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Author Topic: Mark Dubovoy's essay on Divergence & Simplicity  (Read 4239 times)
jjj
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« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2013, 06:06:24 AM »
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I couldn't agree more strongly with Mark on this one.

1.  99% of video done on non-dedicated video cameras is total crap. It's gimickry.
In what way? And out of curiosity, what percentage of stills done on a stills camera is not crap?


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2.  Any camera that requires reference to a manual to be fully used (most of them today) is a design failure.

Light in, image out.  Not complicated.
Which cameras do not need manuals?
And what about those not born with the knowledge of the custom settings for cameras which very usefully allow you to tweak controls to suit your personal way of working? Would they be allowed to look at at the reference manual? And do you think someone who had never used a camera before would never have needed to look at a manual for say a film SLR? Or would they simply divine film plane metering or highlight exposure? They'd probably find the more complex digital camera easier to work out in fact as you get instant feedback via the screen.

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The automation and "features" are first and foremost marketing schlock and secondly computerized crutches to overcome a lack of technical knowledge.  
So would you also criticise those who bought ready made darkroom chemicals for not making their own from scratch and what about those who used a lab to develop their films, is that more of a wheelchair than a chemical crutch?
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« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2013, 07:31:57 AM »
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In what way? And out of curiosity, what percentage of stills done on a stills camera is not crap?

Which cameras do not need manuals?
And what about those not born with the knowledge of the custom settings for cameras which very usefully allow you to tweak controls to suit your personal way of working? Would they be allowed to look at at the reference manual? And do you think someone who had never used a camera before would never have needed to look at a manual for say a film SLR? Or would they simply divine film plane metering or highlight exposure? They'd probably find the more complex digital camera easier to work out in fact as you get instant feedback via the screen.
So would you also criticise those who bought ready made darkroom chemicals for not making their own from scratch and what about those who used a lab to develop their films, is that more of a wheelchair than a chemical crutch?

I seem to remember my Nikon FM2 came with quite a thick manual - and you seriously cannot get a much simpler camera.  Same with the RB67.

Jim
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dreed
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« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2013, 07:56:34 AM »
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1.  99% of video done on non-dedicated video cameras is total crap. It's gimickry.

And what % of video done on dedicated video cameras is total crap? Hollywood spends millions of dollars on gimickry every year...

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2.  Any camera that requires reference to a manual to be fully used (most of them today) is a design failure.

The only camera that qualifies for that is the pin-hole camera Wink
I think the world has moved past that Smiley
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bcooter
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« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2013, 08:11:52 AM »
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snip

I think most people on this site (which a couple notable exceptions) are pretty tolerant, and even interested, in differing uses of photographic technology. But I've never quite understood the excitement, reflected by Mike Reichmann, most prominently, for the DSLR-form convergence cameras that both shoot stills and video. It seems to me that this forum's primary appeal is to artists, largely still photographers, but there may be a few videographers sneaking into the group, because the two forms have an undeniable relationship. But the thing is, if you're going to make good high-quality videos, it seems to me that you should work with good high-quality equipment made specifically for video -- the requirements are quite different, as Mark points out.

snip


A video or still camera of any price doesn't have a lot to do with creativity or producing something of interest.  Some cameras can hold you back, some can allow you to do more than before, but if you follow the commercial entertainment and advertising world, there is work being produced every day where small cameras are either complimenting or the main device used for big screen and small screen display and the work is very compelling.

For these quotes of 99% of _______ is crap, is judgemental, but given that is anyone's right, there is very little art in any medium that is truly ground breaking.

Like it or not, there is a merging of genres and media and equipment is going to reflect this.

If anyone thinks that Sony, Nikon or Canon is going to make a simple film camera with a digital sensor that only works at low iso, only shoots one medium, only is made for the walk through the woods photographer, then your reading the tea leaves different than I.

In fact those cameras have been made and are available a great prices.  Buy a contax a p21 phase back and your as close to analog digital as possible.  Your also limited in what you can produce, but you can manually focuses to your hearts content and never worry about too many buttons.

The world is not going backwards.   Ford is not going to make a 65 mustang, print publishing is not going to double, NBC is not going to outpace netflix and flip phones are not going to make a comeback.

Even simple cameras are going to be marketed in videos on youtube, vimeo and corporate sites.  

Now in the world of macro marketing, there will be a slight tip of the hat to the traditionalists (see nikon fm digital) but don't think for a moment it's going to outsell even a Nokia phone, because it won't.

We're just seeing the beginning of imaging machines that can do more than we ever thought possible.   If you took the best of every camera out there, large sensors, high still resolution, pixel binning raw video, 5 axis stabilization, wireless microphones, wireless tethering, direct access to 4g and lte, and smaller, motorized sliders and support,  faster less expensive lens sets, low power draw led lights, then you'll have a glimpse of what's coming, but yes you'll have to learn more than one shutter button and an f stop ring.

In regards to the requirements of a still and motion camera being different, well in todays world those changes can be made in software, in fact today they are made in software.

IMO

BC
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« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2013, 08:35:52 AM »
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And what % of video done on dedicated video cameras is total crap? Hollywood spends millions of dollars on gimickry every year...

By 'crap' I meant technically inferior.  Content is subjective, whereas quality of production much less so.  My real point is that video is (i) hard in that it brings together far more elements than still photography, the fairly of one of which compromises the final product, and (ii) video on what are essentially stills cameras tends to make it unnecessarily harder. It's like saying, 'we can make your Prius fly with enough add-ons', when one can buy a Cesna if flight is the goal.

You can use you hammer as a spatual, if you try hard enough. But a real chef will just get a good spatula, and a good carpenter a good hammer.  'Convergence', in this sense, is convenient for consumers who want to be able to 'do' everything, but have little concern for the craft (not necessarily a bad thing - home movies are valuable and have their place), but have convergence offers little to true pros in its present form.

If/when still-extraction from digital video reaches a certain point, it may well overtake dual-production in certain sectors.  But other than that -- and that's something that will involve gear way above most consumers' pay and knowledge grade -- convergence offers little for those interested in mastering the craft of either medium.

The only camera that qualifies for that is the pin-hole camera Wink
I think the world has moved past that Smiley

Nope. It is only in very recent times that I have been actually stumped by a camera.  Sony, Fuji and even Nikon have all let me in situations where I truly can't figure out why the machine is doing/wont do something.  The explanation is invariably stupid design by a non-photographer. Even the 1st gen of digital cameras were pretty transparent. 

My iPhone, I hasten to add, has never required the use of a manual.

I'm not sure why the world would have moved past good design and UI, other than an obsession with useless 'features' stacked in interminably nested menus. 

The medium, or in this case the tools of the medium, are overshadowing the message.

- n.

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« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2013, 09:34:58 AM »
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Nope. It is only in very recent times that I have been actually stumped by a camera.  Sony, Fuji and even Nikon have all let me in situations where I truly can't figure out why the machine is doing/wont do something.  The explanation is invariably stupid design by a non-photographer. Even the 1st gen of digital cameras were pretty transparent.
Bad design predates digital, by a long way and bad design is bad design, it has nothing to do with features or digital or computers.

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My iPhone, I hasten to add, has never required the use of a manual.

I'm not sure why the world would have moved past good design and UI, other than an obsession with useless 'features' stacked in interminably nested menus. 
I bet you would not know all the little subtleties of your iPhone without some tips/pointers and funnily enough if you want to talk about annoying nested menus try adding a track to a playlist in iTunes in iOS, simply shocking design. A classic example of how reducing a single UI button massively increases complexity. My local Apple store is also full of people asking how to do stuff on their phones and iPads because it didn't come with a manual.

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The medium, or in this case the tools of the medium, are overshadowing the message.
What message is that then? Not sure why I'm even asking as you ignored all my other points and queries posted above.
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« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2013, 09:37:53 AM »
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I seem to remember my Nikon FM2 came with quite a thick manual - and you seriously cannot get a much simpler camera.  Same with the RB67.
Indeed.
People are so very selective when recalling the glory days of their youth, when all music was good and babies rarely died in childbirth.
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Isaac
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« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2013, 01:35:42 PM »
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By 'crap' I meant technically inferior.
Are the cameras Mark Dubovoy takes as examples (Sony NEX 7, Leica M 240) being marketed as pro video cams?

You can use you hammer as a spatual, if you try hard enough. But a real chef will just get a good spatula, and a good carpenter a good hammer.
A real chef will use a microplane grater and a real carpenter will use a microplane rasp, and both would understand those tools are interchangeable.

... convergence offers little to true pros in its present form.
Are "true pros" a true scotsman ?


I'm not sure why the world would have moved past good design and UI, other than an obsession with useless 'features' stacked in interminably nested menus.

“It’s everyone’s instinct to want more,”... “At the point of desire you want more, but at the point of daily use, you want less.”

"If a company is looking for a short-term win or immediate sale, then simplicity doesn't necessarily give you that because it's often not a purchase consideration," van Kuijk says, "In fact what is most commercially attractive may be more features and functionality -- so it can be a risky sales strategy to limit a product to the most basic features."

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Rob C
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« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2013, 03:32:47 PM »
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First or second day back, and I see nothing much has changed. Seems folks understand perfectly well what the other guy is saying, but choose to pretend that they do not just so that they have something to shout and argue about, and the hope of scoring points... of course, I might be mistaken. ;-)

Anyway, regarding the prime purpose of a stills camera, I'd imagine that to be for the shooting of still images. That a manufacturer does, for commercial reasons connected with the fanboy syndrome and more attractive advertising possibilities, stick in motion functions, doesn't mean that he has made a better camera: if anything, he has piled in even more junk than many shooters need or use. I have a massive Samsung Galaxy Ace cellphone that I bought when my two, convenient little Nokias died. I bought it instead of the smaller cellphones for one reason: it boasted a camera with a large pixel-count for the time, a time when I was sick to death of carting around a D200 or D700 when I no longer had a professional need for such weighty stuff, and therefore seldom shot any pictures for myself.

Initially, the cellphone gave me a lot of fun, but what it achieved above that was to convince me that I was wasting time and opportunity: every shot that I did with it would have been better with even the D200. Now, it's back to what it's useful for doing: notes, such as showing images of my taps that might need the attention of a caring plumber. And, of course, conversation or text messages. I have never made a video, with it or with anything else. I have no interest in the medium.

Those in this thread who suggest that people really are divided between those who want to do both disciplines and those who are dedicated stills people is, I think, true.

But even then, I’d imagine that there is a bias towards one or the other discipline, in which case, it makes sense to buy that which makes achieving the best results in each one easier.

As I’ve mentioned before, I disable every single thing on my two digital cameras that I can that renders them closer to film camera usage. That extends to having only one af lens in my little arsenal, and that because I couldn’t find it as manual at the time I took it in exchange for a terrible 2.8/24-70 G Nikkor that I tested and couldn’t wait to return. Luddite? Probably. But it makes me happy to use the techniques I learned in my youth and I feel no desire to do it differently. But then I’m one of those guys who married his school-days girlfriend and thanked God for that every day. The single new thing that I am happy to have is auto ISO which can be very useful indeed. It’s great to be able to settle for a set aperture and shutter speed and have the camera change the sensitivity to suit those two choices. Even works with non-af lenses!  ;-) Lets’s not even mention the despair at the modern pentaprisms. If they even are pentaprisms any longer.

Some seek change all the time, I don’t. I don’t even like buying a new car and leave it to the last moment, when I fear it may be too old to be safe or will need even more spent on it to keep it looking nice. I remember a documentary on Bailey where he is described as not liking change and surprises, the reason he used the same small list of girls for as long as he could. I did the same in my fashion days, for exactly the same reasons, but the calendars were different: there wasn’t the continuity with a single girl to make the difference in mutual understanding that makes long relationships work so well.

Maybe the same with cameras as with girls?

So at least for myself, I want the most simple system that gives the highest affordable quality. Had I the money and were it made, a dedicated, digital FF Hassy 500 Series would be perfect.  Don’t want film anymore; the appeal of the old ‘blads to me now is perfect ergonomics and the feel of a product at the apogee of its development.

Rob C




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Isaac
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« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2013, 03:52:56 PM »
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Anyway, regarding the prime purpose of a stills camera, I'd imagine that to be for the shooting of still images.

Similarly, the prime purpose of a camera now-a-days would be to make images, both still images and moving images.

Luddite? Probably. But it makes me happy to use the techniques I learned in my youth and I feel no desire to do it differently.

Luddite? No, nostalgic (for some things).
« Last Edit: November 01, 2013, 12:41:37 PM by Isaac » Logged
Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2013, 04:14:22 PM »
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Luddite? No, nostalgic (for some things).

Its called "old school" ...
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« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2013, 04:15:25 PM »
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Nikon charges a premium to remove AA/LPO filter.

I, for one, would be happy to pay a premium to my camera manufacturer to remove any video option. That is right, I would be willing to pay more to get less. Because less is more.
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« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2013, 04:19:09 PM »
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Nikon charges a premium to remove AA/LPO filter.

I, for one, would be happy to pay a premium to my camera manufacturer to remove any video option. That is right, I would be willing to pay more to get less. Because less is more.

If you pay me a grand I'd take the burden to take all your money .... Tongue
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« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2013, 04:43:35 PM »
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I, for one, would be happy to pay a premium to my camera manufacturer to remove any video option. That is right, I would be willing to pay more to get less. Because less is more.
If your camera manufacturer gave you a well designed UI, you could, for all practical purposes, totally remove any video option by spending a little time in the menu, without paying anything more. This is already available, more or less, and if the "stills only" preference exists outside of Lula, you could hope for more. Of course, you might be pleased to pay for an imaginary difference, and that would be entirely your business. But I am not sure you should be optimistic that camera manufacturers will cater for that preference.
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« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2013, 05:07:49 PM »
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... you could, for all practical purposes, totally remove any video option by spending a little time in the menu...

That is the same logic that ridicules Leica for the Monochrom concept, arguing that it is so much better to arrive to b&w by "spending a little time" in post. I, on the other hand, applaud Leica for the wisdom that less is more.
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« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2013, 05:15:47 PM »
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That is the same logic that ridicules Leica for the Monochrom concept, arguing that it is so much better to arrive to b&w by "spending a little time" in post. I, on the other hand, applaud Leica for the wisdom that less is more.

And I am not yet totally convinced that doing a b/w conversion is really equivalent to shooting b/w with a filter.
A filter on front of the camera works directly on the spectrum of the light before it is converted into RGB values inside the camera.
B/W conversions work on the RGB values after that conversion.
It might sound like nitpicking, but it is physically and mathematically something quite different.
I'd really love to hear an experienced expert who knows both techniques very well on this.
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« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2013, 05:21:02 PM »
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People are so very selective when recalling the glory days of their youth, when all music was good and babies rarely died in childbirth.

From "Wear Sunscreen":
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

That is the same logic that ridicules Leica for the Monochrom concept, arguing that it is so much better to arrive to b&w by "spending a little time" in post. I, on the other hand, applaud Leica for the wisdom that less is more.

Technically, it should be possible to build a dedicated B&W digital camera that provides far better sharpness and grey levels than is possible by converting a colour image to B&W.

Nope. It is only in very recent times that I have been actually stumped by a camera.  Sony, Fuji and even Nikon have all let me in situations where I truly can't figure out why the machine is doing/wont do something.  The explanation is invariably stupid design by a non-photographer. Even the 1st gen of digital cameras were pretty transparent.  

I remember after using a Canon SLR that I picked up a Nikon SLR and I couldn't work out how to do anything using the dials it had on top.

Today I often find the problem I have is that a basic feature (force the flash on for fill flash) is either not available or not easily available on small cameras when people ask me to take a photograph of them.

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My iPhone, I hasten to add, has never required the use of a manual.

But in doing so, you give up nearly all creative control. This was possible back in the film days (film in a sealed box that was a disposable camera) and later in the very early digital days (Michael has a review somewhere of a disposable camera where he used it to create a photo from inside his car whilst it was raining outside that his wife remarked as being the best art he'd created in a while.)

Is that a trade off you'd be willing to make?
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« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2013, 07:09:11 PM »
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That is the same logic that ridicules Leica for the Monochrom concept, arguing that it is so much better to arrive to b&w by "spending a little time" in post.
The comparison has obvious limitations. Disabling video would only have to be done once. But I am certainly not inclined to ridicule Leica for the Monochrom concept. If a better b&w camera, or a better stills camera ("better" meaning "technically able to produce better output"), could be made by using a sensor and other hardware and firmware unable to do color, or video, or optimized for the "lesser" purpose, then less would be more in something other than the domain of spin. Whether that is the case is, as CF says above in relation to b&w, a technical question on which expert input would be interesting, and we don't appear to know whether it is the case with Nikon's new camera in relation to stills and video, or whether they are merely disabling the video. If that is all they are doing, then I would argue that less will be less. In any event, the issue is not addressed by Mark Dubovoy and it takes the argument well away from whinging about video buttons.
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« Reply #38 on: October 31, 2013, 11:15:42 PM »
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Hi,

There are some good reasons for the Monochrom. One is that you get higher ISO as there are no color filters. You also avoid color fringing. The sensor probably sees wider spectra, that may be the cause that a special 'APO' lens was developed for that camera.

The downside is that you need filters like in old B&W times, and perhaps additional filtering is needed.

Best regards
Erik


That is the same logic that ridicules Leica for the Monochrom concept, arguing that it is so much better to arrive to b&w by "spending a little time" in post. I, on the other hand, applaud Leica for the wisdom that less is more.
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« Reply #39 on: November 01, 2013, 02:52:47 AM »
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Hi,

Nikon does not remove the AA/OLP filter just deactivate it, so the expensive stuff is still there.

So you are paying more and get more artifacts.

Best regards
Erik



Nikon charges a premium to remove AA/LPO filter.

I, for one, would be happy to pay a premium to my camera manufacturer to remove any video option. That is right, I would be willing to pay more to get less. Because less is more.
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