The secret ingredient that makes the perfect camera

Fujifilm X-H2S
(Image credit: Fujifilm)

For the 40 years I have been reviewing cameras, it’s only happened on a few occasions. What am I talking about? Well, the magic that happens when everything comes together in a remarkable way to create a camera that is truly special. It’s not just about great design and the clever application of new technologies; there’s a secret ingredient that somehow turns the basic recipe into a masterpiece. 

What is this secret ingredient? If I knew, I’d probably be the highly-paid head of a camera company’s product planning division, but I do recognize it when I encounter it. Thinking back, the real standouts aren’t hard to recall – among them are the Canon T90, Nikon F5, Hasselblad XPan, Nikon D3, Leica Q and, more recently, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III and Leica M11.

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Paul Burrows

Paul has been writing about cameras, photography and photographers for 40 years. He joined Australian Camera as an editorial assistant in 1982, subsequently becoming the magazine’s technical editor, and has been editor since 1998. He is also the editor of sister publication ProPhoto, a position he has held since 1989. In 2011, Paul was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institute Of Australian Photography (AIPP) in recognition of his long-term contribution to the Australian photo industry. Outside of his magazine work, he is the editor of the Contemporary Photographers: Australia series of monographs which document the lives of Australia’s most important photographers.