flash for that. However no existing Canon has built in ST-E2 capabilities, so I'm not expecting it. I do want it though.

Wireless shutter release would be nice. Many of Canon's film SLRs have it. It is useful for tripod shots and shots from a blind as well as self portraits.

Speaking of other Canon SLRs, how about the 45-point area AF ellipse from the EOS 3? Or at least the 7 points from the ELAN 7/Rebel 2000? Oh, and definitely interchangeable focus screens. I want to be able to put one ground glass and micro prisms in... A more rugged weatherproof body like the 1v's would be nice. And it's lighting fast AF. I want everything.

Mount the CMOS sensor on little gimbals, and make all lenses image stabilized.

I'm not sure 6Mpixels would silence everyone. Some people do shoot K25, Pan F, and Techpan. Those may have upwards of 24 Mpixels (they are also ISO 12 through ISO 25!). Kodak claims 35mm movie film is 12Mpixels (at least the originals and wet gate copies are - it can drop a lot for cheeper copies). 35mm movie film is taken on it's side so is half the area of 35mm still film...

6Mpixels may well match what I shoot most of the time though (Kodak Portra 160NC, Fuji Realia, Kodak Supra...). Then again this is about what I want, not what I think is reasonable :-) Give us more then 35mm film ever gave us. Let us make wall size images, or 8x10s of tiny crops. Make my 50mm lens work for bird images :-)

JCDoss
17th of May 2001 (Thu), 07:52
stripes wrote:
I would love to see the image be pre-rotated when taken on it's side. I think AMD sells solid state acceloromiters for less then $10 that could probably let Canon do that. Which digital cameras do that?

I know for sure that the HP912 and its Pentax equivalent auto-rotate images. If the hardware is as cheap as I've read, there's really no excuse for not having it in a >$2000 SLR. The other option is to do away with the rectangular format and use a large square or even a circular format, which would eliminate the need to rotate the camera in the first place.

stripes wrote:
My guess is if they reduce the noise at the current ISOs then we get higher ISOs automatically.

They've already begun to do this. The new Nikon 995 has cleaner low ISO's and a newly introduced ISO800.

stripes wrote:
The screen would catch dust itself, and might reduce the quality of the image a little. That might be a good trade off if it were somehow easily user cleanable. Or maybe a small vacuum to suck dust out of the mirror chamber automatically after every lens change?

But if the screen lies just under the lens mount, any dust on it shouldn't cause serious image quality problems since it's so far from the sensor. Plus, it should be easier to clean, and cleaning shouldn't pose a threat to the sensor.

stripes wrote:
Maybe the live preview could be done with the existing CMOS sensor in mirror lockup mode (if you are using the viewfinder you won't use the live preview, if you are using the live preview you won't use the viewfinder...). An advantage of the CMOS is that it is/should be simpler to read out just some of the pixels unlike the CCD, or to do on-chip averaging of areas... The LCD should definitely move as you would very rarely want to use the LCD when you could use the viewfinder.

One other thing I'd like to see is a selectable multiplier. You could shoot in native 1x or full-frame mode (assuming we have a full-frame sensor) or you could select an artificial 1.5x or 1.6x multiplier. If this ever happens, 1.5x could operate during MLU, and viewfinding could be done either from the rear LCD or from an EVF behind the prism. Doing this would not only automatically crop the image to the 1.5x size, but would also use MLU to minimize vibration.

stripes wrote:
Voice annotation would be nice, as would GPS annotation.
...Wireless shutter release would be nice. Many of Canon's film SLRs have it. It is useful for tripod shots and shots from a blind as well as self portraits.

Voice annotation would be incredibly useful. Just a simple 10 seconds/shot would be sufficient. I'm not sure about GPS since I'm not that familiar with it.

I don't understand why they package one for free with the G1 and Pro90, but they charge a whopping $400 (I think) for the model compatible with their most recent SLRs!! Moreover, the wireless remote for the ElanII can be bought for about $20! What's the story here??

stripes wrote:
Mount the CMOS sensor on little gimbals, and make all lenses image stabilized.

I'm not sure this would work. The CMOS would have to move a LONG way in order to successfully correct image shake. Check out the Canon Museum's animated demo of their IS system.

http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/tech/room/f_index.html

stripes wrote:
6Mpixels may well match what I shoot most of the time though (Kodak Portra 160NC, Fuji Realia, Kodak Supra...). Then again this is about what I want, not what I think is reasonable :-) Give us more then 35mm film ever gave us. Let us make wall size images, or 8x10s of tiny crops. Make my 50mm lens work for bird images :-)

Problem is that a 6MP full frame sensor will have LARGER pixels than the D30 already has. If you simply made a 24x36mm sensor using D30-sized pixels, you'd end up with 8.6MP!

Slightly smaller pixels (say, 8um rather than 10um) will provide a resolution of 3000x4500 in a 24x36mm sensor, totalling 13.5MP. This ought to be enough, don't you think?

By the way, if you artifically crop the frame to 1.5x, or 16x24, you end up with a 2000x3000 image, or 6MP. So you see, resolution doesn't take a serious hit if you use a selectable multiplier.

Good discussion,
JCDoss

H8Monday
6th of November 2008 (Thu), 11:40
Seems like most the wishes came true.

kevin_c
6th of November 2008 (Thu), 11:45
Blimey! you must be up for an award here - resurecting the oldest thread or something!

How on earth did you find this?

H8Monday
6th of November 2008 (Thu), 11:46
eh... I found some of the discussion here to be interesting, looking back nearly 8 years of DSLR progress.