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Thread: The Future DSLR

  1. #1

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    The Future DSLR

    This idea came out of another thread from Donald regarding the release of a new DSLR. So here's a question.

    What do you think the future pro-sumer camera will look like and what will it do?

    Have some fun and give us a bit of an explanation. Let's see where this takes us.


  2. #2
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    Re: The Future DSLR

    Discussing this with a friend the other day we think that a facility to program your own presets into the camera from your computer could be very useful. Especially if, like me, you shoot a lot of similar subjects.
    Cheers,
    Alan.

  3. #3
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    Re: The Future DSLR

    Alan,

    You stated, "a facility to program your own presets into the camera from your computer could be very useful."

    The Canon 7D and 40D (and to a lesser extent the 50D and 60D) have User Selected Modes in which you can pre-program the various parameters of the camera such as, but not limited to, ISO, AF type, Exposure mode, etc. Once these various parameters are registered, you can select them with a simple twist of the mode dial, rather than having to select all the parameters separately. That is a LOT QUICKER, EASIER and can avoid simple mistakes when frantically trying to change settings in the field.

    I loved the three user selected modes on my 40D and I am glad that the 7D retained three modes. For some reason, Canon reduced these to two User Selected Modes on the 50D and one on the 60D. I use these all the time and would be lost wthout them!

    For instance, I usually shoot my still shots using ISO 100 or 200, single shot mode and one shot AF. However when shooting action, I like ISO 400, burst mode and AI Servo AF. I have the action parameters setup on my User Selected Mode #1 and can choose all the required parameters with one twist of a dial. I have Mode #2 setup for panos and mode #3 set up for auto-exposure-bracketing as in HDRI.

    I can change the parameters of the different modes anytime I wish and select the new parameters with the mode dial. When I am doing night shots, I have one mode set up for mirror lock up as well as the other parameters I use in that type photography.

    Unfortunately, the nice lady who cleans the Canon Headquarter toilets and moonlights as their advertising director, never seems to include User Selected Modes as part of the bells and whistles when touting the Canon cameras. BTW: she is the sister of the other toilet cleaning lady who moonlights running the Canon R&D Department and decides what bells and whistles are needed in the Canon line such as no slave capability in the original 270EX flash and reducing the User Selected Modes to two and one in the 50D and 60D respectively.

    However, I have learned from confidential emails between these ladies which a notorious hacker has pirated and published, that Canon is seriously investigating the next series of cameras which will be designed to replace the EOS video/still DSLR cameras. This new series will include a built-in espresso maker to allow the photographer a quick pick-me-up in the field....
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 8th June 2012 at 07:12 PM.

  4. #4
    Administrator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: The Future DSLR

    DSLR technology is quite mature, as the major breakthroughs seem to have showed up in the latest release in cameras. I would expect the prosumer sensors getting to higher resolutions; close to the practical limit of around 50MP. I think we will also see this market segment move towards the full-frame sensor as the fab processes mature and the yields continue to improve. Advances in amp design will continue to improve noise issues at higher ISO, as well as continuing improvements in dynamic range. Perhaps they will build in a Pelltier effects cooler to reduce sensor noise levels. A few more tweaks and we will be able to get rid of our HDRI, focus stacking and panorama software. The cameras will have built in functions to handle that activity.

    Prime lenses will make a comeback in a major way. Just as in the HD movies side of things, zoom lenses well be considered to be too soft for serious work with the new sensor technology.

    I expect that wireless transfer to WiFi will become commonplace. Tethered shooting won’t disappear for the pro side of the house where the bandwidth demands are too great, but I can see direct uploads to cloud based storage a transfer to a network connected computer will be pretty standard. To make this work efficiently, quality levels of RAW, including lossy and lossless compression will be settable options on the cameras. Having camera manufacturers standardize sensor size and output files (DNG vs proprietary RAW) is too much to hope for.

    I suspect that the fusion of still and video will continue until we finally get some reasonable video quality out of the cameras. The still cameras do not have the processing power of the dedicated video cameras yet.

    We will see the addition of higher quality sound recording. Right now the direct sound capture capability of these cameras is abysmal. There is no capability of attaching a phantom power style pro microphone. This will have to come; and in fact it will need two ports so that proper stereo recording is possible using the array of microphones that are available to the advanced users.

    As we meld photography and video, then the mirror has to go. This particular technology will be replaced by a mirrorless design at some point. The mirror is an anachronism from the mechanical film camera days; and in fact, so is the pentaprism and its budget neighbour the pentamirror. As the display technology evolves, the advantages of the purely optical viewfinder will disappear. From the high-end prosumer standpoint, it will finally give us a tool to see what the depth of field and bokeh of the shot will look like.

    While dealing with video, we can expect a couple of widespread changes in lens design. The powered zoom that is starting to show up in some of the new MFT will become more commonplace. In addition, the lens focus motor will change from a stepping motor to a linear motor design, like in the current Lumix f/4 – 5.6 14 – 140mm lens. Lenses will operate in two modes; programmable click stops in and 1/3 EV increments as well as continuously variable aperture settings. Of course f-stops will be replaced by the more meaningful T-stop values.

    Of course, we will continue to see improvments in automation functions. Smarter autofocus and exposure control. We might see automatic exposure compensation.

    Brave new world!

  5. #5
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    Re: The Future DSLR

    I suspect that eventually there will be a quantum computer inside the camera which will simultaneously consider all possible levels of electronic output from the sensor pixels. At that point; every possible combination of colour and light will be generated and consequently every picture will exist within the camera. The user then only has to use the random generator function of the latest Photoshop edition, cull out the images they don't like and voila; a lifetimes work.

    The only drawback will be dealing with an infinite number of images on your camera; so upload times may be a bit long.

  6. #6
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    Re: The Future DSLR

    I expect that eventually, there will be a camera connected to a robot such as this

    http://www.irobot.com/us/robots/home/scooba.aspx

    The robot will have artificial intelligence and all you will have to to is to instruct the robot what you want photographs of, open the door and send the robot on its merry way. A second generation robot camera will be programmed to open the door itself and take out your trash as it is leaving. A third generation will post process your images and publish them anywhere you want...

    Any with today's multi tasking considered, each robot will also make phone calls, shop for groceries and visit the fitness club and do your exercises for you!

  7. #7
    Administrator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: The Future DSLR

    Of course, with all off the webcams around, surveillance cameras and satellite mounted cameras peeping down from the sky, there won't a need for any of us to ever step outside. All we need to do is find an existing cam and use the images from it...

  8. #8
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    Re: The Future DSLR

    Well it won't be a SLR for starters.

    The Mirrorless System Cameras (MSC) will replace the entry level and mid range DSLR's within the next few years. While people on here want loads of manual features, optical viewfinders (viewfinders for that matter) and buttons galore the entry/mid range DSLR's are not aimed at us. They are aimed at the market sector that is leaving the traditional DSLR by the droves and buying the likes of the NEX and G/GF cameras.
    Think I'm wrong? Nikon will build the One Series up into a full range, Canon are releasing a new system later this year while at work we sell almost as many NEX/G/GF cameras as we do DSLR's and the people who buy them are not only new to the market they are photographers who want a smaller system.

    The MSC is the future - so what do I think the next generation of cameras will have.

    A high-res AMOLED EVF with a multi-touch, multi angle screen on the back.
    Full HD recording while at the same time shooting full resolution stills.
    Full time AF regardless of whether the internal or external screen is used and regardless of stills or video.
    Video optimised, stepless aperture lenses with silent AF and a power zoom facility.
    Super high-speed frame rates and full resolution while maintaining AF.
    App style touch menus in place of scrollable complex submenus.

    Pretty much all of this exists now but in different bodies and brands. Ain't gonna be long before they are combined and when they do I'll ditch my DSLR and never look back.

  9. #9

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    Re: The Future DSLR

    I expect it'll be an evolution, not a revolution -- just small incremental steps.

    Too many consumer $$$ to miss out on if they changed things too fast

  10. #10
    Administrator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: The Future DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I expect it'll be an evolution, not a revolution -- just small incremental steps.

    Too many consumer $$$ to miss out on if they changed things too fast
    Agreed Colin, but I think there is another reason; too much risk. Camera companies and photographers tend to be conservative and don't like a lot of change. Look at how long it took for autofocus to become mainstream; the basic technology was invented back in the 1970s. Look at all of the debate that surrounded Nikon's introduction of a 36MP sensor. I'm pretty sure that if it had been around 28MP nobody would have said anything. The fact that a 12MP sensor is more than adequate for most work, well that never seems to get too much serious debate...

  11. #11
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: The Future DSLR

    Fusion from Video > Stills has already happened.

    We began trialling Stills from Video Sporting Coverage a couple of years ago and we used them for Publicity and Web Sporting images in April and May this year - the 7x5 prints were more than acceptable, also.
    I know a few W&P Photographers, especially in America, who now regularly use Video Stills for some of the Album Images - it is not crappy work, either.
    Mostly using a 5DMkII - I expect a MkIII shortly.

    WW

  12. #12
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    Re: The Future DSLR

    I would like to see a camera with interchangeable sensors (reminds one of film, doesn't it? . A sensor optimized for low-light, another for resolution, a third for monochrome (like the new Leica).

    I would like to see lenses where you can change aperture on the lens not the camera body. (Oh, wait, they used to be that way).

    All the buttons on the camera should be programmable, not just one or two. And why not, a DSLR is really a computer that happens to take pictures.

    Having the option of a combination of phase-detect and contrast-detect focusing. (PD for speed and then CD for that last final tweak).

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