The Perfect Camera

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Justin Thyme, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Guest

    Just for fun, I thought I'd post what I would consider the perfect camera.
    Obviously since no one camera is perfect for everyone, others will have
    different ideas.

    Body - small and light, but solidly constructed. About the size of Pentax
    MZ-50/60 etc. Motor drive, capable of several frames/sec. Optional battery
    grip. While I wouldn't care too much on the type of battery it takes
    standard, the battery grip should take AA's. The battery grip should be like
    the Konica-Minolta grips which don't require the battery door to be
    removed - having a slot for the door to fit into.

    Lens Mount - Since this is the perfect camera, I'd be prepared to change
    lenses to get it, so the actual mount type doesn't really matter, of course
    I'd like it to be Pentax K mount or a variation on that. Perhaps it would
    take a proprietary mount with a short registration and wide opening so that
    most makes of lenses could be used with an adapter. The lens mount would of
    course have to support fast focussing, image stabilisation, and
    communication of information such as focal length, focus distance etc. Canon
    EOS is probably the closest current lens mount to do what is desired.

    Recording Media - 35mm film of course. But it would have an option to record
    half-frame 35mm. It would also have an optional digital back. On the gap
    between frames, it would record the focal length, focus distance, shutter
    speed, aperture and exposure compensation. (hopefully all that would fit).
    The camera would also wind on the film at the beginning of the roll, and
    re-wind the film into the canister as photos are taken. There would also be
    an option to use removable backs, so that you could have different films
    loaded in each film back, swapping them as needed without risk of fogging.

    It would of course have the normal centre weighted average metering and
    multi-point spot metering. Good to around EV -1. It would also have a flash
    meter, so when using studio flashes that don't support TTL flash metering,
    you can fire a test flash and have the camera meter accordingly. It would
    also give a white balance meter, to allow easier selection of appropriate
    correction filters.

    Flash - it would have a moderate inbuilt flash (GN 15 @ 100 ISO for
    example), plus a hotshoe and PC socket. Synch would be at least 1/250sec.

    multi-point, fast AF, with single, continuous and predictive modes. Also
    with a manual mode that works - ie, a viewfinder screen with the old
    focussing aid prism. It would also offer easy depth of field preview.

    Shooting modes
    Full Manual, Aperture Priority, Depth of Field priority, Shutter Priority,
    plus the normal complement of portrait, sport, landscape etc auto programs.
    Shutter and Aperture settings would appear in the viewfinder. Also it would
    have 2 dials, allowing shutter and aperture to be dialled in easier.

    Continuous Shooting at selectable speeds. It would also offer the ability to
    automatically take exposures at preset intervals (up to an hour between
    intervals). Exposure bracketing of 1/3 and 1 stop. Bulb mode, T setting
    (push shutter to open, push again to release), choice of mechanical or
    electronic remote releases. In the B and T settings the camera would use
    mechanical interlocks for the shutter, so it could do virtually unlimited
    length exposures without draining the battery. It would also offer timed
    shutter of up to several hours. Unlimited multiple exposure option.

    I've probably missed something in that list. A camera with all of those
    features would probably have way too many buttons to be usable (or perhaps
    it would have an LCD display and menu system a-la digital cameras. I don't
    think that there is anything in my wishlist that is not achievable with
    today's technology. I don't expect anyone to release a camera with these
    features any time soon, and if they did I know it wouldn't be in my budget,
    but it's still nice to dream :)
    Justin Thyme, Oct 31, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  2. Justin Thyme

    Robert C. Guest

    I like your camera, specially the idea of the removable film backs and
    multple shooting media (film and digital). I would by such a camera. You
    might want to offer the option of lens mount (Canon / Nikon / Pentax) so
    that we can use our existing set of lenses (?).

    ~Robert C.
    Robert C., Oct 31, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  3. I've probably missed something in that list. A camera with all of those
    I like it.

    Though my perfect camera would be:

    Designed for landscape, urban and portraits. (not for sports or wildlife)
    Metal subframe, with tough polycarbonate waterproof housing, and as small as
    a Pentax MX or Super A.
    100% viewfinder coverage

    It would have sophisticated metering, based on 10'000 colour sensors (or
    so), which would be able to tell you, via an over-laid screen in the
    viewfinder, if any parts of the photo are not lying on the straight part of
    uploaded characteristic curves for the film you're using, or the digital
    CCD, if they're on the shoulder, or just completely blown/blacked out.
    It would have Colour spot metering, and you could select the part of the
    characteristic curve you want the spot meter to expose to.
    It would also have matrix metering using the 10'000 or so colour pixels,
    which would work a bit like the Nikon's system.
    There would also be adjustable centre-weighted, including the option for OTF
    Flash metering would be an excellent idea.
    A very quiet mirror mechanism, like in the F6
    Mirror-lock up.
    Manual wind-on (to keep it small, and not battery hungry)
    Single, sensitive and fast autofocus point in the centre.
    It would also have buttons for AE-lock, AE-compensation (with graphic
    depiction on characteristic curve, and control of 1/6th stop), AE-set (for
    manual mode - it would automatically adjust the shutter speed, then promptly
    return to manual mode, in other modes, would reset the program line).
    Digital and Film backs available.

    I would call it The Exposure-Meister. There would also be a version
    available in medium format, in the guise of the 645IIN, with motor-drive.

    (taking orders now).
    Duncan J Murray, Oct 31, 2005
  4. Justin Thyme

    Paul Furman Guest

    The shutter, aperture, ISO & EC would be dials of some sort with a lock
    button and printed numbers. Unless locked, they all reset when the
    camera is turned off.

    For shooting RAW, it would have auto-ISO which detected low key metering
    to boost ISO & overexpose till just before the highlights blow. EXIF
    tags tell photoshop how far to expose down when converting RAW.

    It would have a magnified viewfinder with focus aids, dump the pop-up
    flash if that gives more room.

    It would be a small camera (APS digital) with a big LCD which zooms into
    full pixels with one push of a button.

    There would be a lens adapter which converts full frame lens projections
    down to the APS sensor making them faster lenses with more light
    gathering ability. Does that break a law of physics?

    It would come with a cable remote.

    Stop down metering and mirror lockup.
    Paul Furman, Oct 31, 2005
  5. Justin Thyme

    Paul Furman Guest

    Um, that would just make a wider field of view and would bring in more
    light but not exactly a faster lens. That would be a -1.5x
    teleconverter. I guess compromising image quality wouldn't be worth it.
    Paul Furman, Oct 31, 2005
  6. Too small.
    Yuk, no thanks!
    Would add a lot to the size and weight; there would have to be room for
    an interlocked dark slide.
    Decidedly unimportant, for me. Perhaps it could be an optional module -
    no, wait, that's, er...
    You missed the most important (to me) - interchangeable screens.
    Sounds like my EOS 1n....
    .....With the optional command back.
    An EOS 1n/1v with interchangeable digital/film backs. No, of course, you
    want a built-in flash....

    David Littlewood, Nov 1, 2005
  7. Justin Thyme

    Cheesehead Guest

    Most Pentax bodies are too small.
    And most Canon & Nikon bodies are too big.
    The *istDS is a good size, but not the best shape.

    Instead of interchangable backs, perhaps a digital back that will
    retract the sensor and allow film to pass.

    What I'd also like is to have a full finder with a mask around the
    digital area.
    That would allow rangefinder framing of images. IOW, > 100% viewing,
    perhaps even for film.

    Cheesehead, Nov 1, 2005
  8. Justin Thyme

    DuffMomma Guest

    The perfect camera for me would be a light meter built into my watch.

    Aperture and Shutter speed on watch as well as exposure modes.

    An assortment of lenses with CCDs mounted on the rear and a rear LCD,
    so no camera body. And since primes are the sharpest, each lens will vary
    their focal length or basically a Zoom.

    The perfect camera would have no bodies, just lenses and a capture
    devide inside, with a rear LCD or attatchable viewfinder.

    The controls will be on a watch, calibrated and settings sent to each
    lenses via bluetooth.

    DuffMomma, Nov 1, 2005
  9. Justin Thyme

    Doug Robbins Guest

    Just give my my trusty Nikon F w 35/1.4 and Tri-X

    Doug Robbins, Nov 1, 2005
  10. Justin Thyme

    Michael Guest

    My perfect camera would be the same as yours minus just about
    everything. Seriously, after nearly 20 years of nothing but
    auto-everything-under-the-sun film cameras and one DSLR, I've just
    acquired a good user Leica M4 and a new Leica 50/2.8 Elmar and a brick
    of the hopefully always ubiquitous Tri-X. Life could not be simpler or
    sweeter. And it has all the custom functions I want!

    Michael, Nov 1, 2005
  11. Justin Thyme

    Jenny_Smith Guest

    I **HAVE** the perfect camera! It is the Nikon FM. The original FM! Yes
    it is completely manual. My lenses are completely manual. None of this
    AF crap! None of this AUTO exposure stuff! I focus where I want to. I
    set the aperture where I want to. I set the shutter speed where I want
    to. I have full contol over how I want to take my pictures.

    Jenny_Smith, Nov 1, 2005
  12. Justin Thyme

    no_name Guest

    K1000 w/full frame sensor.
    no_name, Nov 1, 2005
  13. Justin Thyme

    DuffMomma Guest

    got a M6TTL w 1953 summircon recently too.
    the only thing that bothes me is that the rewind knob i think is plastic,
    is that so on the M4?
    DuffMomma, Nov 1, 2005
  14. Justin Thyme

    RobGN Guest

    I had a K1000. Wonderful body. Unforunately got stolen. Yes,
    definately, the K1000 body with a FF sensor in the film plane, IOW,
    replace the back cover with a sensor and controls but keep the body as

    RobGN, Nov 1, 2005
  15. Justin Thyme

    Robert C. Guest

    Yes, there is something to be said about fully manual cameras; I own 3 of
    them myself (an FM2, an M645, and an RB67), and I've used 4x5. But, heck,
    we're dreaming, aren't we?

    ~Robert C.
    Robert C., Nov 1, 2005
  16. Justin Thyme

    Michael Guest

    No. The M4 has a metal rewind crank.

    Michael, Nov 1, 2005
  17. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Guest

    That's why it'd have decent, usable, full manual controls, and partly why I
    also specified mechanical interlocks on the shutter. I find myself using my
    fully auto camera sometimes, and at other times my old fully manual ricoh.
    My perfect camera therefore would be a mix of both, with a few other
    whiz-bangeries thrown in. If push came to shove though, I would be happy if
    multiple exposure was the only other feature my old ricoh had over what it
    does (actually it does have a method whereby multi-exposure can be made, by
    holding the rewind release while winding it on. In practice though the film
    moves slightly when doing this, and it is impossible to keep the camera
    still, especially since the rewind release is covered by the tripod plate).
    I do also find it annoying that extra long exposures drain the batteries,
    because it keeps the meter operating.
    Justin Thyme, Nov 1, 2005
  18. Justin Thyme

    Tony Polson Guest

    The Nikon FM3A comes pretty close ...
    Tony Polson, Nov 1, 2005
  19. As does the M6 "Classic".
    Chris Loffredo, Nov 1, 2005
  20. Justin Thyme

    Cheesehead Guest

    That would == my Pentax KX.
    DOF Preview, MLU, good size, moderate on the weight.
    If I was to get a Nikon it would likely be the FM3A.

    For for overall light weight my Nagaoka 4x5 beats my 135 outfit.
    (Not much for many sports, but still very useful. Esp. with APX-100
    and Acros!

    Cheesehead, Nov 1, 2005
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.