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But I don?t need it!


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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But I donít need it!

17 Oct 2020 7:31AM   Views : 402 Unique : 296


I used to say this a lotÖ

There was a time, before a compact camera could outcompute a NASA Moon Module, when every extra facility in a camera had to be engineered in, with more design work, more parts, and more careful assembly. Extra complication required higher standards of quality control and it was really difficult to retrofit something that the original designer hadnít catered for.

Consider the flash synch on my Leica IIIa: itís a separate little accessory that comes in a tin, with careful instructions for how to fit it, and how to use it. You have to screw it onto the shutter speed dial, carefully and precisely. It depends on the fact that the dial rotates (itís part of the drum that the wound shutter blind sits around), and it depresses a mechanical switch on the unit mounted on the accessory shoe of the camera.


But itís not like that now. Your digital camera is a small computer, and it can do a whole lot of things with the peripherals it has around it. Alter the programming by changing the firmware, and its capabilities change.

So, for instance, thereís just a bit of programming to do and you will have twenty scene modes instead of five. Itís not difficult, though it may well be pointless. Similarly, once the sensor is providing data to the CPU in live view or in a mirrorless camera, itís no big deal to do something about focussing, or video.

So donít confuse the sales hype about 8k video capability with the camera being able to offer YOU something you want or need. Itíll be the thing that sells the camera to a few users, and it will certainly earn kudos for the manufacturer. But if what you care about is not on that list, donít let it sway you either way.

ĎBrand ambassadorsí and Ďinfluencersí set a lot of store by these things, but you neednít.


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kaybee Avatar
kaybee 19 8.7k 28 Scotland
17 Oct 2020 9:38AM
That is precisely why there are so many relatively 'new' secondhand cameras on the market ..... people believe the hype that they "need" and "must have" a function.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
17 Oct 2020 10:14AM
And I won't complain, Roy... My current Alpha was less than a year old when I got it, and several hundred pounds below the new price. Seems to be holding up so far, after a bit more than two years in my hands...
AltImages Avatar
AltImages 3 4
17 Oct 2020 11:08AM
I agree entirely. Sadly people reckon that they need the latest of everything. But there again without them creating a perceived obsolescence into cameras, the manufacturer's cash flow will slow to a halt and they'll go bust faster than is already likely to happen.

Separately the same goes for software. If you ignore RAW files, I can do all the sophisticated photo editing that I'll ever need (and that includes the Nik/Google/DxO plugins) using Photoshop 7 that came out way back in 2002! OK more recent versions make it a bit easier to do, but mostly not any better.

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