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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 04:53 PM   #1
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Why are there no "stupid" cameras?

Seriously. This topic came up in another thread, and rather than hijack that thread, I thought I'd bring it here.

I want a "stupid" camera. I want it truly fully manual. No autofocus. No auto-exposure. I want thru-lens metering, MAYBE with the option to go spot, center-weighted, or averaging. I want a simple, 5-LED metering "totem pole" on one side of the viewfinder image. Other than that, I want to know the shutter speed and aperture -- NOTHING ELSE in the viewfinder, please. And I'd like it a full-sized sensor, 18mp or larger for stills, 1080P for video. And I'd like it to run on AA batteries.

This has come about because of how the 5DMk2 has a way of taking control away from you even when it's set to Manual. Manual should mean just that -- the camera stays where you set it. No Exposure Simulation in Live View that you have to remember to turn off. No jumping from "L" on ISO Expansion to Auto ISO (with no warning) when you go video. There's just too much crap to set. When you put it on M, all auto features should SHUT OFF.

The feature creep on modern digital cameras is getting ridiculous. Somebody needs to tell the designers that just because you can add a feature in the software doesn't mean you SHOULD. I'm all for advances in technology (why else would I have bought a 5DMk2?), but there comes a time when gadgets are added just for gadget's sake.

Besides aperture and shutter speed and ISO, I think the only other settable features should be white balance, plus maybe a little tweaking of color saturation and contrast. Face it: you end up doing most of that in post, anyhow.

Just my $0.02

Martin
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 11:12 PM   #2
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The costs inolved in severely stripping the feature set of a standard microprocessor used across a camera range to make it present as a "basic" camera might not be justified for the small volume of sales it might generate. The price they would have to charge for it would probably be too high and the model would thus cripple itself.


For memory sake, here is a clip which includes in the first few shots, imaging from an old VHS Panasonic tube camera/recorder on which nearly everything was manual including colour channels, although there was an autogain function which could not be disabled. To be truthful I shot some dreadful footage with that camera until my skill set improved. Compared to the later CCD camera, the tube camera gave you a green which was any colour you liked as long as it was deadgrass khaki.

I think I would rather have the 5D or 7D.

YouTube - Last Beaufighter Engine Run 1983 at Moorabbin Victoria Australia.

Surprising to me was that it colour corrected and adjusted better in Premiere Pro than I thought I had any right to expect.

I like manual functioning but I also like being able to momentarily switch back to auto settings as a reference, which I do with the EX1.

Last edited by Bob Hart; January 2nd, 2011 at 11:24 PM. Reason: error
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 11:33 AM   #3
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It would surely be lovely if things worked the way every "I" wanted them to work.

And, in fact, it would be even nicer if they would work that way, right up to the point "I" get even smarter and realize that my original set of specifications was slightly off - then suddenly EXPAND how they work to add exactly the new features I want right when I realize that I want them.

Alas, this is not how the universe works.

Things are what they are. There are usually very good reasons for them to be that way. (If nobody gets mad I'll even whisper the dreaded "evolution" word here!)

So our lot in life is to adapt to the way things are.

Ces't la vie!
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 11:00 PM   #4
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I think it's due to the fact that companies are designing cameras they THINK the customer wants, not actually making cameras a customer wants.While the 5DMk2 is a remarkable success, the majority of sales is for the HD capability, which was pretty much tacked on as an afterthought.

I don't want complicated gadgets. I want a solid, no-nonsense manual camera that allows me to think about the image I want to capture, not what features I have to set or over-ride to make the camera do what I want. What I'm looking for is a digital version of a Pentax MX that takes the old-style K-mount lenses which have to be set by hand. If there was a firmware downgrade for the 5DMk2 that reduced the camera's capability to that level, I'd seriously consider installing it. I want resolution and control, nothing more.

Martin
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Old January 4th, 2011, 06:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Catt View Post
Seriously. This topic came up in another thread, and rather than hijack that thread, I thought I'd bring it here.

I want a "stupid" camera. I want it truly fully manual. No autofocus. No auto-exposure. I want thru-lens metering, MAYBE with the option to go spot, center-weighted, or averaging. I want a simple, 5-LED metering "totem pole" on one side of the viewfinder image. Other than that, I want to know the shutter speed and aperture -- NOTHING ELSE in the viewfinder, please. And I'd like it a full-sized sensor, 18mp or larger for stills, 1080P for video. And I'd like it to run on AA batteries.

...
Martin
There are some cameras that come close ... except for the built-in meter and AA battery part. Conversion from native format to 1080p will need to be in post. Run you a couple of grand. Called an Arriflex 16mm film camera ... :)

Seriously, the digital whiz-bangs are not the end all and be all and there are some perfectly valid creative styles that older technology still works better with This might be one of them.
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