Dear Mr. Reichmann, obviously first and foremost - I wish you to get well as soon as possible (and I don´t mean that just as a common phrase, indeed). Just for you to know, I wish you that from the distant Czech Republic - maybe it helps too that somebody so faraway keeps thinking of you.
I don´t want to dissect health and diseases theme, all I would like to say that unfortunately almost nobody can avoid more or less serious time regarding his body condition during his lifetime. I believe that even this kind of unpleasant experience is important for a man to fully realize and appreciate the value of his transitory existence. I´m sure what you are through now will become a new, revived launch point for your creativity, flock of unanticipated ideas and overall joy of life, a point you will often return to in the years ahead. I dare to speak so straight (which may sound even impertinent to some) just because I was already also through a very unpleasant surgery and long-term treatment ....actually despite being much younger than you :-).
To the "From past to future" article...:
1) RAW conversion issue - absolutely perfect hit, what else to add...?
2) Current CMOS sensor technology (slowly) seems to be at the end of its rope. Yes, we have all those 36mpx sensors but the high iso performance is not really better than the older 12mpx sensor, albeit the dynamic range has been slightly improved. But you know as well as I do that there is a certain limit of "meaningful pixels" on the 24 x 36 area.... at least with the current technology. Is there a new, promising direction in the sensor development area on the horizon?
3) The bayer filter array, which drastically devalues the value of high mpx sensor, should be gone: The foveon-type sensor should be the future, however, Sigma doesn´t seem to have enough development power to push it forward fast enough. Or maybe is there a serious, hidden limit in that technology causing the lack of interest from big players..? Oh, and the AA filter should be totally gone, too. The moire thing should be handled by sw where necessary.
3) All the mirorless hype is nice but the only rather serious camera is Sony NEX7 (Fuji X Pro 1 is too crippled IMHO). Unfortunately, Sony hasn´t been able to offer enough fast, high quality lenses for it. I hoped that Canon would bring even more polished and fine-tuned semi-pro mode beating the NEX-7. Hoped for more quality fast primes, like Fuji has for its half-done X-Pro, targeting the semi-pros or even pros who also sometimes wish to walk out light, i.e. without the D4 + 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, while keeping the top image quality and bringing the "real" shallow DOF photography light, too.
Probably Canikon feel they would horribly cannibalized their big DSLRs if they offered such a mirorless line... ?
I also cannot believe noone else wants to take Leica´s approach to make a compact body with as big sensor as possible, with lenses as fast and as compact as possible. Are there really so few of use who long for shallow DOF photography available only with full frame sensor (or larger, of course) + fast primes? You cannot obtain anything like full-frame + 35mm f/1.4 lens or 85mm/1.4 for instance from any mirorless solution on the market today, can you... For people´s photography, I still consider the shallow DOF the most significant creative aspect no APS-C or 4/3 sensor can give you (while keeping the framing relatively wide).
FF sensor in Sony NEX-9 body, their top EVF would be acceptable, real (not the "focus-by-wire" nonsense) manual focus with the terrific focus peaking + some (besides the compulsory zooms) Leica-like fast primes, say 21/f4, 35/f1.4, 90/f2, 150/2.8.... that would me my heaven :-). It is interesting that although I keep hearing "this is too niche market" from the companies, almost every serious full frame DSLR owner I know (at least in my surroundings) longs exactly for something like this. Fully manual (with Aperture priority only), small FF DSLR - aka Olympus OM - can also be an option.
4) Printer manufacturers. With the current oligopoly of Epson & Canon (and the japanese companies do have a special sense for "deals", don´t they?), the prices of original ink are really horrendous. What I can see is that 1 litre of the original pigment ink would cost me more than the most luxury parfume for my wife or the oldest bottle of a top-quality wine you can regularly buy around here - and this is really ridiculous.
5) Lenses for DSLRs. I wish the development focus would be on reducing the size (i.e. length - I know the lens fastness is directly related to the front lens element diameter) and weight. Canon´s experiments with diffractive optics may be a good way here... As for the weight, maybe there would appear a new comparable optical material replacing the heavy and expensive optical glass one day?
6) If you must implement video into DSLRs, make it usable then! The "clean" HDMI + really usable, reliable and fast continous autofocus (even if it would mean to buy a new, special "video-tuned" lens) are the essentials.
7) Lack of real, exciting innovation from Canon & Nikon (no "exiting" stuff) but I would just paraphrase you here...
With the total dominance of Japanese companies , why no one else dares to enter still camera pro market? Look at RED in videocams for instance - they made it and very successfully...!
Well, so much for my point to the future