Interesting analysis by Thomas Hogan- II

Started Sep 20, 2008 | Discussions thread
Thom Hogan Forum Pro • Posts: 13,660
Re: Thom I was thinking yesterday about that-

Raist3d wrote:

what you said now on the iPod design and cameras. I was thinking that
the G1 with all the myriad of modes it's in the end MORE complicated
for a beginner.

Yes. But I was thinking of it the other way around: it is no simpler than the DSLR they claim to be a better choice than. Which starts to reduce the whole exercise to just one of size.

Having the difference scene modes- I am not so
sure...

Well, just in case a camera engineer is out there reading this, let me state what should be obvious but apparently isn't. Consumer cameras are forcing users to define the problem 100% before the camera will do the job of "automatically" setting the camera. There's nothing "automatic" about this, actually. You have to tell the camera if it's day or night, whether you're shooting motion or not, and a host of other things. Funny thing is, if the sensor is running all the time, you've got a data stream from which you should be able to figure out all those things. Nikon has played with a variant of this at the high end with the 3D Color Scene Matrix metering, which tries to figure out what it's looking at before applying a matrix algorithm. But there's so much more than can be done that just isn't. Some of this is that it takes some computing horsepower, and that equals cost, but even simple things aren't being done. I can list dozens.

A true consumer--and I still think the G1 is targeted at such consumers, not me--doesn't want to make 100 decisions or settings to take a picture. They want those decisions narrowed down to a few key ones, most notably the "when" to take the picture. Moreover, I'm really surprised by the fact that no camera really tries to analyze a picture after the fact and suggest how it can be improved. HP and Nikon have both done some work in this area, but imagine a camera that sees that the data is likely blurry and IMMEDIATELY and without prompting took a second putting in place decisions that should improve the chance of getting a better picture. THAT'S a consumer camera.

I think the only way I can think of, of an iPod design in cameras is
one that goes to the basics with manual controls... but to me that
requires expert ("in the know") use other than having one single
"iAuto" mode I guess...

Well, you've just joined the ranks of the camera engineers. You have to get out of the thinking box you're in and tackle the problem a different way. See the hints I've given above.

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Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (18 and counting)
http://www.bythom.com

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