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Author Topic: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity  (Read 33818 times)

dreed

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #40 on: October 23, 2013, 09:02:38 am »

Understood. And thank you for proving the point of Mark's essay.  :)

Eh? Mark's essay in parts makes him sound like a luddite (to me) and in others is contradictory. iPhones (and all smartphones) are a maze of menus under tiles that cover your screen yet he decries convoluted menu systems. When you've used an Android phone, some of the convenience menu options that are missing on iPhones are annoying but would they just be "clutter" to others. Personally, if a camera does what I want, menu navigation is always quicker than trying to guess what's under tiles. Consider that to get to any setting on my iPhone requires at least three touches (swipe to "settings screen", open "settings" then remember which thing inside there I need to touch to get to the real menu) whereas on my camera, I hit the menu button, appear where I was last and potentially just have to press one button if I'm changing the same thing as I did previously.

If you were to give a Rollei to a (say) 20-something that has only known digital photography, are they going to have the same reaction as Mark ("OMG, why are modern cameras so complex?!") or are they going to say "Ok, where's the button I push to make it happen?" (where "it" = autofocus and set the correct exposure and take the picture.)

The one part I do agree with is those that revolve around basic ergonomics (nose, eyes, fingers.) The rest of it which is rejecting convergence and technology might as well be someone writing in 1901 that there is no future for cars ... and that's energy wasted. Although I will add that Canon dispensed with dials for shutter speed and aperture back in the 1990s, if not before, with their SLRs (and Canon is the market leader so everyone is going to follow their designs), so complaining about the disappearance of direct access to them now is a bit late...

If Canon came out with two variants of the 5D4, one with video and all of the related "convergence" features and one without, which is going to sell better? The one with video and all of the related bits if only because many will look at video like the English do at convertible cars and want to have it there "so that if they want to, they can", not because they will every day.

But anyway, if Nikon do launch a DSLR without video next month, it will be interesting to see how well it sells vs existing cameras such as the D800[e] and D610. Undoubtedly there will be a number of people that will say "Yay! A camera that is how I remember they used to be!" but that's kind of like getting up to dance to music you know from your teenage years and thinking "Why isn't there more new music like this?". I'm quite intrigued by this rumor but then Nikon is trying to be aggressive and find ways in which to attract customers to their system and away from Canon, as is Sony ...
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #41 on: October 23, 2013, 12:04:22 pm »

Hi,

Interesting to note that our friend BC (also known as James Russel) sees that video is now days a significant part of a professionals work. He praises the Panasonic GH3 and feels time to time that MFD makers should also move into video.

With 4K around the door we can soon present both stills and video on screens, that is a new media.

It is well possible that there is a market for cameras with reduced functionality, but I guess the majority of buyers appreciates flexibility. The need for simplified and functional user interfaces is another thing.

Best regards
Erik

Eh? Mark's essay in parts makes him sound like a luddite (to me) and in others is contradictory. iPhones (and all smartphones) are a maze of menus under tiles that cover your screen yet he decries convoluted menu systems. When you've used an Android phone, some of the convenience menu options that are missing on iPhones are annoying but would they just be "clutter" to others. Personally, if a camera does what I want, menu navigation is always quicker than trying to guess what's under tiles. Consider that to get to any setting on my iPhone requires at least three touches (swipe to "settings screen", open "settings" then remember which thing inside there I need to touch to get to the real menu) whereas on my camera, I hit the menu button, appear where I was last and potentially just have to press one button if I'm changing the same thing as I did previously.

If you were to give a Rollei to a (say) 20-something that has only known digital photography, are they going to have the same reaction as Mark ("OMG, why are modern cameras so complex?!") or are they going to say "Ok, where's the button I push to make it happen?" (where "it" = autofocus and set the correct exposure and take the picture.)

The one part I do agree with is those that revolve around basic ergonomics (nose, eyes, fingers.) The rest of it which is rejecting convergence and technology might as well be someone writing in 1901 that there is no future for cars ... and that's energy wasted. Although I will add that Canon dispensed with dials for shutter speed and aperture back in the 1990s, if not before, with their SLRs (and Canon is the market leader so everyone is going to follow their designs), so complaining about the disappearance of direct access to them now is a bit late...

If Canon came out with two variants of the 5D4, one with video and all of the related "convergence" features and one without, which is going to sell better? The one with video and all of the related bits if only because many will look at video like the English do at convertible cars and want to have it there "so that if they want to, they can", not because they will every day.

But anyway, if Nikon do launch a DSLR without video next month, it will be interesting to see how well it sells vs existing cameras such as the D800[e] and D610. Undoubtedly there will be a number of people that will say "Yay! A camera that is how I remember they used to be!" but that's kind of like getting up to dance to music you know from your teenage years and thinking "Why isn't there more new music like this?". I'm quite intrigued by this rumor but then Nikon is trying to be aggressive and find ways in which to attract customers to their system and away from Canon, as is Sony ...
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DeanChriss

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #42 on: October 23, 2013, 01:01:19 pm »

The only thing I've got to say about Mark's essay is "BRAVO!" I have zero interest in video and a lot of interest in a great camera with a simple and efficient design.
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Isaac

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #43 on: October 23, 2013, 01:31:39 pm »

Incidentally, I still haven't made use of my camera's video functionality and I have mistakenly hit the video button a couple of times -- but that doesn't blind me to the general expectation that digital cameras will provide video.

Isaac, You and 99% of us.  That's darn funny.  Thanks for the chuckle.

If by "You  and 99% of us" you mean golden-agers venting on LuLa then I dare say you're correct, but I see enough 20 somethings making video and sharing video to understand that expectations have changed ;-)

Note, I still haven't tried to disable the video button on my camera :-)


You've quite eloquently made Mark's point in his essay.

When Mark Dubovoy writes -- "While I welcome the possibility of shooting video and stills from a smart phone or other small devices ...  there are huge numbers of serious videographers and serious still photographers who would much prefer equipment designed to shoot either still or video, but not both." -- we should first ask How many? How do you know?

"The argument is not between adding features and simplicity, between adding capability and usability. The real issue is about design: designing things that have the power required for the job while maintaining understandability, the feeling of control, and the pleasure of accomplishment." Simplicity Is Not the Answer
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 02:17:10 pm by Isaac »
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Ben Rubinstein

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #44 on: October 23, 2013, 03:01:28 pm »

There is a single button on my 5D3 for video. One. Oh and unless you switch it to video mode, the button is actually live view. The rest of the buttons are pretty much exactly the same as they've been on any Canon DSLR for a decade. Oh apart from a couple of programmable buttons which are extremely useful. I wouldn't even know how to activate video on the studio's D800e, don't think I've ever noticed.

My first camera was an AE-1 and I still remember my A1 very fondly, shot landscapes with a Mamiya 645 Super. However. Enough already. Complaining about having to press a button on a DSLR to access ISO but it's more than a single button press on the oh so perfect IQ backs or the S2 (which only has a single dial nevermind 3 which of course was not mentioned).

I wrote a blog post about this trend of blaming modern cameras for being too complicated and just how tiring it is.

Sorry but, as always with this writer, I call BS. Long rants with very little basis in facts and as always, the most expensive is the best, even if they have less functionality than the cheaper cameras being complained about.

Colorado David

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #45 on: October 23, 2013, 05:28:26 pm »

My business is about equally divided between video production and still photography.  I am happy to have the option to use the larger sensor of the still camera if I have the need for greater selective focus than can be reasonably achieved with the smaller sensors of a dedicated video camera.  Everything we work with is complicated compared to cameras of a few years ago.  It's part of the discipline of the career.

By the way, if you're a voting ASMP member, I would encourage you to vote in favor of the change to the membership categories.

SangRaal

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #46 on: October 23, 2013, 05:41:14 pm »

Simplicity was a Brownie Hawkeye camera with a simple go no go selenium cell exposure meter optical viewfinder and 127 TriX or panatomic X film! "Make" my 12 pictures, run down to the basement lock myself in the darkroom find my stainless steel 127 developing tank marked with a blue stripe, lights out red safelight on camera and tank into the changing bag and film out of the camera by feel onto the tank spool tank closed, out of the bag, lights on, find the bulk developer, set the gralab timer, add the developer, time set wash, hang the negative strip to dry and voila pictures appeared as if by MAGIC!!! Printing had to wait for my uncle's supervision. I can still smell that house in Brooklyn, but I can't go back to 1955 or my grandmother's heart burn cooking, or 1st grade in PS 199. It seemed simple and magical in retrospect however, now going out and filling 2 32 gig cards in a day and sliding them into a UDMA 7 reader and importing them into a great raw developing program is a lot simpler.
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jjj

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #47 on: October 23, 2013, 08:50:11 pm »

I think the problem with this article is the same as when people complain about feature creep in software. The translation being the somewhat selfish 'I don't need that feature, so don't waste time developing it'.
As for the extra cost, well cutting a feature that many now expect as standard may mean less sales and higher prices. And if video was removed from my camera, there would actually be zero difference in number of buttons or design. And if a camera like a Leica has a badly positioned video button, then that is simply bad design and not the fault of video being a feature. Never understood the fuss over Leicas myself, ergonomics always seemed dreadful.


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jjj

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #48 on: October 23, 2013, 09:17:25 pm »

This quote from Mark's article shows a complete lack of understanding of the author when talking about film making. It's a daft a comment as someone moaning about a photographer using studio flashes and a tripod rather than a pop-up flash on a pocket camera. And not something I expect to read on LuLa.
 
Quote
For instance, lots of people shoot videos with Canon or Nikon DSLR's, but have you seen the contraptions that they use in terms of brackets, gears for focusing, rear screen viewers, external microphone holders, external audio recorders (because the audio in DSLR's sucks big time) and all that? These things look worse than Rube Goldberg contraptions.
Those are normal/essential tools for filmmaking Mark, even with cameras that are designed specifically for the moving image.


Then Mark talks about simplicity in design.

Quote
Just look at the latest iPhone or iPad.  The construction quality is exquisite, the design is a work of art.  These are extremely complicated products, yet there is no clutter of buttons and dials or unnecessary functions.  There isn't even a users manual!  
Let's pause and think about that again: These products are massively more complicated than any camera (they include a still and video camera and even editing functions as part of the product), yet they are easy enough to use that the general public learns to use them without even needing a manual. I think this is a remarkable achievement.
Two big issues here. My iPad and iPhone are festooned with buttons/controls. They are in the software interface, not the hardware, but they are still there. Secondly there are loads of little hidden features and tricks that will probably only be found by accident or through reading an article or book and I've often shown long time users how to do quite basic things.
Also Apple's idea of simple is often simplistic instead. Removing functionality to make something 'easier to use' is the cheats way of simplifying something and all too often actually makes things harder to do. Take adding a song currently being played on iPhone/iPad to a playlist, the simple way of doing it would be to have a 'add to playlist' button. But instead we have to jump through painful and fiddly hoops to do what should be an incredibly simple task. Then there's the lack of arrow keys and the fiddlyness of placing the cursor in iOS which means it's often faster to delete sections and then retype to correct a typo further back. Not having a delete key on my MacBook Pro means two hands rather than one are needed for one of the most basic functions and I could go on at length listing places where Apple's making things 'simpler' is actually making things faffier.

Quote
Porsche Design is another name that comes to mind.  They are famous for the phrase "form follows function" and some of the products they have designed over the years, from automobiles (like the legendary 911) to inexpensive ballpoint pens seem to achieve the simplicity goal.
Hmm, the 911 is more like a a triumph of engineering over a very flawed design.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 09:21:18 pm by jjj »
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Bill Caulfeild-Browne

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #49 on: October 23, 2013, 10:16:35 pm »

Well said, Mark!
In the interest of simplicity I will simply (!) repeat - well said!
Bill
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kencameron

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #50 on: October 23, 2013, 10:54:19 pm »

....golden-agers venting on LuLa....
+1. "I don't use it, therefore it shouldn't be there". Give me a break.
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Ken Cameron

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #51 on: October 24, 2013, 12:30:27 am »

I did some casual work near the CBD and commuted by train to get there. I was surprised by how many people were using smart phones in my carriage. Then I thought about itů

In one pocket you can fit a phone, internet connection, still camera, video camera, books, music, movies, credit card, newspapers, games, a watch and all sorts of apps. Gen X and Gen Y are all about convergence.

Three hundred million photographs are uploaded to Facebook every day, LuLa about ten.

I just bought a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 as my walkabout camera. I'll learn all the features that I need to know that suit my photography and ignore the rest. I think that is pretty simple.

Cheers,
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Tom Brown

massimo.gori

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #52 on: October 24, 2013, 04:28:16 am »

Mark likes Porsche Design, and for some products I can agree with him, however I think that he goes a bit too far with this sentence:

"Porsche Design is another name that comes to mind.  They are famous for the phrase "form follows function" and some of the products they have designed over the years, from automobiles (like the legendary 911) to inexpensive ballpoint pens seem to achieve the simplicity goal."

Form follows function is something that dates back to the mid 1800 and it has been the hallmark of many, if not most industrial designers and architects in the last century. Furthermore, when the late Ferdinand Alexander Porsche designed the 911 (with the Porsche Car Maker design team), the firm Porsche design did not exist.

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J. Paul

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #53 on: October 24, 2013, 07:12:47 am »

Bravo!!!! 
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Isaac

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #54 on: October 24, 2013, 11:02:12 am »

Bravo! to massimo.gori or Bravo! to Mark Dubovoy?
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jjj

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #55 on: October 24, 2013, 11:49:38 am »

+1. "I don't use it, therefore it shouldn't be there". Give me a break.
Well, I suppose it makes a change from hearing this tedious refrain when a piece of software is updated.
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OldRoy

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #56 on: October 24, 2013, 11:51:30 am »

Still cameras incorporate video because the majority of buyers want the option to shoot video (not me; I'd opt for a video camera) and it doesn't cost too much to include the function. As for the ergonomics of using a still camera to shoot video, the form hugely impedes this particular function. I own an OMD E-M5 whose form gets in the way of most functions. Of necessity I've learned to live with this.

Dyson vacuum cleaners were mentioned in the piece as exemplifying wonderful industrial design: my guess is that the writer doesn't own one (I do). As an over-rated appliance, these are hard to beat. Except by Apple's products, of course, or Leica's.

Roy
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jjj

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #57 on: October 24, 2013, 12:05:57 pm »

Dyson vacuum cleaners were mentioned in the piece as exemplifying wonderful industrial design: my guess is that the writer doesn't own one (I do). As an over-rated appliance, these are hard to beat. Except by Apple's products, of course, or Leica's.
Maybe he does own one as he's smitten with Apple and Leica. Whether he actually uses it.....
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Isaac

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #58 on: October 24, 2013, 12:13:51 pm »

I think the strangest thing about Mark Dubovoy's latest essay is the crying over spilt milk -- 5 years ago an Appeal for Divergence may have had a purpose, but now?
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 12:30:09 pm by Isaac »
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gerald.d

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #59 on: October 24, 2013, 01:40:01 pm »

What a strange article. There is massive divergence in the market. Always has been.

Plenty of options out there for those who want to exclusively shot either stills or video.

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