Why are photographers so helpless?

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Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:57 pm

Enthusiast communities are a great way to learn about things, so I've been keenly following some photography forums for the last few years. In that time, I've come to the conclusion that most photographers are helpless, and maybe a bit dumb.

I say photographers are helpless and dumb because when I look at photography forums, there are heaps of posts that say something like, "I just spent $2,000 on a camera body. What lenses should I buy now?" or "I'm going to [region], what lenses should I take?" I cannot comprehend the stupidity that must precipitate these questions. If you don't know what kind of lens you need to shoot scenery, or people, or whatever, maybe you don't belong dropping tons of money on equipment that you obviously don't know how to use.

The questions typically don't even elevate themselves by asking about build quality or anything. Instead, they reveal in the poster a complete lack of understanding of basic SLR concepts like aperture size and focal length. If you don't know what focal length you need for landscape, or that an f/4 lens will give you trouble indoors in low light, you do not belong fumbling about with a 1D or D3.

Computer users seem much smarter, as a whole. The SBA forum is full of questions like, "Before I buy this system, do my parts go well together?" not, "I just bought $800 worth of parts, what CPU should I buy?"

Maybe I'm just bitter from filing my taxes, but I feel the photography community is a complete waste. On the one hand, you have complete newbies who don't know anything and need you to hold their hands, and on the other side, you have elitist #$^#@ who turn their noses up at any picture that isn't a tack-sharp image of a bird in flight that resolves so much detail you can see the bird's DNA at pixel level. The latter group deserves a rant all its own, but I have little patience for either group.

Note that I'm complaining about other photography communities, not this one. TR has some sweet photographers, and although I don't post photos often here, I love looking at what 'ya'll post. Creativity flourishes here, even if it's absent most others. The conversation in this forum rocks, too.

I'll probably regret posting this rant when I read it tomorrow, but that's what I get from posting at 1 AM after filing taxes.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:19 pm

Those people you're talking about are not photographers, not even in the hobbyist sense in my opinion. The same as how many of the comments on the TR forums and news posts are not from hardware enthusiasts. There are numerous questions across here that are filled with people spending money first and asking questions second. Or users who simply want to argue over brands instead of what will actually help them accomplish their desired goals. As you've seen the amount of money spent doesn't equate to skill, knowledge or a willingness to improve either of those.

I will say that since I've started taking pictures the one thing I think of constantly is how much I wish I could simply get rid of the camera. That, in my opinion, is the first step in really becoming a photographer. When you go beyond the hardware and care totally about the composition of the image.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:34 pm

Basically, people want a shortcut to talent.

A photographer who's got a good eye, a solid understanding of the fundamentals, and a decent amount of experience can get some interesting and beautiful shots out of a disposable film camera, a relic from a Soviet optical factory, or a VGA-only $20 digital. However, photographic skill takes time and hard work to develop, and there are plenty of people who want to take pretty pictures without putting in any time and work to understand what makes a picture pretty. Of course, various equipment manufacturers are only too happy to sell them the idea, "buy our products, and you'll be doing incredible things, with no effort on your part!" It's worth noting that it's not limited to top-of-the-line stuff, either - witness the Lomo "movement." Yes, there are some people doing really interesting stuff with those cameras - but, thanks to aggressive marketing, there are also plenty of bandwagon jumpers convinced that their Soviet brick will make their photos, "quirky," "offbeat," and "artistic," all with no effort on their part.

As far as computer users go, the same people exist. However, the fact that you can get prebuilt high-end systems keeps them further from sites like TR. With photographic equipment, you have to piece things together yourself for the most part. With computers, it's a lot easier for the rich and clueless to call up Alienware, plonk down their credit card, and say, "I want the most expensive (and therefore best) thing you sell."
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:38 pm

On dedicated photography forums you're going to get a lot of artsy-fartsy types who don't have the patience to actually learn about the equipment. Here, a large percentage of the forum members are computer geeks who actually want to understand how things work at a fairly deep level. I think that's the essential difference.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:44 pm

Well, I'm not sure why it's got you so heated up, but there's certainly more than a grain of truth to your rant.

I think that part of the problem is that photography is a very gear-orientated hobby. Sometimes, in the pursuit of gear, we forget that the ultimate goal is to take better pictures, and not just more gear ^_^.

Very few people learn photography by learning the basics and theory first. I started out with a Leica R4E, which is not exactly an 'entry-level' camera (compared to, say, a Spotmatic or Nikon F). However, at least it was a (mostly) completely manual camera that taught me the basics of exposure, shutter speed, aperture, etc.

These days, it's much easier to pick up a DSLR body, and many users never even move it off 'P' mode, so they never learn the relationships between the parameters that determine exposure (it's not rocket science, but it's still a mystery to most lay people). A lot of people don't realise the lenses are more important than the body, so buy a high end body with a sh***y kit zoom on it. It doesn't help that the sales clerks at camera stores are constantly pushing bigger and more expensive models at people.

Case in point: A friend was looking to buy a camera to go on a trip with. I advised him to look at a micro four thirds camera for its size advantages, but when he went to the store, the sales clerk persuaded him to get their latest model, the 550D (a great camera, btw), and two kit zooms, the 18-55 IS and 55-200/4-5.6 IS. Now the model wasn't ready for retail yet, so he'd have to come back in a week to pick it up. So he'd already been persuaded to buy a more expensive model that he couldn't even take home from the store :-?. But it gets better, he was looking because he was going to go on a holiday, so when the holiday finally came, he packed his DSLR into his (new) camera backpack, got off the plane, and then never took any pictures because the camera was too heavy to carry around. What did he do? He bought a P&S instead :roll:

In my example, at least, this was a clear cut case of a naieve shopper being pushed into a purchase that didn't suit him, because it probably gave the store higher margins. I'm not dissing the 550D, which I think is one of the best midrange DSLRs on the market at the moment, but I knew that it was completely unsuitable for someone who was not an enthusiast, because it is a chore to carry around, especially with multiple lenses.

So there are a lot of clueless people who buy cameras, much in the same way there are lots of clueless people who buy cars, or laptops, or sign mortgages. It doesn't help that in all these cases, there are people trying to sell them things which are not directly beneficial to their needs.
Last edited by Voldenuit on Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:03 am

just brew it! wrote:On dedicated photography forums you're going to get a lot of artsy-fartsy types who don't have the patience to actually learn about the equipment. Here, a large percentage of the forum members are computer geeks who actually want to understand how things work at a fairly deep level. I think that's the essential difference.


I think you're mostly on the right track, but I'd disagree about the "artsy-fartsy" types. A lot of the people who want others to know how "artsy" they are (including those who post on forums about it) are terrible with the equipment, but a genuine artist tends to know his or her tools very well. A writer will have an impressive vocabulary, a painter will be able to discuss subtle variations in paint, and a photographer will understand basic principles of optics.

Just putting a camera in "do everything for me" mode leaves the photographer with little control over focal length and none over depth of field, removing some very basic (and, of course, critical) tools to control composition. I'd go so far as to say that someone who doesn't understand basic principles of optics isn't really an artistic photographer at all, no matter what they might call themselves. It's like someone who doesn't understand the gas and brake pedals a "driver" - they might be able to ride along while someone does all the work, and they might love to make "zoom zoom" or "click click" noises, but they're not really doing anything themselves.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:28 am

My first and only SLR remains the Zenit FS-12 (Fotosnaiper). I did a lot of research, and a lot of reading up about apertures and depth of fields and stuff. I bought it mainly for the same reason I buy old RISC workstations - to make something useful and workable out of them, so when (and if) I take a good picture I can point at that and say "that was made on a really old manual film advance Russian camera", or "that was actually written on a SGI Octane running at only 300MHz..." you get the idea.

But so far I've been taking better pictures with the point and shoot Canon my parents gave me.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:30 am

The problem isn't particular to photography. In just about any hobby, you'll find an upper 20% who think that owning top-notch gear will allow them to own the hobby and/or confer status from existing hobby participants, and thus they rush out and buy a box of expensive parts that they don't really know how to use. The secret is to be lurking within striking distance when one of these types finally unloads a bunch of hardware they neither understand nor care about.

I used P&S digitals for years before finally getting my first dSLR this year. IMO a lot of people would benefit from practicing photography on a P&S before going whole-hog, because the limitations of the hardware will force you to learn some things about lighting and composition that might otherwise get buried under the "ooh, complex toy" factor.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:06 am

ludi wrote:I used P&S digitals for years before finally getting my first dSLR this year. IMO a lot of people would benefit from practicing photography on a P&S before going whole-hog, because the limitations of the hardware will force you to learn some things about lighting and composition that might otherwise get buried under the "ooh, complex toy" factor.


Personally, I'd say that all new SLRs should be factory locked into full manual mode for the first 500 pictures. :D I spent quite some time with a point-and-shoot when I was first learning about this whole "photography" thing, but the first time I shot a roll through an old all-mechanical Pentax MX was when I started to really "get it." There's just such a huge difference between "hit shutter button, capture image" and being able to really control that image.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:09 am

I agree with most of your arguments. There certainly are a large amount of users who go out and purchase the latest and greatest cameras with no idea how to use it. As for the "other group" you were mentioning, the supposed photography snobs, I think it is only natural a group of elitists band together when there is seemingly an ever-growing amateur populace in this booming DSLR market. They probably feel the need to "protect" the integrity of their profession/hobby, regardless if they have the appropriate background/experience/training to do so.

What I do find comical is the seemingly huge increase in the number of so-called "professional" photographers, making the claim only after they just purchased a DSLR. This is another group to add into your argument. The ones who think a new DSLR or any other expensive camera makes them a professional.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:49 am

I had a similar discussion with a co-worker yesterday. The huge advantage of a very compact point and shoot camera (e.g.: PowerShot SD980 IS) over a DSLR is that you can stick it in your pocket and have it with you any time that the mood spontaneously strikes you. With the DSLR, you've got to make a conscious commitment to carry the big camera and lens to your photographic opportunity. Incidentally, in your example the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is a very high quality general-purpose zoom lens. Did you mean the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens that comes in the EOS 550 kit?

I don't begrudge newbies the obvious questions. Everyone was a newbie once. I learned about aperture, shutter speed and ISO sensitivity using my father's film SLRs as a teenager. Just doing these things is better training than the optics lessons that we all had in middle school science classes. It's far more practical than building my own pinhole camera was. Not everyone has had those experiences. I also don't begrudge folks asking for recommendations for higher-end gear. There are so many choices, and most of us don't go to the trouble to do a lot of research on our own or actually rent the gear before buying. It's easier to ask the question in a an on-line forum and let someone tell us the answer.

The problem with buying ever more expensive gear isn't confined to photography. You see it with sports equipment, automobiles or almost any other hobby as well. The problem here is that when my photos don't turn out the way that I want, I know that I could make them better by working harder at choosing and capturing the shot, but I also know that the more expensive gear could make it easier.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:10 am

JustAnEngineer wrote: Incidentally, in your example the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is a very high quality general-purpose zoom lens. Did you mean the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens that comes in the EOS 550 kit?


Oops, yeah. I meant the kit lens (the 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS). Edited the original post to reflect this.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:40 am

My rant actually comes from a computer-related angle: They give terrible computer build advice. Sure, a few of them will actually recommend the right components, but they'll recommend them for the wrong reason. And some are total epeen oriented.

"Because images are so huge you want a petabyte 15k rpm drive to go in there." The real reason being, "you're going to have a LOT of images that you'll want to keep, so get the largest drive you can afford. It doesn't have to be fast, it just has to have a lot of room."

"You want this $1,000 processor because it's the best." Many things wrong with that, but that's what I see the most often. Depending on what the primary focus is: cores over speed, speed over cores.

My absolute favorite, "don't fill all the memory slots. That'll reduce your memory performance in half." In reality, go ahead and fill all the slots. Sure, there may be a benchmark difference, but you're not going to 'feel' it. If you 'feel' anything, it'll be because of running out of RAM and banging up against the swap/pagefile by having too little RAM.


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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:49 am

I have to wonder if part of the problem isn't related to the fact that the transition to digital, and the proliferation of relatively inexpensive dSLR cameras just about eliminated all of the barriers to entry into this hobby.

As we all know, in the days of film, most hobbyists couldn't just fire away with their cameras, taking thousands of shots per month. They had to take into account the cost of film and processing, or the cost of setting up their own darkroom to develop their images. Back then, they also needed to really pay attention and know what they were doing in order to make sure they got the image they wanted, since they didn't have the handy little preview window on the back of the camera to make sure that the image turned out like they wanted.

Now days, somebody buys an electronic gadget, goes out and presses the shutter a bunch of times, gets a couple good images (even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then), and says... "see, I'm a photographer!"

It costs almost nothing to take a photo anymore, and requires very little skill to get good exposures due to the intelligence built into digital cameras. Add to that, just about anybody can figure out how to download and use Picasa to fix their images without knowing ANYTHING about a darkroom or photoshop.

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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:54 am

Ah, makes me reminisce about my trusty old K1000. Unfortunately it's been so long since I've used it, that I don't even know where it is. :oops:
...time to update my signature.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:41 am

SlyFerret wrote:As we all know, in the days of film, most hobbyists couldn't just fire away with their cameras, taking thousands of shots per month. They had to take into account the cost of film and processing, or the cost of setting up their own darkroom to develop their images. Back then, they also needed to really pay attention and know what they were doing in order to make sure they got the image they wanted, since they didn't have the handy little preview window on the back of the camera to make sure that the image turned out like they wanted.


I happen to think this is a good thing. Now that I can fire away thousands of shots a month (I took 2 just last month), my photography has improved faster in the one month I've had the digital camera than it did with years of owning film bodies. Part of that is practice making perfect, but another part is also the ability to get instant feedback and correct your mistakes instead of waiting days or weeks to process a film roll and then trying to remember what you did wrong. Flash was especially painful (and scary) for me with film, but these days, I am trying to teach myself to use it better.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:07 pm

Now days, somebody buys an electronic gadget, goes out and presses the shutter a bunch of times, gets a couple good images (even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then), and says... "see, I'm a photographer!"

But it's true; that is, indeed, all it takes to be a photographer. Hold a camera, push the button, bang! you're a photographer.

I see the photo population as just another subset of the general population, some people will be sharp and perceptive and dedicated to quality in whatever they do, most won't. Some will be absolutely phony and stupid and drama-queeny about whatever it is they're doing, most won't. There will always be more "pictures" than "good pictures". There will always be more bad decisions than good decisions. None of it bothers me directly, since I just want to go out and shoot, but I am aware that these superficial tendencies can drive a market, possibly in ways that don't actually help with the photography.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:44 pm

Voldenuit wrote: Sometimes, in the pursuit of gear, we forget that the ultimate goal is to take better pictures, and not just more gear ^_^.

Never were truer words said about just about any hobby. :)
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:01 pm

Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's a bad thing that more people can get into the hobby and be successful.

I agree completely that the rapid feedback that you can get from digital photography does indeed help photographers learn much more quickly.

I'm just speculating on the cause of the influx of so many people to the hobby that are "helpless".

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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:02 pm

I'm just speculating on the cause of the influx of so many people to the hobby that are "helpless".

I consider that a factor of the faster rate of change and the recent influx of affordability and, with it, many more vendors from which to choose. Five years ago, if you wanted a DSLR, you were looking at plunking down a thousand. Nowadays, with older models running in the low hundreds, you can get started with a solid outfit for half that.

That brings in new blood, that brings in new features, a greater variety in quality levels of the final image, variety in taste and style. Five years ago, there were just "digital SLR's". Now there are mirrorless systems, a much larger set of choices in full-frame bodies (and greater value; go pick up a 5D for $1200, almost a third its original price, and it still makes ridiculously sharp images), video modes to "worry" about (unless you're apathetic like me, in which case there's no worrying at all), which camera's high ISO looks nicest, a huge array of ergonomics to look at, massive peripherals such as Geotaggers, wireless flash units and controllers, extension tubes, etc. etc.

People want to extract the most out of their gear, and even if they completely understand the relationship of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, even if they get compensation and can read a histogram or meter just right, there are still a slew of options, settings, profiles, tech points, etc. about almost any given piece of gear to fill books.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Tue May 11, 2010 11:22 am

Myself being new to photography I don't recall going "IM SO HELPLESS! PLEASE MAKE ME GREAT" lol. I started out trying to post a few pictures on some dedicated photography forums and got "OHHHH WOW ITS AMAZING" when I knew damn well that it was utter crap, and I was looking for that harsh but helpful (constructive criticism) to help me improve. I also wouldn't wait for someone to tell me how to do something before trying to do it myself first or doing some independent research. For instance I know that with my 17-55mm kit lens that Im not going to get great shots of birds here at Creamers Field because they will look like flies in the picture, no need to ask "Whats a good lens for shooting wildlife" I know that for the kind of distance I'd be shooting during the day that the Beercan 70-210 would be a good choice. I've learned a lot more than just basic things like that from researching it and practicing it as well as make parallels with these things in the computer world. I did ask about my camera on here before purchasing it but I also read the reviews before jumping into it and even went against the better majority of opinions that the A230 was a pain, and its been great for me, but I value the opinions of others here on TR.

I thought when I first started posting on these dedicated photography forums that I was going to get great feedback, and I've been completely disappointed and haven't posted on there since I found the tight nit group of pixel junkies here :). I attribute the perfectionism of computer people like ourselves towards photography to the fact that we think about everything electronic (and non-electronic) on a very detailed scientific level. I get the feeling that most hobbyist "photographers" are the artsy fanatics and don't care about science at all and at the same time haven't a clue about computer hardware so they rely on their software skills to get them by. For instance most of them don't have a clue about the difference between a TN panel and and IPS and how the latter could truly enhance their image editing/viewing.... We as computer geeks are technical perfectionists, nothing to be ashamed of.

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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Tue May 11, 2010 3:29 pm

I have to wonder if part of the problem isn't related to the fact that the transition to digital, and the proliferation of relatively inexpensive dSLR cameras just about eliminated all of the barriers to entry into this hobby.


True. I never owned a film camera, and didn't start using digitals until they were affordable. So I'm a case in point there.
That said I don't particularly care about being artsy; 9/10s of my shots are of animals or plants that I store for identification :lol: The occasional "neat" shot is a bonus.

What I don't understand is *anyone* that spends major bucks without doing some research. Car, PC, camera, guns, instruments, whatever. How do you not look into something before dropping 2 grand?
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Wed May 12, 2010 11:10 am

paulWTAMU wrote:What I don't understand is *anyone* that spends major bucks without doing some research. Car, PC, camera, guns, instruments, whatever. How do you not look into something before dropping 2 grand?


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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Wed May 12, 2010 1:22 pm

I'd envy them the 2 grand and the sense god gave a goose a lot more :) Oh well, people are dumb.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Wed May 12, 2010 3:06 pm

You know what's the best thing?

When someone stands near me with 50D or something, he presses the button and built in flash opens (green camera mode), makes me laugh out loud every time.

Then again, I don't take pictures on M as well, except when I do night photographs with 30sec shutters. Somehow I even starting to lean towards setting ISO to auto on P mode, so that all people who take my camera could also make non-blurry pictures. AF at center spot also throws all newbies off.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Wed May 12, 2010 3:25 pm

I didn't think the worlds of hardware enthusiast and camera enthusiast overlapped so much (among the posters here). I've read this whole thread because I understand about 1 word in 50 and yet you all speak with sense and authority. Makes me appreciate how complex PC hardware looks to an outsider (which of course I once was and maybe still am).

I should look into photography properly, maybe I can learn something useful.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Wed May 12, 2010 8:58 pm

Madman wrote:Then again, I don't take pictures on M as well, except when I do night photographs with 30sec shutters. Somehow I even starting to lean towards setting ISO to auto on P mode, so that all people who take my camera could also make non-blurry pictures. AF at center spot also throws all newbies off.


While I don't use auto ISO myself, I do think that the PASM paradigm is outdated, and doesn't take into account that we can adjust iso in 1/3 stops whenever we like on most (enthusiast) cameras these days. A control scheme that lets us adjust any number of the 4 variables (ISO, shutter speed, aperture, EV compensation) on the fly and let the camera work out the others would rock, especially if you could switch which variables you wanted to be in direct control of (and thus locked down) at any given time. I can sort of do this right now by choosing which mode I shoot in (A, S) and changing the ISO, but to change ISO, I have to enter a menu, and it's nowhere near as fast and seamless as being able to access it directly.

Maybe even a 4-axis bias graph (like they have in futuristic racing games) so we can tell the camera which variables we want emphasized (shutter speed, aperture, ISO etc) in P mode.

Then again, I never touch P mode because I don't trust the camera to do what I want it to.

M mode is very useful when doing panoramas, although the exposure lock button can do the trick, provided it doesn't reset after the shot is taken like it does on some cameras. Outside of panoramas and long exposures I don't use M very much because I only have a single control dial, and it isn't as quick and convenient to shoot M as on a camera with 2 dials.
Last edited by Voldenuit on Thu May 13, 2010 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Wed May 12, 2010 10:59 pm

Madman wrote:Then again, I don't take pictures on M as well, except when I do night photographs with 30sec shutters. Somehow I even starting to lean towards setting ISO to auto on P mode, so that all people who take my camera could also make non-blurry pictures. AF at center spot also throws all newbies off.

Automatic focus? Pansy. :P
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu May 13, 2010 4:27 am

Changing the ISO on the EOS 40D just requires pushing a dedicated button then spinning the top wheel. You can see the ISO displayed on the top LCD, on the rear screen and in the viewfinder. No menus are required.
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Re: Why are photographers so helpless?

Postposted on Thu May 13, 2010 7:20 am

reactorfuel wrote:
Madman wrote:Then again, I don't take pictures on M as well, except when I do night photographs with 30sec shutters. Somehow I even starting to lean towards setting ISO to auto on P mode, so that all people who take my camera could also make non-blurry pictures. AF at center spot also throws all newbies off.

Automatic focus? Pansy. :P

I'd do manual focus, if it weren't for the bloody diopter and the lack of a manual focus screen helper thingy. (I never know what those screens are called. Too many of them.) Of all the things, the diopter is my worst enemy. Even at 0 it's a bit blurry.

When I had my Canon AE-1, I never had an out-of-focus photo. My Minolta 7D, on the other hand, it's a crap shoot. If I want a guaranteed in-focus photo, I have to use automatic focus.

JustAnEngineer wrote:Changing the ISO on the EOS 40D just requires pushing a dedicated button then spinning the top wheel. You can see the ISO displayed on the top LCD, on the rear screen and in the viewfinder. No menus are required.

Same here for my Minolta 7D. Press the 'ISO' button and twirl the wheel.

Madman wrote:You know what's the best thing?

When someone stands near me with 50D or something, he presses the button and built in flash opens (green camera mode), makes me laugh out loud every time.

Then again, I don't take pictures on M as well, except when I do night photographs with 30sec shutters. Somehow I even starting to lean towards setting ISO to auto on P mode, so that all people who take my camera could also make non-blurry pictures. AF at center spot also throws all newbies off.


Yeah, the overkill point-and-shoot guys are awesome. They're always astounded by me. They want to talk with me about all kinds of photography-related topics. Then they find out how much I know and want to know things. I don't mind teaching. In fact, I find it rather fun and the whole "Oh, that's what that's for!" Makes my chest puff up a bit.

Invariably, I end up getting, "Hey, these pictures are great! Are you using a Canon or Nikon?" Neither, it's a Minolta. (Funny-looking confused face on the guy as if he had never heard of Minolta before.) I got more features than you did at a fraction of the cost, and it takes better photos. :D It is mostly skill, though.

The fraction of the cost bit no longer applies. I got my camera for $1,600. Six years later and hundreds of thousands of photos, it's still working wonderfully and people are still amazed at the quality of the photos that I present them. (Okay, so the battery compartment needs a fix to get the clip and spring put back in, and if I leave it in the car overnight when it's cold and bring it in it has issues.) As a bonus, they often ask me how I edited the photos so quickly. (I do souvenir photos, so there are a lot of photos to prepare and present.) The expression on their faces when I tell them that I don't edit the photos, I just do it right. P. R. I. C. E. L. E. S. S.

Digital photography without editing them? That's unpossible!
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