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A closer look at Rich Capture, the best feature on Lumia Camera

If you ask me to name one thing that I liked the most from the recent Microsoft press conference, I'd say it's the new Lumia Camera. If you haven't heard, Nokia Camera will be updated to Lumia Camera as part of the Lumia Denim update. What I'm really excited about is the feature in Lumia Camera that Microsoft calls, Rich Capture. It's a new mode that can be quickly enabled with one tap. Watch the demo on video to see what it's all about.

With the new Lumia Camera, there are three options on top. You can quickly change to the front facing camera, turn on/off/auto flash, and enable Rich Capture. Several things happen when you take a photo with Rich Capture on, but users don't really need to know how it works. Basically, you can avoid the hassle of adjusting camera settings so you can shoot first, and then edit and select the perfect shot later.

When you take a photo, Rich Capture analyzes the current scene, captures multiple images and merges them together. It applies auto HDR with dynamic exposure steps and flash settings to provide the perfect shot.

When Rich Capture is on and the flash is off, Lumia Camera takes a traditional HDR photo. This means multiple photos are taken with different exposure values and then merged into one image. After the photo is taken, you can edit it later to adjust how much HDR effect you want. There's a slider available to make the adjustments. The amount depends on users. I'd probably stick to about 33%, but you can go all out with 100%.

When Rich Capture and flash are enabled, Lumia Camera takes multiple photos with flash and without flash. After the photo is taken, you can edit it later to adjust the strength of the flash. Microsoft calls this feature, Dynamic Flash.

I was told there is also a third mode when Rich Capture is on and flash is off, but I was unable to see that demo. Lumia Camera takes long and short exposure images. I imagine you can adjust the slider afterwards when editing to try to get the sharpest image possible in low light conditions.

I'm really excited about the new Lumia Camera and its new Rich Capture option. Don't forget, Lumia Camera also brings other features. It makes capturing images faster, brings 4K video capture to supported devices, and Moment Capture. When you hold the camera button, it instantly starts recording your subject in 4K at 24 frames per second. Each of the frames captured can be saved as an individual photo.

The new Lumia Camera will be available for the Nokia Lumia 830, Lumia 930, Lumia Icon, and Lumia 1520 as part of the Lumia Denim update. It that starts rolling out in Q4. It's worth noting that the Lumia 830 will shoot Moment Capture in FullHD, not 4K.

Are you excited about the new Lumia Camera? What do you think of the Rich Capture option? Sound off in the comments!

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

342 Comments
  • Sad to see my 920 won't get the Lumia Camera...
  • Yeah even ny 925, but they are a year old so kind off okay.
  • Right? You think it would work with PureView cameras or something. Or maybe (insert technical talk I don't understand).
  • i think alot of this is made possible from the new qualcomm chips. i remember they have a built in image processor. if this was just software, it should work with older cameras as well.
  • Even 2 years old android Phone support the new operating system, KitKat.
  • the OS it self can still be updated from Microsoft, especially for those who is in DP. But as I understand, the new Lumia Camera might need some hardware/firmware support, which sadly for 2 yr old L920, it doesn't have that. And besides, Android OS updating is the worse of all smartphones.
  • It should (with limited functionality) unless Microsoft completely skips the Denim firmware for Gen 1 WP 8 devices (minus the ones with SD800)
  • So then which features would the L925 get? Plus T-Mo doesn't even have Cyan yet, so like I hate seeing ask this stuff for Denim especially when I don't even have Cyan and it's not coming out soon. T-Mo said later this year
  • That's why I got a 1520.3 to run on my T-MoUS account. Instant upgrade over 925. Instant Cyan. Hearing now about all the advances coming with Denim, glad I'm factory unlocked and won't wait for carrier approval before I get an OTA. Super glad I have a Snapdragon 800. Enjoying motion sensor right now and eagerly awaiting other 800+ SOC implimentations. All the gained advantages are totally worth way more than the sacrifice of WiFi calling. 1520.3 is a beautiful beast of a device. Check it out.
  • Well it's not like Cyan brought any new features to first gen. devices ( Snapdragon S4 ones ), so Denim will ship to all devices but will not bring features.
  • Yep
  • Well Cyan did bring the brightness profiles to all devices.
  • Idk, maybe for you it did, but my Lumia 920 has Cyan and no brightness profiles.
  • It didn't. Only to some devices.
  • @pankaj981 Which Gen 1 WP8 devices have the SD800? I wasn't aware of any.
  • The 1520, it was at the end of Gen 1, which is why it's the 1520 and not 1530, as well as it coming before Windows Phone 8.1. ;)
  • There are no gen1 WP8.1 devices with SD800.. The 1520 is a gen2, including sensor core.
  • Well, they kind of skipped cyan, as I have a 920 and it has none of the new features promised by MS. The only think new is the Lumia cream title in extras+info. Very sad
  • My thoughts exactly when I got Cyan on my 1020. Didn't even get the new custom brightness slider (Which, honest to god, was the feature I was most excited about, seeing as I was already on 8.1.1 thanks to DP). Other than saying Lumia Cyan in extras + info and the new data transmission arrows (for AT&T, at least, they're new), I honestly wouldn't even know I successfully upgraded.
  • Everyone with a Lumia gets Lumia Camera, but not everyone gets all of the features. (Lumia Camera replaces Nokia Camera as an app).
  • What features do we lose if we don't have those phones?
  • Even I would like to know what features will be available for older Lumias. I would not mind if I don't get 4K, but Rich Capture/HDR is needed....
  • So all Lumia phones get a faster starting Lumia camera app???
  • When taking so many pics at a time, what resolution will we get?
  • A more curious question is how many will go into OneDrive with auto uploads? It's already a nightmare when you edit sometimes!
  • That's why I simply don't use auto-upload. Makes things too messy. Simply sync my phone's camera roll with my Surface ever night, with the OneDrive folder. All my photos get automagically synced and uploaded to the cloud as I sleep, changes and all. Magical. Not perfect, I do have to manually remove some stubborn photos that won't die when I edit them, but that's fine. Gets the job done, makes me happy.
  • 8 mp when recording in 4k, not sure about the 830 with 1080p...
  • Does the Rich Capture feature require more powerfull hardware to function? More powerfull than L920? If the answer is no, then MS is just trying to make some money on the new devices.  I really hope that L920 (and previous models) will get the Rich Capture, the same way less powerfull phones got Nokia Camera (originally available only for more "expensive" models)
  • It requires functionality not available on the S4 SoC. So all 1st gen WP8 devices won't support these features. Frankly speaking you'll see little advantages from Denim (and Cyan really)..
  • That's so sad. So my Lumia 1020 won't get the Rich Capture feature, nor the Dynamic Flash feature when Denim will be installed on my phone. Also you're saying that the shot to shot time on my Lumia 1020 won't be reduced once the Denim is installed, is that right?
  • Agree
  • We are beginning to see more fragmentations on WP devices now, based on the hardware configurations.  Whether it has 512MB or 1GB RAM, whether it has quad-core processrors and whether it has OLED display all make differences in feature limitation.  We probably should all wait for the SN 805 phones for safe.  :-)
  • What do quad core processors get you (all quads, not just some quads)? What requires an OLED display?
  • Some of the Denim features only apply to Snapdragon 800 phones.  No Glance feature for OLED display due to the lack of screen memory.  In the future, you have to decide which features you want before you select the right models.  So you won't get surprised after the purchase.  I understand that Snapdragon 805 will have some sophisticates graphic capabilities.  So may be the future Lumia firmware updates will take advantages of those features for SN 805 phones only.  We just don't know.
  • At least we aren't getting OS fragmentation like Android Suffers, it's closer to the Hardware fragmentation (like iOS) - we just get Carrier fragmentation when they are too 'lazy' to push out the updates. I mean we cant expect 2 year old Hardware to be able to do everything that new hardware can do, we have to be able to let go and move on. (and it's an excuse for us to upgrade devices as well) I for one don't want new devices 'limited' so that old software can do everythting the new ones can.. And what happens in a couple of years when the SN 805 is outdated, more complants? :)
  • It's ridiculous that in this way, they oblige you to buy a 700$ phone each year.
  • Come on please yangstax.... If you buy a low end device or if you have a "older" device that are just no capable of processing the necessary way then be realistic and understand that 2 years ago they did not know the future. Just be happy for the people that will get the features.. It's time to upgrade and enjoy with us. Be fair, you can't always have the best, you had that for at least a year... Better things come along that is just how life is. And btw nothing is scattered
  • I wish all the phone features can last 2 years.  My Lumia 900 lasted 1-1/2 year before WP7 hit deadend.  I was forced to upgrde to L920 for the WP8 sake.  Then AT&T quitted supporting Qi after one year without warning.  I already invested in 3 Qi charging pads and one JBL Qi speaker.  Now after one year I owned L1020, I was told that Denim's main features won't support L1020.  Now I have to upgrade to L1030 if there is one. Obviously, the mobile techs are moving fast.  WP is playing catch-up.  Some of changes they have to make and are beyond their control.  But there are things they could standardize.  They can quit making 512MB phones and start all low end from 1GB.  So all phones can run all apps. The Xolo Win q900s has much better specs than L630 at the same price range.  MS can standardize all the mid to high end phones with 5MP front camera, microSD and internal wireless charging.  So we don't have to worry about which phone model has this or that.  These basic things should be all there.  L830 is a good start with its replaceable battery and Qi cover design.  But I just don't understand its selection of 0.9MP for its front camera.  High resolution selfie camera is the trend in the industry.  HTC One has a 5MP ffc.  All phones above L730 should have a 5MP ffc.  In the Chinese market, for instance, phones without front camera just won't sell.  L530/L630 will have hard time there.
  • would you prefer they don't update hardware so everyone stays on the same hardware? fragmentaion refers to people being on different versions of an os making it difficult for developers to make apps. there are always differences in hardware.
  • Would this mean everyone will get to enjoy fast camera app start and fast photo by photo capture?
  • Can you eventually do a summary article on which phones get which update features? This is a bit confusing. Would be good to know to plan an upgrade
  • Wut, why do you say that??
  • I,wonder y... We do have hdr on single core apple iphone 4... Fine with not having moment capture or 4K....but this rich capture feature is possible with 920's camera imo...
  • You can always use HDR Photo Camera or a similar App right now. I use it all the time for any photo of relatively still objects. Not as fast as this firmware enabled mode obviously, but the results are great!
  • Because Apple has been doing everything in-house for years, so they can optimize the hell out of everything? Also, the iPhone 4 only has to push 5MP?
  • Not even the 1020 Seems like we're officially on old hardware haha. I suppose it has something to do with the proccessor. All those phones have QuadCode
  • Ironically the 1020 has a faster processor than the 830 and it still won't get any of the new features. At this rate, they might as well not give us the Denim update.
  • Lumia Denim is more high end device oriented not like for all lumias .! There ain't any awesome feature which we 720,920,925,1020.. Users get..!,:/
  • It comes as a kick in the gonads to have the best camera phone in the world (1020) but not the full feature set of the Denim update. You'd have thought that Nokia would have future proofed the 1020 for at least two years.
  • That's what happens when they cheap out on the processor.
  • this!
  • But 730 and 830 aren't high-ends...
  • It is not about the mhz,
  • Wait, a dual core snapdragon s4 is not better than the quad core snapdragon 400. The S4 was pathetic, even when the 1020 was announced. They didn't even get the S4 pro.
  • S4 was awesome. still is. and yes it is atleast equally powerful as snapdragon 400, in terms of cpu and miles ahead in terms of gpu. s4 has 2x krait cores at 1.5Ghz with adreno 225 and 400 has 4x poorly optimised A7 cores at 1.2Ghz with adreno 305. they are more power efficient but essentially weaker. the real problem here is the 41mp sensor. not even a snapdragon 801 has enough power to snap multiple 41mp shots in a second. the 808 pureview did it using a dedicated imaging coprocessor. i would really like the 1020 successor to have that reimplemented.
  • It has been tested, on this website with the Lumia 1020 vs the Lumia 635 which features a 400 CPU. It performs better than the 1020 does in terms of raw computing power. Quit spreading misinformation about how capable this processor is
  • i dont know what this site did, but gsmarena did the same and found out that 1020 is equal, if not better on several benchmarks http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_lumia_630-review-1080p5.php
  • Interesting. I didn't know all the snapdragon 400s weren't krait CPUs. Either way, neither are/were considered high end, so they weren't meant to be "future proof." I still wouldn't call it "awesome" or miles ahead, though. I agree, They really need that coprocessor. Hopefully they can make the camera better than on the 808 and keep the device slim.
  • i was talking about the gpu when i said 'miles ahead' adreno 225 is 'really' more powerful than 305. they are less efficient than 305, but far more powerful. i hope you know the naming scheme of adreno gpus. first digit represents the generation and the rest two represents the performance rating. (similar to that of radeon hd series) ;) and i dont know if windows phone supports coprocessors yet, but i'm pretty sure that if they do, thats the way forward. it can lead to dslr level capabilities like 8fps 41mp bursts :D really not needed, but very useful for HDR composing ;)
  • I'm still not sold on the GPU naming convention though. Does that mean that the Adreno 225 is still more powerful than the Adreno 420 on the snapdragon 805?
  • Ok, let me put it this way. a change in generation often brings more efficient chips, at the same time, slightly improving performance. which means, number 25 in second generation maybe equal to number 10 or 15 in fourth generation. but, not so much as to make 225=305. adreno 320 might be the one with same performance as 225. adreno 420 might be comparable to 330, but more efficient. after all, the performance of the gpu also depends on the amount of shared memory it has. 305 on a 1gb device may perform better than a 225 on 512 mb device. there are even more variables in that equation like heat sinking and related to it, performance throttling.. etc by rough laboratory estimates under equal conditions, what i said in the first para applies.
     
  • Interesting.
  • I don't think the 1020 has a faster processor it just has more RAM.
  • Actually no. The 1020 is a dual core first gen WP8 device. Excluding the camera the 820, 920, 925, 928 and 1020 are pretty much the same device. While clicked slower, the 830 will generally outperform to 1020..
  • I agree with the first part (displays were also different, though).
    "the 830 will generally outperform to 1020"
    Except, of course, in the graphics department. Adreno 225 > Adreno 305. period. Also, usually the processor speed matters more than the core count for gaming. So in that regard, the dual-core S4 @1.5 GHz on the 1020 and those other 1st. gen. Lumias is looking better than the quad-core Snapdragon 400 @1.2 GHz on the L830. (Note that each core maxes out at that speed).
  • Actually, thanks to the utilization of those extra cores: the 630/635 gets higher benchmark scores than the 1020. I imagine the gap will only be wider with the 830. While not every application makes proper use of those extra cores, you can be Lumia Camera does, and all the benefits that come with those extra few cores.
  • The New camera features need the power of the SD 800 ;) mobilegeeks.de was talking to the german product manager
  • Oh really? The 830 didn't have a SD800 and it's getting Living Images and Continuous Focus. It's something that I believe can be done on the 1020 processor.
  • please don't spread bad information, lumia camera will be available to all current WP8 lumia phones as an update to nokia camera, it won't support 4k recording if your phone can't handle it, but everything else should be there, of course you can't expect this to run on your 920 as fast as it does on a 1520/930
  • Yes thanks. And also Lumia Denim will be bringing Update 1.
  • Be careful yourself about the information that you spread. It seems pretty clear that all Lumia devices won't be getting "rich capture" either.  I'm not certain what (if any) of the new, advanced features will be active for "older" devices like 92X and 1020.
  • What?! So my 925 wont get it?   Oh man, I was looking forward to it..
  • As I carry my HS20 everywhere, everytime to capture every scenes, still no need to change my 920. Maybe the next big thing from WP ......
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  • Bring on the successor to the 1020!
  • Exactly. MS is just teasing us with all these awesome camera and photo updates that the 1020 can't even take advantage of. They need to announce the 1030 soon, I simply can't upgrade to a phone with a lesser camera now.
  • We should all put pressure on MS, on every occasions, to release the L1030 ASAP.  It is crime for MS not doing that.  It is simply not acceptable. 
  • A crime?  If MS did deliver a successor to the 1020 that was anything less than spectacular, they would have a lot of very upset phone owners complaining that MS just threw out anything. Unless my 1020 was broken, I would rather keep my 1020 a few additional months than getting something I would be grumbling about for the next year or two. Yes, I have the 1020 and I am anxious about a new phone.
  • I think there will be more feature to come before they will release 1030... When all feature that they have planned have been made then they will release all the feature to the 1030... Hope its like that xD because if they release all feature before 1030 then there isn't big things to them to announce in the event
  • I came from the 1020 to a 1520 and it really isn't that much worse. Color reproduction has been better for me (no yellow tint from the Xenon) and shot-to-shot time is much improved. Only downside is less zooming and lower shot quality after zooming. Also, being able to use the dual LED light as a flashlight is nice. 
  • I'm with you on this one. Upgrades that don't hit the best phone camera in the world are unacceptable - it's really an outstanding camera with a smart phone built in if you ask me.
  • Dear god please I need a 1030 to upgrade to!
  • That's much more better than the one we are now using. Hope MS could release it ASAP!
  • ASAP? This is a WP firmware update, asap isn't an option, carrier testing, phased rollouts, don't expect it till next year. Just ask Verizon or T-Mobile WP users.....
  • My 930 is ready and waiting!!!
  • Me too, can't wait.
  • Same! Lumia 930 - Denmark
  • How is it.. Better than the 830 recently announced?
  • A 930? Uhm yeah...
  • Of course, Lumia 930 is THE flagship, the 830 is just an affordable, less powerful option
  • Verizon even start Cyan update I can imagine when they're going to release Denim.
  • I was going to get a icon unlocked and use on att (sane shit as the 930 since it doesn't support lte here in USA) but knowing the cyan and denim update have to get approve by Verizon fuck up the whole thing. I can get dp in it but not cyan and denim maybe in a year lol
  • 1st make a decent xbox music+video app
  • Amen to that
  • Yeah lets all diss on a really awesome set of features in favour of something that is totally out of context and is happening on a regular basis anyway...
  • I totally agree, since none of those features will be coming to the majority of the current WP owners. Making a polished music app will actually please more users rather than this Denim update that brings no new features for us 52x, 62x, 72x, 82x, 92x, 1020 users.
  • Why all the hate for Xbox Music? I think it's good and better than ever now. Yeah, I could use Zune wireless sync again, but it ain't no thing.
  • I wouldn't use the word "hate". It's more of an expectation, since the previous Music + Video app on WP8 is noticeably smoother and faster than what we currently have. It's something that you gotta admit.
  • Yes, the old version starts faster. However, I have noticed the new version's Shuffle feature is better, which is something I care about more than waiting 1 second for the app to load. I'm hearing songs now that I had completely forgotten about. It also remove an annoyance from the old version when you tap on the current playing album, it wouldn't take you to the album, but to the artist. Now it goes to the album. So, it's the little things that make me like the new version more. And I like that we're getting WAY faster updates now.
  • You do have a point. I've also noticed that the shuffle feature has improved in the new version, but I still expect a faster music app from Microsoft, considering that WP has always been known for its fast & smooth UI. It's little things like this that makes a device feel great.
  • Everyone is completely wrong on this Denim firmware update. The second generation devices will of course be getting this new Lumia Camera app. And yes they will be getting every feature that does not depend on new processors. that is 4K and that's pretty much it, so anything on the Lumia Camera app that uses 4K will not be found on that particular phone. 110% sure that any older Pureview device will get the HDR feature. The mid range devices will probably too but without the quality of a Pureview device of course.
  • Amen brother...and i would also like to see bigger buttons in music app for play/pause and forward/rewind. They're just too damn small. And i also wish for bigger slider while listening to music.
  • Yes I am
  • I wish they had more sample images. Seeing the same ones over and over is somewhat disappointing.
  • Hopefully Verizon can roll out Cyan before Denim comes out. These two updates are looking pretty sweet
  • Yeah, darn. But my old 920 is getting near 2 years old, so maybe it's time to upgrade to a 930 or something? Just really, really hard to find anything Lumia in Canada. Actually, any top end Windows Phone is near impossible to find in Canada. Back on track, the new camera feature looks awesome, but the HDR lens app works well for me. Not quite as fast, but it does the job.
  • Most people don't have Cyan and 8.1 but they are already talking about Lumia Denim Firmware and 8.1 gdr2 what the absolute F***
  • Define "most people"? On our Tracker page, Cyan has to be on about 75% of devices now. I think you are referring to Preview for Developer users, which are about 3% of users max. Regardless, I am not sure why Microsoft should not be showing off forthcoming features.
  • Here in Brazil all phones have Cyan. Just don't update, who don't wants.
  • Daniel, this is what happens when the OS starts to becoming more fragmented. It's feeling a lot like Android in the WP world since each device is running various os and firmware versions. Yes you have a tracker page, but who can honestly keep up with all that if you don't work in it daily? You see WP and Nokia posting all these new features to FB and it's a bummer to find out your 5 month old flagship doesn't have them. Yes, I know, it's the carriers fault. But when old boy is walking down the steet with a cheaper windows phone that has glance, double tap to wake, good low light photography, and the latest firmware, you get a little frustrated that you 5 month old flagship doesn't 
  • @Trey Abel
    My first Gen 920 had Glance, double tap, good low light... what flagship are you talking about? My 1020 and my 1520 also have those features...
  • The Lumia Icon. It's predecessor, the 928, had all of those features too. Cyan is supposed to bring the better low lighting photography but who knows when Verizon will release that. Hearing about Denim, while not out of line, is frustrating for us at big red. It makes sense for them to advertise it indeed but I feel like I did back in my Android days when alls I wanted was 2.2 so I could put apps on my SD card...lol "When do I get Froyo?!" It creates this paradigm where we become disappointed with out already very awesome and capable phones.
  • Switch to AT&T. Never thought I would be suggesting that. (Sent from my AT&T Lumia 920 with Cyan)
  • This is not OS fragmentation.  This is a software feature in an aapp specific to some phone's hardware. Is it OS fragmentation when the flash isn't available on phones that don't have them? 
  • Well some people have 8.0, some have legit 8.1, some have DP 8.1 and the Lumia line is all over the range of firmware. You are right, double tap to wake and glance are hardware features. Low light photography is a joke on the Icon and I has the hardware for that. Hopefully cyan will fix that, if Verizon makes it happen. BUT what I'm really saying is, all the update hype and some people getting it and others having to wait reminds me of just the reason I left Android... And no that's not a threat to jump ship.
  • those who were in dev preview, it was their choice not to wait for the official one, well atleast we have a choice, unlike android, most mid range device ics 4.0 were not even upgraded to 4.1 and so on, atleast in wp even 520 is still recieving an update
  • Well, there are really only two versions active now and only because of the carriers not allowing the updates based on their software requirements.  Cyan did improve the camera speed and most users are oblivious to what version they are on. Case in point, when I informed my wife that I updated her 920 to Cyan 8.1, she said, "what?". I then showed her Cortana and she said, "cool."  Point being, people that aren't following tech sites don't know.  People that see the commercial may go buy "the new phone" with Cortana not caring they will get it at some point. This isn't the fragmentation we saw with Android, four major releases with updates in between scattered across handsets.  Cyan is like Sense on HTC or TouchWiz on Samsung. The OS is stll just 8.0 and 8.1 for almost all devices being used.
  • Okay, OS fragmentation are not the right words. I'm not trying to get into semantics here. Just pointing out that reading this website, which I enjoy, makes me want more stuff on my already awesome phone. That is all.  So you have an Icon with legit 8.1 and Cyan - or even DP and Cyan?? And it improved the camera speed, but how about the terrible low light photography?? I've read over and over that Cyan will help low light photography. This has been a huge disappointment coming from the 928. In fact, the 928 was a better point and shoot camera. I have to try much harder with the Icon to get a clear pic and it usually requires the flash.
  •  I think the problem the time between showing new features and those features getting pushed to us.
  • Exactly. Show off upcoming features, that's great. But when it's been 5 months since announcing WP8.1 and 3 months since releasing it, and we STILL don't have it with Cyan (on Verizon). then it feels mostly like a slap in the face to us. Of course, Nokia can't hold back on stuff just because a subset of users are at the mercy of the carrier. But that's still how it feels.
  • Most people on this site with DP yeah...
    Didn't you see the latest stats...? cyan is there on more than 20% of WP phones...
    So yeah that's a failed generalisation mate...
  • 1030 with Denim on Xmas please
  • I would not expect it.
  • I wouldn't want a rushed 1030. They've made a mistake of releasing premature hardware with the 1020. Which results in poorly optimized hardware and camera software performance. I expect the upcoming 1030 to come with the latest hi-res 2k or 4k display and the latest SD805 processor so that the shutter lag can be a thing of the past. (And SD card support so that we can actually make use of DNG support without storage limit)
  • All what you said is 100% true but I'm just