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Author Topic: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design  (Read 27882 times)

BJL

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2012, 06:29:56 pm »

I got lost with the watch analogy. With the advent of smart phones ...
Maybe his subliminal point is this: with the advent of the one device to rule them all smart phones, the contemporary design of watches and of cameras and of computers and of address books and of calendars and of alarm clocks and of photo albums and of TV sets ... is in the form of a smart phone.
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Rob C

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2012, 04:20:01 am »

A cellphone will never replace a Rolex.

Of course that sounds flip; however, there's so much more to watches than telling the time, and at a cerain level of society it becomes a distinguishing mark that matters very much indeed. For both sexes.

An argument/point(?) such as the one to which I respond is facile, simplistic and makes no sense the moment one considers the thing in its wider context, which is, actually, life and the individual's place within it.

Rob C

kencameron

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2012, 05:15:37 am »

There again I wouldn't want to be part of a society that distinguishes between folk on the basis of the watch they own.
Unfortunately we don't get to choose what society we are part of, in a broad sense, but at the same time we pretty much always end up with the more intimate society we have chosen and deserve (our friends). My closest friend loves his rolexes but doesn't for a moment think the worse of me on account of my middleaged digital casio. In fact, he sometimes asks me to use its countdown timer, which his rolex lacks, when he is cooking steak (just as another data point, to confirm his judgement - he could do a fine job on visual cues alone). He loves his rolexes, passionately, but doesn't for a moment kid himself that they are important.
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Ken Cameron

Rob C

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2012, 06:51:14 am »

Be as snide as you please, reality doesn't change for anyone.

Regarding the friend with the Rolex sans timer: should have worn the Submariner instead - the rotating bezel (when it isn't clogged with muck) allows you up to an hour of timing or, for longer, maybe you can trust your memory to count in sixty-minute chunks? Collecting watches, or anything else that's rather expensive for that matter, isn't in the same category at all: it's a rich person's hobby, and a separate issue/pleasure.

As for a watch making or not making you friends, that's hardly the point: your friends don't need any convincing or they are not your friends, but your clients/new people certainly do seek visual clues as to what they are confronting, as we all do, to some level or another. Watches, when you know something about them, do so on a finer level, is all. I think it's incumbent upon all of us to present ourselves in the best (but honest) way that we can. To do otherwise leads to the inevitable disappointments, both social and business and/or romantic. Come to think of it, even diametrically opposing political views are difficult to reconcile over time; however close friendships might otherwise be (have been, sounds more likely), some things are more acidic than others and corrosion destroys a lot.

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
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 06:52:56 am by Rob C »
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Ray

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2012, 07:47:33 am »

DxO's tests have little to do with real world imaging, unfortunately. They measure DR in a totally artificial way that doesn't show up in real photographs, taken by real photographers, and is unduly influenced by base ISO.


The DXO results certainly show up in my photographs. If they don't show up in your photographs, maybe your technique is lacking, or your understanding of the DXO results is lacking.

Of course, I hope you realise, when I write that the DXO results show up in my photographs, I don't mean that I see a big DXO sign in the deepest shadows reading 13 EV Dynamice Range. That would spoil the appearance of the photo, don't you think?  ;D

Rather, I find if DXO claim that Camera A has 2 EV better DR than Camera B, then I can underexpose a shot from Camera A by two stops, and find when raising the deepest shadows in both images of the same scene, that the shadow noise, detail and general quality in those shadows, is about the same in both images.

You should try it some time. However, DR is only one parameter. SNR in the midtones, around 18% grey, is another parameter, and the effects can also be very noticeable.

Quite often two different models of camera can have significantly different DR but very similar SNR at 18% grey. A case in point would be the Nikon D800 and the Canon 5D3.

The D800 has about 2.5 stops greater DR than the 5D3, at base ISO. But what I'm certain is frequently overlooked when some people refer to the DXO scores, rather than the graphs, is the fact that SNR at 18% grey (the midtones) is about the same for both cameras across all ISOs.

This is a significant measurement which DXO does not disguise. It's all there for your benefit. What this means is, if you were to underexpose the D800 shot by 2.5 stops and find that the deepest shadows were just as clean (or noisy) as in the fully exposed 5D3 shot, the 5D3 shots would nevertheless have significantly cleaner midtones, skin tones etc, which would be quite obvious.

The comparative significance of the DXO results needs to be understood. When this is accomplished, I'm quite confident you will fine that their results do correspond with, and show up on, real world photographs.
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kencameron

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2012, 08:13:51 am »

Frankly, the sometimes maligned Rolex is perfectly innocent

Of course it is. Also beautiful and fit for purpose. And no problem either with wearing one to impress clients, or for any other reason. I am happy for their owners (but wouldn't, myself, be inclined to consider them superior beings).
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 08:11:38 pm by kencameron »
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Ken Cameron

BJL

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2012, 10:12:29 am »

A cellphone will never replace a Rolex.
Not even a Vertu cellphone?

To me, both are equally, totally absurd, except as a "rich and stupid" tax. (As an attempt to get back on topic: Lizard skin Leicas too.)

By the way: the idea that we cannot avoid living in an environment where possession of a chunky piece of jewelry wrapped around a overpriced, underperforming, technologically anachronistic chronometer is silly: that ostentatious and superficial cadre is a small part of the world, which many of us avoided accidentally or deliberately through not pursuing certain priorities and career directions. Believe me, it is possible to lead a full, rich, happy life in a world where very few or none of one's friends or colleagues wear expensive left-wrist jewelry.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 10:23:39 am by BJL »
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Rob C

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2012, 11:51:24 am »

I  believe every word, BJL, just it isn't the world I know a little bit about. I was a fashion photographer for many years... as for the Rolex being an anachronism (good word, in relation to watches, I grant you!) and underperforming, you might note that the Sub., in particular, appears to be the watch of choice for quite a few snappers as well as news and film cameramen, not exactly folks given to the useless gadget.

I wonder why things tend to degenerate into speech such as "rich and stupid" tax... just the sort of thing that, if you are aware of UK politics, you'll find the left espousing. Ironic, when you consider that both the current leader of that party, his brother, father and even the last-but-one Labour PM are extremely rich men... guess the left is as blind as it needs to be.

But there you are - we all compensate as best we can.

;-)

Rob C

Rob C

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2012, 12:21:40 pm »

many
Of course it is. Also beautiful and fit for purpose. And no problem either with wearing one to impress clients, or for any other reason. I am happy for their owners (but wouldn't, myself, be inclined to consider them superior beings).



Neither would I, Ken, and I've known some such owners who are far from bright beings... However, the inevitable laws of human evolution apply to the social as to the physical: we usually try to pull ourselves a rung or two upwards on life's ladder or, at least, stay still on a good one if that's where we discover ourselves to be. No?

The basic point is and was: impressions count and first ones very much so. One should attempt to give oneself the best shot one can. Getting into the more esoteric levels of this little mind game some of us play, it's the difference between owning Bently or Rolls-Royce; Ferrari or Lamborghini; Mercedes or BMW. It's why Riva will always (I suppose) be boat of choice above Sunseeker or Fairline within the price-points where they meet; why photographers (some) opt for Rolex where yacht skippers seem to favour Breitling, if only to avoid competing with their owners... but nobody owns a Tudor.

The world is absolutely full of little signifiers; it's one of the things that used to make sitting at a pavement cafť of an evening such an interesting experience for my wife and I: people-watching is a fascinating sport. Sorry, wrong tense: it used to be a fascinating sport. Now, they all look the same, those folks doing their passeggiata. I, of course, never altered: always jeans and T-shirt where temperature allowed... as with the watch, it went/goes with the job. Just like a Mini might but a Fiesta does not.

;-)

Rob C
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 12:24:27 pm by Rob C »
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svein

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2012, 03:00:33 pm »

Give the man some paragraph breaks, please! My eyes are bleeding and my brain isn't far behind. :-(
+1

Interesting article, but the hardest to read I've ever seen on LL.
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tom b

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2012, 04:42:22 pm »

Million dollar cell phone.

Luxury iPhone cases.

There were nearly 500 million smartphones shipped in 2011. Like it or not it will have consequences for camera makers, watchmakers, web designers and a whole lot more.

I can see a future where the wealthy check the time on their smartphones and wear a Rolex as jewellery.

Perhaps 16:9 is the new standard.

Cheers,
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 06:02:53 pm by tom b »
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Tom Brown

douglasf13

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2012, 07:18:01 pm »

I got lost with the watch analogy. With the advent of smart phones, the concept of a wristwatch is very much in danger. Who needs a cheap watch, video or camera when you have one of these portable computers. Let's face it printing is disappearing too with the advent of tablets to accompany smart phones. Just catch a train or bus to see the future.

Cheers,

The entire point of a wristwatch was to allow you to easily read the time without needing to pull out your pocket watch, and that hasn't changed.  Sure, maybe these new bluetooth wristwatches that communicate with your cell are the modern interpretation, but the need to have such a thing on the wrist hasn't changed.

I own a Rolex, but I think of it as a piece of jewelry more than a tool like a camera, and, unlike an M9 or something similar, my Rolex holds its value.  If you buy a Rolex, wear it for a lifetime, and then sell it, it is surprisingly cost effective way to wear a watch that lasts your whole life.

FWIW, I'm actually nervous that my friends will notice my Rolex, because I don't want to be ridiculed buy them. LOL  In other settings, I admit that it does inspire a little confidence.  I own a small business in the entertainment world, where casual dress is common, and I've got quite a few tattoos on my arms, so, in a way, wearing my Rolex is the closest I come to dressing up in a suit. :)



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MatthewCromer

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #32 on: May 05, 2012, 07:44:50 pm »

Quote

I can see a future where the wealthy check the time on their smartphones and wear a Rolex as jewellery.

Perhaps 16:9 is the new standard.

Cheers,


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.
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BJL

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2012, 08:10:09 pm »

The entire point of a wristwatch was to allow you to easily read the time without needing to pull out your pocket watch, and that hasn't changed.
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.
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kencameron

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2012, 08:21:58 pm »


 It's why Riva will always (I suppose) be boat of choice above Sunseeker or Fairline within the price-points where they meet; why photographers (some) opt for Rolex where yacht skippers seem to favour Breitling, if only to avoid competing with their owners... but nobody owns a Tudor.

The world is absolutely full of little signifiers;
;-)

Rob C

Indeed, and aren't they fascinating. It sounds as if your current abode gives you good opportunities for observation. I hadn't heard of any of the boats, but will look them up, and among the watches, hadn't heard of Tudor and am unsure whether that is because it is so far above or so far below the level of ordinary humanity. I appreciate how precisely that ignorance "places" me in a certain context. But then, what would those turkeys know about pocket knives, say, or extra virgin olive oil ? (to cite two of my own opportunities for spurious distinction).
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Ken Cameron

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2012, 08:41:25 pm »

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.

I wore a watch, almost religiously, as a kid (having been given initially my grandfather's upon his passing, then later a hand-me-down from my father, and then my own digital watch (a Casio) which served me so well through high school.

When I left school, I purchased a suitable dress watch, to match with my career in banking.  At some point it was damaged and in the time it took to have it fixed, I stopped wearing watches (this was around age 22).  I realised that checking the time was easy walking around a city (and well before cell/mobile phones let alone those with the time on them).

I had gone from feeling naked/wrong when not wearing a watch to simply not being able to stand wearing one.  The exception I made was when going Outback, or walking anywhere that could vaguely be considered The Bush.  Now, even with a smartphone, I'll take a real, mechanical watch Outback or Bush - it's a survival tool.  Other than that, to me a watch is purely jewellery, even if it has a secondary function (telling the time!).  I don't have a need so dire that the couple of seconds it takes to check my smart phone or look elsewhere for the time matters.

So, it's not just the "younger" generation who eschew watches - it's probably just a larger percentage of them.  If you really want mastery over your own life, manage your own time rather than it managing you :-)
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Phil Brown

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2012, 11:15:56 pm »

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.

You must be an exceptional athlete. I have a Rolex and play pretty good golf, and have never once thought about the watch, though now I'm afraid I will. If I develop a slice, I will hold you to account.

If you write a certain manly kind of thriller fiction (I do), then you're expected to buy a Rolex after your first big sale. Thank God I came after the pipe-and-elbow-patches era; at least I don't have lung cancer.

The watch analogy left me befuddled. However, as a professional writer, I do have some advice for Richard: We all know you're bright. You don't have to prove it by making your article either ostentatiously erudite or nitpick-proof. You have exactly the the opposite problem that Mark has: he takes a controversial subject and boils it down to three words, or two words and an acronym ("MF is better.") That's not enough.

Young people don't use cell phones as pocket watches. They never put the goddamned things in their pockets. People are dead because of this -- they walk in front of turning cars while texting.

I'm thinking of getting rid my cell phone entirely. There's a device you can attach to a wired phone called an "answering machine." It will take your calls for you, and then, you can deal with them all at once, rather than having your goddamned cellphone go off anytime somebody has an urge to talk to you or sell you something. The only reason I keep it is because it has that vibrate option, and it feels kind of good in my pocket when it goes off. Hey, after a certain age, you gotta take your thrills where you can find them.

My biggest question about the Sexton article is why would anybody use APS-C instead of FF, when the equipment size and cost is roughly the same (FF costs more, but not that much more, as a percentage of the whole system, after you add a bunch of lenses.) But I know why I use m4/3 -- it's much cheaper and lighter and covers about 98% of what I do. I do have a Nikon system I can drag around when I need to, but it's a pain in the ass.

JC 
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douglasf13

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2012, 11:47:26 pm »

My biggest question about the Sexton article is why would anybody use APS-C instead of FF, when the equipment size and cost is roughly the same (FF costs more, but not that much more, as a percentage of the whole system, after you add a bunch of lenses.) But I know why I use m4/3 -- it's much cheaper and lighter and covers about 98% of what I do. I do have a Nikon system I can drag around when I need to, but it's a pain in the ass.

JC  

Watches don't bother me when I play tennis, but I'd take it off for most sports.

As far as size, my NEX-7 plus Sigma 19, Sigma 30 and Sony 50 (and the Zeiss 24, when I owned it,) is WORLDS smaller than an equivalent setup with my A900.  The Billingham bag that I keep all of it in would barely be able to fit the A900 body without a lens (the bag is only 2.5 inches deep.) For most uses, I still find aps-c to be the ideal compromise of cost, IQ and size.


« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 11:59:02 pm by douglasf13 »
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kencameron

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #38 on: May 06, 2012, 01:37:23 am »

You must be an exceptional athlete...
I thought the line about watches throwing sportsmen off balance showed its author to be an exceptional humorist. I wonder what darts players think (and I would call them athletes, despite appearances).
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Ken Cameron

Rob C

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #39 on: May 06, 2012, 04:12:35 am »

The entire point of a wristwatch was to allow you to easily read the time without needing to pull out your pocket watch, and that hasn't changed.  Sure, maybe these new bluetooth wristwatches that communicate with your cell are the modern interpretation, but the need to have such a thing on the wrist hasn't changed.

I own a Rolex, but I think of it as a piece of jewelry more than a tool like a camera, and, unlike an M9 or something similar, my Rolex holds its value.  If you buy a Rolex, wear it for a lifetime, and then sell it, it is surprisingly cost effective way to wear a watch that lasts your whole life.

FWIW, I'm actually nervous that my friends will notice my Rolex, because I don't want to be ridiculed buy them. LOL  In other settings, I admit that it does inspire a little confidence.  I own a small business in the entertainment world, where casual dress is common, and I've got quite a few tattoos on my arms, so, in a way, wearing my Rolex is the closest I come to dressing up in a suit. :)


That made me laugh! Itís funny because itís true and it works.

I remember being out in the car-park washing the old car some years ago, wearing a well-worn/torn/bleach-spill-stained pair of overalls, the whole supported by a pair of even older canvas shoes with the toes worn open by my nails, the back of the shoes flattened from having been stood upon rather than pulled up into placeÖ a  neighbour arrived in his car with some friend I didnít know, and when he introduced us, the first thing said stranger remarked was: wow, a Rolex in rags! I thought that highly amusing! I still do, obviously.

ĒWonderful concept, self imposed, doesn't even need collecting.Ē

Not sure where the tax concept comes into the equation, but if reference is being made to the purchase tax/VAT equivalents added then thatís fine: they come or, rather, are faced by free choice and inevitably help those who canít afford the item thus taxed. Seems to be the point or justification for taxation, no? Sort of reminds me of those high-end (arenít they all?) MF cameras some chaps buy: are they really that necessary? Do they, have they, ever improved anyoneís vision? Donít they attract an awful amount of taxation! But in my view thatís just dandy: why shouldnít those snappers be permitted to buy whatever their hearts desire without being subjected to any faux-moralistic display of disapproval?

Buy what you want and can afford; itís your call. Stuff the politics of envy.

Rob C
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