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Author Topic: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity  (Read 34458 times)

Isaac

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #60 on: October 24, 2013, 02:05:51 pm »

Pardon my ignorance, but which new cameras are you thinking of that don't provide any support for video?
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Ian Anderson

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #61 on: October 24, 2013, 02:19:44 pm »

I don't generally agree with Mark's columns, but I think this one is absolutely right.  I was hoping Panasonic's APS-C and Canon's Cxxx line would step up the divergence, and I think they have in many ways, but when I compare my 5D Mark II to my 5D Mark III, it's much more complex (the menus in particular) and a lot of that is due to the addition of more advanced video.  I also agree on the Rube Goldberg comment.  I'm sure it's great for Red Rock & co., but it's just silly to make a DSLR work when you could have a proper video camera from the outset.
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gerald.d

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #62 on: October 24, 2013, 03:02:48 pm »

Pardon my ignorance, but which new cameras are you thinking of that don't provide any support for video?

Every single camera that takes a medium format digital back.
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John Camp

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #63 on: October 24, 2013, 03:14:29 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.

There's nothing selfish about complaining about feature creep, if it makes a product less useable for even one person. That person has a legitimate complaint -- but can be safely ignored when you're talking about products that sell thousands or millions of copies. But sometimes, with some products, feature creep becomes a serious problem for everybody. I'm a professional writer, and have need of several basic features in Microsoft Word. And I recognize the fact that other people need other basic features, that I don't. But a huge proportion of us could get along quite well without all the crap that now encrusts Word. In fact, a huge proportion of us *did* get along just fine, even back in the dark ages like 1999, with the previous versions of Word. Word's most important feature is that it's become a standard, and when I send my manuscripts around, everybody can read them, and when they send corrections back to me, I can read their's, because of the standard. But Microsoft has so encrusted Word with so many features that I am constantly getting updates involving things like computer security. Because I'm a writer, and not a computer expert, I have no idea of what "security" means. Does it mean that there's a flaw in the system that somebody could exploit to get into my computer and look at private financial information? Or does it just mean that there might be a blip and the last paragraph disappears? Microsoft never really explains. Every time Microsoft comes out with a new version of Word (or really, about every other time) I have to update, just to stay cross-compatible with everyone -- but that means more security issues, more software glitches, all in the service of making what should be a fairly simple program more complicated. The complications are not needed, IMHO -- they are basically done to sell more copies of Word. And, actually, to force people like me to buy copies of Word that I don't really need to buy for working purposes. You see the same thing in Photoshop. I suspect the vast majority of PS users really don't need more features -- they don't use most of the ones now in the program. But how can Adobe sell "upgrades" if there are no new features? Sure, you can dream up new features, but does obsoleting millions of programs so some guy can have his much-desired eyelash-sharper really a desirable service for the mass of users? But because they are "standards" and because new versions usually have "features" that obsolete previous versions ("we will no longer support CS6" "we will only provide the upgrade price if you have CS5 or later") Word and Photoshop users who wish to continue using these programs are forced to accept pointless feature creep, designed not to help the mass of users, but to conceal the fact that the basic motivation is sales.

How does that apply to cameras? Every additional "feature" makes the menus harder to use, adds buttons that are unnecessary for most people, adds bulk, requires larger batteries, etc. There just ain't no free lunch. And I don't think Mark was advocating that *all* cameras be built without the video option, just that there should be cameras that don't have it, and that attempt to be as simple and straight-forward as possible. Look at the rumored new Nikon "FE"-style digital. It seems that the concept has raised quite a bit of interest -- and basically, people are interested because it is simple. I will buy it, if it's actually produced as rumored.

My general feeling is that the push for more flexibility, and more features, after a certain point, does not come from photographers -- that is, people who actually take pictures -- as it does from techies, who are interested in the machine itself. It's like when I go to a writer's conference, and people want to know if I'm Word or iWork, or Apple or Microsoft, because they're really more interested in the trappings of writing than in the writing itself ("I couldn't possible write without Word's 'Borders and Shading' function.") And you read about these guys who couldn't possibly work with a D800 because of the massive files, or with a GX7 because the sensor isn't large enough, and blah blah blah. It's all bullshit, completely beside the point of actually writing or taking photos. IMHO.     
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jjj

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #64 on: October 24, 2013, 03:16:19 pm »

I also agree on the Rube Goldberg comment.  I'm sure it's great for Red Rock & co., but it's just silly to make a DSLR work when you could have a proper video camera from the outset.
Which would be built up in the same way as a DSLR with matt box, focus assist etc.  The small square box with RED written on it is the actual camera body
It's a criticism by Mark that only shows complete ignorance of professional film making where the new DSLRs are very useful tools.
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jjj

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #65 on: October 24, 2013, 03:48:57 pm »

There's nothing selfish about complaining about feature creep, if it makes a product less useable for even one person. That person has a legitimate complaint -- but can be safely ignored when you're talking about products that sell thousands or millions of copies. But sometimes, with some products, feature creep becomes a serious problem for everybody. I'm a professional writer, and have need of several basic features in Microsoft Word. And I recognize the fact that other people need other basic features, that I don't.
But that's the point, everyone uses a quite different set of features and what may be pointless to you is essential to someone else. Do you knoew how I deal with the features I do not use in software, quite simple, I do not use them and they make zero difference to how I work.



Quote
But a huge proportion of us could get along quite well without all the crap that now encrusts Word. In fact, a huge proportion of us *did* get along just fine, even back in the dark ages like 1999, with the previous versions of Word. Word's most important feature is that it's become a standard, and when I send my manuscripts around, everybody can read them, and when they send corrections back to me, I can read their's, because of the standard. But Microsoft has so encrusted Word with so many features that I am constantly getting updates involving things like computer security. Because I'm a writer, and not a computer expert, I have no idea of what "security" means. Does it mean that there's a flaw in the system that somebody could exploit to get into my computer and look at private financial information? Or does it just mean that there might be a blip and the last paragraph disappears? Microsoft never really explains. Every time Microsoft comes out with a new version of Word (or really, about every other time) I have to update, just to stay cross-compatible with everyone -- but that means more security issues, more software glitches, all in the service of making what should be a fairly simple program more complicated. The complications are not needed, IMHO -- they are basically done to sell more copies of Word. And, actually, to force people like me to buy copies of Word that I don't really need to buy for working purposes.
Firstly if writing is your main task, then why not get a writing programme like Scrivener instead. Word started out as a basic word processor/fancy typewriter but evolved to become a much more powerful and useful programme for a wide range of people. Now the reason why it has security issues is because it's so very, very popular so worth attacking, not because  you can do fancy drop capitals. There's no need for you to update Word constantly either, new versions can always read old versions' files and can save back with backwards compatibility.

Quote
You see the same thing in Photoshop. I suspect the vast majority of PS users really don't need more features -- they don't use most of the ones now in the program. But how can Adobe sell "upgrades" if there are no new features? Sure, you can dream up new features, but does obsoleting millions of programs so some guy can have his much-desired eyelash-sharper really a desirable service for the mass of users? But because they are "standards" and because new versions usually have "features" that obsolete previous versions ("we will no longer support CS6" "we will only provide the upgrade price if you have CS5 or later") Word and Photoshop users who wish to continue using these programs are forced to accept pointless feature creep, designed not to help the mass of users, but to conceal the fact that the basic motivation is sales.
Several issues here. Firstly everyone uses a different subset of features and asking to get rid of the ones you don't want is the selfish attitude I mentioned before.  Secondly, if the companies do not sell products then they go out of business and then you'll be stuffed. Thirdly no-one is forcing you to upgrade, so I can still use older versions of PS if I fancy using a less capable programme. For me one of the main benefits of newer software is usability tends to improve as it's not just about fancy new features.

Quote
How does that apply to cameras? Every additional "feature" makes the menus harder to use, adds buttons that are unnecessary for most people, adds bulk, requires larger batteries, etc. There just ain't no free lunch.
Nonsense. Main difference between a 5D and 5DII is video and has none of the issues you mention.

Quote
And I don't think Mark was advocating that *all* cameras be built without the video option, just that there should be cameras that don't have it, and that attempt to be as simple and straight-forward as possible.
I know what he was asking for, but he did so very poorly.
If video was not on my 5DII for example, it would be exactly the same bar one very easy to use menu option. Good design is what is actually important not less features. I listed several examples above of how less is more faff at times.

Quote
Look at the rumored new Nikon "FE"-style digital. It seems that the concept has raised quite a bit of interest -- and basically, people are interested because it is simple. I will buy it, if it's actually produced as rumored.
A lot of interest has more to do with the fact it is small + FF. There are also some luddites asking for no video that is true.

Quote
My general feeling is that the push for more flexibility, and more features, after a certain point, does not come from photographers -- that is, people who actually take pictures -- as it does from techies, who are interested in the machine itself. It's like when I go to a writer's conference, and people want to know if I'm Word or iWork, or Apple or Microsoft, because they're really more interested in the trappings of writing than in the writing itself ("I couldn't possible write without Word's 'Borders and Shading' function.") And you read about these guys who couldn't possibly work with a D800 because of the massive files, or with a GX7 because the sensor isn't large enough, and blah blah blah. It's all bullshit, completely beside the point of actually writing or taking photos. IMHO.    
You always get nobs who are all talk in any field, ignore them and if they are the ones investing money in new cameras and gadgets all the time, be thankful as it makes your purchases cheaper. There would be no/very little market innovation if everyone was like you.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 03:52:54 pm by jjj »
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Isaac

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #66 on: October 24, 2013, 07:18:41 pm »

Pardon my ignorance, but which new cameras are you thinking of that don't provide any support for video?

Every single camera that takes a medium format digital back.

Thanks, that is a world about which I am utterly ignorant.
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John Camp

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #67 on: October 24, 2013, 11:16:33 pm »

But that's the point, everyone uses a quite different set of features and what may be pointless to you is essential to someone else. Do you knoew how I deal with the features I do not use in software, quite simple, I do not use them and they make zero difference to how I work.

That's simply not the case -- "everyone" doesn't use a different subset. I have no way to prove it, but I have talked a lot to people who use both Word and Photoshop, and I suspect that a subset of features could be laid down that would be all that would used by 95+% of the users. And it would be a relatively small subset. Same thing with cameras. I suspect both GX7 and Nikon D800 users (these are the two cameras I use) keep the camera on the automatic setting most of the time, especially if they're street shooters. If you think about that for a while, you'll realize why -- because they can get photos that they otherwise couldn't, because they'd need time to set up. In addition to "P" (or whatever the auto setting is on your camera) I suspect you could devise two or three more settings that would cover everything needed for 90+% of users. I think the proliferation of features serves one purposes: it provides cover for selling more of whatever it is (It's new!) But the proliferation increases complication and chances for failure -- which is fine with the people more interested in machines than in photos, that's their bowl of soup. IMHO.
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dreed

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #68 on: October 24, 2013, 11:55:47 pm »

One of the reasons that Mark (and Michael?) feels like this is pertinent is the currently developing rumor of Nikon doing a camera without video:

Nikon rumors: Nikon retro full frame camera
The upcoming Nikon retro full frame camera will nto have video

And I can imagine that some would say "See, Mark is right - Nikon are doing exactly what he said."

If this rumors is accurate then to me it would seem that Nikon are making a calculated gamble - a DSLR with less features (no video) than the D610. If it also costs less than the D610 than maybe it will have legs but if it will also appeal to fewer people because video has become an "expected feature" for many folks.

Why would Nikon do this? Same as Sony are doing the A7 series: try and forge a new market segment with a different product and attract more sales in a stagnating market.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #69 on: October 25, 2013, 12:18:06 am »

Hi,

I change a lot of settings on my Sony Alpha. I think that kind of flexibility is needed. It actually makes the system easier to use.

I configure the camera for three different kinds of shooting.

- Targets of opportunity: Auto ISO, program mode, Antishake, wide autofocus etc.
- Careful handheld: Minimum ID, f/8, Antishake, center spot AF
- Tripod work:  No AF, Antishake OFF, minimum ISO, f/8, 2s self timer

So I have three different personalities on my camer with a flick of the control dial. I seldom go into the menues. I would love to assign more choices to buttons tough. In that I dont think the camera is flexible enough.

The Alpha 99 is the first Sony I can configure both AF and antishake in presets, a feature I wanted badly.

Best regards
Erik

That's simply not the case -- "everyone" doesn't use a different subset. I have no way to prove it, but I have talked a lot to people who use both Word and Photoshop, and I suspect that a subset of features could be laid down that would be all that would used by 95+% of the users. And it would be a relatively small subset. Same thing with cameras. I suspect both GX7 and Nikon D800 users (these are the two cameras I use) keep the camera on the automatic setting most of the time, especially if they're street shooters. If you think about that for a while, you'll realize why -- because they can get photos that they otherwise couldn't, because they'd need time to set up. In addition to "P" (or whatever the auto setting is on your camera) I suspect you could devise two or three more settings that would cover everything needed for 90+% of users. I think the proliferation of features serves one purposes: it provides cover for selling more of whatever it is (It's new!) But the proliferation increases complication and chances for failure -- which is fine with the people more interested in machines than in photos, that's their bowl of soup. IMHO.
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Misirlou

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #70 on: October 25, 2013, 01:26:51 am »

I'm in agreement with Mark's main thrust. I don't shoot video, and anything about it that gets in my way on a stills camera annoys me. On the other hand, I don't doubt that there are videographers out there right now posting complaints about the same cameras I use, over features they hate, but that I consider essential.

So is it too much to ask that some major manufacturer come up with just one digital camera platform that is uncompromisingly biased towards shooting stills? Maybe the medium format builders are doing that, but cameras that cost more than good '80's Porsches are out of my price range, and I suspect out of the realm of affordability for most non-wealthy amateurs.

A lot of people have said here that it's easy enough to just ignore the features and controls you don't need. I suppose that's true, but that's not really the point. You can buy a Cadillac station wagon now that accelerates drastically better, and brakes shorter, than Porsches made in the '80's. Does that mean the Cadillac is a good "sports car?" No, it's still a high performance station wagon, and brings a lot of weight and bulk along that I don't particularly need in a performance car. But if that's what other people want, great. I hope Cadillac sells a lot of them. Happily, I can still go buy a Porsche, if that's what I prefer. (And those '80's 911s are dirt cheap by comparison.)

I spent a lot of time investigating myriad film cameras in the late 90s, when serious digital still seemed a long way off. I was in a position to try almost any camera platform at very minimal cost. When I started that adventure, I had already been using up-to-date Canon SLRs for decades. When I turned to medium format, I started with a nearly new RB-67, then went to ‘70s and ‘80s Hasselblads, and finally ended up shooting a couple of ‘50’s Rollei TLRs exclusively. In 35mm, I went through a stage where I concentrated on ‘70s Olympus rigs, but finished with a ‘50s screw mount Leica setup.

Why the backpedaling? I was looking for the “simplicity” Mark describes. Truth be told, the Leica was a serious pain to load with film, but it ended up getting more use than my autofocus Canons. I almost always had a Rollei every time I went outdoors. I got so much satisfaction out of the shooting process distilled down to its barest essence. Those were the years when I really learned to make photographs.

Everything is different now. I’ve sold images that I made with an iPhone, for real money. I have so many software manuals in my office that I’m afraid it has become something of a fire hazard. I’m learning to hack the firmware in Canon DSLRs. I bought a Sigma DP2 Merrill last week, which brings the same kinds of joys and frustrations as owning a ‘60’s Jaguar XKE did.

So, if there were a viable “simple” digital stills camera out there, I’d be very much interested. I want the same three physical controls Mark describes (shutter, aperture, ISO); the Olympus OM arrangement would do nicely. I consider just about anything else superfluous. Oh, also needs a dedicated mirror lock up lever, unless it doesn’t have a mirror that moves…

I will die before such a beast is ever made.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #71 on: October 25, 2013, 01:46:44 am »

Hi,

What is wrong with Leica ME, or the M (240) if you can live with the video button?

Or do you need of center focusing in live view, or an electronic viewfinder? I would guess that what is considered necessary varies.

Personally, I shoot video. Not that I shoot a lot of video, but video and stills make a nice combination.

Best regards
Erik


I'm in agreement with Mark's main thrust. I don't shoot video, and anything about it that gets in my way on a stills camera annoys me. On the other hand, I don't doubt that there are videographers out there right now posting complaints about the same cameras I use, over features they hate, but that I consider essential.

So is it too much to ask that some major manufacturer come up with just one digital camera platform that is uncompromisingly biased towards shooting stills? Maybe the medium format builders are doing that, but cameras that cost more than good '80's Porsches are out of my price range, and I suspect out of the realm of affordability for most non-wealthy amateurs.

A lot of people have said here that it's easy enough to just ignore the features and controls you don't need. I suppose that's true, but that's not really the point. You can buy a Cadillac station wagon now that accelerates drastically better, and brakes shorter, than Porsches made in the '80's. Does that mean the Cadillac is a good "sports car?" No, it's still a high performance station wagon, and brings a lot of weight and bulk along that I don't particularly need in a performance car. But if that's what other people want, great. I hope Cadillac sells a lot of them. Happily, I can still go buy a Porsche, if that's what I prefer. (And those '80's 911s are dirt cheap by comparison.)

I spent a lot of time investigating myriad film cameras in the late 90s, when serious digital still seemed a long way off. I was in a position to try almost any camera platform at very minimal cost. When I started that adventure, I had already been using up-to-date Canon SLRs for decades. When I turned to medium format, I started with a nearly new RB-67, then went to ‘70s and ‘80s Hasselblads, and finally ended up shooting a couple of ‘50’s Rollei TLRs exclusively. In 35mm, I went through a stage where I concentrated on ‘70s Olympus rigs, but finished with a ‘50s screw mount Leica setup.

Why the backpedaling? I was looking for the “simplicity” Mark describes. Truth be told, the Leica was a serious pain to load with film, but it ended up getting more use than my autofocus Canons. I almost always had a Rollei every time I went outdoors. I got so much satisfaction out of the shooting process distilled down to its barest essence. Those were the years when I really learned to make photographs.

Everything is different now. I’ve sold images that I made with an iPhone, for real money. I have so many software manuals in my office that I’m afraid it has become something of a fire hazard. I’m learning to hack the firmware in Canon DSLRs. I bought a Sigma DP2 Merrill last week, which brings the same kinds of joys and frustrations as owning a ‘60’s Jaguar XKE did.

So, if there were a viable “simple” digital stills camera out there, I’d be very much interested. I want the same three physical controls Mark describes (shutter, aperture, ISO); the Olympus OM arrangement would do nicely. I consider just about anything else superfluous. Oh, also needs a dedicated mirror lock up lever, unless it doesn’t have a mirror that moves…

I will die before such a beast is ever made.

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kencameron

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #72 on: October 25, 2013, 02:04:52 am »

That's simply not the case -- "everyone" doesn't use a different subset. I have no way to prove it, but I have talked a lot to people who use both Word and Photoshop, and I suspect that a subset of features could be laid down that would be all that would used by 95+% of the users. And it would be a relatively small subset. Same thing with cameras.
With no better evidence than you, I don't agree, at least in relation to cameras and image processing software. Certainly I use a "standard" and small set of features most of the time, but I also occasionally use a personal subset of other more obscure features which changes over time as I lose interest in some things and become interested in others; and I see no reason to complain when a camera or a piece of software gives me this opportunity. This is where I suspect a significant number of people do use, or will in time use, a different subset of features. I see a kind of anxiety sitting behind the evidently heartfelt call for simplicity - but really, if I have put in the effort required to learn to do what I want to do, then I have achieved simplicity, and I can see opportunities rather than problems in the fact that there are other things I might also do, if and when I want to. And as a number of people have said, the degree of effort required has more to do with the quality of the user interface than with the number of features. The interface on every camera I have ever owned recognizes this, more or less successfully, by making the more commonly used features easiest to access ( eg, giving them their own buttons) and placing others at the bottom of menus.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 02:09:02 am by kencameron »
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Christoph C. Feldhaim

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #73 on: October 25, 2013, 02:41:53 am »

A simple and clear mind can not be replaced with simple and clear technology, though simple and clear technology ~might support a simple and clear state of mind and even help the confused.
Apart from that never underestimate the power of the dark side .... :P

Cheers
~Chris

Josiah Davidson

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #74 on: October 25, 2013, 02:59:49 am »

Bravo, Mark. Thanks for your essay.
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G*

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #75 on: October 25, 2013, 03:51:52 am »

Actually all the discussion (I need this – I don’t need that – 90% need something else) is pretty pointless in terms of who’s right and who’s wrong. But it’s absolutely necessary in one aspect: It shows that there might be a potential market for a camera that is different from everything you can buy at this moment. And that is also the only argument a camera maker and especially its financial strategists will listen to.

I am on the side of those who are unsatisfied with what the market has to offer right now. And luckily I am willing and in the position to be able to spend a little premium for getting what I have in mind. I am a potential customer. For what? For a FF camera that is compact and light as for example a Nikon FM2. Why? Maybe because I am still knowing what it feels like to carry and work with such a thing. Maybe because I am looking for beauty in reduction. Maybe I find it insulting of a gigantic market of camera producers to not giving me the chance to do things the way I want. Naaaa, the last thing might be true if you ask a psychologist, but I would never admit it.

Anyway. I believe whining publicly about one’s longings has limited impact. What might be more useful would be presenting solutions, ready for the R&D departments to help them think "out of the box". For example put all the buttons and menus for the functions the camera is capable of in an app so I can program my camera with my phone/ipad device. And leave only three programable dials and four buttons on the body. Or be creative in overcoming the flange distance in putting an aperture ring around it which hepls to "hide" the body’s depth. Or get rid of the back monitor and put the sensor to the very back of the body.

And actually I don’t quite believe that video and other "additional" options don’t add to the bulk of a camera. so in order to produce a small FF camera one is probably forced to reduce the features a little. I can very well live with that. For others it will not be attractive. Be it. But I have money to spend, too.
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jjj

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #76 on: October 25, 2013, 06:34:11 am »

And actually I don’t quite believe that video and other "additional" options don’t add to the bulk of a camera. so in order to produce a small FF camera one is probably forced to reduce the features a little.
So why exactly would a bigger sensor reduce the no. of features one can add in a compact body? BTW small cameras were the first to add video and as we already have a two tiny FF cameras the Sony A7r + A7 that include video.....

Here's 3 rather dinky cameras and one fat lump, 2 are m4/3 and two are FF. The biggest camera does not have video and the replacement which did, had zero extra buttons due to video being added. The only extra button was to be able to autofocus in live view which also happens to be useful for video.
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jjj

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #77 on: October 25, 2013, 07:00:36 am »

That's simply not the case -- "everyone" doesn't use a different subset.
Except they do. :P particularly with software. And in fact your own example re street photography proves my point.

Quote
I have no way to prove it, but I have talked a lot to people who use both Word and Photoshop, and I suspect that a subset of features could be laid down that would be all that would used by 95+% of the users. And it would be a relatively small subset.
Completely wrong.
Photographers in fact only make up a small percentage of users of PS. Less than 10% in fact. Not only that when Scott Kelby and a thread on here tried to list just the tools would exist in a stripped down photoshop, they both ended up listing virtually all the tools that were there. So if you were to ask your photography mates about PS that would be a dreadful and very inaccurate population sample and the same would probably apply to Word. Features tend to get added as people request them and Word was completely redesigned a few years back after research was done by MS on how people actually used the product and this resulted in a much needed interface overhaul, but features were not removed because people used them.


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Same thing with cameras. I suspect both GX7 and Nikon D800 users (these are the two cameras I use) keep the camera on the automatic setting most of the time, especially if they're street shooters. If you think about that for a while, you'll realize why -- because they can get photos that they otherwise couldn't, because they'd need time to set up.
Don't need to think about it as I do street photography and never use auto, too slow. Manual is far better I find. You set exposure for the scene and er.. that's it. Auto can give very varied exposures depending on the background even if light on subject does not change, so then you have to faff around compensating and by then you've missed your shot.


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In addition to "P" (or whatever the auto setting is on your camera) I suspect you could devise two or three more settings that would cover everything needed for 90+% of users. I think the proliferation of features serves one purposes: it provides cover for selling more of whatever it is (It's new!) But the proliferation increases complication and chances for failure -- which is fine with the people more interested in machines than in photos, that's their bowl of soup. IMHO.
I've never used P so that can be binned, in fact everything bar manual and maybe Aperture priority which I very occasionally use can go. Oh wait! It would be foolish to assume because I work that way everyone else should too.
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Tradition is the Backbone of the Spinele

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #78 on: October 25, 2013, 07:52:42 am »

So why exactly would a bigger sensor reduce the no. of features one can add in a compact body? BTW small cameras were the first to add video and as we already have a two tiny FF cameras the Sony A7r + A7 that include video.....

Here's 3 rather dinky cameras and one fat lump, 2 are m4/3 and two are FF. The biggest camera does not have video and the replacement which did, had zero extra buttons due to video being added. The only extra button was to be able to autofocus in live view which also happens to be useful for video.

In my thinking (and just for the record: I am in no way able to build a digital camera) you need some computing capacity to deal with high FPS rates or video data, convert raw to jpg, extract a histogram, do several tone-mapping stunts etc. And I think you need more of that when you deal with 36MP compared to 12MP. Furthermore you need a larger battery to do these things for the same lenght of time (a working day would be great) and at the same speed. Which adds in weight and dimension.

Now that we have a Sony A7r ante portas we may ask: why is the D800(E) so big? (please … I know about the difference in flange distance and the viewfinder) And would it have been possible to make a camera with 36MP FF at this size already two years ago? Anyway: The A7r is a living proof of what is possible right now. And maybe even much more is possible, but we don’t have a clue (yet).
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity
« Reply #79 on: October 25, 2013, 08:05:25 am »

Hi,

The A7r has short battery life due to the EVF and a small battery. The reason it can do all that processing in real time is the ASIC called Bionz that Sony developed. All cameras a vendor built normally share this circuit (in different releases). The ASICs and the software is a major development effort.

Phase One uses FPGA (Field Programmable Grid Arrays), it means that they can in practice modify the hardware.

There are a few reasons the Sony Alpha 7 is so small, they have no mirrors, no prism, no AF module (it's on the sensor), no motors driving the mirrors. They probably also wanted to make the camera small. My guess it that it could have been as small two years ago.

The olympus OM1 was also a lot smaller than the Nikon F3...

Best regards
Erik
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 08:08:04 am by ErikKaffehr »
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Erik Kaffehr
 
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