Thom Hogan's yearly survey (link)

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
G1Houston
Senior MemberPosts: 2,255Gear list
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+1, make the camera simple!!!
In reply to mosswings, 6 months ago

mosswings wrote:

ebuddha wrote:

ehazera wrote:

Oh no, not another "perfect camera" fools wish list.

Thom is the antithesis of a fool. However, Nikon could easily be the fictional business that Dilbert always made fun of.

I'm a huge Nikon fan, always have been. But, after a decade of amazing improvements in IQ, Thom hits the nail on the head by recommending that it's time to clean up the UI - not only because DSLRs have become way too crowded with unnecessary features but also because in the last 10 years, the world (thank you Steve Jobs) has grown accustomed to a very clean, and hence more functional, UI.

+1.

I do believe the proposal of camera setup through a secondary device (no menus) is a stalking horse meant to demonstrate a point - that camera manufacturers wear UI complexity as a badge of honor rather than see it as a demonstration of their failure to create an effective user-oriented tool. However, I don't agree with his proposal to make the camera dependent upon a smartphone for setup. That presumes that two complex electronic devices will always be present and functional. I would vote for the additional capability for by-phone setup, but would want to retain setup autonomy. That being said, with all shooting parameters being directly controlled as in his description, the need for menu diving falls dramatically.

This is indeed not an attempt to build the ideal camera with all the features we want.  In fact, Thom is apparently a fan of Apple and notes Apple's ability to take things out in order to return with a product that is simpler and intuitive to use.  It takes a fool to make simple things (FM2 any one?) complicated but it takes a genius to make complicated things simple.

Look at the FM2, why we ended up with a modern day camera with layers after layers of menu and yet we still cannot set the camera ideally?  Why when D90, D5x00, and alike has an ISO button, we still need to go into the menu to turn auto ISO on and off?

I do think a separate software to configure the camera is a great idea, using either a smartphone (which we carry every where) or a computer, because they are better designed for navigation through complex layers of options.  In fact Apple's genius in the design of the iPod was to make the device simple by allowing it to do the basic things we need from a player, turn it on/off, adjust the volume, and find the music.  (In the latest Apple TV, they even eliminate the On/Off switch!) The complexity of loading the music, configure the device, sort and create play lists are the job of iTune, which they created. The problem with this approach however is the competence of Nikon in the software department.  To say they are not strong in this area is an understatement.

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