I’ll go even a step further. I think that such a manufacturer should standardized on a modified Nikon F, Canon EF-S, or Olympus 4/3 (if 4/3″ instead of APS-C) mount. This way, out of the box, a whole set of lenses will work with such a camera and they can still make gobs of money on their own custom “kit” lenses that allow zoom control (and other features cinematographers need but film camera lenses don’t have).
I mention this with a touch of humility here. Many people don’t know their history: 35mm photography actually comes from the cinema world, not the reverse. Photographers used “view cameras” and “medium format” before adopting the “small format” 35mm cameras so ubiquitous in the film photography world. Dulce et decorum est for the cinema world to inherit APS-C from the digital photography world—digital photography has learned much from the cinema and video world.
A little about the new Sony sensor
Caitlin forgets to mention that the new Sony sensor not only captures at 60 fps, they also developed a DSP that processes at 60 fps.
I think these are clever innovations that are not fully appreciated for the business tactics involved. Remember that currently Sony develops and manufacturers the sensors that are in most consumer pocket digicams (1/3″ size) as well as many APS-C sensors (Pentax and Nikon).
The interesting part is that tactically, Sony can offer this chip to Pentax and Nikon, but practically they will not take advantage of it leaving Sony a way to distinguish their new Alpha (Konica-Minolta) cameras from the market. Why? Because a 60fps system would not operate using an optical viewfinder and reflex mirror, it’d operate the way a video camera does (the sensor is the viewfinder). I do not think traditionalists like Pentax and Nikon would be willing to create such a radical departure from traditional SLR camera design that using the new sensor would entail.
But think of this theoretical photo camera. dSLR but the optical viewfinder is just a high-res black and white LCD with a live-preview in a rotating color LCD. Wow!
It could also do tricks:
Movie mode in a dSLR? You betcha! (And I can finally change the dang focal length as I record. :-P)
Noiseless cameras? Is it me or is anyone else annoyed by the clack-clack-clack that you hear at press conferences and the like?
Take 60 frames a second and keep your best 5 shots. It determines best automatically by figuring out which ones compress to the largest file size (these will have the most detail).
Or how about it would change focusing distance as it takes 60 frames and then create a composite shot where everything part of the frame is in focus?
Or how about a panoramic mode where you just hold the button and slide your camera over a swathe and it auto-aligns and stitches the 60 frames together into one large frame?
And that stuff is just off the top of my head. 🙂