Automation: Death of camera skills?

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MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 41,439
Automation: Death of camera skills?

I noticed on the thread about the new cheap ttArtisan lens that some managed to complain because it did not have Auto Focus.  (At US$80 ....)

It seems that as technology advances skills die proportionately.  But learning skills and being able to use them productively is part of our living skills and without living skills we have nothing left but an increasing need to be entertained - be it by watching sport, bands or just moving pictures.

I am not against technology - it has made life much easier and it can be affordable.

However the more easy life the less skills needed.

Lets not get carried away by auto everything.

Manual focus lenses are actually interesting to use and can indeed be more precise.  With magnified screens and focus peaking assist manual focus has become much more do-able than it once was.

Surely there is room still for basic cameras that allow skills to be more fully developed and used?

No IBIS, no video, just PASM and a great sensor in a compact body, with MF lenses ...

But adding these “making it easy” extras to cover a wider range of photographic needs does not cost that much more.  I am afraid that we would expect a small(er) more compact camera without the easy-shoot extras would not be significantly cheaper to make and would be bound to fail on the market place. Tiny systems camera bodies died ... Nikon 1, Pentax Q and Panasonic GM1/5 - they were not cheap enough for the mass market and if they had been sold cheap then they would have been dumbed down in construction to the price that the market would pay - inevitably becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy - small cameras  are “no good”.

Of course if we like our gear basic - then we choose to switch off or ignore the fancy bits included to make the gear easier to use or more versatile.

But MF lenses can surely be made much cheaper as some of these MF lenses coming out of China demonstrate very well.  Smaller as well.  M4/3 was supposed to be a format for a more compact photography kit but size seems to have become more important (larger that is) .... and small?  The market says “smaller should be cheaper” and shrinking market says that camera bodies need to be more expensive.

So I am lucky that I stocked up on GM5 bodies and there are some dinky little cheap MF lenses coming out of China that make legacy MF lenses look expensive and wanting.

So is the forum at the crossroads where a tiny but quite capable 7Artisans 35/1.2 lens specifically made for the M4/3 mount is not technically adapted but serves much the same purpose but is much physically smaller than the Takumar 35/3.5 M42 lens (itself a marvel of compact and sharp)?

And yes,I know that the Takumar is 135 film FF sensor capable - but made for M4/3 allows the 7Artisans to be much smaller and faster.

Is this the Chinese third party lens industry riding to the rescue of the 4/3 and aps-c market where all that is missing is a restored GM5 camera line to give capable compact cameras another run on the market.

Surely the GM5 has everything that a proper systems camera ever needed (without the frilly bits).

Ah ... but the sensor that was once needed so that our 135 film legacy lenses could utilise their full image circle - that sensor has now become the fashion.

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Tom Caldwell

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
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