Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Point & Shoot, my ass

Why is there no simple digital point & shoot camera?  Every model is either crammed with useless, complicating and slowing features or super expensive "quality".  Here is what I want in a camera:

  • quick to turn on and take a picture
  • zoom
  • universal plug to connect to computer
  • long battery life.

Here is what I don't want:

  • 50 zillion bullshit "settings"
  • super high resolution (what, I'm making a billboard? this is for a blog, who the fuck needs more than 4 megapixels?)
  • digital zoom
  • any shit special features (such as the insane "smile capture" setting on my current camera, the invention of which the marketer responsible should be sent to a North Korean work camp)
  • movies
  • bullshit software for managing files; just give me a drive that I can drag things in and out of

Why is it so hard to find a camera with my wants and none of my don't wants?  Aren't these things supposed to be called "Point and Shoot"?  What they really are are "point, turn on, wait 3 seconds for camera to boot up, press several different buttons to turn off all the bullshit settings you don't want and shoot".  I live in the world.  I see things happen that may be cool.  I need to whip out my camera, take a picture and move the fuck on.

It's hilarious (in a hilarious when somebody smashes me in the big toe with a ballpeen hammer kind of hilarious) what camera companies (and camera store employees) think is a "simple" camera.  I spent days researching a simple camera for my mother and I have a hard time using the one I finally compromised on. She just doesn't really use it.  You failed, camera makers.  When I went to get a camera for myself, I spent even more time.  My current camera has so much shit on it that I don't even touch.  And I'm a geek.  I spent time fiddling with it.  It's almost all useless to me.  And complicated.  Look, if it has fucking menus, it's not simple.  What part of "point and shoot" do you not get?

I blame two types of people for this current situation. The first are the marketers who are the class of people who only exist to create work so they can exist.  They are the ones who come up with all these fake features and the notion that more megapixels somehow equals a better product.  The second are the camera nerds.  These people are the fucking worst.  I don't have to tell you what they are overcompensating for with all those long lenses.  Look, there are geeks in every hobby and I understand and appreciate the need for expertise and extreme equipment within that world.  But for fuck's sake, don't push it off on to the rest of us.  I bet you can't really distinguish between the majority of these photo geeks' pictures and some granny's home photos.  Between the marketers and the geeks, you get this conspiracy where they try to convince every consumer that they both need to be an expert and need expert equipment in order to take a picture.  The real issue is that they are all selling the same mass-produced crap and need to make fake shit up to distinguish one from the other.  How about we just make quality, long-lasting products that are easy to use and deliver a nice photo for the average person?

In researching this rant, I've found two possibilities, the Clap (awkward name, that, and currently must be ordered from Japan) and the Holga D (which sadly only exists as a concept, but does demonstrate that the hipst s might come up with something though it will probably end up being overpriced).

Update: I got The Clap (and boy it burns! :)) and it's really neat, but unfortunately, the images are just too low resolution.  Otherwise, the simplicity and action are just awesome.  You simply click and bang you have a photo.  I'll be using it to capture moments, but they'll be pretty grainy and arty! 


Kate M. said...

I think this may be why so many people are using their iphone cameras instead (and other phone cams). Boot up Instagram, frame your picture, take your snap. Add an amusing retro filter if you like, but you don't have to. One click and you've sent it to Facebook, Twitter or a friend's mailbox.

OlmanFeelyus said...

Hmmm, that's a good point. I wonder if it's a chicken and egg thing, that the camera manufacturers are trying to compete with the cell phones by adding more and more crap to their products. Seems like a losing strategy, as the phones can also add all that stuff just as easily. It's all basically software.

My dad also pointed out the death of the Flip phone. Remember how huge that was not so long ago? Now they are gone. You can also record video on iPods now.