most cameras suck nowadays. to be sure, the new “prosumer” dlrs and digital point and shoots have advanced leap and bounds since first being introduced to the market. and, it’s hard not to like the “convenience” of digital technology, in that you don’t have to process the film.
but with this advancement of technology, you have to wonder whether this advancement has made cameras actually better. let’s take a step back for a second.
remember the old film SLRs? They essentially had one knob on the body: the speed. You twisted the lens to change the aperture. When you looked in the viewfinder, you would see a light meter with a line pointing between a “+” or “-” sign if you’re exposure was right. That was pretty much it. Find your subject and shoot. When you’re done with the roll of film, spin the wheel and process it.
now, here’s your typical consume grade digital slr. it doesn’t have any knobs or dials for aperture or speed. . . those are accessible via a menu. press a button and rotate a wheel to set it. the knobs do have scene modes and programs modes. the menus have a dizzying array of options, from infrared assist to noise reduction.
do i need all those dials and buttons and menu options? absolutely not. i just want dials, not friggin menus, to change the aperture and the speed. that’s it. if i had to add “extras,” i’d have a dedicated knob for “iso” and a dedicated knob for “exposure compensation.”
it seems to me that producing such a camera would be cheaper than adding in all those other bells and whistles. strangely, i would expect the simpler it is, the more expensive it becomes.
i think there is a market for “simpler” cameras or, perhaps more precisely, cameras dedicated to users who like the layout of their old film slrs. we are teaching the young now that all these gizmos you see nowadays are gadgets that cameras are supposed to have.
let’s take back the camera for photographers!