It’s been just over two and a half years since I was given the Canon 5D Mark II by Canon for testing and reviewing. After spending three glorious weeks with the revolutionary camera, I was stunned by its low light performance and was in awe of it. One year down the line, I was given a Canon 7D, again for testing and reviewing. The body and handling of the camera felt perfect but the image quality left something to be desired. At that moment, I felt that the a culmination of both cameras would be my dream camera.
Another year down the line, lo and behold, the Canon 5D Mark III, the camera that is the perfect upgrade for me from my 5 year old trusty Canon 40D. The beautiful contours and ergonomics of the 7D combined with a full frame sensor make the camera an absolute joy to use. Fitting like a glove, it is a true extension of my hand and having customized it to the hilt, I can use it without even thinking twice about what I am doing.
Before you continue reading, you should be aware that just like last time, this is not going to be a technical or highly detailed review of the Canon 5D Mark III but rather a personal and intimate opinion of the camera. It will focus on the camera’s operation in daily use and give you a perspective of its practical changes, improvements and shortcomings. In some ways, this is all you need to know before you plop down the cash for a new camera but if you prefer a more specific review, I would recommend the reviews on both The Digital Picture and DPReview.
The first impression of the camera is the distinctive improvements in the body. Even though it weights around 1.5kgs with the kit lens (24-105 f/4 L IS), it hardly feels that heavy as it fits the curves of my hand rather well. The second thing that is instantly visible in the moving of the ON-OFF switch below the mode dial in the top left corner, a la 7D. While this does not seem like a significant change initially, it does mean that I cannot pick up the camera, turn it on and start shooting with just one hand. The same applies for the zoom button being moved from the traditional Canon placement at the top right corner but I have managed to overcome this through the use of the custom functions which allow to customize nearly every single button on the camera.
In terms of image quality and low light performance, it seems like it is around 2 stops better than he Mark II. Since the resolution has only increased by a small amount, the use of the new “gapless” sensor technology has meant that it has a practical impact on image noise. While ISO 102,400 is still extremely noisy, it does mean that you can shoot at ISO 16,000 without worrying too much about noise if you are only going to publish online.
The main highlight of the camera is undoubtedly the autofocus. Having borrowed the blazing fast 61 point autofocus sensor from the top-of-the-line Canon 1DX, it is a vast improvement over the Mark II’s commonly criticized slow autofocus. It works surprisingly well in near-dark situations and the AI Servo mode for moving subjects will prove to be a boon for sports photographers. I still stick with my classic One Shot AF point and manually selecting the focus point for a large majority of my shoots as it gives me the opportunity to handpick where I want the camera to focus.
Moving up from a Canon 40D to the Canon 5D Mark III has brought with it a whole host of pros and cons. Pros include having a huge finder which reminds of my 35mm cameras, a very similar button layout but with more functions, being able to use most of old accessories and of course, being able to shoot HD video. Cons include a slightly longer startup time for the camera, vignetting with non-L lenses (a distortion that I had never considered in the past), and learning that shooting at 1.8 on full frame is going to give me a really shallow Depth-of-Field.
I am yet to make full use of the availability of both a CF and SD card slot but something tells me that moment is not far away. Additionally, I am very keen to experiment with the in-camera HDR processing mode on a landscape shoot. There are a ton of features on the camera that I am yet to fully play with and it will definitely be a while before I know it like the back of my hand. in a strange twist of fate, I find that this camera is rather close to a list that I had mentioned in a blog post 4 years ago expressing my opinion about the features that I thought would be in future cameras. You can read the post here.
Having said all that, make no mistake, it will still take something more for a camera to shift me away from my love for 35mm film. But the Mark III is very nearly there. I have spent only two weeks with the 5D Mark III but I already feel very comfortable shooting with it. Over the next few months and years, it will grow to become more familiar and reliable. With the Mark III by my side, every situation is conquerable – I just need to get some more L lenses!
Currently listening to – Love is Blindness by Jack White
Its been exactly 9 months since my last interaction with Canon. (Read about it here) Last night, I was once again invited by 1000Heads on behalf of Canon to give my feedback about their products, discuss the new products released, and try out some very expensive equipment.
I had to leave work early if I wanted to reach London on time but I still managed to get a bit delayed, thanks to the great local buses. Nevertheless, once I got there, I spotted some familiar faces from last time and some new ones as well. David Parry from Canon quickly introduced himself and the plethora of equipment available for us to play with, which ranged from the ultra-portable camera S95 to the behemoth of lens, 70-200 f/2.8 IS Mk II. I managed to find the 85mm f/1.2 which was simply stunning. It weighed a ton but felt surprisingly balanced once I’d mounted it on my 40D and once I started shooting away, every single photo was a masterpiece.
We briefly paused our lens lust session to watch a presentation by Dave about the Canon 60D. He explained the reasoning behind its introduction (to update the 50D as the 550D was surpassing it), and listing out its features. A common feeling across room was that the 60D had been ‘dumbed down’ when compared to the 50D by including more basic features and removing some advanced features. Dave swiftly defended this by proclaiming that they were trying to expand to a wider userbase. While I still do not agree with him, I can see where he is coming from but I still feel that the 60D has, in some ways, moved down rather than up. We tried to prod for more details about upcoming cameras and technologies but he remained tight-lipped about any speculated information.
Following this, everyone grabbed their favourite piece of kit for the photowalk. Up for grabs was a 50mm f/1.2, 14mm f/2.8, 15mm f/2.8 fisheye, 24mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.2, 15-85mm, and of course, the G12 & S95. By the time we had sorted all the gear out, the slight drizzle had developed into a fully fledged pour down of rain. Undeterred with all this weatherproof gear, we marched on through the streets of Central London, pausing in China Town for some fantastic play of colour and composition before getting back to the office after 40 minutes. In the field, the speed of the focusing of the 85mm was evident even in near pitch-black situations. While it did get stuck occasionally, I do not blame the lens as manually focusing at f/1.2 was tougher than I thought. The spectacularly wide aperture allowed me to shoot at fairly low ISOs between 500 and 1000 on my 40D to keep noise at a minimum. The shallow depth of field (DoF) while shooting fully open was something I had never experienced before and it led to some on-the-field learning as I had to change my style of shooting to adapt to the lens. Moving from the 85mm to the 14mm was a dramatic change in focal length and it took a good 10 shots for me to get used to the 24mm. I shot it wide open all the time simply because I wanted a shallow DoF after having playing with the 85mm’s razor thin DoF. Focusing was quick but not as versatile as the 85mm because it had two less stops of light to gather data from. Before returning to the office, I switched back to the 85mm, I just loved that lens so much.
Back at the office, we were given the opportunity to print out the photos from the walk on a couple of gorgeous PIXMA printers at qualities I would’ve never thought would be possible at home. We were also shown samples from the PIXMA MP280 which is proposed to released early next month. The quality was stunning and in equally good news, I learnt that it would retail for a mere £50! Apart from that, we were also shown the PIXMA 9000 which produced mind-blowing A3 sized prints in a matter of 6 minutes. It was £400 which is definitely out of my budget but I can see it be a tempting purchase for several photographer friends.
The evening finally had to end but in good spirits as all of us were given a camera and lens to trial for 2 weeks. I was given a 7D and 16-35mm lens on request which I am going to put to good use over the next fortnight! I’d like to extend a warm thanks once again to Katy, Lisa & Lauren from 1000Heads for this great opportunity and Dave & Richard from Canon for patiently answering our questions and showcasing all of Canon’s latest products.
The Canon 5D Mark II.
A camera that completely changed the digital SLR game.
When I first wrote about it around a year and half ago, I would’ve given up everything I owned for it. Today, I would still do the same. However, Canon decided that they would lend me the camera without me having to give up my possessions.
After my Round Table Meeting with Canon in December, I was lent the Canon 5D Mark II for 3 whole weeks, most of which would be spent at home in India. I got the camera literally 12 hours before my plane left and the moment I held it in my hands, I fell in love with it.
Every photograph looked stunning, every video looked brilliant, I could sing praises about it for hours at end. One thing is for certain, this is not going to be a technical review of the camera. If you want a technical review, head over to DPReview’s 40 page review. This is going to be a summary of a personal experience with the camera, a brief narrative of what I loved about the camera, what I didnt like and how it fit into my life.
The camera didnt handle particularly different from my 40D except for the fact that it was considerably heavier. The button layout felt very similar as did the menu. The viewfinder was absolutely fantastic, the joy of full frame is really something else. The high-res screen was a much needed upgrade and was gorgeous to look at, although it was a battery drainer. The High ISO capability was outstanding, and being able to take photos lit with nothing but a LED from a crappy phone and make it look like strobes was definitely fun. We shot plenty of videos at dusk, making full use of the sensor and the bokeh with a 50mm f/1.8.
One of my minor complaints with the camera was the autofocusing which didnt seem to have much improvement over my 40D. It proved quite annoying when trying to autofocus in the dark since ultimately it wasnt the ISO that prevented me from taking a photo but rather the focusing. Hopefully Canon are working to sort this out soon, and I’ve heard the 7D has a better autofocus system.
It wasnt only I who fell in love with the camera, it was pretty much everyone who laid their eyes on it. A couple of my friends in India were considering not letting me leave for England so that we wouldn’t have to return the camera. We made the most of it in the 3 weeks I had it and secretly hoped that Canon would let me keep it forever.
During my last day with the camera, I made a small project titled ‘A Day in my Life’ wherein I took photos of my daily activities right from the time I woke up till I went to bed over the course of 16 hours. It was great fun, especially while trying to find an artistic angle for things that would normally be deemed as boring and then attempting to use the tripod and setting the camera to the perfect position. You can see all the 30 photos here.
I got quite attached to the camera and was gutted when I had to return it. I’m back to my loyal 40D now but n eedless to say, the Canon 5D Mark II will definitely be my next investment.
Update – Canon Camera Buzz has been kind of enough to link to my project, check out their post here!
My relationship with Canon can be likened to that of a lion and his cubs. Hatred one moment and pure love the next second.
Some may recall few of my earlier posts directed at Canon, asking them to get their game into order and appreciating their efforts. If you havent guessed already, this one falls into the latter category.
Earlier this month, I received an email from 1000Heads, a company who I’ve worked with before on BBC Blast, asking me if I’d like to attend a round table discussion with Canon. Being the massive Canon fanboy that I am, it would taken a pack of hunting wolves to make me say no. After confirming my attendance, I got more details about the event and it was finally D-Day yesterday.
After getting to the 1000Heads office in London, I was introduced to the other photographers who had been invited to this session and the Canon Rep, Mark Burnhill. There were 7 photographers in all and as I’ve got used to now, I was the youngest one there. We kicked off on time with the Canon Rep explaining why we were here and we’re going to do during the next couple of hours.
After some brief ‘rambling’ about Canon, he started off by introducing the Canon dSLR line up from the beginner 1000D, working his way up to the flagship 1Ds Mk-III. He had a few lines to say about each camera and patiently answered all of our questions. I’ll mention some of the highlights below.
The Canon 1000D was designed as a beginner/starter camera for students who cannot afford a fully fledged dSLR but would still a reasonable number of features. It does the job perfectly, and is very compact and even used by some professionals as a casual backup camera.
The Canon 450D was initially planned to be phased out with the introduction of the Canon 500D but due to high demand and popularity, they decided to keep it in their line up. It is still very popular and considered as a benchmark camera for the low end of dSLRs.
The Canon 500D received a bit of negative feedback on launch due to its high price but it has gained some support with its high-res screen and video mode.
The Canon 50D is supposed to have much better weather resistance than originally advertised due to different standards of weather testing between Japan and Europe. In my hand, it felt very similar to my own 40D, albeit with a better screen.
The Canon 7D is an absolute beaut of a camera to use. Mark told us that it was one of the few Canon dSLRs to be redesigned from ground up with constant feedback throughout the design process. As the slogan says ‘Designed by you, made by Canon’, and after having used it, I must say it is very true. The handling is very different from the 50D and it fits my hand perfectly. Button placement is great, the screen is gorgeous, the viewfinder is much bigger, full weather sealing and the autofocus system has been completely reworked much to my pleasure. I can sing praises about the 7D all day long but we have to move along. (PS – Christmas present for me, anyone?)
The Canon 5D Mk II, much to noone’s surprise is a magnificent gadget. I think I still like the 7D more than it simply due to the fact that it fits better into my hands but the 5D Mk II does win when compared technically with its full frame sensor vs. the 7D’s 1.6x crop sensor. Every shot I took with the 5D Mk II looked perfect straight out of camera, without any post processing. We were also informed that a new firmware would be out soon to enable 24/25 & 30fps recording at 1080p & a few other surprises. However, 720p would still be missing.
The next camera was the pièce de résistance, the Canon 1D Mk IV. Built like a tank, it weighed like one as well and was a beast to use. The 102,400 ISO is ridiculously high and I cant say it has great quality but it definitely makes 6400 ISO virtually noiseless. Probably a bit too big for my hands, it was still a splendid camera to try out and the shutter click was very satisfying. We were told that sales would start this weekend.
The Canon 1Ds Mk III had quite possibly the most spectacular viewfinder I have ever used. Full frame was really something else and it also weighed a ton! The screen seemed relatively bland after having used all the other high-res screens but I suppose it still does its job. Mark remained tight lipped about its successor but I think we can expect one for mid next year.
Other information we discussed included the famed “Eye Control Focus” which was ditched after using it in very few cameras, and not because of the technology but rather because it violated some patents in America. I thought that was a shame because I really do like that feature in my EOS 5 and would have loved to see it move on dSLRs and be perfected. We talked in detail about the reason for pricing difference in the US and UK/Europe which we were told was due to translation costs for manuals and EU licensing and certification but I still doubt they make the same profit in both markets.
Mark briefly talked about how full frame edge-to-edge autofocusing is something that would a significant leap in innovation simply due to the technological constraints of today. He also mentioned that due to cultural differences between Japan and Europe, it takes a lot of time and effort to convey the requirements of the European customer to them. About new lenses, he said that there were plans to rehaul the full range of lenses over the course of the next few years since a majority of current line up was never designed to work with resolutions beyond 21Megapixels. However, due to technical limitations, they can only redesign a maximum of 8 lenses a year, given that no new lenses were being made.
He said that Canon had no immediate plans to venture into the Medium Format industry and would continue to innovate and excel in dSLRs.
The 2 hours had flown by faster than we thought and it was soon time to wrap up. We were taken to dinner afterwards to a fancy French restaurant, Chez Gerard where we got to know each other better. The food was delicious (I had the Salmon) but the portions were a bit small for my liking. Nevertheless, it was nice to meet other similar minded people, and we exchanged contact details before we departed at around 11pm after a great evening.
My sincere thanks to Nicola & Aaron at 1000Heads for organizing the evening, Mark Burnhill for personally interacting with his customers, Canon for being the best camera manufacturers in my books, and everyone who came along and made the evening pleasant and eventful!
See the full set of photos from the evening over here!
Some of you may remember my previous post requesting Canon to come with something revolutionary in thei next dSLR. And they’ve done exactly that, killing the competition with the newly announced Canon 5D Mark II. With a resolution of 21.1 Megapixels, maximum ISO of 25,600 and full HD movie recording, Canon has just proved to everyone why they are the leader of the camera market with the 5D Mark II.
And the features mentioned above are just the start of the story. It sports the newly introduced Digic IV processor which can process the full 1080p HD video at 30fps and also allows one to shoot still images while the video is being taken without any interruption. It also has audio at a decent quality of 16-bit PCM at 44KHz along with a provision for an external stereo mic. The burst speed is probably a bit slow at 3.9 fps but it still can shoot 310 frames non stop.
It has the much touted 3.0″ Clear View LCD screen with a viewing angle of 170° which can automatically adjust brightness to suit viewing conditions and Live View with 3 different modes of autofocus, similar to the 50D.
In the area of ISO, Nikon was winning with its first full frame camera which had an ISO of 25,600, until today. Canon has trumped the D3 which only had 12 Megapixels with the 5D Mark II, which along with having 21.1 Megapixels of resolution, also has an ISO range of 50 – 25,600 which is the largest range of any dSLR to date.
It has a 9 point autofocus sensor which doesnt sound too fabulous when compared to the D3′s 51-point autofocus but it is also assisted by 6 additional invisible autofocus points present inside the spot-metering circle which, now, only covers 3.5% of the frame.
No surprises about the introduction of sensor cleaning, it has the standard EOS Integrated Sensor Cleaning System, but with an addition of a new Fluorine coating on the low-pass filter.
Additional improvements include a minor increase in viewfinder coverage from 96% to 98%, three levels of noise reduction which will kick in when shooting at ISOs higher than 800 and larger battery capacity.
Along with the camera, Canon has also announced a 24mm f/1.4 L II lens for wide angle shots in low light, featuring several new technologies.
The only reason one would buy a Canon 1Ds Mark – III is for the slightly faster burst rate, build quality, more autofocus points and its higher shutter durability.
Now that Sony has entered the 20 Megapixel camera race with the A900, we can only wait and see what Nikon has to offer.
The Canon 5D Mark – II will ship in November with a price tag of US: $2,699, EU: €2,499, UK: £2,299 for the body only. I cannot wait to see some sample videos and photos from this masterpiece.
Monday, 20th August 2007
Canon announced two brand new dSLRs, the Canon 40D with a 6.5fps burst and 3″ Live View LCD and the Canon 1Ds Mark III with a whopping 21 Megapixel Full Frame Sensor. The 40D is acknowledged by the photography world as the true successor to the 20D since the 30D wasnt very revolutionary. With a 10 Megapixel sensor, it was only a small leap from the 8 Megapixel sensor of the 30D but it included several additional features such as DIGIC III processor and 6.5fps burst capable of shooting 75jpgs, which earned it some nods of approval from the photography world.
The 1Ds Mark III naturally stunned everyone with its large megapixel count, something only earlier achievable by medium format digital cameras and to this day, remains the dSLR with the highest megapixel count. It had a burst rate of 5fps, admittedly slower than the 40D but at capable of recording 56 21Megapixels RAW, one cant really complain. It also boasted of Dual DIGIC III processors to process the 185MB of data every second produced at full burst. It had a decent ISO range from ISO 50 to ISO 3200 and a 19 point autofocus sensor. A $8,000, it was expensive but there were probably a lot of people willing to spent that much of money for the megapixels.
Thursday, 23rd August 2007
Nikon retaliated with its two latest offerings, the Nikon D300 with a 51-point autofocus sensor and an impressive 922,000 pixel 3″ LCD with Live View and autofocus, and the Nikon D3 with a mindblowing ISO of 25,600 and a Full Frame 12 Megapixel sensor capable of 11fps burst. The D300 is probably not directly comparable with the 40D since it falls in a higher price bracket (the D300 costs $1,800 opposed to the $1,300 of the 40D) but the mind tends to compare things and since both of them were announced within 3 days of each other, people started saying how the D300 was so much more awesome than the 40D which was true.
As for the D3, it was a reason to rejoice for Nikonians all over the world since it was their first full frame dSLR and came with features that would make some Canonians burn with jealousy. Even though it only had a 12 Megapixel Sensor, the fact that it could shoot at 25,600 ISO, the highest in the world even today, was a huge selling point. It had a screen similar to the D300 and a Virtual Horizon feature and even HDMI output. At $5,000, it was also noticeably cheaper than the Canon equivalent.The 1Ds Mark III did have its advantage when it came to megapixels but the D3′s ISO and autofocus tempted several sports photographs to switch sides as was visible in the Beijing Olympics with a marked decrease in white lenses.
Tuesday, 1st July 2008
Nikon officially announced the much rumoured about Nikon D700, a camera with the guts of the D3 and the body of the D300. It was in direct competition with the Canon 5D which was a highly successful full frame camera. The D700 would also prove to be popular among the people since one could have the essential features of the D3 minus the fast burst rate and could carry around a much more portable camera. Costing $3,000, it was well worth it.
Tuesday, 20th August 2008
Canon announces the much anticipated successor to the 40D, the Canon 50D. With a remarkable 15Megapixels of resolution and 12,800 ISO, it sounds like a clear winner. In addition to that, it will be the first camera to sport the new DIGIC 4 processor. Learned from Nikon, it now boasts of a sparkling 3″ VGA LCD with Live View and 3 modes of autofocus and also HDMI output. The LCD is supposed to be superior to that of the Nikon D3 which is good news. Priced reasonably at $1,400, it almost looks like Canon is making a comeback against Nikon.
Wednesday, 21st August 2008
Nikon announces the successor to the hugely popular D80, the Nikon D90. With a 12Megapixel sensor and a maximum ISO of 6400, it doesnt sound like a worthy opposition to the Canon 50D. It also has the same screen as the D3 with Live View and a 4.5fps burst. But the magic feature of the D90 is its ability to record movies. Yes, Nikon has just released the world’s first dSLR with video recording capabilities. This is sure to create a lot of buzz among everyone and since its priced at $1,300, it’s going to be very tempting for some potential 50D buyers.
Along the the 50D, Canon has also announced its newest superzoom lens, the Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.5 IS for use the with crop sensor cameras. It was about time that Canon annouced a superzoom lens since Nikon had already done so a long time ago. However, the leader in the world superzooms is Tamron with its newest offering having an impressive range of 15x with a focal length of 18-270mm with VC which is Tamron’s version of IS. Once again, consumers will have a choice of Canon’s higher priced lower focal length offering or Tamron’s lower priced higher focal length solution. The difference in quality can only be determined once they have been released and one has to see whether there will be remarkable differences which would make the Canon worth the money.
In the world of flashes, Nikon seems to be leading as well with the new Nikon SB-900 which is Nikon’s top of the line flash and definitely trumps Canon’s top of the line 580EX-II. The SB-900 comes with some world’s first features such as a flash zoom range of 17-200mm and three different illumination patterns. Sony is making a revolution in its own world with the first flash in the world with a vertical swivel. The HVL-F58AM from Sony has a very innovative “Quick Shift Bounce” system also makes it a must have for many photographers.
Sony will also be entering the Full Frame with the announcement of its much anticipated new Pro level dSLR which is touted to have a 24Megapixel sensor and will effectively become the dSLR with the highest megapixel count. And since Sony supplies the sensors for Nikon, it shouldnt be too much of a surprise if Nikon announces a D3X with a 24Megapixel sensor as well. This would be a huge blow to Canon which needs to get its show together at Photokina this year. Photokina starts on the 23rd of September at Germany and almost every photographer is eagerly awaiting the announcement of the Canon 5D’s successor. Several rumours have been all around the internet but we wont know for sure until Canon announces it officially. I sincerely do hope that Canon have something mindblowing and revolutionary in store for everyone because if they dont, Nikon is going to slowly start taking the lead…
Disclaimer – I own a Canon 40D which I bought around a year ago.
Few of you may have read a post I wrote almost a year ago about ‘5 Features we can expect in future cameras‘. I must admit I was quite a newbie to the technical aspects of photography that time and really didnt know much about the practicality of photography. I was an excited new photographer wanting to try out all the possible different forms of photography in the easiest way possible without really paying much attention to each type. As a result, the list contains things that are probably not particularly useful to the professional photographer but are useful for the everyday photographer who is satisfied with a simple and easy method of photography. That being said, I thought an overview of the list would be useful to see how it could be modified, what things are already achieved and what are on their way.
1. GPS and Google Earth Integration
This was one of the features I’d wanted in cameras before. I cant imagine why I would have wanted because practically, it does not have much value. You can indeed still buy GPS addons for cameras but I dont see any reason to have them built-in. It would only increase the price of the camera unnecessarily for everyone while being useful for the few people who would actually use them. It *might* become a part of cameras but I dont see any need for it.
2. 3D Models
This is the feature of a software rather than of hardware. Indeed, it would be pretty cool to have a 3D model of places like Microsoft’s Photosynth but it doesnt have much to do with the hardware of the cameras but rather a software which should be able to read the visual content of each photograph and link them together.
3. Direct Internet Upload
Eye-fi, a new announced but yet to be released SD Card with build in Wi-fi can do this. It sounds promising and will be quite useful for people. And since newer dSLRs like the Canon 450D accept SD Cards, the Eye-fi card will also be useful for semi-professionals. Read more about the Eye-fi card here. And for the professionals, the Canon users can get the wireless file transmitter which, although costs as much as a camera, might turn to be useful for transferring photos while shooting in the field to the base station for instant review. Nikon users need not give up hope as they also have the option of adding a similar wireless file transmitter to their cameras.
4. Built in HDR Optimiser
HDR or High Dynamic Range photos constitute a small proportion of the world of photography and are sometimes quite controversial regarding their nature since they are highly manipulated photographs. HDR photos do look good, but only if processed correctly. I’ve seen hundreds of HDRs which are really ugly to look at since they werent tone mapped correctly. Therefore, to make a HDR photo look good, you have to spend a decent amount of time getting the processing right. One click processing is definitely not the way to go for HDR and therefore, the so-called HDR Optimiser would be useless. Exposure bracketing is probably the most help a camera can do in the making of a HDR image.
5. Live LCD and Video Recording DSLRs
Before getting a dSLR, I was quite worried about the fact that most dSLRs dont have a Live LCD. But after getting one with Live LCD, I’ve realised that once you use the optical viewfinder, you fail to see the need for a Live LCD. Live LCD is useful certain situations but I can live without it. However, for those who still insist on using a Live LCD, Sony’s newest dSLR, the Sony Alpha 300 and 350 both have a very effective Live View system which can rival a Point ‘n’ shoot. You can read a quick review of Sony’s Live View system here and the mechanism of how it works over here. As for video recording, dSLRs are meant to be the best in shooting stills and if you introduce video recording, you may have to give up some of the quality of still images. Maybe a simple video recording system wont hurt and I’m sure that it is being researched right now.
And there you have it, a complete update of my old post after acknowledging the requirements of photographers and the practical uses for the features. If you havent read the original post, you can read it here.
1. GPS and Google Earth Integration
Currently, one can buy a GPS Addon for certain models of cameras to store the exact location of the place that each photograph was taken. This should be a standard feature in future cameras. All cameras will have a built-in GPS Module and the images can be viewed according to the place they were taken and can be directly geo-tagged in Google Earth. This can be used to find out the precise location, not only the city but within metres of the place.
2. 3D Models
After taking various pictures of the same place from various angles, you will be able to stitch them together into a 3D model of the location. Photosynth by Microsoft already does this but it will take some more time before you can use the software yourself. You can probably also generate 3D Models of objects.
3. Direct Internet Upload
Many cameras are already coming out with Built-in Wifi for transferring images to the computer. But later on, you will be able to directly upload the images on to the internet. You can probably upload them to your Flickr or Picasa Account and then delete them from the camera. This saves space on the camera and also allows to publish your images without the need of a PC. Even advanced systems will give image descriptions according to the place it was taken in. You can also choose to have it printed so that it will be ready when you go back from your vacation.
4. Built in HDR Optimiser
HDR or High Dynamic Range Photography is becoming very popular nowadays. In HDR Photography, multiple images of the same location are taken at different exposure levels and are combined using softwares. In a HDR Optimized camera, we can set it to a ‘HDR’ mode and let it take the images at different exposure levels automatically and combine them too, and thus delivering the final image.
5. Live LCD and Video Recording DSLRs
There are only a handful of Digital SLR Cameras with a Live LCD so we can expect more of these in the future. But not a single DSLR Camera has video recording capability, which gives prosumer cameras an upperhand. I am personally looking forward to the introduction of video recording in DSLRs since there is no technical difficulty that I am aware of.
So, there you go. 5 Features that I would love to see in cameras. If you expect any other features, feel free to post in the comments.
Update – You can read an update and rework of this post over here.