What products would you launch if you were Canon?

Started Sep 15, 2010 | Discussions thread
fyngyrz Senior Member • Posts: 1,606
I'd launch a low-light line

...something with very large, quiet sensels, about 5mp in APS-C or perhaps 12mp in FF. I picked 5mp because my Olympus E20 has five, and I found that was enough for very good pictures when the camera was working in its quietest regimes. Since then, sensors have come a long way in terms of how quiet they are, and so I'm thinking a 5mp shot will be quiet and good enough over a much wider range of exposures. Larger sensels are quieter, both because they reduce the noise outside the individual sensels, and because they capture more light, doing the averaging within the sensel where it doesn't include the noise between the sensel and the D side of the A/D.

Lower MP images have some other beneficial side effects, too; they can be processed a lot faster by the camera, leading to potentially higher frame rates; display and adjust faster in the computer; transferred between the camera and the computer faster; more of them fit on the camera at one time, they take up less space in the computer, they can be previewed faster and you can store more of them on devices external to the camera, they're faster to email, download, upload, etc.

I'd provide the ability for the user to define the in-camera push; all the way to the last bit - 13 stops -- if that's what they wanted. So standard (analog) ISO of perhaps 12800 or 25600, and pushes past that allowed right until you run out of bits to push. This is so you can see in the preview what you're going to get. Pushing later in the computer, having suffered with a dark, murky preview in the field has the very disagreeable characteristic of surprising you long after the opportunity to shoot again has gone away. The RAW file would contain the push value so post-processing could have an idea what was intended, but otherwise the raw file would be unaffected (it's a digital push, it can be done anytime, as long as you can see what you're doing.) This in turn means that a push can be done into an environment where you have more bits to the highlight end, so you don't automatically lose the upper dynamic range. So you could push faint stars up into view, while still keeping the bright ones from blowing out, simply by mapping a nonlinear curve to the output. For example; you want to push four bits (four stops), fine, the processing software allocates an 18-bit image, multiplies the image content by 16, and now you use an 18-bit aware set of curves to map it to your output 256 (or whatever) levels.

I'd make sure that the camera could emulate any exposure: So if you set 8 seconds at ISO whatever and f/whatever, after 8 seconds, the LCD could show you a preview of what you'd see.

I'd make sure that the maximum shutter time was programmable, rather than limited to 30s. Why shouldn't we be able to shoot 200 seconds at f/11 if we want to? Why do we have to buy an external gadget to do it for us? Nossir, I want the camera to do it.

I'd get rid of the hard-coded presets - macro, landscape, portrait, etc - and put in a whole circle of user presets that were preloaded with those settings. That way, if you want to use the camera as a P&S, you can, but if you want to actually set custom modes, every position is available to you.

I'd build in a GPS. The user could decide if they wanted to use it, or not. Personally, I'd use it all the time, no exceptions. GPS hardware is very inexpensive these days.

I'd see to it that the camera had sensor-based IS, to allow it to stabilize otherwise unstabilized primes and zooms. It would shut down in the presence of a lens that had IS, as that seems to be the better method of the two.

I'd provide for preview zoom up to 200%, so you could easily make out individual pixels on the camera's monitor. Including during live-view.

I'd fix auto-ISO so the user could set the low and high limits, including all the way into the pushed ISOs. The idea is you set the f/stop, you set the time, and the camera sets the ISO accordingly up or down to the points where you say "enough."

Although I have absolutely no use for movies -- I consider them a totally different art -- clearly, lots of people do, and I suspect they'd be pretty happy with a camera that was designed to work in low light. So yeah, movie modes. Though only if the AF can be made to track while recording. Nikon seems to be able to do this, Canon should too.

The camera would be able to enter a "shoot every X seconds for Y shots" mode for time-lapse projects.

The camera would support -X EV to +X EV by Y multi-shot modes, where X is any number of stops and Y is the fraction of the stop you want to step by; this would be used for high dynamic range projects.

The camera would support -X to +X focus in Y steps; this would support focus stacking projects. Additionally, it would support driven slow manual-like microfocus, for getting macro focus just where you want it. That means that you could tell the lens to take the smallest possible single focus step in either direction precisely and without error.

The camera would be able to upload images to the computer while shooting using wifi. This way, if you liked, you could take advantage of larger storage on your computer and do a whole project without worrying about your memory card(s.) The camera would also provide a "website" where you could browse the images using other devices like iPods and iPads and notebooks and so forth.

Wireless charging; wireless image uploading; wireless everything. The only things hanging off the camera should be lens/tripod and/or a camera strap. Nothing to forget, nothing to hook up. It just works.

There would be no print button, no matter how much the printer division wanted one.

Other than where those issues dictate otherwise, the camera would look a lot like the 50D in terms of control layout and features.

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