Mark Dubovoy has written a piece over on Luminous landscape (An Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity by Mark Dubovoy) that is an interesting plea for camera simplicity and I have to say he has a point. As you may or may not know I have been teaching photography for about 5 years now and in this time I have learnt a lot about how people learn photography and the difficulties involved in this learning. I have also realised that photographers tools have become way more complicated than they need to be. Plus a rumour yesterday that Nikon may or may not release a digital FM2 with no video capabilities made me to start thinking myself on what I want in a digital camera. I would like to see Direct controls (being able to set aperture, shutter speeds and ISO easily), depth of field scales on fixed lens, distance settings for focusing so I can prefocus, a return to some form of split screen focusing for manual focusing, No complex video on my camera. direct setting of ISO, highly visible exposure compensation. There is more but for now this is a start. I also do not need video as to do video well involves adding to much to the camera to make it work as a video camera. Video cameras have now got to the point that the reasons that you would use a DSLR for video are going away.
Just look at what needs to go onto the average DSLR to turn it into a useful video camera and this still needs a separate sound recorder to work properly.
Compare that to the direct controls one used to get a still camera and it is easy to see why camera companies are getting confused. It is bad enough that the camera companies get confused how do you think students of photography feel when trying to learn photography, the equipment is to complex and not like it needs to be. I on one level think this is great as it gives me a job teaching photography or more accurately teaching camera skills and then discussing how images are made. Most people when they come on a photography course really want to learn the camera and forget that it is only part of the equation of learning photography.