Posted by: photographytuition | September 22, 2011

Are digital cameras too complicated?

Old Nikon 35mm SLR film camera – buttons, knobs, dials = 6.

New Nikon digital SLR camera –  buttons, knobs, dials = 22!

Clearly the technology exists for cameras to do loads of stuff they weren’t able to do before but is it what the camera user really wants or needs?

I recently bought a Nikon D7000 – the user manual is 326 pages long – no wonder people come to me to help them to understand their cameras!

It’s great to have the choice of settings but I can’t help thinking there’s a point when too much choice gets confusing. Take picture control for example. In picture control you can change the overall colour appearance of the image you plan to take. You can select from 6 settings: standard colour, vivid etc. Within each of these settings you can further adjust the sharpness, contrast, brightness, saturation and hue. Very rough maths tells me there are about 3000 possible combinations within each one of these 6 settings. That’s nearly 20,000 settings to choose from!

Is it helpful to give the user so much choice?

Even though I use my camera most days I struggle to know what all the functions are on it and I’ll probably only ever use a tiny fraction of them – and I’m a professional! Time for cameras to get simpler and more intuitive?

Elan Valley in November. Nikon D80 ISO 200. 16-85mm lens at 42mm, 1/500sec f8.

Todays photo is from the Elan Valley where I regularly take people on tuition. It’s a fantastic area – my favourite – and particularly good in autumn.

You can book a Photography Tuition session any day of the week, any month of the year. Nikon cameras and lenses are available for use, free of charge!

To find out more see or email me


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