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Author Topic: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design  (Read 27836 times)

David Hufford

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #40 on: May 06, 2012, 05:36:32 am »


Frankly, the sometimes maligned Rolex is perfectly innocent: you can own one for far less than an exotic camera; the difference between the purchases is, I guess, whether you want something beautiful for life or are more interested in impressing your camera club membership. As far as the poor old Rolex goes, it only offends those without one who know about it but can't quite afford it or, perhaps, knowing that not everyone in their circle is aware of its cachet, then the Leica, for them, becomes the better talisman.

You pays your money and takes your choice, as the saying goes.

Rob C

I can easily find a Rolex for less than a Nikon D3 or D4, so yea, you can get one of the less expensive models for less than an exotic camera. Much less. Or even less than a not so exotic camera. I don't have a Rolex myself, though I'd dearly love to have one (much more than I'd want a soon-to-be obsolete and resale valueless camera of any type) but I have had to console myself with cheaper, but not cheap mechanical watches. 'Cause I like beautifully made mechanical watches.

Watches are heavy and throw off your balance when playing sports.  I never could stand to wear them, and now wouldn't even think about it.

I am also an amateur competitive cyclist riding 4-5000 miles a year. (Yes, I am full of myself; please be impressed.) I don't wear my watch, but do, like many of us, wear a heart-rate monitor which includes a watch on my left wrist. Have not yet been thrown off-balance, but I will be careful about that. May balance things out by wearing a Rolex on my right wrist and my HR monitor on my left.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 05:43:14 am by David Hufford »
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MatthewCromer

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #41 on: May 06, 2012, 07:55:44 am »

That is completely persuasive to me, which is why I usually wear a weist-watch. A Casio of course.

So it is mysterious yet true that a substantial proportion of mobile phone-toting young people no longer wear wrist watches, being content with what strikes me as a return to the 19th century pocket watch.

It's a single device that takes the place of -- just about anything else technological that you might be carrying (other than a firearm!)

A pocketwatch is -- a pocketwatch.

It's really not that important to know what time it is for most people so constantly that you need to wear something on your arm.
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Rob C

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #42 on: May 06, 2012, 09:43:03 am »

It's a single device that takes the place of -- just about anything else technological that you might be carrying (other than a firearm!)

A pocketwatch is -- a pocketwatch.

It's really not that important to know what time it is for most people so constantly that you need to wear something on your arm.



Of course, you could always pop your Rolex into your jeans pocket, just to imitate the rolled up sock in the front of famous pop songsters' jeans. You might, though, do yourself an unintentional injury if your bezel starts to spin of its own volition - well, 007's did, even if mine's a manual mode-only one which, I imagine, the majority is...

Regarding the need for 'most people' to know the time, it's just as true to say that 'most people' don't have a Rolex either, so that situation seems fairly well balanced. I'm probably biased, but I can't think of another better-placed area for hanging the watch than from an arm; naturally, I do exclude the 'sock' postion referred to earlier for obvious reasons of easy access, especially when doing the school run.

;-)

Rob C

BJL

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A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design (watches actually)
« Reply #43 on: May 06, 2012, 10:34:52 am »

Rob, my "tax" quip was clearly nothing to do with the forced confiscatory taxes that seem to bother you so deeply. It was the idea that sometimes worthy prestigious specialist products that some customers have a real need for (Submariner watches maybe, or medium format cameras or Leicas or even D800s) get a voluntary subsidy from a large number of other customers who pay more than the product seems rationally worth to them in terms of actual usage. Like a Submariner only ever worn while smimming at the beach, and so never "used in anger".

That is, if then true needs of a few professionals like divers and 19th century dirigible pilots are more easily met because a company like Rolex gets the funding to develop them from horological fashion victims, and in turn, maintaining that fashionability relies in part of being able to point to the real value of the watches for a tiny proportion of users! so that Rolex has an incentive to keep developing the useful aspects of its watches too, then it all "works", in a convoluted way.


P. S. My favorite real tax is vanity license plates: for people who are above saying it with a bumper sticker.
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Rob C

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design (watches actually)
« Reply #44 on: May 06, 2012, 12:28:23 pm »

Rob, my "tax" quip was clearly nothing to do with the forced confiscatory taxes that seem to bother you so deeply. It was the idea that sometimes worthy prestigious specialist products that some customers have a real need for (Submariner watches maybe, or medium format cameras or Leicas or even D800s) get a voluntary subsidy from a large number of other customers who pay more than the product seems rationally worth to them in terms of actual usage. Like a Submariner only ever worn while smimming at the beach, and so never "used in anger".

That is, if then true needs of a few professionals like divers and 19th century dirigible pilots are more easily met because a company like Rolex gets the funding to develop them from horological fashion victims, and in turn, maintaining that fashionability relies in part of being able to point to the real value of the watches for a tiny proportion of users! so that Rolex has an incentive to keep developing the useful aspects of its watches too, then it all "works", in a convoluted way.

P. S. My favorite real tax is vanity license plates: for people who are above saying it with a bumper sticker.


Let me make your day.

The car had to go, unfortunately, as running two of them became somewhat silly. Unfortunately, the daft, little, frugal Fiesta that I opted to buy has a different towing hook, and so I've had to rejig the suspension (of the plate, not the car) in order to attempt to restore some of the past motoring glory. That plate, in different iterations, has been on all our cars since '81; quite attached to it. As I can't get underneath the Fiesta to measure anything accurately, I've had to guesstimate my sizes, so the suspension that's currently lying in primer may have to be messed about with even more... oh well, one day!

Tax? I don't mind paying tax, but I do mind paying for other people's mistakes, which is why the friggin' banks are now robbing us all out of our interest.

Rob C

P.S. The car's stated age was as of a couple of years ago...

Submariners worn for swimming? I wear mine for everything, what do you imagine I am, a millionaire?

Anyway, itís comforting to know that the watch will survive a depth of 660 ft, should I fall into the sea. I, of course, would be flat as any bottom feeder by then, but you canít have everything.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 12:37:14 pm by Rob C »
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douglasf13

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design (watches actually)
« Reply #45 on: May 06, 2012, 02:39:24 pm »


Submariners worn for swimming? I wear mine for everything, what do you imagine I am, a millionaire?


I think this is an important distinction.  I wear my DateJust for just about everything.  I put it on in the morning and take it off at night, regardless of whether I have to go to work, attend a wedding, work in the yard, go swimming, etc.  Just like with jewelry, there are certainly collectors of multiple expensive watches, but I'm not one of those people.  I have one nice watch that I wear all of the time, and it'll likely last a lifetime.  The thing about some watch brands, especially those with in-house movements, like Rolex and Patek, is that they hold their value, so they aren't terrible investments.  The same can't be said about a lot of other expensive watch brands.
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OldRoy

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #46 on: May 06, 2012, 03:55:45 pm »

A thread about watches!  Isn't it?

As someone who has a small collection of not terribly expensive mechanical wristwatches, which I wear (one at a time, usually), thanks to an old friend who has been dealing in them for over 30 years, I'm amused by the "iconic" attributes attached to Rolex. Reminds me of a certain camera brand.

I'd guess that a new low- to mid-range Rolex probably sheds up to a third of its value as you walk out of the shop with it. Buying a pristine vintage example (preferably with the dial in original un-restored condition) is another matter. But the idea that there's something uniquely high quality about Rolexes is, I would suggest, an illusion. Buying a new example seems to me to be absolutely crazy if you become aware of some of the beautiful vintage alternatives which are sure to hold their value - and probably to appreciate. And in this context "vintage" is a very loose designation.

Roy
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douglasf13

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #47 on: May 06, 2012, 06:03:22 pm »

A thread about watches!  Isn't it?

As someone who has a small collection of not terribly expensive mechanical wristwatches, which I wear (one at a time, usually), thanks to an old friend who has been dealing in them for over 30 years, I'm amused by the "iconic" attributes attached to Rolex. Reminds me of a certain camera brand.

I'd guess that a new low- to mid-range Rolex probably sheds up to a third of its value as you walk out of the shop with it. Buying a pristine vintage example (preferably with the dial in original un-restored condition) is another matter. But the idea that there's something uniquely high quality about Rolexes is, I would suggest, an illusion. Buying a new example seems to me to be absolutely crazy if you become aware of some of the beautiful vintage alternatives which are sure to hold their value - and probably to appreciate. And in this context "vintage" is a very loose designation.

Roy

True, most Rolex models will depreciate when buying new from an AD (some models do appreciate, though,) but you don't have to buy a vintage Rolex for it to hold its value.  Most second hand Rolexes hold their value nicely.  Just like with cars, I'd likely never buy a brand new Rolex.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #48 on: May 06, 2012, 08:22:47 pm »

My wristwatch is a Timex. But my Canon 5D MKII takes better photos.   ::)
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tom b

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #49 on: May 06, 2012, 08:59:49 pm »

In 1978 I did "The Overland", that is I travelled from Bangkok to London through Asia and Europe by land. Before I left I had a stopover in Singapore where I bought a cheap Casio digital watch that I though nobody would care about and I also purchased a Leica CL with 40mm an 90mm lenses. I was worried that my Leica would draw attention due to its cost.

Interestingly, travelling through Asia the opposite occurred, The cheap Casio drew a lot of attention and I could have sold it over a dozen times, particularly in India. My Leica received no offers and I was a bit put out when I had my Leica out and an Indian man asked how much the Zenit camera of the person sitting with me was worth and was it for sale. The only times the Leica gained attention was from children wanting their photo taken and from a British pro photographer shooting stock in Nepal with a Mamiya 645. I think it was a weight thing.

It is interesting what value objects can have to different people.

Cheers,





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Rob C

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #50 on: May 07, 2012, 04:43:04 am »

Strange about watches in India. In the lated forties through mid-fifties, there was a vogue in transparent watches there: you'd see them in almost any jewellery shop.

Regarding cameras, there used to be camera shop near the Grand Hotel in Bombay. Spent six weeks there (hotel, not camera shop) as we were leaving to return to the UK and I received a very early lesson in photographic prices: I'd looked at a tripod only to discover that it cost many times the value of my little camera... even then, I was receiving early-warning signals that I chose to ignore.

Rob C

dturina

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #51 on: May 07, 2012, 05:30:11 am »

It's funny how the discussion turned towards wristwatches, because I usually cite them as an example of seemingly obsolete technology formed into an ergonomically useful piece of equipment that is not likely to be replaced by seemingly more modern equipment such as a smartphone. A phone is just clumsy to get out of your pocket to casually check time. When you're walking, running or riding a bike, a wristwatch is just at the right place. It's a perfect union of form factor and funcionality for that single purpose. But you don't really want to put lots of stuff on a watch, it's best when kept simple and clean.

A calculator is a similar thing. One would say they would become obsolete with all those computers and smartphones that can run a calc app, but a calculator has a distinct place for me in spite of the fact that every modern gadget that I own has a calc app. It is simply more convenient for me to grab a physical calculator with mechanical buttons that click when pressed, and run a few numbers quickly without much thought and without interrupting the other things that I do. A single-app computerized device with specialized interface is, for me, a very good thing. I have several - calculator, voice recorder, wristwatch, and yes, a dSLR. I'm opposed to the swiss army knife paradigm of computerization, where you tend to have one device that does everything, and everything is an app. It's good in a hurry and if you don't have a specific device handy, which is why I own a swiss army knife, too, but I don't want to eat my lunch with it. I prefer single-purpose, specialized devices with well thought out mechanical interface, but computerized and interconnectable. I prefer cameras with mechanical knobs and single-purpose buttons, but digital, able to download images into a computer without chemical processing and scanning. I prefer a dictation device that fits well in hand and has mechanical buttons, but where I can download files into my computer. I don't want computers that look and operate like computers, I want them to be hidden out of sight, to enhance functionality behind a mechanically operated human interface, to do their job quietly and unobtrusively, like they do in engine management of a car. You just drive your car, you operate it with mechanical commands and ideally you don't even know it's computerized. I don't want to control volume on my radio by pressing + and - buttons, I want a volume knob I can turn, and if there's a computer behind it, that's good, but that doesn't mean that I have to adapt to its digital + and - ways of thinking. It has to adapt to my way of thinking, which works by turning the knob clockwise to make it louder.
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Danijel

Rob C

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #52 on: May 07, 2012, 09:03:11 am »

Absolutely agree with everything you wrote there: I wish that not only makers but also the public would learn that some things just work as they are, have arrived at their perfect configuration by dint of many years of practical use, which is more than can be said for much contemporary equipment that comes along, where the key is to be new, different and to hell with better.

This has nothing to do with being old or young; it has everything to do with realising what works well and should be left alone. As they say, if it ain't broke don't fix it!

Rob C

MatthewCromer

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #53 on: May 07, 2012, 10:08:45 am »

Re: wristwatches.

See how many teens and 20-somethings are wearing them.

Very few.

It's obvious where the wristwatch is going. . .
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dturina

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #54 on: May 07, 2012, 10:32:02 am »

This reminds me of a situation in the sixties and seventies when the Swiss watch manufacturers decided that quartz is the way of the future and mechanical is the way of the dodo bird, and they threw away all their mechanical stuff and started producing quartz movements, which of course turned out to be a disaster, but by then they lost their ability to go back to their roots as they threw it all away, and they started making their watches around generic 3rd party vendors such as ETA, whose movements are now ubiquitous.

Similarly hasty was the transition from film to digital, and I can find other examples for sure, such as the premature attempts to get rid of paper and all related stuff and put it all into  desktop computers. It just didn't prove to be practical. I don't want everything to be an app on my virtual desktop, I want stuff on my physical desktop, such as a smartphone or a tablet or a laptop or a calculator or a wristwatch or a sound recorder. Some things, such as CD/DVD media are just relics of limited technology; data can be stored somewhere out of sight, but some things that are related to the human way of operating equipment are better left alone. A maglite flashlight is excellent the way it is. I don't want to replace it with an iphone app.
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Danijel

John Camp

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #55 on: May 07, 2012, 10:37:02 am »

This has nothing to do with being old or young; it has everything to do with realising what works well and should be left alone. As they say, if it ain't broke don't fix it!

Rob C

I've noticed that with a cell phone, wallet, car keys, coins, etc., I really need redesigned pants to carry all the crap around -- another reason that men are beginning to carry carry purses, however they may be described. But, I don't want to carry a purse, because then I have to think about it. It's possible, with the kind of miniaturization that I now see in my hearing aids, that eventually the smart phone will be worn on the wrist... It's also possible, as smart phones develop, that I won't need a wallet or car keys -- just the phone. Of course, if you lose the phone, you're totally screwed...which is why a wrist-mounted device is actually quite nice. I could see a wrist-mounted cell phone, with a blue-tooth receiver that works like my behind-the-hear hearing aids (virtually invisible) and you wallet loaded into it, including credit cards, plane tickets, museum passes, and so on. Tiny apps for everything...

By 2020.



 

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JohnBrew

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #56 on: May 07, 2012, 12:38:33 pm »

John, I've been carrying a man's purse since 1990. This came about due to a bad back situation and my chiropractor telling me to quit carrying a wallet in my back pocket as it was throwing my back out. I tried carrying a soft wallet in my front pocket but it just didn't work out. And it seemed I was adding more stuff everyday. A trip to Europe, I saw a man carrying a purse and found one identical in Florence. I've carried one ever since. BTW, that old Florence purse developed such a nice patina I've had numerous people try and buy it!

Rob C

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #57 on: May 07, 2012, 01:01:14 pm »

John, I've been carrying a man's purse since 1990. This came about due to a bad back situation and my chiropractor telling me to quit carrying a wallet in my back pocket as it was throwing my back out. I tried carrying a soft wallet in my front pocket but it just didn't work out. And it seemed I was adding more stuff everyday. A trip to Europe, I saw a man carrying a purse and found one identical in Florence. I've carried one ever since. BTW, that old Florence purse developed such a nice patina I've had numerous people try and buy it!


Sadly, mine has never been that heavy...

I currently use one of those canvas(?) bags made for Walkman players and such - looks like a case for a smallish camera. I used to tote it over the shoulder, but as I'm not that large, it would slip off and make me feel stupid, so I started to wear it across the chest. I have since decided that it works better as a bumbag but worn to the side as a holster (make of that what juvenile fantasy you will). However, it also works as a sporran; amazing none of the PR companies up there have twigged: sporrans for looking cool. It may or may not look cool, but worn to the front, the bumbag sure feels good when you walk at a fairly brisk pace. And the brisk pace is also good for your circulation... ;-)

Rob C

P.S. One of the advantages of wearing it as a bumbag is that you don't need to take it off when sitting in a restaurant. I have more than once walked out and left the shoulder-mounted configuration behind on the back of the chair, but only when someone else was paying for lunch, otherwise I'd have had it to hand.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 01:09:08 pm by Rob C »
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douglasf13

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #58 on: May 07, 2012, 02:36:24 pm »

I've noticed that with a cell phone, wallet, car keys, coins, etc., I really need redesigned pants to carry all the crap around -- another reason that men are beginning to carry carry purses, however they may be described. But, I don't want to carry a purse, because then I have to think about it. It's possible, with the kind of miniaturization that I now see in my hearing aids, that eventually the smart phone will be worn on the wrist... It's also possible, as smart phones develop, that I won't need a wallet or car keys -- just the phone. Of course, if you lose the phone, you're totally screwed...which is why a wrist-mounted device is actually quite nice. I could see a wrist-mounted cell phone, with a blue-tooth receiver that works like my behind-the-hear hearing aids (virtually invisible) and you wallet loaded into it, including credit cards, plane tickets, museum passes, and so on. Tiny apps for everything...

By 2020.



There have been attempt a phone watches that haven't been all that successful, but, more recently, there have been some watches coming to the market that communicate to your phone via bluetooth, so you don't have to always dig into your pocket to retrieve some info.

As for man purses, you can always use the excuse that it is a camera bag.  My little Billingham that I pictured earlier in the thread holds the NEX-7, a tiny prime, and my wallet, keys and cell, if need be.
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JohnBrew

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #59 on: May 07, 2012, 02:52:36 pm »

BTW, Douglas, thanks for posting that image of the Billingham bag w/NEX-7. I've ordered one for mine.
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