Bloatware, Volkswagen Passats and cameras


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Bloatware, Volkswagen Passats and cameras

26 Dec 2021 11:29AM   Views : 511 Unique : 342


Bloatware is the name given to software that eats up more and more storage space and processing power on your computer, your mobile phone or your tablet. But itís something that happens, rather than being something where there out to get you. Itís an unanticipated outcome of people trying to do their job Ė unless youíre a conspiracy theorists. The practical effect is that what you thought was a perfectly adequate amount of storage suddenly becomes pathetic.

Unless youíve actually put them side by side, youíll think that all Sony Alpha 7 bodies are much the same: even those of us who use them regularly fall into that trap. But over the last week Iíve been using my 2013 vintage Alpha 7R is a walkabout camera, and I found that itís actually a bit of a featherweight compared with a mark three 7R.

Iíve been using the 7R with the very plastic Sony 50mm f/1.8 lens that Iíve owned for four years and have been meaning to sell for at least two years. Itís incredibly slow to focus and probably no better (in any respect at all) than the quarter-century old Minolta f/1.4 that Iíve owned for quite a long time. But it is Sonyís cheapest wide-aperture lens and itís not that bad.

Anyway putting the older and newer bodies side by side shows that evolution has added girth: picking them up demonstrates that the current model is significantly heavier. Why didnít we notice at the time? As the range developed we appreciated the better ergonomics that a larger hand grip gives, the bigger, longer-lasting battery, and the inclusion of image stabilisation in the body. And thatís how bloatware happens.


Back in 1977, I often travel to work with a colleague who owned the original model Volkswagen Passat estate. It was a very good car, though the seats were slender Ė my memory says the back rests were only a couple of inches thick, but they were really well shaped. The engine was a then-modest 1.3 litre petrol engine, and it was entirely adequate, rather than fast. And it was an awful lot smaller and lighter than the most recent Passats, which have now been replaced by the (bigger) Arteon.

Back to the Alpha 7. Putting ancient and modern side by side, changing lenses between them, and generally doing the things that involve taking pictures make it obvious that Sony have worked hard on the perceived value of the brand: less plastic, better engineering fits, and an improved tactile experience. Combined with the higher resolution and other technical advances that makes a good case for the newer camera. ButÖ If you have a limited budget, donít want to make big demands on high ISO or autofocus speeds, they may be a bargain waiting for you on somebody secondhand shelf.


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dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
26 Dec 2021 12:16PM
Any thoughts out there?

The site seemed to be running slowly yesterday, but it's back to full tilt today. Catching up time, following the feasting - which I hope everyone enjoyed.
Imageryonly Avatar
Imageryonly Plus
3 203 11 United Kingdom
26 Dec 2021 4:57PM
My Original Olympus E-1, 14-54mm f2.8 and battery grip weighs in at a fraction under 2 kilo's ( 5lbs) and a grand 5meg.
My em-d 5 and 12-50mm weigh approx 850 grams ( under 2 lbs ) and 16meg, so Olympus have shrunk in bulk.
The menu in the em-d 5 runs to pages and pages and pages, unlike the E-1, and 90 % of that relates to Jpeg, unused if
you shoot in Raw.
Don't know if this equates to " Bloatware " but maybe?

6.00 am this morning, I made and half drank a cup of tea while the site processed One award , much better now
dark_lord Avatar
dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
26 Dec 2021 5:46PM
I wrote a blog earlier thgis year contrasting camera siz from 40 years ago to today, and came to much the same conclusion. The irony is that a full frame mirrorless camera could, and perhaps should, be smaller and lighter in weight. Take the Pentax ME Super or the Olympus OM series from back then, Full frame (of course), with room for a mirror assembly and a 35 mm cassette (hardly large but massice compared to an SD card. Compact can be done! My EOS R without the grip is reasonably small, wherea the later models have definitely been on the steoids.
As for cars, thereis a lot more savety built in these days and that sort of enineering does come with a weight penalty but overall car sizes have ballooned too but no becauseof the extra gear, withthe attendant extra gas guzzling. If all those cars were to have a petrol ratherthan a Diesel engine people would (or should if they have anything about them) rather notice. And large heavy electric vehicles need more batteries and lower range than smaller electric vehicles.
Talking of batteries, modern cameras also requoire more power for all the extra processing that needs to be done, or the lare files and displays.

You're right about second hand bargains, and the uncomfortable truth for many is that for most photography that older equipmemnt will still do the job and more. The limiting factor (unless there's a particular featuire that makes a difference in some cases, like high ISO performance) is the bit that can't be upgraded and that's what sits behind the viewfinder or screen.
Robert51 Avatar
Robert51 14 12 147 United Kingdom
26 Dec 2021 7:34PM
And there's me thinking bloatware was due to eating too much...
saltireblue Avatar
saltireblue Plus
13 14.5k 89 Norway
26 Dec 2021 7:36PM
Bloatware is all I have eaten and drunk these past 3 days - I have increased both my weight and my girth, with no noticeable improvements in performance.Blush
Imageryonly Avatar
Imageryonly Plus
3 203 11 United Kingdom
26 Dec 2021 9:42PM

Quote:And there's me thinking bloatware was due to eating too much...

I thought it was that elasticated waist, jogging bottom you keep just for such occasions SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
27 Dec 2021 12:22PM
An elasticated waist or jogging bottoms are giving in, and thus not to be tolerated. (Except for models travelling to the studio, to avoid markings from tight clothing.)
GwB Avatar
GwB Plus
3 119 United Kingdom
28 Dec 2021 7:48AM
First thing I do with a new phone, laptop or tablet is strip out or disable all the apps or progs that I don't need and to a certain extent I set my camera's buttons to the features that I'll use and set any buttons that I accidentally hit to histogram or anything else that won't affect the outcome of the picture. I upgrade camera's for improved performance such as better AF or low light improvements. I think I'd be happier for the performance of my Oly M1 mk 2 with the simplicity of my em 10, unfortunately for me advanced performance comes with over complication of menu's. Looking at Fugi Xt2 or 3 at the moment, ISO dial to the left, speed and exp comp dial to the right with aperture ring on lens assign a button to switch between spot, group or all focus points. Bliss!

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