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Author Topic: Appeal for Divergence and Simplicity  (Read 12780 times)
paulbk
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« on: October 21, 2013, 05:49:18 PM »
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fwiw.. I agree with Mark 100%. I shoot stills. Only. I'm a competent 'still' photographer. I shoot sports car racing and landscape. Probably never win a gallery prize. But I have a lot of fun roaming New England looking for my next shot. Video is a whole different game. And a huge time sponge. I enjoy great video as much as the next guy. But it's not for me. No need to clutter my camera with video anything.

gear: Canon 1D M4, and great series of "L" lenses, works for me
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paul b. kramarchyk
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 10:47:35 PM »
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fwiw.. I agree with Mark 100%. I shoot stills. Only. I'm a competent 'still' photographer. I shoot sports car racing and landscape. Probably never win a gallery prize. But I have a lot of fun roaming New England looking for my next shot. Video is a whole different game. And a huge time sponge. I enjoy great video as much as the next guy. But it's not for me. No need to clutter my camera with video anything.

gear: Canon 1D M4, and great series of "L" lenses, works for me
My sentiments exactly.
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LesPalenik
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2013, 12:23:18 AM »
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Great article, and I agree 100%.
I would much rather have a camera with a dedicated ISO button than a Video button.
At least the manufacturers could implement a lock-up feature for the video function so it wouldn't engage accidentally or provide a reprogramming option of that button for another use.
 
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 12:30:06 AM by LesPalenik » Logged

SunnyUK
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2013, 12:47:48 AM »
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I agree fully with the sentiment of the article, but it annoys me to no end when people start to re-define well understood words. Mark states that "Simplicity [......] the whole device must feel aesthetically pleasing while at the same time providing state of the art performance and a sense of purpose. It is only when all these things come together that one can claim that simplicity has been achieved.

No. Not correct. Wrong. Simplicity does not mean aesthetically pleasing. There is a separate word for that already which works very well. It's called "aesthetic". Or "beautiful".

Also, simplicity does not mean "state of the art performance". There are several good words which already conveys that requirement, but "simplicity" is not one of them.

Sorry for getting on the hobby horse, but I feel it devalues an otherwise excellent article when the author over-reaches like this.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2013, 01:17:58 AM »
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My son works in the movie industry - rigging, gaffing, lighting, camera work ... also some DOP stuff.  I'm a stills photographer.  Sometimes I don't understand everything he tells me about his work - different lexicon - but I think we'd both agree with Mark.  I certainly do!

Mike.
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dreed
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2013, 02:40:18 AM »
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I wonder how much age has to do with the perspective a person has on this.

What do I mean by that?

Well all of the writers have grown up with film cameras, used them professionally and are accustomed to them. As to many of those that have thus far responded to this thread if the pictures are anything to go by :*)

But if you were to ask someone that is half of Mark's age (or less) what they thought on this topic, would you get the same answer?

And in 20 years time, will cameras that came before the age of convergence be "curios" that strange people collect in the same way that a Rollei might be today?
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Paulo Bizarro
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 03:32:00 AM »
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I am all in favour of "simplicity", but to be honest, all of the "extras" that get in the way can easily be turned off in menus. I have shot Canon EOS for more than 20 years, 99% of the time in aperture priority mode: set the ISO (auto or fixed), change the aperture, watch out for the speed, all set. Sure, it can take some time to set up the cameras initially, but once done, it is not that often that I had to revert to the menus.

I am currently shooting with Fuji X, and I like the simplicity of the system: set the aperture on the lens, change the ISO on the top button, that is it, really.

P.S - if Mark thinks that the iPhone is a good example, he should look into Windows phones, even simpler:)
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David Watson
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 05:41:49 AM »
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The new Nikon retro (FM2 digital?) soon to be announced might just be what we are all looking for.  Here is some content courtesy of Nikon rumours:

A quick update: the upcoming retro-designed full frame Nikon camera will not have any video recording capabilities. Here are the updated rumored specifications:
•Nikon FM2 like design
•16.2MP 36x23,9 full frame sensor (same as in the D4?)
•SD memory card
•2016-pixel RGB image sensor
•9-cell framing grid display
•3D color matrix metering II
•Native ISO range: 100-12,800 (incl. ISO 50 and ISO 108,200)
•5.5 fps for up to 100 shots
•3.2" LCD screen
•Battery:EN-EL14
•Dimensions: 143.5 x 110 x 66.5mm
•Weight: 765g
•It will come with a new AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens (again, not clear what mount the new lens will have)
•Standard F-mount
•No video recording capabilities
•Pentaprism viewfinder (meaning the camera will not be mirrorless)
•The camera will meter even with non-AI lenses down to full aperture
•The camera will ship with a new special edition Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens to match the look/design of the body
•The camera will have physical controls and excellent build quality (which explains the 765g weight)
•Expeed 3 processor
•Same sensor as in the Nikon D4
•Nikon calls it a "hybrid" camera - not sure what exactly they mean with that
•The announcement will be in the next few months, maybe even in the next 1-3 weeks:
Read more on NikonRumors.com: http://nikonrumors.com#ixzz2iRlDStDw
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David Watson ARPS
mcbroomf
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 05:44:23 AM »
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I'm thinking that the new Sony A7/r is going to resolve a lot of these issues for me.  4 dials, including 1 that is ISO and another exposure comp.  Several buttons that can be customized and the video button can be disabled.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfSrsqn3ESc&feature=share
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Mike Broomfield
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 06:03:10 AM »
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A simple and dedicated camera is something to fall in love with easily. For me after splitting up with my Mamiya Press the Mamiya 7 II has become a great romance. Changing lenses requires closing the auxiliary shutter and taking a picture requires releasing it again. The camera feels great to hold and is simply a natural  beauty like certain rural women. What I don't understand is why with women we tend to love complication and complexity ...
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E.J. Peiker
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2013, 07:07:58 AM »
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I don't think I have ever agreed more with an article by Mark, or for that matter, LL than this article!
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2013, 08:48:09 AM »
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I don't think I have ever agreed more with an article by Mark, or for that matter, LL than this article!
+1.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Alan Klein
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2013, 10:25:44 AM »
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I have an Olympus E-PL1 M43 with both still and video modes.  The damn video button is in the wrong place. You can't imagine how many short clips of my feet I've taken.
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Jim Metzger
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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2013, 10:26:25 AM »
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Love the article, agree completely. I don't need the "unnecessary" functions of my D700 (until I do, of course).

I would like to point out that Porsche (Porsche Automobil Holding) and Porsche Design Studio (a subsidiary) are different companies. I bought my father a pipe from Porsche Design many years ago. The bowl is in the shape of a car engine cylinder and is formed from aluminum. Looked great, smoked horribly, it cooled off too quickly. Simple, but it didn't work.

"Form follows Function" is the common recitation of the phrase "form ever follows function" coined by Architect Louis Sullivan. This was drummed into my head during Architecture School in the 1970's. It no longer necessarily holds true (hard for me to comprehend) in the current state of urban planning, see "Form Based Planning". Create the "container" and then figure out what it can be filled with.

Jim
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2013, 11:04:35 AM »
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I have an Olympus E-PL1 M43 with both still and video modes.  The damn video button is in the wrong place. You can't imagine how many short clips of my feet I've taken.
recent/current models like E-M1 allow that button to be reprogrammed for still functions, so it is a non issue anymore (w/ Olympus).
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Jonathan Cross
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« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2013, 12:17:19 PM »
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Re the comments on stills and video.  I like video, but have yet to get enthused about creating it myself. 

Why?

For me to get the full benefit from a video it is obvious that I have to watch it all.  I was amazed by Vincent LaForet's Reverie when the Canon 5D MkII first came out.  I like the activity, however, of producing a still to the best of my ability (still not good enough), and of looking at a really good still.  The main difference for me is that looking at a still is parallel input, whereas looking at a video is serial input and I prefer the former.  Kevin Raber's image (on the LULA homepage on 22 Oct) of the Glenfinnan viaduct, over which I have been several times, immediately spoke to me, and I prefer that to watching a video before being able to appreciate it.  I really like the activity of producing a good still from start to view, and do not feel that I can become skilled at both stills and video. 

I hope that others do take up the video batten and make the most of it.  For me, shooting a video will remain just a tool for an event record. I would hate the still capabilities of a camera to be compromised by video needs, but that's just me!

Jonathan
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peterpix
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« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2013, 12:24:06 PM »
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"To make matters worse, often times the video functions spell disaster in terms of accidental activation and battery consumption, as well as  compromises that result in bad ergonomics for still photography. It also can make the cameras and lenses more expensive because of additional design work, additional buttons dials and electronics, additional software, more expensive focusing or zoom motors for video, etc."

NOt sure I get this as Mark seems to use the most expensive cameras available. A couple of extra batteries should not be too much of a problem. Not all of us can afford top of the line Leicas and five digit expense medium format backs for expensive mf bodies. If not for the video capability of my Canon 5D MKII, I would not have my first film and now I'm making another with my GH3. It allows me to  shoot stills and video with a minimum of extra stuff. My lenses are no more expensive for video than they are for stills. I've been getting paid for photography since 1963 and video has opened a new door  for me  and many others. These so-called hybrid cameras allow us to have options without having to have multiple systems.  From what I've read Canon added video to the 5D because it was not an expensive thing to do. Seems to me the expense for these cameras is in the sensor, not in some additional software or firmware, motors in zoom lenses, or a few buttons and dials. Simplicity was in those first Nikons and Leicas, shooting film with no metering, autofocus, or film advance. Not many of us want to go back there. Simplicity today is a Cambo, Phase One or an Alpa with a back that costs more than some luxury autos. Some people on this site have those cameras,  and monochrome Leicas but most of us don't. These  wonderful tools today give us image quality that  could not have been imagined in film days. And if I had a Nex that turned itself on in my bag, I'd get rid of it!  Rant over!
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Peter Randall
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« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2013, 12:32:10 PM »
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Divergence?  Yes please!  I want my camera to be a master of one trade not a jack of all.

The flexibility of convergent tools cannot be denied but as with any mechanical, electronic or biological system the cost of flexibility is additional energy and attention to the functions I want to keep out of the way.  I'd rather focus on what I want to do not on what I don't want to.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2013, 12:52:58 PM »
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Hi,

My take is that convergence is a good thing. I often use stills and motion in combination, like this one (not very good, just an example): http://vimeo.com/50739392

Adding video capability does in no way reduce camera capability/usability.

Regarding user interface, I feel there is much to do. That said, I am very happy with my Sony's and I can figure out how to use them without resorting to the manual, especially as the manual being pretty useless. I can configure the Sonys much to my liking, but I would much prefer to do it on a computer than on a tiny display.

Personally, I find live view most important and if you have live view you essentially also have video.

Best regards
Erik
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Isaac
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« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2013, 02:08:14 PM »
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Quote
I am afraid that much of what I say in this short essay may fall on deaf ears because of commercial considerations (based on superficial and often flawed analysis) but...

Saying that the commercial considerations are "based on superficial and often flawed analysis" is a long way from showing that is the case.

What if "people are not willing to pay for a system that looks simpler because it looks less capable"? Simplicity Is Highly Overrated, 2007.
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