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I am in search of an all round camera. I still am. The digital camera I’d most like to own should be pocket sized and nothing fancy and one that is not beyond the reach of current technology. One capable of high end DSLR quality without the price and obstrusiveness. I’ve been shooting with a Nikon D3 since February 2008. While the D3 is a great camera,  it is both a beast and a tank.

I began toying (actually taking pictures) with cameras way back in 1974 using a Kodak Brownie (Brownie 6 pictured) and B&W film. My avid father photographer owned that Brownie. My uncle and mother (before she married) were involved in studio photography which my maternal grandfather started, thus making me a 3rd generation tog. Through the years, I’ve been shooting cameras in many species, analogue as well as digital varieties. Today, I shoot professionally and my wife and I own a mainstreet imaging business.

Fast forward to the 21st Century, and in my many photo outings with Jan Shim, my associate and shooting-partner in photographic “crime”, in foto-speak, I am often dis- mayed with my own gear when compared with what pocket cameras could do (e.g. Jan’s Canon G11), such a extreme close focus macro photography, tilt-swivel LCD, 10 megapixel CMOS sensor. Other camera makes feature face recognition, smile recognition, and more. Would I ever use all these fancy-snazzy features? No. Mostly eye-candy for me.

Many of the features and capabilities I desire from a dream camera already exist. It’s just that they exist on different camera bodies, in different form factor (full frame, 4/3rds, APS, etc.). My desire isn’t not within reach of current technologies. Thus, I beg the question whether there is a marketing conspiracy to “separate the boys from the men”? I think so.

Back in the days when everybody was shooting films, the “workflow” was simply, point-and-shoot. Quite literally. It was all mechanical. You press the button, the shutter curtain “clicks” and the image recorded on film. Now, I question the genius of modern day 21st century CAM. If electricity travels at the speed of light, why can’t to day’s digital camera be as responsive as those point-and-click cameras? Why should consumers pay heftily for some programming codes that open the gates for zero shutter lag in professional camera bodies? In a similar grain, why should consumer and pro-sumer camera owners pay heftily for missed decisive moment images because of another set of algorithmic codes that cause shutter lag?

Nikon D3 © http://bit.ly/oP8gjm

I beg camera manufacturers not to deny camera lovers of the simplicity of “push the button” zero-shutter-lag cameras. In fact, all cameras should operate with the same ease we flick a switch to turn on room light, instantaneous, at the speed of light. And, isn’t photography all about light? Zero shutter lag is the most desirous feature for my dream camera.

Of course my ramblings would go on and on, up to some point when some would accuse me of regurgitating what others might have already published. To cut to the chase, here is a list of a few features I desire from an all rounder camera:
01) Zero shutter lag.
02) 6 to 12 megapixels sensor (6 Mpxl is plenty for A3 (11×17 inch) photo.
03) CMOS sensor or FOVEON X3 sensor (I prefer the latter)
04) Burst rate 3 to 5 frames per second
05) Articulated, swivelling Hi-definition LCD
06) Sharp focussing lens, with great macro ability (Canon G11/G12 has tickled my desire)
07) ISO 50 to 6400, so flash isn’t quite needed.
08) Long lasting battery life (if it’s possible on iPAD2, it should be for digital cameras)
09) Optical zoom lens, preferably 20mm to 150 mm with optical stabiliser built in.
10) Size and weight — should fit a vest pocket/a woman’s purse, weighting around 350 g.

Or course my wish-list isn’t exhaustive and I’d be a happy camper should a camera has all the 10 features aforementioned.

On my travels, even for weekend shootings, the yoke I bear is just too much, about 5 kg. When I shoot assignments, locally and overseas, my gear easily exceeds 20 kg — often raising the ire of customs officers at airports, and other unpleasantries. 20 kg. is way too much even when I shoot locally.

I know there is no holy grail of a perfect camera, but if one manufacturer could produce one with the decalogue of features, I would buy it in a heartbeat. No, I’d buy a handful, to last me my life time.

Now then, do you think I have forgotten something, anything? Post your views in the reply box below. Let’s make this quibble of mine into a informative discuss- ion. Although I did mention some camera models and manufac- turer’s names above, I am not endorsed by any of them. Please, no brand wars. Thank you.

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EPILOGUE
Is there an all round camera that I can take along for use in most photographing situations? I purposely omitted the video recording capabilities of recent digital cameras because, to me, photography is about capturing the moment. That decisive moment. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy video. I do. But I want a camera which does the 10 of best things/features (list above) for me. I am still looking. Help me find that elusive, “over the rainbow”, camera. Brand doesn’t matter. 🙂

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