What, I have both a Sony NEX7 and A7, and I still need to dream about something else ?! Well, as good as both those are, there’s still room for improvement in my view, so let me tell you what my perfect camera would be like :
Take a NEX7 body. Put the new A7’s EVF in it. If it means (it should) to make the body larger, up to A7’s size, that’s fine, but keep the freaking NEX form factor, please ! So now we have a NEX shaped A7, with great new EVF, and new larger screen, while we’re at it. You can use the cheap 20MP APS-C sensor from the cheapo A3000 if you want, it’s more than good enough. There would be a sacrifice to make to have that new EVF and screen on a NEX7 shaped body, and if is has to be the sensor, so be it. I love FF but I don’t *need* FF, at all cost. Of course be fair and also retain the NEX7’s build, meaning a lot of metal in there, metal screen hinge, metal dials, etc. Now read carefully because here comes the important part. Flat top plate means no mode dial. That’s because on my dream camera, there is no Idiot Modes ! Just plain, good ole Manual. Don’t roll your eyes yet and read further. This is a mirrorless camera, with top of the line EVF and LCD screen, and 100% accurate full time, live exposure preview ! So you don’t NEED anything but Manual, since you’ll see at all times how your shot’s gonna be exposed PRIOR to taking it !! The one concession I’m ready to make (and it’s quite an important one as you’ll see), is that you can use this mode with two options : chosen ISO, which makes it *real* Manual, or Auto ISO, which actually would be a semi-automated mode not very different from your current Aperture or Shutter modes than so many of view seem frantically attached to.
Consider this. Twin top wheels on the right side of the camera, exactly similar to the NEX7’s twin wheels. Then, on the front grip, add the front wheel from the A7/R. Make it as smooth turning and fluid in use as the N7’s top wheels, same size, same tactile feeback. Now, in Full Manual, this front wheel would let you change ISO on the fly, while the twin wheels would control Aperture and Speed, given you total control over all three exposure parameters at all times. In Auto ISO mode (just push the center button from the back thumb wheel to toggle between chosen ISO and Auto ISO), the front wheel becomes a live exposure compensation dial. This way you have chosen the proper aperture and shutter speed for your needs, the camera meters and picks an ISO value to achieve proper exposure, but you still can fine tune that by compensating exposure from the front wheel at all times !! And of course, you get constant and 100% reliable exposure feedback from both the LCD and EVF at all times. Except if you’re shooting flash and need to turn Live setting effects OFF, which you can do toggling a small dedicated button, or access easily via a slot in the shorcut Fn menu. Let me configure two direct access controls for Peaking color and Peaking level (dedicated slots in the shortcut menu would work as well).
Now this is a camera I would buy in a heartbeat. A serious, no nonsense tool that is compact, sturdy, with great IQ and the best photography centric controls I can think of. Not that I expect Sony to make it, but one can always dream… 😉