Sunday, 14 October 2007

Change the digicam

Sometimes I wonder if the people making cameras actually observe those using them.

I've noticed 2 things about the average snapper and the way that small cameras are used:
1. Camera phone users are very comfortable taking quick snaps with one hand
2. Small camera users seem to take forever and rarely look comfortable using their cameras

This applies to the young and old alike. Cause? For me it's all in form factor (shape). Virtually all camera phone users hold the camera upright like a phone and use their thumb on the shutter release. Cameras, on the other hand, are all designed with an index finger trigger, making them awkward to use with one hand or at low angles.

So why isn't the digicam redesigned for the casual snapper? I noticed even the phone makers show their camera function product shots aligned in the traditional "landscape" format, even though no one uses them that way.

Here's a cobbled-together mock-up I've put together for such a camera. Notice also I've gone for a square aspect ratio: gets over the whole portrait/landscape decision which seems to cloud people's judgement on how to hold the thing. Simple controls, all in reach of the thumb.

Remember, you read it here first.

New pocket digicam mock-up

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