Dedicated Shutter Speed Dials are a Relic

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cs hauser
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Dedicated Shutter Speed Dials are a Relic
6 months ago

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there are substantially more photographers today who shoot with aperture priority than with shutter speed priority. Not only that, but shutter speed control is poorly implemented with dedicated dials. The practical range between 1/8000 sec to 1/4 sec is simply too wide, and there are only so many "ticks" in a dial. These dials have to compromise by offering only 1-stop increments of shutter speeds. In contrast, the practical range of aperture control is narrower --- usually from 1/1.4 to f/16. Dials can easily implement aperture control in half-stop increments in the same number of dial "ticks" as a shutter speed dial with full-stop increments.

For those two reasons, it makes more sense for modern cameras to offer a dedicated aperture control dial than a dedicated shutter speed control dial.

And yet so many "retro" style cameras opt to feature a dedicated shutter speed dial instead of an aperture control dial. This is one of those senseless features that exist for the sake of "retro being retro".

Dedicated shutter speed dials made sense in old film cameras because aperture can only be set using mechanical controls on the lens itself. This is no longer the case in modern camera systems. And so today a dedicated dial on the top plate is better used for aperture control than for shutter speed control. In terms of dedicated exposure dials for a modern camera, I would argue that exposure compensation is the most important, followed by either aperture control or ISO control. Shutter speed control is the leastimportant, and somehow these stylish new "retro" cameras insist on making it a design priority.

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