I have a Canon 6D which I have been using for over 5 years now. Now I know that I have whinged on in the past about there being too much gear talk but things are changing in my world that need addressing.
In this article I am going to describe the 10 most important features that I want in my next camera – these are all features that will help me to take photographs more effectively and more efficiently.
Whilst I like shiny new stuff I will only get a new camera if there are features that will actually help me with my photography. Or if my Canon 6D falls over once and for all.
And at the end I will be asking you all a question which I need your help with.
Why am I thinking about a new camera?
My Canon 6D works just great for me. But I have had it for a few years now, and it has suffered with what I have put it through, so I have to accept that my Canon 6D will not last forever.
Especially not when I am doing this to it!
If it died tomorrow what would I replace it with?
And there is another problem.
Ageing. Me not the camera!
One of the things that I cannot do anything about is the fact that I am already quite old and am getting older every day!
When we get to the end, perhaps someone would be able to tell me what camera it is that I need!
1 – In-camera processing
Now this is a new one for me, a need which has arisen from a new venture I am working on.
This will place my next camera as an additional tool rather than a replacement for my Canon 6D. I love my Canon 6D and with the Canon L series lenses I have this camera is perfect for my commercial architectural photography work.
So that’s all fine then.
And the fact that I shoot in RAW, import my images onto my PC and edit them in Lightroom is just fine too.
That does not change.
This new need is for my venture into travel photography, and more specifically travel photography websites.
I have to be completely honest here and say that I am a bit fed up with talking my Canon 6D on trips. My iPhone is great and I find myself using it more and more when travelling.
So what I am looking for is a camera that is as convenient as my iPhone but with a much bigger sensor.
I also want to be able to get photos straight from my camera and onto websites – that is the new need, which I guess is pointing me in the direction of mirrorless cameras.
But which one?
2 – Proper connectivity
This is directly related to the first point. I want to be able to get photos which have had enough processing done to them in-camera out of my camera and onto websites. And also to social media but primarily to websites that I am working on.
I see no reason why this is not possible in this year surely? My Canon 6D has Wi-Fi connectivity but is hardly as slick as an iPhone.
And I also need connectivity to be able to take photos with my camera stuck on the end of a painters’ pole. This works fine with my Canon 6D, and I do this regularly, so this really is a genuine need.
Is this feature available in a decent camera?
3 – Fully articulating touchscreen
I am 51 years old. I have been short-sighted for years. Now my near vision is going as well. And I have a dominant eye. And I guess if there is a dominant eye then the other one must be lazy! Or underworked. Or on strike.
So I have age related vision issues. And yes you youngsters this will happen to you one day!
Actually seeing things on my Canon 6D is becoming a genuine issue to me.
That barely illuminated LCD screen on the top is of less use to me now than ever. And looking through the viewfinder is also a challenge – what I am trying to compose dictates which eye I use.
And once I have navigated all those small displays there is my actual image capture methodology. I like to take photos from different viewpoints.
I take photos with my camera
- On the actual floor/ ground
- Held above my head
- With my camera shoved out of windows
- All sorts of places
So if I could see what I was actually photographing then that would be just great! Without lying down on the floor that is.
And if I had an articulating touchscreen I might be able to use my main camera for taking videos with me in them – horrible thought I know! I do the odd bit of vlogging which goes on my YouTube channel, which is mainly produced by me holding my iPhone in front of me and talking to the screen.
And as for the touchscreen that just sounds to me like luxury.
A big bright articulated screen is becoming more and more a big must for me.
4 – Small and light
There are times when I get a bit fed up carrying my Canon 6D and lenses around. This is more an issue to me when I am on foreign holidays, when I want to grab shots whilst out and about with the family. I have found myself turning more and more to my iPhone and saving my Canon 6D for dedicated taking photos time.
When I am out on commercial shoots in the UK this is not an issue as I have all the gear in the world in my car, and the stuff I need in my backpack.
It is when I am travelling that I feel the need for something else.
Smaller and lighter is becoming more and more appealing to me.
5 – In-built GPS
An absolute must. I have this on my Canon 6D and it is an essential tool for me.
I use it when I am working on my travel photography websites, as I am able to screenshot exactly where a photo is taken and include this in the post.
The fact that I have the GPS data is proving invaluable as I have had to go back to photos taken some years ago now, and I have that data immediately to hand.
I also use the GPS for commercial work, and in particular traveling to and from pretty much anywhere – if I see something interesting I will stop and take a photo of it, knowing that I don’t need to worry about writing down where I took the photo.
I know there is a work round, whereby I can take an image on my iPhone and import the data into Lightroom (apparently this is possible but I honestly do not know how), but I don’t want this.
I want these specific things built into my next camera.
6 – In camera HDR
My canon 6D has this feature, but completely bafflingly (if that is an actual word) to me this only works with Jpegs.
Now I only shoot in RAW, so this is of no use to me.
Maybe I am thinking about this the wrong way. If my new camera has a greater dynamic range of image capture then surely this will be the same thing, or similar?
Either way this is a feature that I use a lot that I want in-camera – why do I have to do this processing work myself in Lightroom?
7 – Great low light performance
I take lots of photos in near darkness. I am often out and about well before sunrise, and after sunset. I want to be able to take advantage of being out in these hours of darkness to take photos.
You can't tell I know but this is Santorini!
So great low level performance is genuinely important to me.
I also take photos on construction sites, where quite often the lighting levels are simply dreadful.
And then there are building interiors. I tend to photograph older buildings, which have smaller windows and more dark corners, nooks and crannies.
My Canon 6D has performed pretty well in low light to be fair, but this is an important future consideration. I am talking specifically here about the noise recorded in low light, and the details n shadow areas.
And the other aspect of low light performance is the focussing, which again my Canon 6D does a remarkable job with.
Great image capture in low light and great low light focussing are also musts for me.
8 – Upgradeability
Is that an actual word? This is another thing that has become more and more apparent when I compare my DSLR to my iPhone, and indeed my iPad. I have never updated the firmware on my Canon 6D.
Should I have done this? Probably.
But the act of having to plug the lead into my PC and find the firmware updates and download them and not know what is going to happen with my camera all contribute to me never getting round to doing this.
My iPad and iPhone however tell me when I need to do a system upgrade, and all I have to do is to agree to this and put my security code number in and that is it.
The connectivity and functionality of my Canon 6D is a world apart from that I experience with my iPhone and iPad.
I know that Fujifilm provide additional features in their software upgrades – not just system updates but actual new features.
Does anyone else do this or is just Fujifilm?
That sounds like an excellent service to me that I am very interested in having.
9 – Ultra wide-angle lenses
I love my canon 17-40mm lens. I want to go wider.
If I went to an APS-C sensor I would have to deal with a 1.6 x crop factor. 17mm would then become 27mm.
27mm is not wide enough for me.
And if I were to move to micro fourth thirds then I believe the crop factor is 2 x, meaning that 17mm is 34mm. Not that I can put my Canon 17-40mm lens on a micro four-thirds camera anyway.
If I were to move from full frame Canon DSLRs I would have to move to a system that gave me the equivalent of 17mm on a full frame DSLR as an absolute minimum.
I would like to be able to go wider than 17mm to be honest, but that is a rather expensive upgrade in the Canon ecosystem.
10 – Tilt-shift lenses
I have a tilt shift lens. I don’t like it, but I feel that I should be using it more for my architectural photography work.
That means I have to stay with a camera that takes Canon lenses (I hate it when people refer to lenses as glass by the way!).
It is either that or I just forget about tilt shift lenses altogether.
11 – Shiny new loveliness
I know I said 10 things but I am ashamed to admit that I want a new camera. I have managed to go through 2018 without taking the plunge, so maybe I can reward myself in 2019 with some shiny new loveliness??
It is my own fault for coming up with this subject to write about – now that I have embarked on the thought process of a new camera there is a part of me that just wants a new camera.
Shiny new loveliness.
And I know that I have been going on about there being too much gear talk but this is a result of me wondering what I would do if my Canon 6D fell over.
OK I have nearly convinced myself that is the case.
Where this thought process has taken me has convinced me that I need a new camera.
But this is mainly due to my ageing eyes honest!
The only problem is which camera suits all my requirements? I have a few thoughts but any suggestions gratefully received.
And in the meantime if any camera manufacturers out there want me to test their camera on a permanent loan basis get in touch!