Thursday, January 7, 2016

The ideal camera?

Thinking more about yesterday and the pro photographer that commmented about camera manufacturers loading equipment down with worthless features just in order to charge more. In the example of the 580EX2 flash for example, all that's wanted is a flash with ETTL and manual control. Auto-zooming, strobing, remote control etc is just extra stuff that's pure garbage. Canon's $600 flash is $60 of flash and $540 of absolute trash that could be stripped off easily! Nikon etc do exactly the same thing. And people are amazed that photographers use cheaper Chinese flashes and avoid using flashes altogether. Indeed, I used to have several Canon flashes but I sold them all. Their value was plummeting and the amount they were used was minimal. They were one of the worst purchases I ever made!

In terms of cameras, the same abuse of the consumer has been going on for years. Ever funkier focussing and metering systems. Ever more funky modes. Dozens of un-needed, un-used and un-desired features. Megapixels have been trickled out appallingly slowly. Indeed, the camera companies have been operating as a cartel for the past 20 years, ensuring nobody offers more megapixels or more ISO than anybody else. The companies pretended to be in a race to megapixels but it was all planned down to the minutae. Now that everybody has adequate megapixels, their pretend competition is over ISO. Both could have been done at exactly the same time. The technology hasn't changed in a decade.

Now we get to the nitty gritty of what we, as consumers, need. We don't need LCDs on the backs of cameras - why would a professional be wasting their time looking at a screen when they should be concentrating on the next image? Similarly, amateurs think the screen is invaluable. I never use mine - total waste of space and battery power. What about all those funky modes? As far as I'm concerned, I use manual or aperture priority. I don't do shutter priority, program or any other funky mode. Total waste of time for companies to put them on. What about ISOs? Well, I have used 1600 and would use 3200 if I had it. I would like more of an ISO range but it's not a killer for me.

Things that have vanished from cameras that I miss badly are the hyperfocal scale on the lenses, which was very useful, the aperture ring from the lens barrel which I also miss badly. I miss the split screen focussing aid and the optical view of the aperture as well as the shutter speed indication.

In terms of controls, push buttons and touch screens just don't cut it for me. Give me old fashioned dials where I know what I'm doing in the dark without a flashlight. The Canon 580EX was absolute garbge in this respect - I needed a manual and a flashlight just to be able to use the bloody thing. The same with current Canon cameras.

Give me a flash that has ETTL and manual modes and a camera with control over ISO, shutter speed and aperture priority. I wouldn't want to be bothered with anything else. White balance could easily be auto and file format solely RAW. Photographers want to take pictures, not fiddle around with pointless settings on miracles of technology that are really camera companies waving their dicks at each other!

The ONLY camera that is solely a photographers camera is the Sigma SD10 though it is very lacking in higher ISOs. I do like the Foveon sensor though it badly needs higher ISOs. The Bayer sensor gives higher ISOs but lacks color layering.

So, camera companies - dump your ridiculous cartel and get cracking on a real camera that I alctually want to buy to use. I have an XT and I sufffer its stupidity. I have yet to see a modern camera that's as good as my Nikon FM was.

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