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June 11, 2011 / Luca Atalla

Pro cameras major flaws

Pro cameras are improving a lot for the last years, specially regarding the sensibility, auto-focus, and film capabilities. So why are they so out of date for the current communication needs?

We now are very comfortable taking pictures in scenes requiring 6,400 or even 12,800 iso and every new generation is improving even more regarding this important topic, specially if you are a photojournalist depending of the environment light conditions.

Since the new Canon 5Dm2 that we have very versatile photo cameras capable of doing a decent job in filming as well. For instance, the 2010 season finale of the tv series House was completely filmed with Mark II cameras.

A few days ago, Vincent Laforet, the same photographer that first shocked the world showing the┬ápotential 5Dm2 pro video features with the movie “Reverie”, went even further, posting an amazing frame grab captured with a RED Epic M digital cinema camera. Yes, you read it rightly, with this new camera you are able to film a subject in action, and later on to grab the frame you want and transform it in a still image with the quality needed for print purposes. That’s revolutionary.

However, there are much simpler things that not any of these beasts are capable of doing. That is, in a easily and friendly way, to take the amazing material you collect to your audience right away.

Yesterday I went to Atlantic City for a fight event, and lent my Nikon 3dS to Dan Rod, one of GRACIEMAG photographers. I was not working at all, but since I was backstage with my friend Igor Gracie (who, by the way, won his tough match with a neat guillotine choke at 4m12s mark), I took some pictures here and there with my iPhone and tweeted them.

Then one thought that was bugging me for a while came back to my mind: it’s a shame that you need to set up a crazy turn around if you want to do the same with your professional equipment*. My humble questions for Nikon, Canon, Sony etc:

1) Why professional cameras are not 3G capable, like the Amazon Kindle or the Apple iPad (just to mention two devices that have it and are not phones)?

2) Why they don’t use the back screen of these pro cameras kind a like a smartphone, not only being touch screen but mainly having apps that could easily integrate your content with the Social Media like your blog, Facebook or Twitter?

Imagine being ringside taking pictures at the UFC main event, then select a few imagines within a Flickr app that would adjust size and format and post them in a gallery instantly.

I guess Nikon is needing a Steve Jobs to keep up.

 

*I know you can already attach an Wi-Fi adapter to your pro camera, turn your smartphone into a hotspot, re-size your pictures (how painful is it?) and then send them from your camera to your phone to use an app to share the material with your social network; however I am not talking about a turn-around but simple native capabilities that would make every professional life easier. Every feature I mentioned above is already reachable, technologically. What pro cameras brand seems not to have is good engineers and designers to make it real.