Is it worth contacting Sony to offer design tips?

Started Feb 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
parallaxproblem Veteran Member • Posts: 5,335
Re: Is it worth contacting Sony to offer design tips?

MrTaikitso wrote:

A break from actual photography questions...

I am an experienced UX (User Experience) guy, who also happens to own an NEX 5R.

My team and I have a robust portfolio of prior work and clients.

Probably like many, I feel strongly, that just a few tweaks to the industrial, control and menu design of the NEX cameras would make them eminently more usable, in particular the low to mid end models.

I just spent an afternoon at a family event, where the 5R's form factor made composing a delight. IE, Kodak Brownie box/large format camera shoot from the hip position made possible by the angled display, compact design etc. I simply blended in, people probably thought I was tucking my tie in. Likewise, when stuck behind people, I could raise the camera above everyone, with the display flipped downwards.

However, faffing around changing mode, ISO, Auto/Manual focus etc etc, made the whole actual photography process a nightmare, in particular as I have come from a GH2 and larger cameras with physical controls for each function. (Pentax do this best!) Yes, one can configure one or two buttons for specific functions. IE, lower menu button for AEL etc. But here are fundamental flaws with this concept that are beyond the scope of this post to discuss. Clue: Imagine if you got into a colleagues car, and the clutch was on the right, or even on the dashboard and required hand operation! Or if you had to open the glove box to switch the lights on. Etc.

I have come up with a design that could not only improve future NEX cameras, but also be applied in part to a good number of the current models. (Having handled them all, the 6 and 7 are obviously a lot better, but still not perfect.)

Which begs the question, does anyone have any experience with or think it worth while approaching Sony, or is it a case of NIH? IE, Not Invented Here.

(To date, our clients have been American firms, except LG, who are of course Korean. We have no experience in approaching Japanese firms. Cultural differences can mean that specific steps need to be taken, so any tips much appreciated.)

I am interested in doing this out of necessity, not so much fiscal motivations. That NEX sensor needs an ergonomically brilliant body whilst retaining it's superb engineering and aesthetic.



Surely all they need to do is add a few extra slots to the custom menu on the Fn button to easily make a massive improvement?

But you will notice that the Original NEX 5 only had three custom slots in its final firmware, the NEX 5N has 5 and the 5R has 6 - but I doubt 'memory' restrictions were responsible for not putting more slots in the Original NEX 5 nor the reason why the 5R only has 6 slots...

Also notice that the NEX 5R still has that annoying pre-flash, even pointlessly in Manual mode, which makes it near impossible to use for remote flash work (coincidence?) and Sony themselves offer no adaptor to allow this functionality.  If you want it then you need to also buy a NEX 6, or an Alpha series camera (or go on Ebay and get a dodgy third party item)

What I'm saying is that I sincerely wish you luck with your endevour and hope Sony listen, but I suspect that the NEX 5 series interface is how it is because Sony want it that way (howerever misguided that might be), not for any other reason

 parallaxproblem's gear list:parallaxproblem's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 NEX5R Sony a77 II
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