Today’s cameras are full of functions and possibilities. Most of us only use a small part of what is possible. Yet we often want only one other function that is not available. What function do you want to add to your camera?
I remember my first cameras. They were relatively simple tools with nothing more than the ability to capture an image. It had an exposure meter and the ability to set a shutter speed and aperture. Besides a self-timer, there wasn’t much else possible. These cameras were used for one thing, and one thing only: we used them to photograph our subject.
A lot has happened since. Adding automated functions started when we were still using analog film rolls. But the possibilities offered by a camera have increased considerably when we entered the digital age. We have options that were once considered impossible.
For many photographers, it’s almost unimaginable to take pictures without autofocus, various sophisticated light metering systems, continuous shooting, or the 36-shot limit per roll. Not to mention eye autofocus for humans and animals, and seamless tracking of subjects across the frame.
Modern cameras have even more sophisticated possibilities. functions of time lapse, interval shooting, focus stacking, real-time light gathering, exposure simulation in the viewfinder, shooting and much more. We can develop the photos in the camera itself and communicate with smartphones or other devices. We do not photograph with a camera, but with a computer.
The more functions and possibilities we get, the less satisfied we seem to be. It almost seems like it’s all about the technology and features, instead of what it should be: taking pictures. While many features found in cameras can help you get the shot you want, it’s not always about the technology involved.
Yet, no matter what functions a camera has, there is always a function that is not there. Something you would like to have. Not because it’s possible, but because it can help you with your photography – or your shoot, for that matter. After all, modern cameras can also be used as film cameras.
Just like the computer we use at home or in our offices, a camera can also be updated. In most situations, it’s about fixing bugs in the computer software or changing simple things to improve the user experience.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to stop there. It is quite easy to add functions and possibilities to our camera. After all, the computer can be programmed as we see fit. Maybe the only limit is the amount of memory in the system itself, I think. But then again, I don’t know much about these computer systems. Still, there’s no reason to believe that more features can be added. A simple firmware update may suffice.
What functions would I like to have?
I’ve used a lot of different cameras from all kinds of brands. It means that I have seen a lot of things that are possible and things that have become possible over time. When I look at my Canon EOS R5, I wish I had lots of extra options, although I probably wouldn’t need them much. I made a list.
- XF-AVC codec for video like on the Canon EOS R5 C
- No video recording time limit like on the Canon EOS R7
- Wave graph for video like on the Canon EOS R5 C
- Pre-shooting option as on the Canon EOS R7 and EOS R10
- Updated AF system customization as seen on the Canon EOS R3 and EOS R7
- Ability to set self-timer and more than one frame like on some Sony cameras
- No 30 second limit with exposure program like some Nikon Z series
- 4:5 crop added to aspect ratio
- OVF simulation like the Canon EOS R3
- Real-time light gathering (live bulb) like on some Olympus cameras
It’s a long wish list, and maybe there isn’t enough computer memory to hold all the necessary programming. But in principle, a lot should be possible with a big firmware update. Canon has already done something similar with the addition of vehicle recognition for autofocus and the ability to disable overheat shutdown while shooting.
If I could only choose one feature to add to my Canon EOS R5 camera, it would be Live Bulb, the real-time light-gathering feature that Olympus owners are probably very familiar with.
Wishes don’t come true
As you may know, most wishes don’t come true. Although it depends on the manufacturer, most won’t be adding significant features to their camera anytime soon. After all, they’ll rather you buy their new camera, which has all these new and improved features.
That doesn’t mean they won’t add new enhancements at all. I mentioned the recent Canon firmware update for the EOS R5. Sony has recently improved the autofocus of its Sony a7 IV camera, along with a few other things. I think Nikon has done similar things with their Z 6 and Z 7 mirrorless cameras, and Fujifilm has added new features in the past.
But most of the time, firmware updates are only minor improvements and get rid of known bugs in camera software. Which is a good thing of course, but a bit limited. It would be nice if new functions were added from time to time.
What feature would you like to see?
I’m sure your camera is also full of functions and possibilities, except for one that you would like to have. It might not be very important, but it’s just nice to have. If you could wish for only one feature to be added by a firmware update, what would it be?
Please share your wish in the comment below. I can’t give you any wishes, and I doubt any manufacturer will read these comments and think: let’s add this feature. But it would be nice to see what’s missing on a certain camera. I am looking forward to hearing from you.