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-   -   The lure of the uncomplicated camera (http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=43956)

Ricoh 11th January 2017 11:18 AM

The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
This http://35mmc.us8.list-manage.com/tra...d&e=c75fd457ce puts into words the way I feel about complicated cameras. Last night I had to dig out the instruction manual for my EM5 MK 1 to enable me to set back button focus. If a camera needs a 300 page instruction manual it's far too complicated. Would you agree?

Graham_of_Rainham 11th January 2017 11:43 AM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
One of the reasons my cameras are always set to iAuto when in the bags...

They are a bit like the 365 piece DiY tool set, that you only ever use the hammer, pliers and a few screwdrivers. :rolleyes:

While there are many features I don't use, the ones that do get used a lot work exceptionally well.

*chr

Imageryone 11th January 2017 12:46 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
The most annoying thing I find is when I forget to reset menus and then try to use the camera on another subject, by the time you reset, the moment is lost!

I do use my EM-5, but ALL the menus are switched off, so, as far as I am concerned, a waste of space. My priority is the picture, editing is for the correct programme.
But, as the others know, I learn't with simple film cameras where I had to make the decisions. If Olympus ever make a professional digital camera with Manual and Aperture only and an exposure control button I will be first in the line to buy.

iso 11th January 2017 06:25 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Steve - if you were not north of the barbed wire, I would be running up the motorway to give you a hug - and several beers *chr
Lets try to keep this thread going - there may be other lost souls like us who could do with some succour. *yes

Petrochemist 11th January 2017 09:22 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ricoh (Post 403614)
If a camera needs a 300 page instruction manual it's far too complicated. Would you agree?

No just the camera is badly designed, if you need to refer to it often. I suspect 30 pages or more is actually photography basics you'd have no use for.

A camera can have loads of complicated options, without being difficult to use in the standard modes.

I'd say that my film cameras where a lot more complicated in many ways. I had to know which film would give the result I wanted, and with the oldest ones estimate the exposure settings and focus without any help from the camera.

I've heard reports that the Panasonic menus are easier to find your way round than Olympus ones. A shame if true because Olympus cameras generally look better otherwise.

There have been cameras I've been asked to help with at workshop sessions where this isn't the case - even just finding how to change the aperture can prove awkward on someone else's camera. (Last time it proved to be a thin control round the D pad that I couldn't see was there at all.)

Bassman51 11th January 2017 10:14 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Without a doubt, the Olympus menus in particular are complex. Part of this is bad or no design - features get added over time, and a menu structure that seemed fine in a simpler time becomes so much spaghetti. The other part is the tremendous configurability of the camera. With my E-M1, I found that I was able to shoot most of the the without referencing the menus - but only after it was setup, which took some time.

A number of reviewers have complained about the E-M1ii menus, which changed somewhat from the first version. I find it's a step in the right direction. You can't win - keep the old menu structure even as the feature set grows and it is increasingly disorganized, or reorganize a bit and get complaints that it has changed.

David M 12th January 2017 12:39 AM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
My bodies are set up as a digital OM2. I wonder if Yoshihisa Maitani would be happy about the gimmick laden models bearing the OM designation these days.

Ricoh 12th January 2017 10:29 AM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David M (Post 403698)
My bodies are set up as a digital OM2.

How do you do that, I'm interested to know. Clearly it's a compromise, acknowledging Olympus decided to make most of the buttons and knobs customisable, meaning wheel 1 and 2 have no absolute value, they keep rotating until your finger gets tiered. Panasonic are slightly better with aperture setting directly on the lens, well on some, not on all, eg the 15/1.7, but at least the camera body communicates with electronic-glass.

snaarman 12th January 2017 11:47 AM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
This is one thing the old E1 got right in my humble opinion. A SPAM dial with a lock button (so it doesn't get knocked into some funny mode), no funny modes like "scene" or "art" to confuse you, and a fairly simple menu system. It has one button per function (rather than multiple re-assignable buttons and a mad menu). Excellent.

If they made a m43 E1 style pro camera with no video features, no flash, and six pre-assigned buttons that I would be tempted. However we left behind less is more some time ago. The only sort of more these days is more more :-)

Ricoh 12th January 2017 12:12 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
'SPAM', I like it :)
In my 'humble' opinion there is absolutely NO need for the PASM dial; assigning it to ISO would be a far, far better use. Remembering that aperture is primarily used for the control of DoF, one is left with two controls for exposure. Assigning wheel 1(I forget the exact terms and designation used by Olympus - perhaps I need to refer to that 300 page instruction manual again!) to SS, and if they must control aperture on the camera body (how counter intuitive is that) wheel 2 (ie the other one) for the control of aperture.

wornish 12th January 2017 01:30 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
This thread is starting to show what the challenge is. Different people like different menu and dial layouts. A newbie to photography has different needs to an experienced user so there is no one answer. The Oly menu system is just different to the Pano one which is different to Canon which is different to Nikon it goes on and on.

If you used the camera for one kind of shooting in the main then you forget the other functions due to lack of practice, that happens with all cameras. The Oly cameras are trying to please everyone but you can't please all the people all the time as the saying goes.

drmarkf 12th January 2017 02:55 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
I've adapted reasonably well to the E-M1, -5ii, and the Fuji ethos-es.

Although coming to it late I do like the Fuji's top-plate speed and +/- dials, with aperture round the lens, and I can understand how people take to them immediately, especially if they've used film cameras back in the day.

The real killer for Oly, though, is that once you've set them up to suit they can be adapted to match a whole load of different ways of working. This works very well indeed for the E-M1 (seemingly also the ii) which has got plenty of customisable hardware dials, buttons and levers, but slightly less well for the 5ii where you give up configurability and some handling speed for small size.

I'm now even coming round more to appreciate the handling of the Sony A7Rii: the whole camera is designed for 'deliberate' shooting and is never going to be a speed star. However, once you've set up what useful stuff you can on the Fn menu on the rear screen (and stopped cursing the facts that you can't touch the screen to focus, plus there are some features that can't be put on the Fn menu) it all makes a lot more sense.

Phill D 12th January 2017 08:33 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
I don't find my EM1 complicated at all. Just leave it on Aperture priority all the time and it's fine. It's only when I knock that dratted lever by mistake that it all goes pear shaped :D Just cause it's complicated doesn't mean you have to use it complicated.

David M 12th January 2017 10:26 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by snaarman (Post 403715)
This is one thing the old E1 got right in my humble opinion. A SPAM dial with a lock button (so it doesn't get knocked into some funny mode), no funny modes like "scene" or "art" to confuse you, and a fairly simple menu system. It has one button per function (rather than multiple re-assignable buttons and a mad menu). Excellent.

If they made a m43 E1 style pro camera with no video features, no flash, and six pre-assigned buttons that I would be tempted. However we left behind less is more some time ago. The only sort of more these days is more more :-)

Or a three position switch, manual, off, auto (aperture priority). Oh, wait, that would make it an OM2. I've never used S or P so more redundant features.

Ricoh 12th January 2017 10:35 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David M (Post 403750)
Or a three position switch, manual, off, auto (aperture priority). Oh, wait, that would make it an OM2. I've never used S or P so more redundant features.

I can (Donald) Trump that: One switch, off /on. Leaving Aperture, SS, ISO and Focus all being separate dedicated controls with logical placement.

David M 12th January 2017 10:44 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ricoh (Post 403752)
I can (Donald) Trump that: One switch, off /on. Leaving Aperture, SS, ISO and Focus all being separate dedicated controls with logical placement.

My bodies are permanently set to aperture priority. I use manual focus primes a lot of the time so the aperture setting is on the lens. All I have to do is turn the camera on to start shooting.

iso 14th January 2017 07:29 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Bump - Just would like to keep this on going

Ricoh 14th January 2017 07:55 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by iso (Post 403915)
Bump - Just would like to keep this on going

Do you like uncomplicated cameras, and if so do you have deep pockets?

iso 14th January 2017 08:03 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ricoh (Post 403929)
Do you like uncomplicated cameras, and if so do you have deep pockets?

Well no - I am sure I could find a Brownie 127 in some sort of shop :)

Ricoh 16th January 2017 05:43 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
The mega-hyper-superfluous dad's cam.: http://35mmc.us8.list-manage2.com/tr...2&e=c75fd457ce

nuff said!

iso 16th January 2017 06:52 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ricoh (Post 404098)
The mega-hyper-superfluous dad's cam.: http://35mmc.us8.list-manage2.com/tr...2&e=c75fd457ce

nuff said!

Steve - Think I will stick to the 127, regretting ever getting rid of the Spotmatic :)

drmarkf 16th January 2017 08:41 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ricoh (Post 404098)
The mega-hyper-superfluous dad's cam.: http://35mmc.us8.list-manage2.com/tr...2&e=c75fd457ce

nuff said!

That's very funny, and in many ways correct!

However, one could actually write the same stuff about the E-M1ii. And dare I mention the digital Leicas??? (Sorry!)

As ever, it's the purpose for which you use these expensive and specialist tools that matters, and how well you know them, and the pleasure you get from this.

Actually, if you want a really good laugh about the A7Rii, spend some time on the dpreview Sony Full Frame Forum. Talk about beholden to the equipment and detachment from reality...

Ricoh 16th January 2017 09:38 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
I quite enjoy this blog by Hamish's Gill, he speaks plainly and is also quite entertaining from time to time.
Although I have no experience of the Sony brand, the A7Rii does appear to be the equivalent of the Swiss Army knife when it comes to cameras, having something for everyone, but possibly at the expense of added complexity - which leads back to an earlier blog 'the lure of the uncomplicated camera'.
Actually with regard to the Leica, the M240 is one of the simplest digital cameras having a very light menu system, being intuitive with little need for the instructions supplied. Yet, with the imminent release of the camera's successor (rummerd to be announced this week, 18th or 19th) there is talk that Leica will be simplifying the M10, as it were going back to its roots, like a digital M3.

drmarkf 16th January 2017 10:07 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Yes, I mentioned Leicas partly since the cost is a such a complication to many of us... ;)

There's no doubt that the A7Rii is a very specialist tool, and people tie themselves up in knots over on dpreview trying to justify it for every purpose. Therein lies madness.

So far I'd say it has some very strong advantages and some equally strong disadvantages, and as long as you can play to its strengths and avoid the weaknesses it's great.

Positives
Massively detailed files and reasonable IBIS: so you can crop most images by at least 50% and that gets round the need to carry those ridiculously sized FF tele zoom lenses for general photography.

Massive dynamic range, so I'm doing a lot less HDR and exposure blending for landscape.

Amazing high-ISO capabilities: in fact it's virtually ISOless above 640. I'm playing around with night shooting at ISO 3200 3 stops underexposed and pulling up the shadows: very good, and not significantly noisier than my previous A7S under similar conditions. Works really well with the high DR prevalent in night-time city streets, and you get much less burned-out highlights.

Negatives
The menu system is worse than Oly's, although I've now learned to use the Fn menu properly, which has helped a lot. There aren't enough hardware buttons/dials/levers and you can't allocate all the useful menu choices to these.

A tiltable rear screen that doesn't allow you to touch-focus. Daft.

It's slow. Let's face it, this is a specialist machine for considered, deliberate shooting, especially for landscape. Although it's great for night-time street, for street photography generally it's comically slow - you can't use silent shutter in drive mode, and if it's gone to sleep, you've turned on the E-M1, set ISO, aperture & shutter speed, tap focussed and shot 5 frames before the Sony has woken up!

It's not properly weather-proofed, and I'm not trusting a camera costing this much in the rain. The dpreview gang don't seem to believe this, but they need to listen, for example, to the Tripod landscape podcast, which recently reported a load of A7Rii owners with frozen shutter buttons on an Iceland workshop.

Small and expensive lens choice (but I'm well served for my purposes by the tiny 35mm f2.8 and good and not-too-heavy 16-35mm f4 from Sony-Zeiss, so this doesn't bother me too much).

pdk42 16th January 2017 11:27 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Well, I'm not in agreement with the general gist of this thread for several reasons:

- Whilst the basic aperture, shutter, exp comp & ISO settings are of course the most important controls, different people like them setup in different ways. If a particular manufacturer only did it one way then there would certainly be some proportion of the buying public who would dislike it and not buy. Me, I like to use A mode most of the time with aperture set on the front dial and exp comp on the rear with ISO being accessible from pressing the "rec" button. The menus allow me to set it that way. I do the setting once and then assign it to a Myset/Cust Fn. Simple. If you prefer other combinations, then you can do that too.

- Focus settings are equally important and subject to user preference. Me, I like back-button focus with no face detect unless I'm photographing people - in which case I like focus on the shutter button with face detect. So, I've got two Mysets/Cust Fns set that way and swap between them. Works great. Again, I set it once and then don't touch it. Then if you use manual lenses, you'll want peaking and/or magnification - again, something to setup once and leave. Things like AF-home are a god-send too so they get assigned to a function key.

- I use long-exposure a lot in landscape photography so I want a Myset/Cust Fn set for LiveTime or LiveComp with Live View Boost on, screen undimmed (usually shooting in daylight) and a bunch of other settings. That way I can set the camera on a tripod, select the Myset and I'm done. The camera does exactly what I want.

I could go on. The point is that I get to know what the camera can do at leisure in my armchair and then set it up just the way I want it. I learn that setup so that it becomes second nature in my hands. Voila - it's not complicated at all.

Now, maybe you don't want to do any of this and just have basic "M" mode with shutter/aperture/ISO and simple AF (or even MF). You do that too (or buy Fuji :)).

Ricoh 16th January 2017 11:55 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Then again, assuming you're not an anorak, you can always get a Leica M9, Typ240 or the upcoming M10 (or possibly M11?).

pdk42 17th January 2017 02:50 AM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ricoh (Post 404138)
Then again, assuming you're not an anorak, you can always get a Leica M9, Typ240 or the upcoming M10 (or possibly M11?).

I'm sure that Leica gear is great, for lots of reasons, but I can't see my buying one just for the manual controls!

drmarkf 17th January 2017 07:46 AM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pdk42 (Post 404139)
I'm sure that Leica gear is great, for lots of reasons, but I can't see my buying one just for the manual controls!

Yup, and I am most certainly not knocking Leica, but you can get pretty much the same range and layout of manual controls with an excellent hybrid VF by getting a X100 series. Leica is about some different things than that for me.

Ricoh 17th January 2017 08:47 AM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Composing with both eyes open, does that ring a bell with anyone? :)
And with a fully manual camera, only the operator to blame if things get screwed up.
When I first used the RF, I thought what the hell have I done, a big mistake came to mind. For one thing I had to focus then guess or estimate the depth of field, plus sort the exposure. It meant relearning all I had forgotten having used automatic cameras for too long. But now, I absolutely love the range finder.

On the other hand mirrorless has a lot to offer, and I could be tempted by the Sony I've just read about. My elderly u4/3 kit suffers when ISO is dialled-up, but the A7Rii seems to be the ultimate camera for noiseless digital. It begs the question, is there any need for the MkIII other than to invigorate the market to generate more sales.

drmarkf 17th January 2017 11:40 AM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
I have a fairly short list of practical A7Rii improvements I'd like to see:

- Properly weatherproof body (I suspect this is a major reason a lot of serious landscape photographers haven't switched from pro DSLRs).

- Faster processor and image pipeline so it writes and runs faster and you can use at least 4 to 5fps drive with the eshutter.

- Touch screen for focus point choice and movement, both for landscape on a tripod and street shooting. You also need to be able to access the Fn 'spreadsheet' menu choices directly from the touch screen.

- A rethink of the hard buttons/dials/wheels: there should be at least one more, plus more of the menu choices need to be configurable to at least some of these, and there should be more 'myset' equivalents. The often-criticised menu system would be fine as long as you could set it up like you can with an E-M1 i or ii.

That would be a killer camera for me.

Trouble is, they're going to increase megapixels much further (rumours say 70-90MP, for heck's sake) and probably do more to increase CAF performance rather than improving throughput processing rate.

It's also going to be 3.8k, I bet.

drmarkf 17th January 2017 11:49 AM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ricoh (Post 404145)
Composing with both eyes open, does that ring a bell with anyone? :)

Yes, of course I agree!
Trouble is, I'm very left-eye dominant, and seeing the whole scene via my left eye while applying my right to a left-side-of-the-body VF isn't an option. I have tried.

Good RFs allow you to see at least some of the developing scene around the image, but this is one reason I've switched largely to using flip screens (looking down, like with a TLR) for street - I've taught myself to take in a wider view in front of me, and it's possible to have quick, regular glances up without affecting the aim of the camera.

Ricoh 17th January 2017 12:41 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
And there was me agreeing with Hamish Gill about the virtues of an uncomplicated camera. However, a weather resilient A7 with high ISO capability would be a 'killer' camera, one I'd find hard to resist.
I don't know how the wider market would respond to the idea of having fewer buttons and knobs on a camera (less is more the way I see it) and making the camera configurable via a laptop (I mean any external computer running a set-up programme). That way you could make the ergonomics clean, whilst allowing the 'players' to play with the settings rather than actually take pictures.

pdk42 17th January 2017 02:27 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
It seems that Nicholas Goodden has swapped to Sony totally and is now bad mouthing Olympus:



https://www.nicholasgooddenphotograp...ro-four-thirds

drmarkf 17th January 2017 02:51 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pdk42 (Post 404184)
It seems that Nicholas Goodden has swapped to Sony totally and is now bad mouthing Olympus:



https://www.nicholasgooddenphotograp...ro-four-thirds

Well, good luck to him. There are plenty of people doing that after moving between brands in all directions and what's so special about him, eh!

drmarkf 17th January 2017 02:56 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
By the way, he implies in that post that he's had serious issues with Olympus for ages that he hasn't mentioned publicly. What does that say about his integrity and why should we now believe what he says about Sony?

Honestly, trolling about gear is so mindlessly boring!

Phill D 17th January 2017 04:30 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Doesn't sound like a very professional attitude to me. Surely someone who is trusted to be an Olympus ambassador should have lengthy discussions with Olympus first and only after failing to get satisfaction then move systems. I fail to see why even at that point there is the need to bad mouth your previous supporter (sponsor?) unless it's just to stir up notoriety on the internet at Olympus's expense. As I said not a very professional thing to do in my book.

Crazy Dave 17th January 2017 05:14 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
I followed the link and then proceeded to here.

https://www.nicholasgooddenphotograp...eet-portraits/

Not impressed.

David

pdk42 17th January 2017 05:37 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crazy Dave (Post 404197)
I followed the link and then proceeded to here.

https://www.nicholasgooddenphotograp...eet-portraits/

Not impressed.

David

Obviously shots taken with Olympus gear! I liked them actually.

Ricoh 17th January 2017 06:42 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Irrespective of camera, the images are quite amateurish in my opinion. The photographer has not considered adequately the distracting background. This would be acceptable to a degree for candid unposed shots, but not the case here, these were clearly posed and therefore should be of a higher standard.

iso 17th January 2017 06:44 PM

Re: The lure of the uncomplicated camera
 
Ricoh - you are surrounded - douse the camp fire and steal away into the night. Away from the buzz words, away from techno, away from camera brain surgeons, until you find 'a good shot' :)


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