Monday, 16 February 2009

More on camera controls

After my safari thoughts, I was reminded of the post I made on camera controls. Given that I used my camera in entirely new ways in Tanzania, I've had more thoughts on camera control.

If I can't have the simplified camera I want, how about having a camera that I can set up to my liking? I've become increasingly frustrated with some of the button-function choices of Canon (but other companies don't seem any different) and the way they cripple the lower models. Seeing what gets done with the pro camera custom functions it should be easy to give us more control over the control.

Here's a few things I'd like:

  • Dedicated operations. Aperture on one dial, shutter speed on another, I choose which and I choose independently the direction of operation. A dedicated ISO dial.
  • Auto-ISO range that I can set. Auto-ISO in manual mode. I should be able, in manual, to set shutter, aperture, compensation and the camera determine the ISO.
  • MLU button. There must be three or 4 buttons I never use which could easily do the duty (e.g. the direct print button).
I would have ranted about a separate focus button but most cameras now have a thumb operated focus button (or option to set up one). This is now my default - focus and shutter release are independent.

I know all of this is doable, because Canon almost has the lot in the 1DmkIII cameras - nearly but not quite. Why they can't have a set of custom functions, one per button, for personal set-up beats me.


  1. Could you elaborate a bit on why you see focus on thumb and shutter release independent of each other, as the best selection ?

    My Pentax is very easy to customize, and to dedicate bottoms and wheels for various things. And I’ve heard of this AF bottom and Shutter release idea before

  2. Sune, sure - here it is. For one, it means all my cameras (film & digital) have separate focus and shutter release. It also makes the shutter release more responsive on some cameras (because it's not trying to focus). I also find it faster to work with separate controls.
    But on the Canon DSLRs mainly it's so I can take full advantage of Full Time Manual lenses. With focus removed from the shutter release I can use both auto and manual focus with the lens set in the AF position.


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