Let me tell you about my dream camera

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… πŸ˜‰

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About marla2008

Shutterbug. Shallow DOF nut. Mother of Child. Student of the Horse.
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12 Responses to Let me tell you about my dream camera

  1. I like the sound of that. And, there is no reason why it couldnt become a reality as you’ve only taken parts from existing Sony cameras. Heck, I’d buy one too!

    • marla2008 says:

      Oh I have no doubt it CAN be made, but such a simple, elegant machine will never see the light of day. Even when they claim they’re aiming for so called simplicity, camera manufacturers love to screw things up with gadgets and gimmicks (juste take a look at the Nikon Df, lol). I don’t think the current photography population can survive without its HDR, sweep panorama and 15 shot bracketing…; SAD.

  2. George Swann says:

    Sony Should hire you for their R&D team, have a nice weekend.

  3. padam says:

    The NEX7 replacement will likely to keep the same basic design (hopefully) and probably has Auto ISO with manual (great).
    One reason the developers claim that they shaped the A7s like that is this: “To place the EVF in the middle has the advantage on larger lenses that you are on the optical axis.
    The body would have become large with the EVF placed on the corner like it is on the NEX-7”

    I am not sure I get why the A7R couldn’t be equipped with the electronic first curtain shutter though. Not only it is more noisy, but it has a little delay, and more importantly, even more vibration and the 36MP sensor is even more sensitive to that.

  4. marla2008 says:

    It’s another way of saying that they couldn’t fit both the newer, better EVF/screen AND FF chip in the size of body they went for… Auto ISO would be fine on the next APS-C flagship, but is truly useful ONLY if it gets a dedicated live control for exposure compensation. If it uses the same old “press buttton then turn wheel” of the A58 for instance, it’s yesterday’s news, and won’t get thumbs up from me for true usefulness… The shutter lag in the new Alphas certainly is annoying, I find the A7’s acceptable (just so) I wouldn’t be bothered with the R’s 😦

  5. George says:

    Certainly not sarcasm Claire, I enjoy your blogs because you always give an unbiased and honest opinion of your cameras which I find refreshing. Most other bloggers will put a positive spin on their new purchases and gloss over the areas that do not work as they hoped that they would. The fact that you test your cameras to death is a great help in two ways, firstly it can be a help in deciding to go down a particular route, in my case upgrading from nex 5 and 6 to FF or not, secondly your daily ustage helps with understanding of certain areas of the Sony system, and of course your family and equine images are always interesting, I was also surprised to read that you shoot almost exclusively jpeg.

    I was thinking of a particular blogger and photographer who has a huge following, and whose blog I enjoy. She has been taken on by Sony and has unlimited use of their equipment, but everything is “awesome, fantastic and the best thing since sliced bread” which is of course no use to anyone. I much prefer honest opinions because after all nothing is perfect. Sorry for the rant.

    Kindest regards.

    • marla2008 says:

      I’m glad if my experimenting with the cameras is useful to you, and always eager to share my findings with others. There is a temptation to purr about any new shiny toy, but how worthy would be the praise without honest assessment of things, including the not so great stuff ? I’m someone who bitched non stop about NEX AF, but as a result of that I got proficient at MF, and got credibility in the process. When I say now the A7 has speedy AF in daylight, it sounds like a reliable statement to my readers. I sure would love to have free access to all things Sony, but then where would the absolute freedom of expression be ??
      Thanks for the kind words, I’m hoping to be always up to them.

  6. Pingback: Sony TidBits… | sonyalpharumors

  7. Aavo says:

    Lot of my wishes found here. Some drawings from Dec 2012 and Dec 2013 at
    http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/topic103348_post1239647.html#1239647
    Hope our dewams come thrue πŸ™‚

    • marla2008 says:

      Great thread !! Thanks for pointing me to it. Even though I now own the A7 I’m still on the fence regarding keeping it, the “improvement” over the N7 is discutable, and actually I still like a few things better on the N7. I think Sony could have another amazing hot seller up their sleeve if they did the right thing upgrading the N7 smartly and listening to the die-hard N7 customer base. They probably won’t, though πŸ˜‰

  8. Jack says:

    Hear Hear

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