The Disabled Photographers' Society promotes, educates and supplies information to people with disabilities who are interesting in taking up photography. The charity was founded in 1968 so they know a thing or two about photography and how to help photographers with disabilities. ePHOTOzine wanted to help so we approached the group to see if they would look at the equipment we review to see how good they are for photographers with disabilities.
Cameras seem to be designed for the right-handed, able bodied person so ePHOTOzine wanted to see how this was affecting the disabled community.
"We were happy and pleased to help ePHOTOzine with their reviews," said Shirley Britton from the Disabled Photographers' Society.
Tom Molloy who has rheumatoid arthritis, Alan Kelly who is partially sighted and John Muller who is tetraplegic came along to EPZ towers and spent a day with Matt, our technical writer looking at kit and telling us how good they are for users with disabilities.
The team looked at the Pentax K-m, Panasonic TZ5, Nikon D3x, Sony Alpha A200 and the Samsung GX20.
The Pentax K-m has a good screen and the lettering is clear but John and Tom both agreed the grip isn't very good for someone with arthritic hands although the sliding dioptre is better than a wheel. Alan said the Samsung GX20 also has a nice screen with good contrast on the lettering which is easier to see. He also had similar praises for Nikon: ""Nikon have magnified eyecups which are worthwhile getting if you have trouble with the viewfinder."
Although he didn't like that Nikon have done away with the true wireless capture of older models. He said: "You now have to connect to another box which is then clipped to your belt or put in a pocket. The main problem with that is if you forget it's there, put the camera down and walk off dragging the camera onto the floor."
The Panasonic TZ5 was the favourite compact at the meeting, here's what Tom thought about it: "It's a good size camera to hold, not too small and although the buttons are small, they're not the worst I've seen. The Leica branded lens is a bonus and I'm impressed with the pictures I've taken with it."
The Sony Alpha A200 didn't do as well as the other models with Alan saying the buttons were too small, the power button is the wrong colour, black on black isn't good if you're partially sighted and as the lettering size is small it isn't easy to read.
We've received positive feedback from the camera manufacturers and will be working with the Disabled Photographers' Society again on more reviews.