11 February 2009

My Next Camera wishlist

Okay Pentax, listen up!
Yeah right... :-)
But anyway, I've been thinking about a few things I would like to see in my next camera. Not in lines of that tedious pixel peeping or FF (Fool's Format?) howling, but things I would actually need for what I do. Of course other people's needs will differ, and you may think me as much of a fool for my wishlist as I do for the FF dreamers. But do go ahead and make your own list! And take some time to think through why those features are important to you. Not "better" to the world in general for whatever reason.
So here's my list; hoping that what I open is not a can of worms...
One thing I really like about the K10/20 is the quietness. I can assure you from direct experience that both Nikon D3 and D700, and Canon's 1D mk II and 5D are noisier that the Pentaxes. Just slightly, but noisier. However, I could live with a louder mirror flap from Pentax if I got a faster mirror flap. In other words, a higher frame rate. For continuous shooting with the K20D there's a "hi" and a "lo" setting, but there's hardly any difference between them. Pimp it, Pentax! Make the "hi" setting worthwhile having. 4 or 5 FPS would be great! To me, this is important for catching the significant moments in action-filled interplay between animals.
If you told me a year ago I would put this at the top of my list, I'd scoff at you. But there it is. I have to admit there are situations where "timing" can only delimit a timeframe where many things happen too quickly to anticipate. That's when to hold the button pressed and do the file sorting later.
A second thing I really like is the versatile battery grip that comes with K10/20D. With the extra battery and room left for a spare SD card and a remote control. However, I do have a suggestion for improvement. I would like to leave out the remote control and spare card, and put in an SSD disk. Or a full stack of SDHC cards connected to the camera, like a second card slot. My reason for wanting this is only partly connected to the higher number of exposures anticipated by the first wish. More importantly, it would nearly eliminate the need for an extra portable disk to unload filled-up memory cards. A device which needs its own batteries and charger. And not to mention the fiddling when swapping cards. Particularly in winter, see next point. For most of my trips I know I would do well without an extra disk if the camera had 128 GB storage (or more) on board. I also know that I really hate to manage battery chargers. A reduction by one would be welcome.
The third thing I would like is for the camera to be operable with gloves, or even mittens, on. The K10/20D operates fairly well in the cold as far as the electronics go, but the buttons become too fiddly. Particularly the four-way controller with the OK button in the middle. My suggestion would be to increase that controller enough to make the OK button 30-50% larger in diameter and size up the rest accordingly. The Tv/Av wheels could also be a tad larger, just so that it's possible to feel them through the gloves. The reason is wish for this is of course that I live in a country where wearing gloves in the outdoors comes very naturally. I also know that if cold, I don't make very nice photos.
A fourth thing I would like to see is improved noise-curbing. I'm not all together happy with the K20D there. When shooting in "B" mode, the dark-frame subtraction seems to become inaccurate with longer exposure times. I have deliberately put this at the bottom of my list because these are issues that all the manufacturers are racing to be best at anyway. I'm sure we'll see substantial improvement in noise handling with the next generation of Pentax cameras as well. For myself, I only wish for more user-control over how and when the noise reduction is applied. There is some, but not enough, in my opinion. Like for example that it cannot be turned off all together. Nor can dark-frame subtraction be adjusted when working in "B" setting.
This last thing is something I want because the K20D has rekindled my fascination with long-exposure light photography, and I'd love to have even more creative control over this.
A last thing I dream of is a fuel-cell power source. That's a really far-fetched one, I know. Toshiba has showcased some small prototypes for cellphones, however, so implementation is probably more down to cost of mass-production than to technology. I guess it won't make it into the next model, but maybe a couple of years down the line? Maybe implemented with the SSD disk in an accessory "superpower-grip"?

That's all.

Hope I'm not too modest... :-)

The shot above, btw, is made with the DA*300/4; and Pentax K20D. Taken from the same hide as the previously posted goshawk picture. The tight crop is not by choice. I remember wishing for the DA* 60-250/4 right then...


Anonymous said...

I really like this shot, the colours, composition, and situation.

I agree on this :
“there are situations where ‘timing’ can only delimit a timeframe where many things happen too quickly to anticipate”.

Seem you got some of your wishes come true :-)

Gonna be interesting to see how well the K7 handles with gloves.

Alunfoto said...

Thanks for commenting, Sune!

The K-7 will probably be too small for good handling with gloves in my size, at least. :-(

Maybe that will be the clinching argument for buying the 645D? :-)