What New Camera Features Could Make You a Better Photographer?

While it’s true that having the newest, fanciest camera is nowhere near as important as the person behind the lens, there’s much to be said about how a camera’s features can help you to develop as a photographer. In this short video, travel photographer Mitchell Kanashkevich explains how.

As Kanashkevich notes, no individual camera will simply turn you into a better photographer, but certain technologies have arrived in the last five or ten years that give you greater creative possibilities and different modes of working. 

For me, one of the biggest changes after having left my Canon 6D behind and moved into the world of mirrorless is the silent shutter. I find myself shooting more and more natural light portraits, and for some subjects, not having that glaringly obvious clunk each time I capture a frame allows for a slightly more natural interaction. The model can relax a bit more, and for people who are uncomfortable in front of the camera, this small change — though very subtle — can make a difference. 

So, a camera doesn’t make you a better photographer, but it can allow you to take photographs that you otherwise might not have taken. So therefore, does it make you a better photographer? Thoughts in the comments, please!

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22 Comments

William Howell's picture

What kind of camera would make me a better photographer? 10 stops of dynamic range, without any noise or digital artifacts, no make that fifteen stops.
If I had a camera that gave me 15 stops of range, could you imagine? Wouldn’t need any lights or modifiers.
Yeah, that would be a big help.

Daniel Sandvik's picture

Dude, you're already on such a good road! Let's go with 20 stops of range.

Ben Deckert's picture

Some camera's probably already do this, but I think more overlay guides would be nice. For example, if you could choose 8x10, 5x7, square etc and it would put that guide up as you look through the viewfinder it would help for framing. I shoot Nikon and some of their camera's have a square crop...but I don't want the camera to take a square photo or a 16x9 photo, I want the full file. I just want a guide to help achieve better framing when I know I will probably need to crop to an 8x10 or square ratio for the final product.

David Love's picture

I think Canon was on to something with being able to fix out of focus shots in post but not there yet. Knowing every pic could be put in focus in post would be something useful. No wasted shots.

One that spits out a hundred dollar bill every hour so I can quit my day job.

Robert Nurse's picture

Make that every minute!

I don't need a better camera, just get better at Photoshop.

Adriano Brigante's picture

The camera I enjoy and use the most is the 1932' Rolleiflex Old Standard. So I don't know, I guess autofocus would be nice... ;)

Michael Jin's picture

1. Unlimited DR with no noise or artifacts.
2. Unlimited Resolution.
2. Perfect color fidelity.
3. 100% Waterproof down to the deepest depths of the ocean.
4. Can withstand the force of a supernova.
5. Automatically changes shape to ergonomically fit your hand.
6. Never runs out of power.
7. A mental link so that it focuses and tracks perfectly with just your thoughts.
8. Transforming lens that can shape itself to any focal length.
9. Can shoot unlimited FPS.
10. Maintains a constant ultra high speed link to the internet for cloud storage and direct posting.
11. Can fly or swim like a drone piloted by the power of thought.
12. It has to be black.
13. It has to have an overlay of popular Instagram poses/scenes.

You lost me on 13.

Michael Jin's picture

Tsk tsk tsk... That's the most important part. Without it, everything else fails. How will you get LIKES and become InstaFamous?

Adriano Brigante's picture

Most of my cameras match two of those criteria.

The supernova withstand feature?

I wouldn’t mind being able to load my own Lightroom preset into the camera so I can view them in live time in the electronic viewfinder.

Depth of field continuous (fast burst) bracketing, shooting same exposure at (e.g.) f4, f2./8, f5.6.
Custom frame/ratio's working in RAW.
Digital zoom (using the manual focus ring, for instance) when a prime lens is mounted.
Also, to give flash exposure CONTINOUS bracketing on Sony a7/a9...

Less dynamic range! Flip out screen. I agree with usmen dynamic range is overrated.

Robert Nurse's picture

I don't know about making me better. But, a camera that would make me more efficient would be one that focused in microseconds on exactly what I want. No hunting and guessing. No more autofocus micro adjustments. Offering compositional aids in the viewfinder and Live View similar to the crop guide overlay in LR would be nice. For example, I could ring up the Golden Spiral, Rule of Thirds, Golden Triangle, etc. in my viewfinder. Oh, and make ISO/noise a thing of the past.

Jacques Cornell's picture

None. A better camera can only help me make better photos. It can't make ME a better photographer. Next question?

Tom Jensen's picture

If you need features to make you a better photographer, well, you're never going to be a better photographer.

Przemek Lodej's picture

Personally I'd be happy with better dynamic range, IBIS and eye focusing.
But ideally....
1. Summon the hottest models on demand.
2. Teleport to the most awesome places in the world
3. Summon perfect lighting conditions: golden hour, blue hour
4. Time freeze.

Shoot on :)

Darren Loveland's picture

I would be more interested in lenses with greater versatility. I mostly shoot with primes, but certain jobs or trips I'm limited in what I can bring so I have a couple zooms with me. I always feel like the zooms are too limited for what they're supposed to be.

Douglas Turney's picture

Forget camera body improvements. I want lenses that don't cost a fortune or weigh a ton. I want long reach at an affordable price and a weight that doesn't require me to workout at the gym 5 days a week. A nice 300 mm F2.8 that is in the $2000 and not the $6000 range would be great. And don't get me started on 400 and 600 lengths.