re: a lot of pressure on Sony now ... part-II

Started Jan 31, 2014 | Discussions thread
Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 36,760
Re: The ergonomics

Mike Fewster wrote:

jpr2 wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:

I am into ergonomic controls and intuitive to use and the Sony A7 type is only a pass mark at best in my book. No doubt that those who just use cameras and work around the deficiencies so a to hardly notice them find the A7 type just fine. Is the XT-1 better in the user experience than the A7 type?

Given that for some time all digital cameras have had enough performance for most purposes I can trade off some gee-whizz latest technology for the sheer pleasure of a camera that is (instantly) at one with my personal needs. This is even if it takes a day or so to patiently work through the manual and custom settings to make any camera a reflection of my photographic personality. I am not into awkwardly placed controls that "you get used to" or plinking around menus an sub-menus for some function that I use often, neatly by-passing sometimes very useful function that I never use and is in my face because I cannot move it out of sight.

Buttons hidden in crevices and wheels that can only be moved by running ones finger around the edge (rather than on the knurled flats where the finger should always be). Wheels that are either to ratchety and stiff or so free that changes are made inadvertently. Big red video buttons placed right under your thumb - not configurable to do anything else and always painted bright red like a target for a bull. A great irritation if you don't "do video". Flush fit buttons (especially those lined up in a row) which have to be looked at to be sure and often have the fingers pressing aimlessly groping at hard surface whilst trying to find them by touch in the dark. Controls placed in thumb or finger dislocating positions that are always assuredly the ones that you might use most often. Buttons scattered randomly where micro-spaces can be found by engineers rather than placed sensibly in locations found by designers using ergonomic principles.

Above all once some good egonomic layouts have been determined then throw it all away for some other witches breakfast whenever a new model eventuates.

I'm very much with you on this - daily pleasure of the photographic tool, working with my camera NOT against it, etc. are my major tenets in assessing a new gear. I was amazed and saddened recently here when a poster questioning ergonomics of his A7 was almost immediately hen-pecked into "you'll get used to it" position by a gang demanding and instant adherence to the A7s are worlds 8th wonder.

Hopefully the XT-1 will prove itself to be of different ilk - already plethora of external controls - starting with aperture rings on lenses has warmed my heart towards it. But of course only a real hands-on experience afield will answer this for sure


I agree with this line of thinking, for mine, the RX1 has it just about perfect. However, while I prefer barrel mounted aperture control and love smooth buttery action focus (both of which the rX1 provides) I can see some reasons for not doing this (as compared to wanting it) on a modern interchangeable lens camera. With barrel aperture I think you will be limited to lenses specifically designed for that camera. If not, I would want to look very closely at the ergonomics that give aperture over ride when using other lenses. One of the glories of the modern cameras is their ability to take a whole range of lenses from different sources. It may be possible on the Fujii, but I'd want to look very closely at how they did it.

Mike, we all right on target, my little rant was not meant to cover everything and you have rightly added lens barrel hardware. My point was that too often the engineers make a camera with incredible specifications causing near riot status on forums only to have them turn out to be a technical feast made by guys who use mobile phone cameras personally as their image capture medium.  Like all you have to say is "we made a FF sensor camera" and immediately it is a success story even if it was a lashed up pine box with clout nail heads sticking out for buttons. (I exaggerate a bit, it would need glass tumbler for a lens ....)

And the retort is always from the users of these cameras "what poor ergonomics?, I got used to it quickly enough".

I hope it is not too hot down there, us northerners by the sea are having a beautiful day, but I wish it would rain.

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Tom Caldwell

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