When I was hiking through Jiufen, Taiwan in the extreme summer heat, I found it difficult to focus on getting the right shot. I think mostly it had to do with the menu system - the user experience required me to drill through the menu system if I tried to do anything more than adjust ISO or Exposure. Sweat was dripping down my hands, making it difficult to twist knobs and scroll wheels - anything mechanical and my fingers kept slipping - making me more impatient in the summer heat. I didn't quite manage to catch the photos I wanted so I switched to my iPhone for a bit. Of course, the iPhone had its limitations - the photos came out with too much noise or the video I wanted to take was too dark. Something I did find helpful was the post processing on the iPhone. I could quickly adjust some sliders here and there on the touch screen and get the results I needed. It got me thinking about the knobs and scroll wheels on my camera. They are dated, and permanently assigned to their tasks. What if, I thought, instead of knobs all over the place, there was just a single touch strip. Whatever the technology is, whether it's PCAP, or infrared sensors, it doesn't matter - but the important thing is what that would mean for the user experience. My hypothesis at the moment is that it could streamline the workflow and require fewer controls. With a few dedicated buttons on the back, a thumb could press one of the buttons and the opposing index finger could slide across the top of the camera to adjust it up/down.
So I set forth to conceptualize a camera with the features and functionality that suit my needs/wants. For instance, it would great if it were backwards compatible with some of my favorite Canon L lenses. After all, lenses are a huge investment and I don't want to have to go through that again, haha!
I quickly did some rough sketches and mocked it up in 3D to get an idea. I haven't gone back to this project since last year, but I think it's a nice little thought exercise.
The other thing is that most cameras treat aperture controls differently. On Fujifilm cameras the aperture is adjusted directly on the lens. Other lenses, like Canon, allow you to adjust the aperture via the UI or by turning the function knob at the top to Aperture Priority and then using the scroll wheel to adjust it on the fly. I think in this case my ideal camera would need to be lens-control agnostic. Sure if the lens has it, then I can use it, but if I put one on that doesn't, I want to be able to access these functions quickly and easily.
Last year I tried to sneak it into twitter along-side Photokina, just to see what happens. Alas, not so much. Pretty fun activity overall, and I recommend anyone who might have downtime on a rainy day to take a moment and create something. Sketch it. Model it. Render it. Just do...ah you get the point :)