Interesting article and a little overstated at times, but in general I have also been wondering why the powerful computer in the camera have not been used more and why "advanced" features were not available for those who wanted them and not by default. It's reasonable to expect that camera makers don't want to make the cameras (even professional ones) frightening to use because of all the options, but then let the rest of use them and enable them at our hearts content.
A couple of things in the article that I'd like to comment.Why can’t Canon even master the art of mirror lock-up?
In the later cameras the SET button can be assigned to MLU and you can place the MLU command in mymenu. But the most important is that Canon has made the MLU redundant in the later cameras via live view and silent mode. With silent mode the first curtain is electronic and therefore no shutter movement which even with MLU can create vibrations. Alas on my 1Ds mkIII live view does not have electronic first curtain .... However live view is a god send for using TS-E lenses and for DOF preview. And this came only 4 years ago. The megapixel race is largely over.
Really? Since the expectation is that the next round of full frame cameras will be in the mid 30MP range and what we have now is 21-24MP can we say that the MP race is over? Already in 2002 the 1Ds came with 11MP and now 10 years later Canon 1Ds mkIII has 21MP and we expect 30+MP. Isn't that a continuation of the MP race? The Medium format has moved from less than 20MP (cropped sensor) to now 80MP (full frame) in a few years. The pixel density of the APS-C cameras are now close to 20MP (18MP on Canon 7D, 60D, 550D and 600D) which is equivalent to 46MP on full frame. This likely will come in a full frame from Canon (Nikon and Sony) in 5-6 years time. Voice control.
It would be a good option to have, but I'm not sure this appeals that much to me. I never used it with any mobil phone. But what I would like to have is customization such that I can program the camera much more than I can now. The 1Ds mkIII can save all camera settings on the CF card given a name. E.g. "tripodmlu" (note the limit of 8 characters!!) However what a thought saving them on a CF card! This means that I have to synchronize all my CF cards with these camera settings files and never format the card in the camera as otherwise my settings have gone. Also loading the settings is slow like h*** and not suited for a quick change when a new situation occurs. So in essence not thought from the photographers needs. The 5D mkII, 7D etc. is much better in that regard having custom settings on the program wheel (C1, C2 and C3), but then of course you need to remember what settings is on e.g. C1! So yes, I agree that this sucks. Live View Focus Masking
This would be a cool feature and especially in live view. But in all fairness live view is pretty good already to check focus and to check DOF as long as there is light enough. I find AF on the 1Ds mkIII to be very precise as I hardly ever have to change focus when checking in live view if I have a suitable subject to focus on with AF. Of course this requires a single AF point for focussing and notice if the AF got the focus where you wanted it (if at all possible like e.g. an animal behind some vegetation). I have always been wondering why a simple thing like a DOF calculator with live DOF limits were not displayed in the viewfinder (if enabled) since the camera knows the aperture and focal length and where the focus is (e.g. focussed with the AF-ON button or manually as long as this is transmitted to the camera). Expose to the Right Exposure Mode
Yes, this would be really great to have as long as it is based on analysis of the RAW file and with thresholds that can be set by the user. It's clear that any camera will have the minimum noise at base ISO and exposed optimally. The fact that newer cameras have a linear curve of signal to noise as a function of ISO does not mean that ETTR is irrelevant. The imprecision of the histogram (although slightly helped by setting color space to Adobe RGB) makes it difficult to ETTR without bracketing. In difficult scenes I will bracket with one stop between and choose 2, 3 or 5 pictures in a bracket sequence. A challenge to step through these with MLU and a cable release at low shutter speeds that may cause vibrations from the shutter. Fortunately exposure blending have become more practical than the painting on layers method in Photoshop via updates to Photomatix Pro and other HDR programs where you can choose a relatively natural look and work from there in e.g. Lightroom on the blended image. In many cases I find an optimal exposure on a high DR scene can even be tweaked in Lightroom to show the entire dynamic range (1Ds mkIII and some are better like D3X).Now…..give it all to me on my iPad
Well certainly this would be great to have, but I would prefer this on an iPhone or even better having the LCD on the camera act like an iPhone wrt. zooming in and out of live view and picture already taken and with histograms that could be based on the part visible in the zoom so one could investigate an area of highlights and indicators for how many stops over or underexposure. The reason I don't like the iPAD is yet another gadget to bring when I always already have the iPhone in my pocket so why not use the iPhone over Bluetooth or WiFi next to the camera for control. But the basic idea is the same.Touch-Pad Based Zone System
If we had the proposed type of ETTR then it is simple to bracket e.g. 5 stops down from perfect exposure using todays camera technology and then blend the pictures in programs like Photomatix Pro using the exposure blending option. I'm the opinion that what we need is even more refined post processing options that makes it easy to do the blending without having to paint layers in Photoshop. I love to take the pictures but have no aversion what so ever about post processing at the computer. In my view that's when the picture emerges and the real potential comes out and even in ways that never was imagined at the time of capture. I do realize that some people never want to sit behind a computer screen and for them this proposal may make a lot of sense. So for me this proposal is not high on the list. we have gotten for the last five years have been unimaginative products produced by a creatively stunted industry
Within the last 5 years we have got live view on almost all DSLR's. I don't know how many asked for this feature before it came, but I do remember how many (including myself
) who didn't think this was something special. All DSLR's now also have auto ISO which is a great feature and even Canon can now spell to auto ISO! It amused me reading the manual for the 1Ds mkIII and didn't find the word auto ISO anywhere although this camera does have a decent implementation of auto ISO (although not in manual mode). The "not invented here" syndrome seems to be powerful and alive
We also got micro adjustment within the last 4 years so we could fine tune the AF precision on the given camera body and lens combination. Although the comment above about the industry seems to be related only the camera manufacturers, the tools we have on our computers have been vastly improved within the last 5 years. So yes, we would like to see more innovation and I would hope that the camera manufacturers have prototypes in their labs that contains some of what is being discussed here and hopefully also some that we haven't even thought about yet.