Design Specifications for a Good Camera

Apropos of Mike Johnston’s Simple Cameras, can someone please build a small rangefinder camera made of metal with an optical viewfinder, fixed 35mm f/2 lens with mechanical aperture and manual focus rings, a mechanical shutter speed dial, a sensor with a fixed ISO 400 setting that saves 10 Megapixel JPEG files to an SD card?

A drawing of this design.

The top of the camera would have a mechanical shutter speed dial with settings from 1/2000th of a second to Bulb, and a threaded shutter release with a surrounding switch with the settings ‘On’ and ‘Off’.

The back would have a screen to display pictures, a button labeled ‘See Pictures’, a button labeled ‘Settings’, and four directional triangles with a button labeled ‘Action’ in the middle.

When a person depresses the ‘See Pictures’ button they see the last picture they took. They can use the directional triangle buttons to go forward and backward. If they depress the ‘Action’ button a transparent overlay appears over the current picture with the following options:

  • Send (if this is selected the picture is sent to a connected computer)
  • Print (if this is selected the camera tries to print the picture either by sending it to a connected computer or printer)
  • Delete (if this is selected a confirmation dialogue box with the text ‘Are you sure?’ appears.)

When a person depresses the ‘Settings’ button they see the following settings:

  • Set Black & White or Color
  • Set Date & Time
  • Send all pictures to your computer
  • Delete all pictures from your camera card

The sides of the camera would have strap lugs to connect a camera strap, a USB port to connect a USB cable to a computer, an SD card slot and a very stiff switch with the following settings:

  • Single
  • Timer (2 Seconds)
  • Timer (10 Seconds)

The bottom of the camera would have the access door to the battery compartment and a screw hole for mounting on a tripod.

The camera would come with leather straps and a leather half-case with a flap that covers the entire back which can be opened and closed easily due to metal ‘snap’ buttons.

An advanced version of the camera could also be made available with more ISO settings, DNG raw files, hotshoe for flash and interchangeable lenses.

If this existed, I think it would be the best camera to teach and learn photography with.

Are you listening, Canon, Nikon, Pentax/Ricoh, Olympus, Leica?

A Hypertexthero article by Simon Griffee published on under a Creative Commons License. See more articles in the archive. Links are in the linked list.