Manufacturer with intuitive menus?

Started 3 months ago | Questions
tko Forum Pro • Posts: 13,224
how about no menu?
1

Don't really use any menu on my Canon 5d. It has all the knobs and displays to do anything you want in the field. Sure, you might have to through the menu for initial set up, but that's it. Oh, every button and knob is customizable. Even flash compensation has a button. Separate controls for aperture and shutter speed and so on.

It also has a full screen quick "Q" menu with all the standard features on one screen, a customizable menu and custom presets. Only I never use all that stuff, just the physical controls.

That's what's great about a bigger body. Top screen LCD, top buttons, back buttons, front buttons.

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Charles2
Charles2 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,315
Re: Nikon's "My Menu" Feature . . .
1

yardcoyote wrote: Fuji's Q menu is similar,...

Some Fuji cameras also have a My Menu that you customize. It shows first when you press the menu button. I believe it is more customizable than the Q menu, which will be on the same camera.

Of course, for Android-style touch-and-swipe customizable screen menus, just pull out $7000 and get yourself a Hasselblad X1D ii (and its one bargain lens, the 45/4P):

https://newatlas.com/hasselblad-x1d-hands-on-photokina/45636/

Mark_A
Mark_A Forum Pro • Posts: 16,066
They all need getting used to ..
1

rb61 wrote:

Is there one camera manufacturer that stands out as a leader when it comes to intuitive menus?

Please ignore, if possible, stratospheric priced cameras.

They all need getting used to ..

I have used two Fuji cameras and now one Nikon and my experience is that the more you use the controls and navigate the menus the more they make sense to you.

My current camera has a mass of options in the menus, many I can ignore on a day to day basis, and it has a custom area where I can list the items I use most often, which is useful.

Anyhow, my angle, the more you use the menus the easier they become.

Mark_A

D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 26,919
Re: Not Sony

pforsell wrote:

rb61 wrote:

Is there one camera manufacturer that stands out as a leader when it comes to intuitive menus?

Please ignore, if possible, stratospheric priced cameras.

Thanks

Sony is the worst imaginable. They couldn't make a bigger mess even if they tried.

Reviews of Sony cameras usually say the menus have improved. Perhaps they are OK on the latest models ?

I have a Sony CD player with good sound and the worst ergonomics it is possible to devise. So it isn't just the cameras. Very strange.

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Sigma fp
TravelLurker New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Manufacturer with intuitive menus?

This might not be what people want to hear...but the best, clearest and easiest to use menus menus in cameras really are ....Apple and Android!

Sadly, another area where the traditional camera manufactures are lagging behind.

That aside Canon seem like clearest and have started to add in help/descriptor factors in some of the menu features - as in some text that explains what the menu function does.

It's a shame that this is really only a token gesture - with confusing things like custom settings or focus options there should be a full 'help' function built into the camera that explains what the different options do (without you having to dig out the manual, or go Googling)

pforsell
pforsell Veteran Member • Posts: 3,673
Re: Manufacturer with intuitive menus?
3

TravelLurker wrote:

This might not be what people want to hear...but the best, clearest and easiest to use menus menus in cameras really are ....Apple and Android!

Sadly, another area where the traditional camera manufactures are lagging behind.

That aside Canon seem like clearest and have started to add in help/descriptor factors in some of the menu features - as in some text that explains what the menu function does.

Have started to add?

My Nikon D2H (and every single one after that) from year 2003 has the "question mark" button that explains every menu option.

It's a shame that this is really only a token gesture - with confusing things like custom settings or focus options there should be a full 'help' function built into the camera that explains what the different options do (without you having to dig out the manual, or go Googling)

There is a full page of text for each option in my cameras. Not that I've needed them after the first time two decades ago, but it is there. I don't believe your assertion that Canon has only now started to add this functionality to some menu features.

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(unknown member) Regular Member • Posts: 221
Re: Manufacturer with intuitive menus?
1

Initially I was frustrated that DSLR manufacturers started "dumbing down" the cameras with things like help screens. I was afraid they would make the cameras less easy for experienced users.

But looking back, it was a smart thing to do. If you want to increase market share, you have to make products easier to use for more users.

mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 58,464
Re: Manufacturer with intuitive menus?

TravelLurker wrote:

This might not be what people want to hear...but the best, clearest and easiest to use menus menus in cameras really are ....Apple and Android!

Sadly, another area where the traditional camera manufactures are lagging behind.

Different philosophy. Apple and Android smartphones are designed as appliances. Camera manufacturers are still designing cameras as tools or instruments. Most anybody can walk up to an appliance and pretty much figure out how to operate it. Except for simple common tools or instruments, most require some training or instructions to operate them properly.

That aside Canon seem like clearest and have started to add in help/descriptor factors in some of the menu features - as in some text that explains what the menu function does.

It's a shame that this is really only a token gesture - with confusing things like custom settings or focus options there should be a full 'help' function built into the camera that explains what the different options do (without you having to dig out the manual, or go Googling)

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robgendreau Veteran Member • Posts: 7,488
Re: Manufacturer with intuitive menus?

What manufacturer?

Apple.

Or Samsung.

Hence yet one more reason why these other camera companies are struggling.

Or maybe Ricoh; their Theta app is clean, good looking, and super functional. And the only way to control the Theta.

Or GoPro; a good control app and it can even edit video.

Which makes it hard to understand why the dinosaur camera companies continue to make an interfaces, desktop software, and apps that look like they're wearing shag haircuts,  listening to Milli Vanilli, and using flip phones. Their engineers must be as old as DPR users.

At least make a decent app, and since most all cameras have wifi, have all the controls in the app so we can set them and upload them to the camera. Via BT would be even better.

ms18
ms18 Senior Member • Posts: 2,874
I used canon Fuji Sony.
1

Canon was intuitive but it didn't have much options as neither Fuji nor Sony. Because the canon I used was DSLR.

Fuji and Sony was bit complicated for me at the beginning but they had lot of features.

I used Nikon one day it was hard. That because I never used it.

For me  intuitive menu is a last consideration when taking purchasing decision. Because I feel all UI are good enough. I also feel they can be learned. I never researched about UI when buying camera I would never for few more years.

I'm 34 years old and can understand English some what and have account in dpreview 🤗

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TacticDesigns
TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 7,724
Re: Manufacturer with intuitive menus?

robgendreau wrote:

What manufacturer?

Apple.

Or Samsung.

Hence yet one more reason why these other camera companies are struggling.

IMHO I don't think that is why people are not buying cameras. LOL.

For me . . . I like the fact that my camera might last a long time.

My Nikon D5100 I got in 2011 and it still works 9 years later. I have it packed up and ready to go camping with me this month.

So . . . yeah, it's 9 years old and so is its UI. Oh, well. LOL.

But . . . it has not gone obsolete and . . . for now, how the camera works remains fairly much the same. You have the lens, the aperture, you set a shutter speed and the iso setting. A lot of the programming is just fancy ways to get to those things.

Where as . . . my cellphone goes obsolete at least every 5 years. So it's no wonder that there is advancements in UI between the models I am forced to get in order to keep watching Netflix. LOL.

And my 9 year old Nikon D5100 isn't even the oldest camera I am taking camping. My Pentax ist DS is, which was released in 2003. So it is 17 years old, and still kicking! LOL.

Or maybe Ricoh; their Theta app is clean, good looking, and super functional. And the only way to control the Theta.

Or GoPro; a good control app and it can even edit video.

Which makes it hard to understand why the dinosaur camera companies continue to make an interfaces, desktop software, and apps that look like they're wearing shag haircuts, listening to Milli Vanilli, and using flip phones. Their engineers must be as old as DPR users.

At least make a decent app, and since most all cameras have wifi, have all the controls in the app so we can set them and upload them to the camera. Via BT would be even better.

+1

This I would agree with.

I would love a way to transfer the set-up I have in my camera over to my phone. And then be able to download it back again.

It's like when I go to a cheer competition to get shots of my daughters and their teams.

If I go to the convention centre by the airport, I know it has bad lighting and no spot lights are brought in. So I have to set up my U1 and U2 settings for that venue. But then if we are up in Orangeville, their gym has two walls with huge windows open to the outside. And if we are a Nationals, they bring in spot lights for the videographers.

It would be nice if I could set up my camera for one of the competitions. And then when we are done the day, I could just "save" that camera configuration straight to my phone and label it something like "Airport Convention Comp". And then be able to look through the settings on my phone, and make changes if I want. But the next time we are at the Airport Convention Center for a Competition, I could just load that setting back up to my camera as a starting point.

I think I can do this by saving configurations to an SD Card. But keeping track of the SD cards is not something I want to do, . . . so I just recreate my set-up each time we go to a competition.

Take care & Happy Shooting!

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stevenj2
stevenj2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,054
Re: Manufacturer with intuitive menus?
2

From past Pentax use, menu and setting use is very good. Traded all of it away and end of 2017 to go with one of the big guys, (Nikon). Grass always greener, perhaps. I had to know and went with it.

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From SONY a6000 (first SONY and traded for...) a6300 (current) use. Main menu is horrible. User mode set up good BUT when I change settings on the fly, or don't save U1 or U2 properly it is all gone. Confused in a6300 to have U1, U2, M1-2-3-4. And resetting those M 1-4 over and over as I go.Can't explain more. FN grid on screen helps, access many settings at a glance.

---

So I use mostly NIKON anyway D7200, D7500 and D750 use.

U1, U2 settings help a lot. Makes up for some of the rest of the nonsense.

There are 8 menu sections on the left side of display . "My Menu" is No. 7 down, just above "?" That question mark on screen is useless...IF it is on you do press second physical button down on left edge of camera body to get help.   I always forget it's use.

Also, setting custom button functions screen instruction seems inscrutable, You have a set of choices and two things that go together for a button. If one is a wrong choice, you are blocked and there is nothing it says on how to do it. Not complicated if you spend time looking up various instructions. This is unsatisfactory.,

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Bob
Bob Senior Member • Posts: 2,325
Canon
1

The menus are consistent across all their cameras.  Whether they are intuitive is arguable, but at least when you learn one Canon, you automatically know them all.

saltydogstudios
saltydogstudios Senior Member • Posts: 2,201
Nikon gets my vote.
3

I own Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Sigma, Sony, Ricoh, Olympus etc. cameras.

Nikon gets my vote for most intuitive menus - mostly because you hardly need to use them.

I've discussed this many times here but to me photography is simple. Exposure triangle. White balance. Focus.

The camera that gets me to those settings with the fewest button presses wins - and for me that's a pro level Nikon - one with at least two dials.

Aperture - front dial.

Shutter speed - back dial.

White balance - WB button + spin dial.

Custom white balance - hold WB button down for 2 seconds until settings blink, take picture. (On Canon you have to take a photo and then go into the menu to set the white balance to that photo.)

ISO - ISO button + spin dial.

Image Quality (RAW, JPG, size) - QUAL button + spin dial.

Format card - hold down two buttons labelled "format" until menu blinks.

Exposure Mode (PASM) - dedicated dial.

Single shot / continuous shooting - dedicated dial.

Metering Mode - (center weighted, spot, evaluative) - exposure mode button + spin dial.

Focus mode for auto vs. manual - switch. for single vs. continuous - button + dial, for single vs multi - button + dial.

Focus dot - 8 way control.

Exposure compensation - button + turn dial - and that button is right next to the shutter button

You can even do mirror lockup and factory reset without going into the menus. Basically everything has a dedicated dial or button. If you can learn to "press the button and spin a dial" you can control 99% of what you would want to without menu diving.

You can also change most settings without taking your eye off of the viewfinder - as long as you memorize where the buttons are.

Things you need to go into menus for

- auto ISO

- picture profile (standard, vivid, etc.)

- how to treat the dual card slots (RAW to one JPG to the other, continuous, all files to both)

- random other things like setting up custom lens profiles.

You would think Fuji but let's take setting the shutter speed for example - you have to take your eye off of viewfinder and turn the clunky dial on top, and that just gets you to whole stop increments. You then have to figure out which dial to use to get you to third stop increments. It's too many steps - and remember I consider photography to be Exposure triangle above all else.

White balance? Quick menu. (Q button + navigate to white balance, then spin dial) Custom white balance? Menu.

Having a dedicated Exposure Comp dial is nice, as regular Fuji users have pointed out to me.

Sony - not as bad as the haters thing - I have the Fn button set up to be the same as the Quick Menu on Fuji.

Sigma - quick menu.

Canon - closer to Nikon but less intuitive, but that may just be my lack of experience with the system. Most buttons serve a dual purpose which is confusing. Also having shutter speed on the front dial and aperture on the rear dial is confusing to me - why not put the dials close to the thing they control?

I'm sure that's for historic reasons though - back when aperture was on the lens the front dial probably controlled shutter speed and there was no need for a rear dial.

Olympus - don't get me started. Their EPL series is a nightmare with a "mode a" and "mode b" where every single button does something different based on what mode you're in. The Pen F is quite fun to use though. I haven't used one of their more SLR styled bodies, they may be fine to use for all I know.

Ricoh - their cameras are designed for menu diving. You're supposed to set everything up to the way you want to shoot and then use the custom (C1, C2, C3) settings to switch between shooting styles. Typically I would have mine set up as "C1 - daylight moderate aperture, aperture priority, zone (snap) focus" "C2 - fast action, shutter priority, auto everything else, snap focus" "C3 - low light, wide aperture, aperture priority, auto everything including ISO, wide autofocus area" - at least you can name the settings so it's easy to remember which is which.

Many Fuji users hate Ricoh when switching over because the UI is basically the complete opposite of Fuij's philosophy.

Some cameras are not intended for studio work and it shows - many of the settings required for studio work are buried or difficult to understand. Studio photographers are an afterthought on these cameras.

Sony A7- I've basically had to memorize the path to "live view exposure preview on/off" required for working with strobes because it's buried and cannot be assigned.

On the original A7 at least, when you set custom white balance, it disregards your current exposure settings and exposes for the ambient light - making it nearly impossible to get a reading on the strobe alone. Something they should have fixed with firmware but did not.

Olympus - their histogram is unreadable for gauging where the "middle grey" line is. If I use an Olympus camera for studio work I over or under expose as often as not. This isn't really a problem with natural light as I can just live meter off of a grey card.

I vaguely remember having gripes about Fuji too for studio use, but I can't think of them now. Fuji was my main studio camera for the last few years, so it must have been very minor.

Ability to store multiple custom white balances (and ability to name them would be a dream) so you can set "studio" to Custom User Settings 1 and it changed your white balance and "exposure preview off" and manual mode and some other things would be great.

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lowerCamelCase Regular Member • Posts: 347
Re: Manufacturer with intuitive menus?
2

robgendreau wrote:

What manufacturer?

Apple.

Or Samsung.

Hence yet one more reason why these other camera companies are struggling.

Or maybe Ricoh; their Theta app is clean, good looking, and super functional. And the only way to control the Theta.

Or GoPro; a good control app and it can even edit video.

Which makes it hard to understand why the dinosaur camera companies continue to make an interfaces, desktop software, and apps that look like they're wearing shag haircuts, listening to Milli Vanilli, and using flip phones. Their engineers must be as old as DPR users.

At least make a decent app, and since most all cameras have wifi, have all the controls in the app so we can set them and upload them to the camera. Via BT would be even better.

All those cameras have one thing in common: they have much fewer options. It is easy to design an easy menu if you only have easy menu items. This is true for an iPhone, an S20, and a Theta as-well-as for a GoPro. This is not true for a modern MILC.

People wanting an iPhone like menu do not need to open the menu, just use the auto mode.

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saltydogstudios
saltydogstudios Senior Member • Posts: 2,201
Re: Pentax, by a mile.
1

Smaug01 wrote:

I've tried Olympus (very good), Nikon (OK), Canon (OK).

Pentax is my favorite.

My K1000 was as intuitive as it gets.

I don't have experience with digital Pentax cameras though.

They did do one thing right - made white cameras and lenses. It may have been seen as a gimmick but it struck me as being very practical.

I used to do a lot of photography at the beach & having a camera that didn't absorb heat would have been very much appreciated.

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 47,665
Re: Manufacturer with intuitive menus?

rb61 wrote:

Is there one camera manufacturer that stands out as a leader when it comes to intuitive menus?

Please ignore, if possible, stratospheric priced cameras.

Thanks

There is no such thing as an intuitive menu. There are menus that we are familiar with and ones we are not familiar with. How would you define intuitive? The best system is one you can design yourself.

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Tom

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 47,665
Re: Manufacturer with intuitive menus?
1

TRIODEROB wrote:

yes -

very much so

the Company is called Panasonic

please review the layout and arraignment of the menu system on the G9 and compare it to Sony or Olympus

Someone named David Thorp has a book called The G9 Menu System Simplified. If you need a book to simplify the menu system then itis anything but intuitive. Here's what is says on Amazon;

"The G9 is Panasonic's first top of the line camera specifically designed for stills rather than being a stills/ video hybrid. With 60fps burst shooting, class leading stabilization, a user configurable menu system, 80Mp High Resolution mode and many other high end features it is of necessity a complex camera. As with any digital camera the heart of the machine is the menu system, consisting of around 180 entries, many with their own sub menus offering many hundred of options."

Sounds like anything but intuitive to me.

also the overall ergonomic layout

( Canon is pretty good too its number 2 .... Nikon is not bad either )

tell me if you agree

I disagree with Nikon and Canon as they have a row of buttons on the left of the LCD which, IMO, is the worst possible place to put tem.

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Tom

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saltydogstudios
saltydogstudios Senior Member • Posts: 2,201
Re: Manufacturer with intuitive menus?

tbcass wrote:

rb61 wrote:

Is there one camera manufacturer that stands out as a leader when it comes to intuitive menus?

Please ignore, if possible, stratospheric priced cameras.

Thanks

There is no such thing as an intuitive menu. There are menus that we are familiar with and ones we are not familiar with. How would you define intuitive? The best system is one you can design yourself.

Hick's Law is a good place to start leaning about menu design.

https://uxdesign.cc/do-you-know-the-law-that-makes-or-breaks-a-ux-designer-hicks-law-6f2651400663

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 47,665
Re: Nikon's "My Menu" Feature . . .

That is anything but "intuitive".

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Tom

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