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(UPDATED with Mark Marano comment) Gianni Galassi’s ideal MicroFourThirds camera (wishlist)

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"CRACK" by Gianni Galassi (Taken with the Panasonic GF1)

The italian photographer Gianni Galassi just sent us his wishlist for future MicroFourThirds cameras. Do you agree with him?
Considering that I’m really happy with my GF1, here is what my
Ideal-Micro-Four-Thirds-Camera should be like.

SENSOR: a square 4000×4000. Remember 6×6 cameras? They cleverly exploit the whole circle of illumination transmitted by the lens. It’s silly to crop out the upper and lower 500 raws of usable pixels only because we are accustomed to rectangular TV and computer screens. Imagine having the opportunity of a portrait/landscape option without rotating your camera (no need of add-on grips). Or a gorgeous in-camera “full frame” square. Exciting.

MECHANICAL INTERFACE: in addition to the mode dial, I need exposure-compensation and ISO dials as well. I hate fiddling in the menus, even in the so-called “quick menus” (which generally aren’t quick at all). Under this point of view, Canon G10 and G11 are a paragon every designer should imitate.

MEMORY CARDS: given the small SD card’s size, two slots (RAID 0 or 1 configurable) would be welcome.

ON-OFF SWITCH:
absolutely around the release button. Nikon is the paragon here. Nobody else does better.

VIDEO: Who needs it? If I had the choice to buy the same camera with video or without video at the same price, I’d pick the latter with no hesitation, though I’m aware almost nobody shares my opinion on this matter.

MENU: please, please, make it simple! I hate crawling between zillions of unuseful options which are there only because they help marketing people extend camera’s feature list at no-cost. Good designers must responsibly take their decisions. Offloading on the buyer the choice between too many options is unfair. By the way, the card-format menu is always hidden in some crazy location.

FLASH: I don’t think I have ever used the built-in flash of my cameras. GF1 has a ridiculous one.

VIEWFINDER: if I only used short focals, I’d be ok with a (costly) Contax G-style optical zooming viewfinder. But for medium-long lenses an electroni viewfinder is fundamental. The add-on Panasonic’s LVF1 does not bother me at all, but I wouldn’t mind a built in viewfinder, at the left corner of the body, taking the place now occupied by the collapsible flash. I could even accept a slightly higher (not wider) body for that. Speaking of electronic viewfinders, a huge improvement is to be expected in the next couple of years, IMHO.

STRAP LUGS: I’d prefer round ones, giving the possibility to easily remove a strap, equipped with spring catches.

SKIN: I definitely like the reassuring Canon G10 finish. It gives the photographer a good grip even when he wears gloves. And it’s gorgeous, too. The GF1 body is a little too glabrous and slippery for my taste. Moreover, efforts should be made to get rid of all those white or golden crappy writings and labels in the front panel of the camera. A plain matte black body is all we need.

Visit his website at www.giannigalassi.com

UPDATE: The very known photographer Mark Marano wrote:
“I especially agree with the square format.. the multi-aspect ratio introduced in the GH1 is a great idea, but why not make the square format the largest (or I’d even work with a sensor that’s bigger than the image circle – that may not happen, but would be interesting to use with larger format lenses with adapters!) RAID is interesting if it could be implemented properly without extra work on the effort of the user (or better yet, something like BeyondRaid found in Drobo/DroboPro) I disagree about video as I’m interested in motion work, and am interested to see future development in this area.. What we really need is something small, solid, mechanical, even with a mirror – how about a Nikon FA (or any other similar compact manual focus SLR) with a digital back? (I’ve been desiring such a camera since the beginning of this era of digital photography!) That’s what I really miss about the film world – the ‘feel’ of a solid, simple, intuitive, yet capable camera – more dials for photographic functions (bring back the aperture ring!) and less having to rely on digital menus or put up with the limitations of focus-by-wire! Despite the uses of a live view, photography just doesn’t feel the same if you’re not looking through the lens and can’t see the image come into and go out of focus as you feel the manual focus ring twisting between your fingers…” target=”_blank”>Marc Marano added his comment to Gianni’s wishlist:
great ideas!

I especially agree with the square format.. the multi-aspect ratio introduced in the GH1 is a great idea, but why not make the square format the largest (or I’d even work with a sensor that’s bigger than the image circle – that may not happen, but would be interesting to use with larger format lenses with adapters!)

RAID is interesting if it could be implemented properly without extra work on the effort of the user (or better yet, something like BeyondRaid found in Drobo/DroboPro)

I disagree about video as I’m interested in motion work, and am interested to see future development in this area..

What we really need is something small, solid, mechanical, even with a mirror – how about a Nikon FA (or any other similar compact manual focus SLR) with a digital back? (I’ve been desiring such a camera since the beginning of this era of digital photography!) That’s what I really miss about the film world – the ‘feel’ of a solid, simple, intuitive, yet capable camera – more dials for photographic functions (bring back the aperture ring!) and less having to rely on digital menus or put up with the limitations of focus-by-wire!

Despite the uses of a live view, photography just doesn’t feel the same if you’re not looking through the lens and can’t see the image come into and go out of focus as you feel the manual focus ring twisting between your fingers…

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