Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.

Started Feb 2, 2014 | Discussions thread
The Incredible Hoke
The Incredible Hoke Contributing Member • Posts: 894
Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.

amalric wrote:

ShawnHoke wrote:

I find myself agreeing with the camera as a tool argument and I usually just want mine to do what I ask without menu diving. My favorite cameras I use are old manual film cameras, as they have a minimum of controls. For me, this usually results in more clarity of purpose, less frames used, and ultimately better photographs.

That said, depending on your digital camera, you can approach the same way. I normally use my FF Nikon DSLR, with its endless menus and options, in a very simplistic manner - manual or aperture priority with front and rear command dials as the main controls. I've got a button for ISO and WB if I need to switch either. I can't remember the last time I've had to open the menus of my DSLR. It's all in how you choose to use it.

Yes, I do the same, but it helps if the maker has the same purpose of the user, hence the success of Fuji as a Leica redux.

I am not familiar with FF that might have a more professional approach in the sense of simplicity/tool. I remember the old Nikon F or the Hasselblad which were marvels of simplicity, and as you mention sped up the photog.'s purpose i.e. the shot.

In this sense I compare v. much the camera to a bow, as in the art of archery, or perhaps to hunting with a bow. One must limit the controls to the strict necessary in order not to lose the target. Some things help, notably with low light, but then as in a modern weapon one might add them like night vision on a Picatinny, and ignore them when not needed.

(Nikon F did it even for the Exposure meter, which I found v. funny and distinctive - might be worth collecting

At any rate we are clearly discussing about a tool, not a jewel, although some tools might become works of art.


I should have explained the "FF DSLR" in my comment. My D700 has dedicated controls that allow you to not dive into menus or extra buttons. You can shoot on the fly and not take the camera from your eye as you are adjusting.

If someone hands me a D40 or a Canon Rebel, I'm always like "Is this thing on? How do I do this? Why can't I just do this?"

I like your archery comparison very much.

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