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Thursday, 16 August 2018


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A question comes to mind regarding the numbers of comments about posts about pictures and posts about camera gear.
Is it the same people commenting in response to posts about camera gear as respond to posts about pictures?

Mike, even more choice is always good. I’ve always loved TLRs too, and an affordable view camera would be nice.
We are in a highly competitive declining sales market. Any camera has to be deemed economically viable by its maker . For better or worse economies of scale seem to be here to stay in any ‘affordable’ camera.
That scenario mitigates against most items on your list.
I do think that you are correct when you say lots of minimally different versions of a few types of camera is not the same as the broad and sometimes quirky choices we had and loved.
I miss many of those too.
But from a picture making point of view it is hard to imagine a picture we cannot make easier and better than in the past many of us miss.

I hope that as technology improves further we just might get a TLR or my beloved Hasselblad super wide, or an inexpensive B&W camera
It’s ok to wish for it, But I’m not sure we should expect it.

Camera companies are scrambling to build what they think they can sell.
That is neither good or bad it just IS
You can’t take it personally .
Any time we spend wishing for what we don’t or can’t have , is taken from the time we can spend using what we do have.

Mike, I take your point (and think that a TLR style camera would be neat), but I think most of what's on your list can be achieved with a little end user effort. The following is really more of an exercise than a Polyanna all-is-well-with-the-world response, but you'll see what I mean.

A TLR-inspired "street" camera with a side-mounted handle and an upward-facing viewing screen that has a pop-up hood;

[There are numerous cameras with articulating screens . . . the Pentax K1 comes to mind. You could use it in "TLR" mode if you wanted. . . even in TLR square format mode if you desired.]

An affordable B&W-only camera;

[Isn't this really a user choice? B&W conversion for all pix in software . . .?]

Cameras that are radically simple and de-complexified;

[Any Leica M digital from the 8 on up fits the bill. In addition, you could argue that most users find their "sweet spot" for settings and just leave the camera that way.]

Cameras that dispense with JPEG modes and options to reduce menu and processing complexity;

[Again, I think this is available, the Pentax K-1 has a DNG-only setting]

Cameras with built-in memory;

[I kinda think this one is a demerit . . . memory fails, with a card you swap it out and don't have to throw the camera away]

An affordable rangefinder camera that takes M-mount lenses;

[Well . . .I'll get you 80% of the way there with any m-4/3 camera and an adapter]

Cameras with modern sensors that have web-only resolution, i.e., two, four, six or eight megapixels;

[I got nothing here. :) Except that there is a robust used market in digital equipment. You can pick up a used D100 for peanuts, if low resolution is your thing.]

A camera or two with a square sensor....
[Pentax K-1 square sensor mode. Cute, but only available in JPG. Still, if you are jonesing for square, you can always crop, right?]

I think you have identified a real thing, though. The phrase "decisional paralysis" refers to our gob-smacked mystification when confronted with 23 types of bottled marinara sauce at the supermarket. In an effort to make their products all things to all people, camera makers have gone all smorgasboard-y on us. From this I take it that computer programming is cheaper than physical engineering. I too don't really like the results.

But maybe to veer back to polyanna mode, all of the TLR/Square/Specialized/B&W options are still available to us as the legacy film world asymptotically fades to "0" . . . in that sense we can still "have it all." For a little while at least.

The thing I always wanted was a drop-in sensor for all my existing film cameras. That would have ticked all your boxes, too. But I don't think any of the biggies saw money in it. And for all I know, it wasn't technically feasible. Still, as long as we are dreamin' on a summer afternoon. . . .

Those who settled on 35mm cameras in the olden days remember a multitude of (35mm) "choices". At the peak, I suspect there were at least 20 makers of rangefinder cameras and 30 or so of SLRs in the catalogs. We called those choices too, even though they were more similar than different.

Features matter and some things on your list represent feature preferences -- the good and bad. I can immediately agree with your numbers 3 & 4. The cameras that I have kept (out of many) were those with well thought out controls and menus that never interfered with my picture taking.

1, 3, 4, 7, and 8 are arguably available today, at least if one is willing to spend a few minutes setting up an otherwise more complex camera.

1: Every camera with a tilting LCD qualifies at "TLR inspired". One point taken the lens at the subject, then holds the camera at waist level and looks down at image on the LCD.

3: I find my cameras simple enough to operate once their setup. If I don't want that, there's a clearly labeled dial that lets me set Auto or Programmed, along with S/A/F. No harder than my old SR-T 102 - match the exposure dial, then press the shutter button.

4: Just ignore the settings and take what the engineers gave you. Isn't that what you want?

7: I can set my cameras to have smaller jpegs, at least. And if you're posting to the web, something will need to create the jpeg, and the posting destination will certainly compress your image anyway. Other than that, I don't pay much attention to the size of an image. Storage is pretty cheap.

8: There are a camera or two that offer square formats natively, and each of my m43 cameras does as a setting. And they reduce the MPix count, helping with #7.

I read all the time about how someone wants a "simpler" camera which they can just pick up and use the way they want (or think they used to in the day). Unfortunately we all want a slightly different simpler camera, hence the ability of most cameras to be setup the way we each want.

So here's a question for you, Mike: Would you consider your list "innovations?" Some are clearly based on options we had back during the reign of film -- but not available in digital, so perhaps "new" in today's context. I have no particular opinion; just asking.

I agree. We see people quibbling about small differences between one camera brand and another because in real terms there isn't that much to differentiate them. The biggest differences these days are sensor sizes and DSLR vs mirrorless. That said, I doubt there's much of a market for TLRs anymore (there's a reason they died out long before digital), and the main advantage of a native B&W camera would be sharper images due to the lack of Bayer or XTrans processing. On the other hand, one nice thing I've found about using color digital images to generate B&W is that you can adjust the gray levels of individual colors in post, which is far more flexible than using optical contrast filters.

"I get fish-slapped with the patterns."

I just watched Monty Pythons Fish-Slapping dance…still funny.

It’s the marketability that holds us back but keeps them alive. That requirement of broad appeal. Even though you hate pickup trucks, one of the wild concept vehicles in that market might change your mind (?) but I doubt we’ll ever see one.

Just one more adventurous camera manufacturer would be great but those who can afford risk (Canikon) won’t take it and there probably isn’t room for another luxury innovator like Leica or mega-corporation like Sony. In the end it may be the camera manufacturer’s inability to compete on the software front that tells the tale.

I am in agreement with this take on the camera market. There's a reason Apple and Google have not jumped in the camera ILC market: they already own the camera market with smartphones. Same reason Samsung bailed.

In my opinion, the camera companies are great with camera hardware, but the software is mediocre at best, and the connectivity to modern technology such as our computers and the internet (i.e. cloud) is poor.

Cameras have no built-in memory. The menu systems are archaic and cumbersome, and sometimes seem to have no logic to them. Using the camera has levels of complexity over other modern devices that seems totally unnecessary, or at least mostly unnecessary. Why not built-in memory, an android or iOS system, LTE/Wireless connectivity, ability to download apps, and so on and so forth. Having a data plan for the camera like we can get for iPads would be nice as well. Memory cards? At most memory cards should be for back up or overflow, not as primary storage.

And then the computation photography that smartphone cameras already perform, and multi-lens and multi-sensor camera systems are upon us. And you just aim at the subject and take a photo. So...easy. No exposure triangle or histogram or exposure compensation. HDR you just turn on or off. Why would a consumer want anything more? If you like video, the smartphone does that as well.

In my opinion the reason the camera companies seem to be mostly releasing top-end products is because the writing is likely on the wall for the consumer segment. Apple and Google are going to win that segment, if they haven't already. That leaves the camera companies building high end niche products, and so no surprise Nikon's focus is full frame mirrorless, and lately expensive high quality full frame lenses, at least for the most part.

I don't have much hope for Nikon and the others long run if they don't up their quality in the area of software, connectivity and processing power. Computational photography with cameras using multiple small lenses and sensors is the trend we're seeing already with the iPhone Plus and other smartphone cameras. It reminds me of the transition of having a nice stereo system (i.e. big, large, and awesome) and watching my kids and just about everyone going to iPods and streaming music. No need for the big bulky stereo for them, the nice small and portable and easy to use iPod did the trick (not for me - but nice stereo systems are surely a niche market now, mostly combined with home theater systems anymore).

The modern camera for most people looks to be in the smartphone. I'd like to see Nikon collaborate with Google on a modern camera, but that seems unlikely, and I doubt Google needs anything form Nikon other than maybe a brand name for marketing purposes. But that might be something to get excited about I think, something transformational.

Ooops, a bit of a rant here. Just my opinion, but I'm having a hard time getting excited about Nikon mirrorless. It will be pretty much a mirrorless version of their DSLR. I imagine the quality of the images it produces will be about the same as what you already have should you have a full frame Nikon.

In the meantime I love my Nikon D750 and its lenses the same way I loved my high end stereo system back in the day. But...I'm not really representative of the typical consumer either. I think the dramatic release of the Nikon mirrorless is a reflection of some level of marketing desperation, seems a bit over the top honestly.

"Cameras that dispense with JPEG modes and options to reduce menu and processing complexity"

Wouldn't that mean that the EVF and screen would always only show ones and zeros? That's what a RAW file looks like without jpeg modes, options, and processing.

Half your problems could be solved by letting go of the past, and the other half will be solved by cell phone cameras.


[Why in the world would anyone want to let go of the past? "The past" contains most of human knowledge, human experience, human accomplishment, and human wisdom, not to mention the lion's share of the valuable lessons we've learned as a species. I prefer to honor and treasure the best of the past. If photography had no history, no tradition, no past masters or historical bodies of work, and no literature, I would quit before the sun comes up tomorrow, and get a new pastime. The present doesn't even make any sense, and can be appreciated only poorly, without at least some knowledge of the past. Just sayin'. --Mike]

Mr Johnston, why the gratuitous insult to p-cup owners?

Here are some answer from someone who's replacing his truck with an SUV:

#2 My Leica IIIa with CineStill B&W Film https://cinestillfilm.com/collections/bwxx-dou/products/bwxx-double-x-36exp-135-black-and-white-motion-picture-negative-film If you are a philistine, you could use a Nikon F ;-)

#3 If cameras were radically simple there would be nothing to master—it's common knowledge that gear-heads prefer self abuse, over camera use ;-)

#6 A Leica M3 for men who shoot film. A Leica M9 for digital weenies. Here's a listing from an authoized Leica dealer for a used Leica M-P (Typ 240) Black Paint, Nr. 490xxxx, complete in box with extra battery and one-year warranty, Ex+ $4,150 That may not be affordable to all, but there are Canon, Nikon and Sony models that sell for more. BTW they sell for $5,995.00 new.

"A TLR-inspired "street" camera with a side-mounted handle and an upward-facing viewing screen that has a pop-up hood;"
I'd prefer a Hassleblad type SLR with the pop-up hood etc - like the prototype they showed last year - the V1d. Couldn't afford one, mind you.
"Cameras that dispense with JPEG modes and options to reduce menu and processing complexity;"
It has been done. I have one - an old Sigma SD10. Almost fits point 7 too - is effectively only 3.5MP. ;-)

Most of these camera product classes don't exist because there is not enough of a customer base for camera manufacturers to make a profit on the cost of developing them. If enough customers were demanding the TLR you describe, one of the camera manufacturers would be making them. But, if you still really need a waist-level finder, buy a Fujifilm GFX50S, and put the tiltable EVF adapter on it. Job done.

Some of them are available, though:

Cameras that are radically simple and de-complexified: The Fuji Instax is such a camera and Fujifilm literally cannot build them fast enough. Fujifilm is selling these like hotcakes, and making excellent profits from the entire Instax line.

An affordable B&W-only camera: Put B&W Instax film in the camera above and you have an affordable B&W only camera.

An affordable rangefinder camera that takes M-mount lenses: Buy a used Fuji X-Pro 1 for $350-$450 and put a Fuji XF to Leica M mount adapter on it. Job done.

Regarding "Cameras with built-in memory": For the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone would want this. Especially with the failure rates of flash memory. Just look at what happened to Micron trying to make Lexar flash memory consistently, reliably and profitably (hint: they're out of the flash memory business)

As for the Ricoh GXR: I can see why it was not a success; it was a silly idea. Its enough of a hassle to have to carry a selection of lenses around on a day out or a holiday. Can you imagine carting 5 of those lenses with sensor modules around Europe or a trip to Iceland? That would be an incredible hassle. Not to mention that's a perfect example of making something simple, a lens, unecessarily considerably more complicated. Which will notably impact reliability, durability, serviceability, and warranty costs.

Remember that tag line by the British company, Linn-Sondek?
Simply Better? Well, it still is.

I agree that there is lots of room for more choice, but I don't think "Joe Average" cares unless it comes in the form of an app. I believe (some) manufacturers are wise to this which is perhaps why we don't have more camera choices. BTW, one could make the argument that at least half the things on your list are already being accomplished by smartphones, and I don't see that getting better, or worse depending on your point of view. Here's to that TLR!

The other thing that always happens, and not only here, is that in any post about “mirrorless” cameras there are always some complaints about the “faux pentaprism hump”, but I’ve never seen a similar complaint about DSLRS many of which have porrorisms that don’t need the hump — see the original Olympus Pen F/FT for example.

Sorry Mike, but you have to count me among the Wealth of Choice! Really! crowd!

Never in history have so many people been able to take so many photographs in so many ways and distribute them to so many people around the world so quickly. Photography is genuinely evolving into a common language as many pundits predicted in the mid-20th century. Its choices span all wealth levels and, in fact, leave few practical gaps from the lowest to the highest technologies.

With all due respect, your list mostly reflect nostalgia rather than innovation. They also reflect an era of technical limitations that were overcome by clever people, rather than necessarily embraced.

We are, indeed, positively drowning in a wealth of choice in photography products and techniques today.

How about a large-sensored compact with a 24-50 zoom lens and a hybrid OVF/EVF? And IBIS. Only Fuji seems to know how to do the finder wizardry, so I hope they're reading this.

An affordable digital B&W only camera shouldn't be difficult but those who are into that sort of thing are also probably into high-end lenses and image quality so I am not sure a consumer level market exists.

I have a question on the "M" mount by which I assume you refer to the Leica M mount. Is the EOS M mount the same or different? Can I slap a Leica M lens on my EOS M3 without an adapter?

I originally heard this in reference to Microsoft Office but it applies to many products in many industries. No one uses more than ten percent of the functions in the product but everyone uses a different ten percent.

I was once a product manager for electromechanical devices used in medical research which could be made to do almost anything -- which was why they were successful. In my years of customer visits I heard many requests for one more knob, switch or feature. I never heard an experienced user suggest we get rid of one.

And why not add an old-fashioned view-camera-style digital camera with bellows between the sensor and lens that would allow the lens and focal plane to be shifted, tilted, and swung? (But yaw-free tilts only!)

To add to your list: A Foveon sensor camera that ISN'T a Frankencamera.

Hello Mike,

Not sure it fully applies, but flagship Huawei smartphones come with native B&W sensors and I really think I can "feel" it's something else than converted rgb photos. Granted, it remains a smartphone but you've agreed that these were cameras too :-). It certainly falls under "affordable" too. Now, it seems Huawei isn't exactly easy to grab in the US though...

As an addendum to my post... Sure fun with the B&W sensor. Only very light edits in-phone with snapseed. Avoid 1:1 peaking... Still only a phone :)

3,4, and 6 get you to the Leica M-D, made in limited quantities because even Leica knew that only the diehards (and they know who they are) would buy it. It's an M-7 with the image ending up on an SD chip instead of on film. No video. No live view. No Wifi or GPS. In fact no menus at all. ISO set by turning the little disk on the back where you used to post a film speed reminder. There was an Easter egg concealed to let you set the date and time or install a firmware update. No LCD on the back, of course, so you only see what you got when you get home and "develop" the images in RAW on the chip.

The sensor had the same pixel count as the M of its day, the M240, i.e. 24 MPX, since there is apparently no savings in having fewer pixels when the chips have already been purchased in sufficient quantity. I know at least one long time shooter who just loves his M-D.

When ti comes to smartphone cameras, I used to rarely use mine due to the poor control that a slab of glass provides. But I really like the idea of computational photography and being able to store and share my photos immediately, and browse them on a screen much bigger and more responsive than any DSLR. So, I bought a Motorola phone (great screen, mediocre camera) and the weird but wonderful Hasselblad-branded "True Zoom" attachment. Sure the sensor is still tiny, but 10x optical zoom, an actual shutter button with half-press, and a grip(!), all on the back of my 6" screened computer. So much better than the phone itself...

I applaud Fuji for the Xpro and X100 series. The idea of incorporating an optical VF into a digital camera was brave and, by the standards of beige corporate thinking, completely nuts.

But hey, it made people notice them and I have been in love with the format ever since. And yes, I know I am in a minority and MOST people prefer the XT1 or XH1, but that's the whole point. The Xpro2 for me is the only camera I want to own, and only Fuji had the nerve to produce it.

I profoundly disagree that every camera should have everything. It is possible to use a common platform to diversify products at almost zero net cost. Car companies do it all the time, and appeal to more than just the broad demographic average. One company can still appeal to niche customers, with a bit of effort, and they can appeal to the broad base as well.

All Fuji's cameras have the same basic sensor and firmware engine, but they are each quite unique in their own way. In fact, they show more diversity than the entire range of Canon SLRs in every respect but the sensor. And while some of them are pretty mainstream, some are certainly not.

I would be entirely in favour of decluttering myself. A raw only camera with a proper meter based on ETTR, not some arbitrary throwback to the film era, with a setting that allowed me to see individual channel clipping in real time, and the number of stops from mid-grey for a chosen area, so I know how many stops I have to adjust for in post.

That should eliminate about half the menu options on my existing camera. It would also convince me that camera companies regarded raw shooting as a serious option, not an aberration for old guys with beards.

I'm with you on the waist level viewfinder with side mounted handle and viewing hood. What I'd like would be more like a 6x6 rollfilm SLR with side handle in shape, but smaller.

If the camera has a lens mount that comes from the days of 35mm SLRs, there's plenty of room for a screen, on top of that box that's between the lens and the sensor.

No reason not to have an eye level viewfinder too.

When I switched from film Leicas to digital Fujis, one of the reasons was the chance to use my M lenses on the Fuji bodies. Sometimes I shoot with my 50mm Summicron but the truth is that I find the Fuji lenses better than the Leica ones when used on their bodies. If I could afford it, I would love to have an M10, but is not high on my list of priorities right now.

A lot of people these days habitually carry around fabulous view screens, gobs of processing power and at least a bit of storage, all network connected. We should be able to leverages those resources to come up with great cameras at reasonable cost, and in a number of form factors. I know the optics aspect of this idea has been tried, but I can't recall anyone tackling the ergonomics in any way.

It was amusing to read your (I thought logical) assertion that having many variants to choose from (in effect one choice) is not the same thing as having many choices, and then read a number of comments insisting that it is the same thing. I agree with you.

I don't want a black and white sensor camera. Really, I don't.... But I am keeping an eye on a fellow named Daniel Morrison who does monochrome conversions of Sony cameras, including very affordable NEX APS-C cameras. For those who are interested, see here: https://www.monochromeimaging.com/

I have no affiliation with this venture and don't own a converted camera. However, I did compare some files of the same scene from a converted and unconverted Sony A7 and came away much impressed by the results.

Hasselblad xpan, please for a digital version.

The Red Hydrogen has the potential to cover most of your points. OH, and make phone calls.

There is already a camera system that that is radically simplified and decomplexified, and has no JPEG modes and options: the Hasselblad X1D. You can totally put to the side that the X1D has exceptional IQ and packs a medium format sensor in a body that is remarkably compact and lightweight. The sheer simplicity of the menu system and controls make it a joy to operate. What it lacks are FEATURES AND OPTIONS. No blazingly fast AF, no Eye AF, no 20 FPS, no zoom lenses, no f/1.4 lenses, no film simulations, no JPEG menus, no bracketing for everything under the sun, etc. Thankfully. With almost every other camera out there today, you have to consult tutorials and even books about how to set up the menu system. If you lose your custom settings, you are dead in the water.

A comment on several people's suggestions that a Fuji X-Pro (either version) is an affordable M-mount rangefinder. They are not.

Firstly these are APS-C cameras. If you have M-mount lenses you have probably bought them because you like what they see on film. Well, now they see something different, and you need to buy a bunch of new lenses to get equivalent fields of view to the M-mount lenses. That kind of defeats the point of the thing.

Secondly these aren't rangefinders. That means you are going to end up focussing by looking through the lens which sacrifices the seeing-outside-the-frame advantages of rangefinders, using a viewfinder which was never really designed to support manual focus lenses at all, with the lens stopped down. Yes, there is focus-peaking, but, well, there's a reason SLRs focus with the lens wide open and why MF SLRs have carefully-designed focussing screens. Focussing lenses designed for rangefinders, if you want it to not be a painful experience turns out to need ... rangefinders.

(For what it's worth, I have a bunch of M-mount lenses and I have made this mistake. I would like a digital home for them but, currently, that seems to mean a real M, which I can't justify.)

The elephant in the room is that still photography and video are rapidly converging. When the day comes that we can shoot 8k quality or more video at 24 frames per second but with choice of shutter speed per frame between 1/24 and 1/1000th (or faster) then the still camera dies, and the phone camera finally rules essentially all aspect of consumer/prosumer photography save for the few renegade photographers that wan't to go back to film era photography. All the other image computational processing techniques will have matured by then as well, so we will be able to impose bokeh, grain, etc., tone and color gradation effects onto any single video frame-derived still image capture. Not sure I will see all this in my lifetime, but I won't be surprised if I do.


All of those things on your list are available, and in multiple iterations... Just shoot film. Better results than any digital option too.

Re #3: I used a Minox 35 for about 20 years until I retired it for digital. In 2002 I bought a Casio EX-S2 (https://www.dpreview.com/articles/8320954270/casioexilim2) which was an excellent digital replacement that I carried in my pocket or briefcase for about 5 years before it was replaced with a cell phone camera of equal "snapshot" quality.
Now, of course, it's an iPhone, the perfect "swiss army knife " replacement.
No camera comes close to it in user friendliness- yes better images in some situations but only marginally in most.
I have a Pen-F in the cabinet, programmed like I like it- but rarely take it out- don't need the better images and it' so much harder to download and use the images.
Could a camera company make a camera as user friendly as an iPhone? I doubt it - they seem to focus on the picture not the photographer- and are totally clueless about making software and firmware user friendly.

Allow me to also suggest:

1. A 35mm film compact that is at least as good as a Contax T2 but sells, new, with a warranty, for a fifth as much. This should not be difficult. And,

2. A basic but well-made manual 35mm SLR compatible with the widest array of lenses possible, ... so probably a Canon EF mount? Or Nikon - who is going to buy an F6 with the multitude of perfectly good FE2s etc out there, but, to echo above, new, without forty years of questionable history and (lack of) maintenance - I think there's a very significant unserved audience here. Really, Nikon could just put the FE2 back into production as is. Also my personal pie-in-the-sky -

3. A 24x24 format 35mm SLR. I am convinced this would be a best seller and would immediately make the stock prices of the first company to market go through the roof. No question.

Absolutely no love for TLRs. They fit a set of technological limits for a while, but luckily we've moved past that point. We do have cameras whose viewfinder can be viewed many ways beyond just straight on, they're just not dedicated to that one view.

The modern equivalent of slow big-viewfinder tripod shooting is tethered shooting; again, you don't need a special camera dedicated to just that anymore, you can do it with any serious camera.

Slow shooting happens in your head, not in your camera. Maybe different people learn it if it's forced on you rather than being a choice you make, which changes who ends up photographing in which styles, but I see no slightest evidence that that difference means one or the other will be better, so I presume they're just different.

Historically fast cameras have consistently out-competed slow cameras, with people in the background moaning about the "loss of quality" and not noticing that they were getting exciting new pictures like nothing ever seen before. And reading Ansel Adams about how he had to hurry sometimes doesn't leave me feeling that being "slow" was a virtue he really appreciated in his tools.

What we've got is a huge array of "good enough" choices, and the bar lowered to the point that anybody can make technically adequate photographs in most conditions, and distribution mechanisms giving photographs really mass audiences even sometimes for photos not coming out of the establishment. Photographs are competing on their visual merit from a wider array of sources and in front of a broader audience than ever before.

I can't find it in me to be that unhappy about it.

Funny how many of these comments are like, "Simple...All you have to do is not want all of these cameras."

I think we don't have the stuff on your list for the same reason we can't go down to Best Buy and get a wet-plate camera.

Will t’ B&W sensors come with cloth shutter. When your Uber fast lens sporting built in filters burns a hole, you ‘I’ll love the pin hole effect. Titanium camera bodies burnished to a mat finish, waiting for the gaffers tape... sorry that ones been patented, oops?

Carry on.

YB Hudson III

I have the Ricoh GRX with 3 modules, and still shoot it at times.
And I love pick up trucks. Got mine in 1989.

Thinking about the comment by SteveW "Using the camera has levels of complexity over other modern devices that seems totally unnecessary..."

I think that's no coincidence. Being hard to use is a feature, learning curve and mastering it is part of the pride of ownership. An easy camera would be vigorously rejected by camera enthusiasts, yet the people who do want an easy camera already use a smartphone.

This leaves camera manufacturers locked in a shrinking market that's so conservative that they can't innovate their way out of it.

I just hope that guys at Reflex (or similar) pick these ideas: pick a digital back with tilting up viewfinder! can make a B&W one, can have many mounts, etc... keep everything on raw 14bit (dng), they can have a FF sensor option (24MP?). Just saying that Reflex may have the most part done for your readers. Buy a sensor from Sony without Bayer filter.

Seconded - a vote for a square format with a waist level finder from me. I bought a Hasselblad 2 years ago and I would say, based on no scientific evaluation whatsoever, that I've had the highest 'hit rate' with it of any camera I've ever used. The square format, the 80mm standard lens and looking down to compose just seem to work for me.

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