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What I Want in a 2012 Digital SLR

More megapixels are nice. High ISO performance claims are “nice”. Ergonomics, usability and reliability are hard requirements. Rating and Print buttons are idiotic clutter in a pro camera. How hard can it be to figure this out? Rather hard, apparently.

What I want in a 2012 DSLR for real-world shooting, especially one costing $3000 or more are ultra clean images at ISO 100 with 14+ bits of dynamic range with luscious color. Images that allow me to open up dark areas or shadows and still remain clean. Images that I can “push” 1-3 stops if need be. Along with great ergonomics and usability and a camera sensor that is not compromised for video use, along with super-easy Live View that helps me focus.

Fine-grained random noise is not objectionable, it can even be helpful. But what is anathema is pattern or streaking noise at ISO 100. Here is an example, and it’s not even the worst of it. Yuck. The RGB (color) version shows the noise also, and it WILL show up in a print. The human eye can pick such patterns out easily.

Pattern noise (vertical streaks, red channel)

Dan S writes:

I will tell you the basics of what I would like in a good quality SLR digital camera.

How about a Canon EOS3 equivalent? The real ability to shoot as much lower ISO settings with attendant sharpness and clean files at TechPan and Kodachrome 25 sensitivities? Iso 6, 25 and 50 with even greater dynamic range and sharpness - just like we used to have in 35mm?

How about eye control focus as on the EOS3? It worked for some of us and advances in technology since that time should make it even better now.

How about a one step, push button or know Mirror Lockup?

How about a pentaprism finder as bright as the EOS3 or Nikon F3 and interchangeable screens to match specific lens/shooting needs?

How about NO dummy modes at all? No picture/green rectangle settings on the dial?

How about a built in intervalometer we can set without a degree in physics?

And, off my 1DMkIIn bodies, in the 5DMkIV - how about a built in recorder for notes?

Add an easily programmable Copyright symbol, date and ID to be embedded with each frame shot.

A real Cable release so I can thread any of the mechanical releases I own - in place of or in addition to the electronic offerings. It can't be that difficult.

While I enjoy the digital gear I also enjoy my 8x10 camera. It still works as it did when new around 1950. I just want digital gear that is reliable, produces images that give me the options I had/have with film and does nothing more than work reliably all the time. Much as I enjoy the Canon gear Nikon sure has a nice offering in the D800/D800e. Now put both together and get us a solid camera that works, all the time.

DIGLLOYD: Seems like we are on the same thread here, as in “make it be a camera for making images”.

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