Over Complicated Photography

fStop16

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I was just thinking. Years ago with our film cameras we would load our camera with film set the Aperture, set the Shutter Speed, Focus and take a photo. Send it out for processing , or go to the darkroom and do the processing ourselves.

Today my Olympus OMD E10 MKII has, in the Main Menu of 7 pages of settings. Each page can have up to 11 sub-menus, each sub-menu then can up to another 10 or so choices and so on and so on. Sometimes at my age I forget where I started. Somehow we make some choices.

We take our photo and go to the computer to process our image. With a choice of many programs, most now with Ai, we can remove objects , replace the sky , add a sun or sunbeams, so that when we are done it does not even look like the original scene.

I know this is considered progress, but sometimes I wonder at the expense of what. I just wondered what other people think. Do you think that we have gone overboard with the number of choices we have and over complicated photography.
 
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It’s not just photography, many things are like this. Your phone, your computer, even our microwaves. The good news is, we can just go out with a few basic settings and take pictures and the camera produces really nice JPEG’s most of the time.
 

Walter

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Well, in some way it's like my washing-machine. Lots of programmes with lots of options.
Yet within two years I've been happy with just using two of these.
Still it's reassuring that if I'd need a special programme it's there waiting for me. ;)
 

Equable

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It’s only going to get worse, (or better?). If a new camera doesn’t possess the latest, greatest thing we never knew we wanted, it will immediately be criticized as unworthy by those who expected more. Of something, anything, just more.
P.s. except the price, of course!
 
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PakkyT

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You can still just set up your exposure settings (shutter, ISO, and Aperture) and shoot without touching any of the other many menu items. Rather than thinking of those menu item as over complicating the process, think of them simply as options that can be used or ignored as you see fit. Same with post processing on your computer. Do as little (or none) or as much as you want,
 
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The :mu43: system stretches my comfort limits with self-correcting images to overcome optical issues. To have AI decide what I want my images to be is too far for me, as is replacing the sky with a 'better' one. Guess I'm a realism imager, such concepts aren't for me.

As to pages of options, it does overwhelm at times. Each new generation of cameras improves several tech issues but often removes something of value; I've found the AF/MF switch on the GX7 is more valuable to my shooting style than I had expected but I don't want a larger body just to re-acquire it. I wonder if some company will allow us to pre-select some features - not all-out modular like the GXR but a short list of features and firmware that we could order from the factory. Personally I'd take a GX1 body with a newer sensor and shutter - and the AF/MF switch :). OK tilt screen too, guess it's the GX7!
 

fStop16

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You can still just set up your exposure settings (shutter, ISO, and Aperture) and shoot without touching any of the other many menu items. Rather than thinking of those menu item as over complicating the process, think of them simply as options that can be used or ignored as you see fit. Same with post processing on your computer. Do as little (or none) or as much as you want,
First, thanks for your comment. I totally agree with you. But it seems that every new feature that is added to a new camera the price goes higher. It is becoming pretty expensive for new comers to enter into this hobby. Although you would not believe that with the cost of iPhones. : > )
 

fStop16

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Thanks for the Video post. If I would have seen this first, I may not have started my post. Actually I am looking for a camera that I can wind up and set it out the front door and have it come back with some great images. What a great hobby !
 

Walter

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Since I bought the Lumix LX100.2 I've come back to "old-style"-taking-pics. All options can be set from the outside very fast, no menues to click through. So I choose speed, shutter (and if necessary adapt ISO which I can do on the spot by turning the programmable wheel at the lens) ... and just wait while making the corrections till the green light says "OK, there you go".
Almost no post processing needed, everything comes out as wished.
And if the motif demands speed, I still have A, S and P or full programme that realizes automatically the motif and changes to macro if necessary. Your choice if you need brains for taking the pic or not, combined with a terrific zoom lens.
 

Walter

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Just one more thing: this "hardware-discussion" reminds me of a world-famous photographer who was invited to a dinner by a world-famous star cook (gourmet chef). When the cook welcomed him into his home, he told him how much he appreciated the photos he took and asked him what cameras he used for getting such beautiful photos. After a tremendous many-course dinner the photographer took the cook aside and told him how much he appreciated his meals and asked him what kind of stove he used for getting such perfect meals.
 
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Yep it’s gotten a bit silly! I’ve never been much into photo manipulation but do enjoy optimising images in Lightroom. That said, I’m old enough to have shot film and had my own darkroom like some others have. You learned to get it right in camera. You’d maybe dodge, burn and crop in the darkroom but that’s about it.

I recently bought a Pen-F and I’ve chosen it to ONLY shoot jpeg... creatively it challenges me and slows me down like film did.

I still shoot RAW on my EM1-2 and have shot RAW since about 2005 on my various cameras, but even then my emphasis has always been to try and get it right in camera.

That said, for the artists amongst us, the image manipulation tools available are mind blowing.
 

PakkyT

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But it seems that every new feature that is added to a new camera the price goes higher. It is becoming pretty expensive for new comers to enter into this hobby.
Ya I do agree with you there. But I would argue that camera and phone manufacturers are pushing in features to justify the higher prices they are trying to charge for their "premium" products. I don't think the features themselves are driving the costs. If you are going to charge people $1000+ US for a camera, then you better stuff it with all kinds of software tricks, right?
 

ac12

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It gives you options.
You can go from full manual, just like in the old film days.
Or you can go to the other end with pre-programmed scene modes, and just press the shutter button.
And everything in between.

The trick lies in selecting what option suits YOU, and the shooting situation.
I use all modes of PSAM, selecting whichever is appropriate for the shoot.
I have never used scene modes, but many of my students do. If that is what it takes to get them shooting then I'm all for it.
Setting to sport scene mode is a lot easier for them than setting shutter priority and selecting the appropriate shutter speed. For most of the students, EASY is better.​
Camera configuration is similarly configurable.
  • I like a 1/3 grid to help me keep the image level (I used the P screen on my Nikon F2 for the same reason), some want a CLEAR unobstructed screen.
  • I like seeing a lot of data in the EVF (histogram, level, etc), some don't.
  • I do NOT like face detect, as 50% of the time, it selects people that I do NOT want focused on.
  • I use single point AF, because in group AF my subject is likely to NOT be focused on. With single point I can specify where to focus.
  • Shooting at a concert, the e-shutter is a game changer. There is ZERO noise from the camera to disturb the audience or the video recorder.
The problem is selecting the appropriate configuration for you.
And IMHO, the factory defaults are not always appropriate.

The cameras are no more complicated than today's cell phone.
The funny thing is, for the teens and young adults of today who are brought up on it, the cell phone is EASY to use.
Whereas, for me some of the apps on the cell phone are more difficult to use than my camera. I had to have one of my students teach me how to use some of the apps. And they looked at me like "don't you know how to use it ????"
We each have our chosen skills, and the cell phone is not one of mine.
 

fStop16

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Thanks ac12, I somewhat agree with you. But sometimes "Setting to sport scene mode is a lot easier for them than setting shutter priority and selecting the appropriate shutter speed. For most of the students, EASY is better."
It seems that EASY is all to common with young people. I hope that you are not teaching photography where you let some program make a choice for you, I know you said you do not do it the EASY way. Sooner or later they will find that all things in life are not EASY. :thumbsup:
 

ac12

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Thanks ac12, I somewhat agree with you. But sometimes "Setting to sport scene mode is a lot easier for them than setting shutter priority and selecting the appropriate shutter speed. For most of the students, EASY is better."
It seems that EASY is all to common with young people. I hope that you are not teaching photography where you let some program make a choice for you, I know you said you do not do it the EASY way. Sooner or later they will find that all things in life are not EASY. :thumbsup:
EASY is not only to the kids but adults as well.
YEARS ago I had to deal with adults who were toooo lazy to read the instruction manual, and wanted to be told how do to something. RTFM.
Then later, I had to deal with adults in the tech field who should know to RTFM, yet they did not.
I respected those who "tried" to learn. But I had no patience for those who did not even try, and those who thought my time was less valuable than theirs. :mad:

The scene option breaks down in low light, as it has a max ISO of 6400. So for night and gym sports, they have to go PSAM, or the camera will underexpose the shot.
Unfortunately, I don't have a small dedicated photo team, as I did in high school. Because of the small class size, ALL the yearbook students shoot their own pics. So rather than teaching a small group who ARE interested in photography, I have to teach the entire class.

However there is a small group that is more interested in photography, so there is hope that I will get that photo group next year.

This is my third year with them. Each year I try to raise the bar higher. Pushing them in both photography as well as what photos they put into the yearbook.
 
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Bidkev

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I only shoot in manual or aperture priority mode with single centre small spot AF even for BIF. There's nothing in the remainder of my camera's technology, other than stacking, that I think could improve my results. I tried using tracking and multi square for BIF with my canon 7Dmkll but I even found that a hit and miss operation so abandoned it to relying upon my ability to hit the right focus spot as tracking often often chose the wrong spot. Perhaps (aka likely) :rolleyes: I'm just too thick or lazy to have mastered it but either way, I'm satisfied with what I produce with minimal knowledge of what my camera can likely do, or make easier.
 

drd1135

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Pros need the settings to tune their cameras for the particular job. AF has become a mess of settings for many cameras but that’s what some need for action. Enthusiasts could do with less but they want what the pros have.
 

Bushboy

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It was simple. Trip the shutter, spend a dollar.
We took our time and got it right. Well tried to...
Now every time I trip the shutter, it probably 10 mins on a computer. Or more! That’s the drag. And I find myself taking to many photos of crap. Crappy pics stealing my 10mins...
last week I was sick with cold, it was a time I spent cleaning out my closet. 3 days it took, deleted over 1000 waste of space pics....
Tidied up a thousand keepers.
Doing that made me think about the work involved in tripping the shutter.
Made me think about my picture taking hobby....
 

Pluttis

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The beauty of todays photography is that you can have it easy or "complicated" depending on how you want the work flow to be.

Personally i set up my camera once, after that i basically dont spend any time in the menus. I enjoy the postprocessing as much as taking the pictures, only use Photoshop/Lightroom and dont spend much time on processing the pictures.
 
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