The digital camera market is already saturated, it’s a long time since we don’t see cameras that provide a real innovation that adapts to the needs that a social and interconnected society demands. We had a huge improvement in weight reduction, ISO sensibility, lens optic, noise reduction, dynamic range, battery life, and so forth.
But what about the social networking side?
Before the digital era, photographers stored their pictures in a film and the broadcasting process of an image was a slow, difficult and expensive process. They depended on newspapers, magazines or other media to show their work to the world. When the digital era arrived in the photography world, things changed radically. Actually photographers can broadcast their work immediately using one of the hundred of ways and technologies available: email, blogs, social network communities like facebook, twitter, google buzz, flickr and many more.
So what else do I want in a camera?
Mobile devices incorporate the perfect combination of many technologies in just one device. With an iPhone, for example, I can take a picture, edit it, post it in twitter or facebook, send it by email, whatever. But actually my iPhone lacks of the quality and the response than a DSLR camera could provide. Can I shot with a 200mm/2.8F incorporated to my iPhone? NO. Can I shot at 8fps with my iPhone and then select the best shot to broadcast in that very moment? NO. Can I shot a 15MPx picture and crop a detail perfectly sharp creating a frame of 800px wide? NO. Can I shot a beautiful composition using a 50mm/1.2F lens obtaining a terrify bokeh? NO. Can I use a flash with an iPhone? NO and of course other phones have a flash, but I’m talking about a real flash. So mobile devices are smaller, the battery life is short and they are cheaper than a semi-pro or professional DSLR. So why not incorporate many of the possibilities that mobile technology offers to us in the body of a DSLR or a high end compact camera?
The DSLR camera that I want:
- I want a camera with incorporated wifi and 3G card slot.
Ok you can tell me that I can obtain the same using an eye-fi but actually it has many limitations. It’s based on SD memory cards, so cameras that do not have an SD card slot cannot use it. It has a basic functionality compared with the computational power that the DSLR body could provide.
The battery of a DSLR is powerful enough to feed the energy demands of a simple, short range wifi card so I don’t need to depend on third party solutions.
I want that a menu that lets me configure automatic options for broadcasting my content, for example:
I want a camera with bluetooth!
- Set a default resolution and compression ratio for the pictures to be broadcasted
- Configure if I want to FTP, email or tweet on the fly pictures that I take
- The option to send just the pictures that I want. For example I’m walking around taking pictures and I find an interesting story to show. I take many shots and then I browse and select the picture that actually is worth uploading. Select it, and send with the default compression, resolution or whatever parameters previously configured
- I want to load my tags menu and add it to the picture EXIF data or in twitter.
I want GPS incorporated!
- I want to plug a portable compact keyboard to add comments to some pictures. It could also be possible to use the iPhone to edit those parameters using bluetooth or wifi. I know that some cameras let me add comments but did you notice how painful is to write a comment with the control buttons?
- I want to plug a bluetooth headset to add voice comments to the pictures. I know that some cameras allow me to do that, but they have a microphone to record my voice. Just imagine the possibilities with bluetooth
- I want to send a picture from my camera to another device or even to another camera!
I know that I can plug many GPS devices but if even crappy mobile phones are GPS enabled, why not incorporate it directly to the body of a $2000 or more DSLR body???
I want to install third party applications
Is it so hard to add a little bit more of computational power and a free OS like Android to a DSLR? Just imagine the possibilities to install applications to your camera. Tons of new options available! Image editing, games when I’m waiting in the train or taking a coffee to relax after after a photowalk, social media applications, localization applications like “how many people with a Nikon DSLR near a 100m radius?” and so forth.
I want a laser pointer
I know this is kind of geek and useless but sometimes, specially when I cannot lay down in the ground to see the viewfinder I would like to have an idea of where the lens is pointing. I already get used to the way it is, in fact it takes some time and them you are able to understand what the lens is viewing with no need to see through the viewfinder. Anyway, a laser could be annoying for people of course… well just a geek idea. I’m thinking to attach one to the hotshoe by the way :-)
I want infrared and other light spectrum
Is it so hard to enable more light spectrum? Actually almost all digital sensors are able to record infrared light but they have a filter to stop that radiation so only a small portion of all the spectrum could be recorded. If you want to make your camera, infrared friendly you can send it to a company like lifepixel.com or www.maxmax.com but you have to remember that I will never comeback the same.
Some of these ideas could be out of the scope of a DSLR but I just want to show an example that actually mobile technology has a lot to offer. I would love to see some of that technology strongly incorporated in the DSLR world. The possibilities are huge. If I have to carry with a big gear around, at least I want more options included inside it. I want to extend the possibilities of these cameras. Upgrading professional photography to the web2.0 doesn’t mean to downgrade the professionalism and the high technical standards that these cameras achieve.