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Why don't we have a (near) perfect camera yet?
  • Everyone has an opinion as to what the perfect camera is. I'm curious as to which features we can agree upon that a (near) perfect camera would have. I say this because all the features I want already exist in other cameras.

    My top three requirements for the near "perfect" camera.

    1. 10-12 bit. ITS 2015, why are we still buying 8bit cameras? If the GH4 has it, why can't everyone do it?

    2. 4K internal. Why the E-M5 II doesn't do 4K is baffling.

    3. IBIS / stabilization. If Oly can develop the best, why can't Sony, Sammy or Panny do the same?

    I'd gladly pay $1K -$1.5K more for any mirrorless camera if they offered all three of these features. An E-M5 II that did 10bit 4K. An A7s that did 10bit 4K internal with IBIS. A GH4 with IBIS and a little more dynamic range.

    We're so close to having really awesome cameras with few compromises.

  • 11 Replies sorted by
  • What will be the successor to these perfect cameras if they were to make one? That's just my opinion.

  • Because they have to continuously keep the share holders and CEO happy. Keep you talking about them year after year and keep their business going.

  • abraham1307, There will always be something new. 8K or better. Better color. Better low light.

    What I'm getting at is that the near perfect camera for 2015 already exists, it's just spread amongst 4-6 existing cameras.

  • There's a huge difference between what's on paper and what happens in real. I recall back at my VFX school that the black magic pocket cinema camera use to be a pain in the ass to do chromakey greenscreen while the GH2 hacked with moon was far easier and gave much better result. It for sure isn't an alexa, but with the right people behind it (high quality gear, strong DP and very good color grader) you could push the limit. It takes time and effort to output a shot correctly, it's not because the paper says it does 32 bit OpenEXR at 16K with 20 stops of dynamic range that your footage will suddenly look fabulous. It has in fact more chances to do the opposite since that kind of options are meant to get a tons of work in post-production that most people don't even bother with.

  • Because profit.

  • I get profit and no doubt that's what's been going on forever. It's just frustrating that all the features exist on store shelves, just not in a single camera.

    But with Blackmagic offering 10bit in their entry BMPCC and Panny with the GH4, can't we say 10bit is doable? If 4K is being offered in phones, how on earth is it not in the E-M5II?

    Based on what Samsung has done with the NX1 and the fact that they don't have an existing pro line to worry about, they're probably the one that could give us a kickass camera. The question is: will they?

  • NO they will not. Nikon could do years ago as well and did not for same reason

  • We got the near perfect camera several years ago--several flavors, in fact. Once the cameras went to HD resolution with interchangeable lenses and APS-C or larger sensors, there were no meaningful quality issues in the way of the camera's performance anymore. Everything beyond that is primarily designed to allow people to achieve good results with less knowledge and experience.

    If you were to go back ten years (even five) and offer any of today's prosumer cameras for sale, you would completely blow people's minds. But we nitpick features because we've become used to being offered something new every 18 months. It's great for us, unless we start holding off on projects or overthinking cameras because they don't yet have X feature.

    I still use my GH2 cameras because they are still so feature-rich (and at no new cost for me). The GH4 and A7s are quite tempting, but I will likely hold off until the next generation at which point, it's hard to imagine ever needing a new camera again.

    That said, the new frontier for these cameras is usability. There are still a lot of features that would make the cameras more simple, efficient and pleasurable to use, but they don't seem as exciting on a spec sheet. However, real pros know the difference. This usability is one of the things that makes an Alexa worlds better than a Red, for example.

  • I think Blackmagic is the closest to perfect currently, but I think Olympus has the most potential for something great. They are trying out an open source concept currently, they have the best image stabilization system hands down, and they don't have a video division like Sony does. That means they can go balls to the wall without hurting another division. If Olympus wants they could leave evey company in this industry behind.

  • I'd love for Nikon or Olympus to step up. I'm sure they both could offer great stuff. But they seem stuck with the traditional camera manufacturer mindset. Plus Olympus' financial difficulty / shenanigans makes me think they aren't able, either fiscally or culturally, to risk venturing out of their traditional markets.

    Blackmagic has done some awesome stuff and certainly has delivered (really late in some cases). I can see BM adding various slow motion rates to cams and offering the BMPCC in 4K, but I can't see them offering image stabilization.

    On the other hand, Samsung kinda bowled people over with their quick and awesome firmware update. Plus they've promised more to come. They've certainly got the financial and manufacturing resources. The NX1 has shown they're serious.

  • For my needs - run and gun event shooting - EM5II seems to be almost a perfect camera. There are only two major disadvantages I see. First - lack of sharpness compared to Pana, it's somewhere in Canon/Nikon league, good for close-ups but not enough details for wide shots. Second - time limit, I shoot concerts and lectures as well.

    4K would be a nice addition but not a necessity for me. That's a huge resource gobbler. I can't run a multicam project even with one GH4 without proxy in Sony Vegas. So I restrict 4K use only for wide shots of an event and prefer to have the other angles in good old 1080 in which I can run 9-10 tracks simultaneously without a hiccup.

    Anyway, there will be a plenty of inexpensive 4K cameras for such task in the nearest future, so 4K is not a priority on my wish-list. Meanwhile I can rent GH4 which I do for a general wide-angle 4K camera.

    I've been owning EM5 for a couple of years and I must admit that IBIS is a game changer for run-and-gun shots. It's not as good as dedicated 3D gimbals or even a steadicam for it has some BG parallax issues sometimes but for me it works 9 out of 10 times. The ability to achieve great results with just a little handheld camera without tripods or rigs is stellar. And this is especially handy for the situations where you need to be concealed. Paparazzi should love this.

    So I'm very enthusiastic about EM5II even despite its limitations.