Digital cameras I want to see


by Bellamy /

5 min read

Digital cameras that I want to see
Photokina has got everyone buzzing, with the new releases from Leica and all of that jazz, there has been an influx of new cameras on the market, some of the great some of them not so great. Seeing as everyone has chucked their tuppence into the ring about the new releases I thought I would write something with a different spin…

The big news this week has been the release of the new Leica M and the M-E. Very interesting cameras, I guess, but not unexpected and nothing new. They are going to be popular no matter what people say about them. The pricing on the M-E is probably going to bring a lot of people to Leica digital who were apprehensive in the past.

There was also the Fuji XF-1, which looks suspiciously like the Natura (now discontinued…timing?), a compact camera that is harking back to the classic designs that Fuji used to make.

I mean, come on, that looks just like the Natura, or am I the only one who sees this? If they release it in white then I will laugh out loud.

But the one that interested me the most was the Sony DSC-RX1 (horrible name).

Why does this camera interest me? Well it is certainly not because it is a Sony, but it is the first full frame compact camera, and this marks a milestone in digital cameras. It doesn’t matter if it is crap or not, because now you will see other companies following suit with their own versions of this camera. You can bet your bottom dollar that the other makers are not going to let Sony be the only company on the market with one of these cameras.
And this is what got me thinking. Seeing as basically the camera manufacturers have now got pretty much zero imagination and are not prepared to take real risks when it comes to design, why can’t they re-hash some of their old designs for the benefit of the consumer….wait, oh man, they are already doing this. Olympus being the biggest culprit, cashing in on its classics. But I feel that some of the other manufacturers have missed the boat on this one. A few years back most cameras would be impossible to digitize, but now we have the technology to make it happen. So here are a few of the cameras that I would love to see digitized.


The Mamiya 6 and 7 are two of my favourite cameras, not just because they are so damned capable, but because the lenses are incredible and the design is a total classic. This being a medium format camera would be an expensive proposition and it may not be possible to keep the dimensions the same, as the 7 and 6 are pretty slimline cameras. But Mamiya has been involved in the R&D for digital medium format backs and cameras for a while now, so this isn’t out of the sphere of reality. It is a shame to not have these lenses being used, they are just too good.


Everyone thought they were dead, and then they came back. And then they died again, and now they are back again. It just goes to show that if you have a name that is valuable someone will want to revive it. Now Rollei are no strangers to MF digital, with a new camera just released at Photokina, but they seem to opt for the safe route, just like all of the others, and make a studio camera. What about the classic TLR’s? They were beautifully designed and manufactured. This would be an outstanding camera to have as a digital camera. And not only that, there is plenty of space in that old box to fit the electronic gubbins inside. Only problem I can see would be the price. This would be a massively expensive camera….but then after seeing the new gold and leather abomination from Hasselblad I am sure that there would be no shortage of buyers.


Speaking of Hasselblad (I shall be nice…a Ferrari on their stand?), there is one that I do want to see from them. Yes, it may be obvious, but I want to see the X-pan as a digital camera. This one may be a bit more difficult. The unusual size of the sensor would cause more than a few headaches for the engineers. But how cool would that be? A panoramic digital camera with outstanding lenses? Oh dear, I would have no choice, I would have to mug an old lady to get one.


Yup, on to the big boys. With Nikon, I have wanted them to make a digital rangefinder forever. They are now such total slaves to the shareholders that I doubt this will actually happen, but I can dream can’t I? An S rangefinder in digital with a mount adapter that can utilize the classic S-mount lenses? That would truly be a thing of beauty and wonder. For now I shall have to sit around and daydream though, as Nikon seem to be intent on making the most boring mirrorless cameras I have ever seen.


Canon are pretty much doing the same bloody thing as Nikon, making boring and staid consumer cameras that fit the market. But they have such heritage, why can’t they draw on some of that? A Canonet in digital would be amazing. It wouldn’t even have to be full frame, as you would want it to have those hipsterish effects and the lower price tag. If they made one of these in digital you would be able to hear the collective ‘clank’ as all of the hipsters dropped their Holga’s and went to the store to buy one of these bad boys.


This is something personal for me, and seeing as Contax effectively no longer makes cameras I doubt that it will ever happen, but I would love to see a T2 in digital. And Know they made the digitals T’s way back, but they were rubbish. I would like to see a T2, in all its glory, in digital. This would be a wonderful camera. That lens is amazing.

There you go, a few of the cameras that I would love to see in digital. What about you? What would you like to see? It doesn’t even have to be an old classic, perhaps you have an idea for something that breaks the mould. Comment below and tell us all.

21 comments on “Digital cameras I want to see”

    Norman September 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm / Reply

    I would love to see a digital Contax T2. I believe Zeiss is waiting for the Kyocera-owned rights to manufacture Contax cameras to expire, then they’ll be able to revive the Contax brand if I recall correctly? If that happens, I can seriously see a digital T2 happening.

    Corey H September 19, 2012 at 12:29 pm / Reply

    I’d kill to see Digital versions of a Leica IIIf and a Contax II.

    How cool would it bee to have two of those behemoths go against each other in the digital world?

    Oh and a 4×5 Speed Graphic wouldn’t be bad either :D

    Fazal Majid September 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm / Reply

    I’ve wanted a digital Contax T3 for a very long time. The closest I’ve come is the Leica X1, but the RX1 could be seen as a successor of sorts (35mm Sonnar, albeit f/2 and not pocketable).

      cidereye September 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm /

      Closest I’ve used is surely the Ricoh GRD series. Sure it’s a 28mm lens but as close as it gets in IQ ad usability I reckon.

      Off out with my GRD III for the first time in weeks this morning. :)

    Nick September 19, 2012 at 1:38 pm / Reply

    I’d love to see a digital polaroid cameras. Not just viewing the photos in LCD screen, but printing it. I heard a news about it not too long ago, do you know if this is actually coming Bellamy?

    Michael September 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm / Reply

    I would be very happy to see a digital Zeiss Ikon say 24mp, full frame, live view, Woops thats same as a Leica M. Maybe it could use iPhone IOS as well?

    Dirk September 19, 2012 at 3:09 pm / Reply

    A digital Hasselblad X-pan would be great. And since it was build together with Fujifilm, we don’t have to rely on Livestyle-Hasselblad but can instead hope for Fujifilm to build it. The name X-pan already fits in their X lineup perfectly.

    Nick Duijnstee September 19, 2012 at 3:19 pm / Reply

    I agree on all the camera’s you want too see digital, but the ones i really would be interested in are the rollei, Nikon Rangefinder and the Canonet.

    But maybe our dreams can become reality now FujiFilm keeps digging up old designs? and that all the other company’s will follow…

    A man can dream

    cidereye September 19, 2012 at 3:45 pm / Reply

    Digital Nikon FM.

    Same size, similar IQ.

    andisudjana September 19, 2012 at 5:44 pm / Reply

    The digital canonet is all I want, with hybrid viewfinder just like xpro-1 and fullframe sensor like the Sony RX1 now that would be cool!

    CF Salicath September 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm / Reply

    A while back I wrote a blog-post comparing my Nikon D700 and FG – in short the same camera, only the one with pixels instead of silver halides is twice the size. Why?
    I would pay good money for a digital full-frame SLR fit within the dimensions of an FG, with screen and everything.

    steve maniscalco September 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm / Reply

    I’ll go for that Mamiya 7.
    Give it a hybrid finder like the fuji.

    Andie September 19, 2012 at 10:45 pm / Reply

    Nikon F series SLR Camera. We can change the viewfinder and it just so cool!

    and yes, The X-Pan will really really great digital camera!

    Mario September 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm / Reply

    I have been fantasizing about a low tech digital version of the Canonet for many years now. There would be a couple of variants. 1. A fixed lens camera like a Canonet 28 or QL, very simple – but with rangefinder capability. 2. Would still be a Canonet type, again very low tech, but with interchangeable lens (by Canon) and rangefinder and the capability to use adapters to mount M system, Pentax M42 and screw-mounts. It would available for all that cannot afford the Leicas and at a fraction of what an M8 would go for. The success would be that it would be rangefinder and digital but with minimal bells and whistles, like if some engineer at Canon took the 28 or QL and just evolved it. They would even look almost the same! That is my dream!

    Also, do more R&D to make a “film” canister that can be placed in almost any old film camera but the film portion would be a digital sensor. I think someone tried this years back but it did not take off. Even at 5 to 10 megapixels it would be revolutionary and all these old cameras would come back to some life again!

    dayne September 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm / Reply

    You right some seriously awesome and fun to read posts, keep it up.

    and yes, we need a digital rangefinder from Nikon.

    Aardappelkop September 20, 2012 at 11:16 pm / Reply

    Agreed on the Rolleiflex TLR. But I would also love a digital folder, primarily the Plaubel Makina 67 with its Nikkor 2.8/80mm, even though the sensor would inevitably make it more bulky than the original.

    So long the Sony RX1 is a mightily interesting option. Just a pity Zeiss lenses tend to be bulky.

    ipi6r September 20, 2012 at 11:17 pm / Reply

    I would love to see a digital Minolta TC-1. Same size, same lens, same layout, same everything. No screen, Auto WB only and RAW only would be okay with me. Just dreaming…

    Zac September 22, 2012 at 4:51 am / Reply

    A digital Nikormat FTn would be awesome… A little bigger than the FM, but it is just about perfect. A sensor with ISO 50-3200 say, shutter speeds to 1/2000 and the really important thing is for it to be compatible with pre-AI lenses… Oh, and full frame, of course. Sunny WB only cause I reckon it should be as close to the original as possible, and if that means using filters then awesome

    Michael Ward October 7, 2012 at 10:22 am / Reply

    No one has mentioned the Contax G series? It was in many respects the camera Leica should have made maybe Zeiss / Cosina still might! The Fuji comes very close but no full frame… Michael

    ZDP-189 October 26, 2015 at 5:57 pm / Reply

    Digital-XPAN? Panasonic are working with SLR Magic to offer letter-box format true anamorphic video. The codec encodes using the whole sensor (not a crop) and you get full anamorphic effects. Also good for stills that have the cinematic look.

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