How did we survive?

Started Jan 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: It's all a matter of perspective
In reply to orangganjil, Jan 19, 2013

Apart from those that stick their modern cameras into auto-everything, I feel that, to the contrary, things were simpler in my younger days.

Sure you had to learn the basics of photography but that wasn't too hard. These learnings still apply and are still useful in the current automated world.

While many of the modern features are indeed useful and powerful tools, there are so many settings to the features, modes, etc., that need to be right. Unless you know what you are doing and also how the features might work to assist your ultimate goal, it could easily overwhelm a novice.

In the old days all you had to do was choose a film - which fixed the ISO (ASA) for the duration, choose a lens - which fixed the focal length & perspective, set the exposure by selecting shutter and aperture, focus, shoot and it was done. Apart from focusing that is effectively only 2 parameters to look after on the shoot.

How many buttons, dials, menu options and permutations are there to get wrong on a modern camera?

Of course there are fully automated point and shoots (PAS) with basic controls. But even they are not simple enough for some. I have a friend who managed to come back from a summer holiday on the beautiful, colourful Lake Garda in Italy with a set of accidentally B&W shots. They came to me asking what they had done wrong and 'could I fix them'? Unfortunately there are limits to my talents, although switching the camera out of mono was a start

Every additional button and option as we progress up from PAS through enthusiast to Pro camera models is another level of complexity and correspondingly increased jeopardy for the unwary and even the pro. There is a limit to how many parameters can be checked and how often. Switch one or more by design or by accident and the outcome is a scary proposition. Not nice if you are 'the pro' at a wedding. In the heat of a busy shoot I can end up shooting at higher ISOs than required having forgotten to switch it down after stepping outside. I usually get a clue from the shutter and aperture settings but it can still take a short while to notice.

So we should appreciate the wonderful technology we have, but whether it is simpler is a matter of perspective (like a zoom lens).

Norman Young

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