I’ve been shooting professionally since 1989, and yes, I’m a bit of gear head. The arc of my career (so far) has involved hacking cameras to make them do what I want, not necessarily what they were designed to do. It’s always been fun, but also a struggle. As an example: to capture high-speed images of bats in flight, I use a special shutter mounted on the front of the lens. This is hooked up to laser sensors, high-speed flashes, and a shutter driver. The camera’s internal shutter must be locked open and remotely controlled. Its kind of an elaborate affair and takes a quite a bit of time to calibrate and set-up. I’d much rather spend my time engaging bats, and working to get photographs of them flying.
Sadly, my iPhone has a camera feature I love, but does not have the capability to capture high-speed images of anything really. But many clever software designers have come up with pretty cool apps that have given my iPhone camera seriously interesting capabilities. Just not quite what I need.
Imagine a world where Sony, Canon, Nikon, or Panasonic opened up their top-end cameras to app designers. I think the time of the traditional DSlR (a derivative of the old film SLR) has come to an end. Allow me to purchase a top end camera that is designed to be hacked. Let the designers and coders create interesting tools that stand or fail on their own merits.
I shoot Canon, but I have no brand loyalty. No editor has ever asked me what camera I was shooting with. They don’t care. They want interesting and engaging images. If I look into the future, I see no DSLR’s – but I’m not sure if Canon, Nikon and Panasonic have come to grips with this yet. Please – allow me to be as capable and creative as possible. I just don’t care about the next incremental improvement. Give me something disruptive and awesome.