Don't get too used to all those new "convenience" features in our new cameras....

See what happens when you get used to using the in-camera level indicators and then you accidentally push the display button and they vanish at the wrong moment? Tragic. I was trying to get everything lined up on the screen and they were gone....the little lines in the center that turn green when you've got your camera held level. And it couldn't have come at a worse time. It was mid-composition. Now I live in terror. What if the auto-composition controls go on strike? Will everything I shoot seem subtly out of whack? Better to not become addicted in the first place but now I sound like one of those guys who wanted to smash the machines. I guess there has to be some balance somewhere...

Speaking of weird stuff. My Samsung NX300 and my Sony NEX 6 both have some sort of built in wi-fi and I finally figured it all out. So, you have to be near your phone and you have to download an app and you have to configure your camera to send the app to your phone which you can then use to relay your image into the interwebs with fumbling alacrity. It takes ten or fifteen seconds, over the most nimble connection, to transfer a 20 megapixel file so it's not exactly a speedy proposition for a guy who likes to hold down the magic shutter button....

Strangely, it does work. But equally strange to me is the idea that anyone would want to do that unless this is your idea of the new paradigm of breaking new photography. For art? I think we can all wait until we get home, snuggle up with our laptops and a nice glass of wine and push all the big boy buttons. But that's just my opinion. I am sure that in just days I'll be back telling you that immediacy is the new black, and that I could no more live without camera wi-fi than I can now live without in camera levels or in camera auto composition. Stay tuned. Literally.


  1. With my DSLR, which lacked such amenities, I almost never managed to get the horizon level, so I'm a sucker for the level indicator on my X-E1 :(

    I guess I need to open my mind to possibilities beyond the "rigidly adhering to the rules" stage, at least with regards to ensuring the camera is perfectly level. A degree or two of wonk here and there might be ok, might even be beneficial (as in your example).


  2. As I said in my last comment why cant I buy a totally manual camera that just uses digital to record instead of film. You can't turn off an old fashioned spirit level . An OM1 with a digital back would suit me.

  3. I don't get the whole WiFi upload thing either. What I do see some possible value in though, goes the other way. I could see that if I could control my camera from my Smart Phone, then maybe that could be useful in certain situations.

    If I needed to remotely trigger my camera, it would be nice to do that using my Smart Phone, which I already have, instead of having to go out and buy something new just for that purpose. Also, I always wanted, but never bought an intervalometer.

    The absolutely last thing that I need, though, is a way to get my photos up onto Facebook just seconds after I took them...

  4. You must have hit "Greater Galaxy projection mode" by accident. I always thought that Texas should be even a bit more bent on the surface of our planet, but who knows. And be glad you're no Aussie, or the poor girl on that bike would be cycling heads down...

  5. Yes, but. I agree with you about the whole wi-fi, instant upload thing. But I had my eyes opened last year during a driving vacation with my wife. She was taking photos out the car window with her iPhone...and doing a lot of swearing, even for her, because the phone-cam wasn't responsive enough and she was getting lots of photos of telephone poles. I asked her why she wasn't using the nice fancy Canon point-and-shoot that was sitting in her lap. "But I want to send them," was her reply. She was using the phone photos to send constant updates to our family and friends on our trip, in real time as the trip happened. Now I get it. That's not something that you or I are much interested in doing, but we are a tiny minority of the folks who are buying and using these cameras and phones. And that's what they want to do. And why not?

    After a while I pulled my Olympus E-PL1 out of the bag and offered it to my wife as an alternative that might be more responsive. She loved it, despite there being no wi-fi. Said it reminded her of her old Pentax Spotmatic. I'm still trying to figure that one out.

  6. I have to admit that most of this new-fangled gadgety auto-complicated stuff is quite wasted on me. I did try the virtual horizon thingamabob once, but I discovered that I actually did just fine the old fashioned way.

    I find that my interest in new "features" ended when I got my F801s, there were enough auto things on that to get the job done without complicating my already over complicated life.

    Not that I'm against new stuff, as long as they are useful to me that's great otherwise I just never bother. Camera sales people hate me because I keep pointing out that the new bell or whistle doesn't help me make better photographs...

  7. The last thing photography needs is a way for everyone to upload everything immediately (could be useful for the remaining photojournalists though).

    I much prefer my results when they've had a chance to marinade for a few weeks. Of course by the time I post something online nobody remembers who I was. Oh the fickle finger of online attention spans...

  8. I'm looking forward to the camera that does everything for me - next year or so. It's in my glasses, the camera scans the environment and decides on its own when to shoot or not to shoot. It composes the picture without my help (If I want to be creative I can preconfigure it to shoot according to the 3thirds rule, the golden triangle rule or the inverse square rule) etc. Of course it wifi's the picture to the cloud and there it is Post Processed and sent to the correct folders and websites...

    no hassle... I am left free to drink my latte ...

  9. The ultimate auto-everything camera would come with a photographer included.

  10. A horrible prank to play on someone with a camera that has level indicators would be to recalibrate the level sensors with the camera very slightly off-level.

    1. I have exactly one camera with a built-in level indicator. It can be off as much as approx 1.2 degrees either direction, for a total of 2.4 degrees of "slop." That's a real problem when there are identifiable verticals or horizontals in a photo. So, I already subscribe to Kirk's advice and do not get used to using this modern feature too much.

  11. OMG, I had my settings all wrong and I spammed myself with huge image files. Danger, danger.


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