What are the 10 features I want my next camera to have?

In Gear by Rick McEvoy19 Comments

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 am looking for connectivity in a camera that is on a par to the connectivity that I enjoy with my iPhone.

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.

Summary

Where this thought process has taken me has convinced me that I need a new camera.

Oh dear.

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!


About the Author

Rick McEvoy

Twitter

I am a photographer based in the lovely county of Dorset in England. This is my Website, and I also have a weekly photography Blog. I specialise in architectural photography – well anything to do with buildings, and extend this to industrial and commercial photography which have similar requirements – stationery subjects, no people, no animals. I also enjoy landscape and travel photography. My dream job is photographing buildings in nice places, which I am working on right now.

Comments

  1. I have the same 6D (mark I), can you display the light histogram in live view? And can you set a 2 or 5 second shutter delay in live view or eyecup view? I can’t find/set these in manual, menus, etc. Pls point in the right direction.

    Also how do you make the maps with the numbers of shots?

    Concerning your ‘problem’:
    if you go crop-sensor you can get a wide crop lens; e.g there is a relatively cheap and small/light Sigma 10-18 for crop which will be the equivalent of 16-35 in full sensor.
    I always had a crop body (in addition to my FF) because of the reach/pixel density the crop sensor allows; which is handy for wildlife. But I use a FF for low light and dynamic range.
    I’m waiting for Canon to come out with their mirrorless pro-line; until then the 6D it is. Cause I have a lot of lenses, flash, etc in the Canon system to be jumping to SONY. Plus SONY has its own problems (e.g. A9 is not high megapixels, A7R3 high megapixels but not the best focusing system, etc. If I’m to spend so much money (e.g. 15K) to start from scratch, etc. I want something way better not something just marginally better. If it is just marginally better I’ll play the waiting game. I’m in no hurry. And if my 6D died tom/row and I needed a replacement ASAP because I had a shoot; I’ll get a 5DIV they are pretty cheap these days. If the flip-screen is your issue you can connect your smart phone to the 6D and have a live view there at any angle and distance plus the 6D has GPS.
    Firmware update is a good idea cause the camera may go crazy if you attach a new(er) lens or smt.
    It has happened to me.

    Finally I was surprised to hear that you find the performance of the 6D in low light satisfactory; I think its focusing system is appalling (my biggest gripe with it, it will simply refuse to focus once it gets dark 🙂 and rendition of shaded areas, etc. is poor/noisy. Cranking up the ISO it looses too much DM and you don’t have that much to start with. These are some of the main reasons I will be looking to upgrade.
    And one of the reasons why I complement the 6D with my 7DII that can focus in low light and/or at f/8.

  2. Hi. I hear ya. I put my readers on, take my readers off because I can not see buttons, choices on my camera. Well, you must have a Hoodman outdoor LCD viewfinder. I do rely on my histogram but I still like to see the composition, etc. And this gizmo does it for me. I too, lug my camera while snow skiing. Challenge and also would hate to ruin my Nikon D810. Anyways – thanks for the info and your insight. Eileen

  3. Agree with your assessment, and am in nearly the exact position. Before EOS-R, I was about ready to jump into Sony, but the more I read/study on EOS-R, I think it offers a good foundation and a promises a substantial roadmap. I’m also in the MagicLantern camp (trap focus, RAW histogram, ETTR and focus peaking) which has already started a dev branch on EOS-R.

    Everytime I get all itchy for new camera gear, I check out DPReview and compare my 6D ISO against newer systems. ISO noise isn’t everything, but it is my primary trigger for jumping to a new unit.

    1. Author

      Hi Jimmy

      I might see what the EOS R Version 2 looks like before making a move.

      Thanks for your comments.

      With warm regards from England

      Rick

  4. I am a Fujifilm user with an X-T2 and I am upgrading to X-T3 – which looks phenomenal. But one potential solution is the new-ish X-T100 – which is small, light, has a full articulating touch screen etc etc.

    I believe this camera hits at least 6 of your needs (1,3,4,8,9,11)

    Number 2- no one does this well – but I have become very quick at transferring photos to my phone via the app and then using Snapseed to edit and then post to social media. So halfway there…

    Number 5 – again most cameras pulling this feature out as it drains the battery (particularly for mirrorless cameras which have worse battery performance). I would tether to phone if necessary.

    Number 6 – I’m not sure what you mean by this. You can create a JPEG and adjust the shadows and highlights all in camera from the raw image (as per point 1) or you can rely on the camera having sufficient dynamic range.

    Number 7 – X-T2 and X-T1 were very good at this. I don’t whether the same is true for for X-T100 which has a different sensor and processor.

    Number 10 – no native tilt shift lenses. But I think you can adapt at the expense of auto-focus.

    Otherwise I think Sony meets a lot of your needs – but not upgradability, they are not small and light, no flippy screen and they do not have a native tilt shift lens. Otherwise it is Canon – and they have mentioned functionality updates to their new camera system already – so you may get some upgradability going forward. Canon EOS-R probably covers you on a lot of items except being small and light – but it is their first full-frame mirrorless system and may be better to wait until they have ironed out the bugs.

    1. Author

      James

      Thank you very much for your detailed response which is greatly appreciated. I thnk you have summed up the situation nicely, Canon Sony or Fuji are all possibilities!

      With warm regards from England

      Rick

  5. You sound like a truck owner (6D) who hot into a sporty Mazda MX5 (iPhone) and now wants his truck to behave like a two seat roadster. I visited your website. You do great work. Period. Get back into the truck.

  6. Agree, but what about flash sync ? When will camera makers focus a little on these cameras syncing flash/stobe higher than 1/250. We have workarounds, like exist for many other limitations, but I for one would choose this quote high on the list when picking my next camera.

    1. Author

      Hi John

      Thank you for taking the time to coment. I don’t use flash that much in my line of work so this is less of an issue to me.

      With warm regards from England

      Rick

  7. ya, I am also observing that thing which Mr. John is telling. yes, what about sync and higher than 1/250. but I really like because of the latest model.

    1. Author

      Hi Ankit

      Thank you for your comment. As I have just said to John, I do not use flash that much.

      With warm regards from England

      Rick

  8. Agree with your assessment, and am in nearly the exact position. Before EOS-R, I was about ready to jump into Sony, but the more I read/study on EOS-R, I think it offers a good foundation and a promises a substantial roadmap. I’m also in the MagicLantern camp (trap focus, RAW histogram, ETTR and focus peaking) which has already started a dev branch on EOS-

    1. Author

      Hi Bindhu

      Thank you for your comment. I am hoping to trial the EOS R soon so will publish my findings on Improve Photography.

      With kind regards from England

      Rick

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