Over Complicated Photography

wjiang

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All that this customisation gives you is different camera styles in the same body. Previously you would have to buy a different camera to have one better suited to a particular niche, now you configure it to what your needs are. I've configured my cameras, and basically never have to menu dive except to a) load a preset and b) format the SD card. Definitely no need to overcomplicate when out shooting.
 

kinlau

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I used to have different film bodies loaded up with different films, b&w, color neg, slide, different speeds etc. Then there’s development, I still have a dozen rolls undeveloped waiting for me to setup the darkroom again.
Then there’s the fun of interchangeable focusing screens, motordrives, finders.

My G9 pretty well includes all of the above in one body, but I also still use my now 10 year old Canon 5Dm2 or even the 15 year old 1Ds.

It’s only as complicated or as simple as you choose to make it.
 

agentlossing

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The parallel can be made between cars and cameras these days. We just traded up to a '17 Jeep, the whole thing is so computer-driven it's kind of a weird experience. Obviously computers have controlled cars for years, but the increasing levels of complexity have resulted in a lot more direct control leaving the user and being decided for you. The nine-speed (!) auto transmission is definitely doing its thing rather than responding directly to the inputs. There's a backup camera. Passing indicators. My previous Jeep as a stripped-back cheaper trim with a manual transmission, but even today's manuals feel less direct with dual clutch flywheels and less feedback.

Cameras have likewise gotten more capable, but more complex. You can do more, but it is at the expense of simplicity. If you want to go backwards, you have to buy a "classic."
 
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Complicated was when one had to thread film through a spool in a completely dark space, measure out chemicals with a balance, mix them into solutions, warm or cool solutions to the right temperature, develop the film meanwhile keeping the temperature under control and watch the second hand move as life drifts away, fix the film, rinse the film, hang it out to dry, then look at the negatives to decide which one to print, put the thing into a frame and slide it into the enlarger, in a room with dim red light, put a sheet of expensive printing paper on the enlarger base, enlarge, frame, focus, dodge and burn if you know how, expose it for the right amount of time, develop the paper, fix it, rinse it, hang it up to dry, turn on the light and take a look, if not happy, turn off light and switch on red light and try again. This, only the black and white version.

Give me modern complication and more of it!
 

drd1135

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I turn stuff off. I try for only exposure and AF controls, and I tend to stick with single point. If I don’t use a control on a regular basis, i simply forget what I assigned to the button. I turn them off because if I hit them by accident I miss shots.
 
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agentlossing

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Complicated was when one had to thread film through a spool in a completely dark space, measure out chemicals with a balance, mix them into solutions, warm or cool solutions to the right temperature, develop the film meanwhile keeping the temperature under control and watch the second hand move as life drifts away, fix the film, rinse the film, hang it out to dry, then look at the negatives to decide which one to print, put the thing into a frame and slide it into the enlarger, in a room with dim red light, put a sheet of expensive printing paper on the enlarger base, enlarge, frame, focus, dodge and burn if you know how, expose it for the right amount of time, develop the paper, fix it, rinse it, hang it up to dry, turn on the light and take a look, if not happy, turn off light and switch on red light and try again. This, only the black and white version.

Give me modern complication and more of it!
You don't find the modern form of complication (press these buttons and go through this set of menus to get an end result) to be rather less satisfying to do than the kinetic, real-world substance that you describe? I know I do.
 
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You don't find the modern form of complication (press these buttons and go through this set of menus to get an end result) to be rather less satisfying to do than the kinetic, real-world substance that you describe? I know I do.
Well, I did think about setting up a dark room when I finally could afford to, because I was never any good at the craft when I was active in the school photography club, and I dearly wanted to have a chance to get good at it.

But before I took action, digital came along and I got a job that required a lot of traveling and time away from home. Years go by, and I now find the digital tech much easier to handle. Realistically speaking, I find that the first step of capturing a good image in camera is already challenging enough for me and when I do get an image I like, I get sufficient satisfaction.

But, never say never.
 

Petrochemist

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One man's useless feature is another's reason for buying.
I would generally think a burst rate of 60fps was excessive, but on Monday at the club we were reviewing some shots from a waterbomb bursting shoot. Three successive shots from a 6ofps series were very different. The first showed the pin just starting to pop the balloon, the next has nearly no rubber visible & lots of fine spray expanding in all directions, the third just shows the water hanging in the air, with all the fine spray disappeared (little change is seen in the following shots just waves through the water & it's gradual drop out of frame). Getting one of the first two of those shots with a slower frame rate would take a vast number of tries (several others at the shoot never managed more than the water in the air shot).
 

agentlossing

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One man's useless feature is another's reason for buying
And that's the real reason why all of our cameras are so complicated. We have to buy them as designed to appeal to the widest range of users, not tailored just for us. It's the reality of mass market consumer devices, and the companies that make them couldn't turn a profit if they weren't designed this way. It's still annoying, but I don't have Leica $$$ to spend on a specialized, simplicity first camera. You exit the mass market and you end up paying for the niche features (or lack thereof!).
 

Petrochemist

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And that's the real reason why all of our cameras are so complicated. We have to buy them as designed to appeal to the widest range of users, not tailored just for us. It's the reality of mass market consumer devices, and the companies that make them couldn't turn a profit if they weren't designed this way. It's still annoying, but I don't have Leica $$$ to spend on a specialized, simplicity first camera. You exit the mass market and you end up paying for the niche features (or lack thereof!).
It would be nice if they let us customise the menus more. A single screen you can copy your favourite options (from ANYWHERE in the menus) to would be enough for most people. Some of my cameras have configurable fast menus, but I usually find one or two regularly wanted functions that can't be put there.
 

Brownie

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In the 80's I made the jump from a Pentax K-1000 to a first generation Minolta Maxxum 7000, the first fully automated (including focus and film advance) consumer camera. It kind of made me lazy. Even though I could do everything manually, I felt like "Why?" That was the whole purpose for having such a modern beast.

Cameras these days are far more complicated, but like many here I've stuck pretty much to the basics. I have a single custom program mode I use for a specific purpose that has a few settings like Exp. Comp., Focus, center weighted metering, etc., but by and large everything else is normal. If I don't shoot in that mode, I shoot in manual.

Anytime I start feeling too good about myself I break out a film camera and shoot a role. It puts things back in perspective. With the cost of a good used manual SLR body and a few lenses under $100 they're within just about everyone's reach. And not only does it make you think, it's a lot of fun.
 

agentlossing

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The Ricoh GR III doesn't feel too complicated to me, which is nice. There are bells and whistles, but I use them so seldom that I get confused trying to find some of them when I look for them. but all other features are programmable, so I can put them where I want them. And there are only just enough buttons to get things done. It's a good model for accessibility without overt complication.
 

agentlossing

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Anytime I start feeling too good about myself I break out a film camera and shoot a role. It puts things back in perspective. With the cost of a good used manual SLR body and a few lenses under $100 they're within just about everyone's reach. And not only does it make you think, it's a lot of fun.
Or a fixed lens rangefinder, like my Ricoh 500G. It's been really fun using the simple little thing (operates either shutter priority or full manual, and has a good meter), and it feels very refreshing to shoot that way.
 

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