The market seems to be stuck in this "We'll sell you the same slightly better thing every few years". If you have ever met me in person you have probably heard me comment about how I think there really needs to be a digital camera system that allows the user full customization. I want a hot rod. There, I said it. So unfortunately, this is not a camera review but more like a "camera want".
The concepts of monetizing and sustainability in a business are always a major issue for any manufacturer. A business needs continuing sales, and this is part of the reason why products have a lifespan. We have seen some major brands fall because their inability to adapt to a changing market. If done right, there is a huge potential for the right camera manufactures to separate themselves from the pack.
If I was building a dSLR, and had an unlimited budget, this is what the ultimate camera would have:
Today, I see no reason why cameras should not have the ability to upgrade the sensor without buying an entirely new camera body. Certain customized sensors could be sold to photographers and optimized for different shooting scenarios, like for instance, a sensor optimized for low light versus one for studio work. Several systems do have this ability to some extent, but the entire "brain" has to be purchased, not just a sensor. In addition, it is prohibitively expensive for most photographers, which is no fun.
Variable Exposure Pixel Control
The ability to control light sensitivity fully across the sensor in predetermined patterns is a game changer. Imagine having every grad filter ever made already built in to your camera.
There is no reason why cameras cannot be upgraded like even the most basic computer. Let's make something better, not just try to repeat the same thing over and over.
Hub Software / Network Integration
One of the biggest changes in the photography industry is the turnover deadlines that are required by clients. Social media has drastically affected news agencies for one major reason and that reason is speed. If we want to better serve our clients that require "as it happens" deadlines, we should be able to send our files directly from the camera at blazing speeds.
Communication Between Multiple Cameras
When shooting events with multiple photographers there needs to be a better way for cameras to communicate. Imagine having integrated file naming systems so all files are instantly organized sequentially with cohesive file names.
Cameras should always have on-board storage media, but imagine also having all of your images instantly backed up in the cloud. It is possible and needs to happen.
With higher resolution sensors and larger files, older cameras will have buffer problems. As technology in file handling advances, parts should have the ability to be replaced and upgraded.
User-Defined Intelligent Settings
When shooting in multiple environments and changing lighting situations on the fly, it would be nice to have programmable presets. Of course, these would be user-defined prior to use, allowing the photographer to easily change settings with one button.
Integrated Lighting Control
This already exists to some extent, but it should be in-camera. Having a button and dial interface on camera is easy and awesome at the exact same time.
Social Media Integration
This is a given. As a photographer, I should have the ability to share images immediately on social media. I do not want to use a cell phone for my social media. Let me use a real camera.
Dust Removal System
To date, dust removal systems are inadequate. A positive pressure system inside the camera body would prevent dust from ever entering in the first place.
Much like social media apps, it would be nice to see some steps forward in producing apps for cameras and cameras that communicate with apps.
There have been several steps by camera manufacturers towards some of these advancements. Maybe in the future we can have a camera that fully encompasses all of these improvements. I for one will be crossing my fingers until it does.