Hjertnes.blog

Camera design

July 05, 2018

Since digital took over more or less every system camera looks the same. You have some kind of version of the Nikon F3. With some buttons and dials that you can customise a little or a lot depending on your camera.

Some people like this design, while others don’t like it as much.

As I see it there are three different way you can design a great digital camera. Just a note before we move on, I am talking about system cameras, where you can change the lens.

The first one is to follow what the Leica M series and Fuji are doing. Where you design lenses and cameras how it used to be up to the 80s. Where you have dials on the lens, and dedicated dials on the camera. Where you don’t need to turn the camera on to change settings. You just twist the ISO dial, the Aperture dial or the shutter speed dial. This enables you to be very fast when you shoot in full or partial manual. For example, I am way faster with my X-Pro 2 or my Nikon FM 35mm camera than I ever was with my Canon Rebel. Because it is slower to interact with screens and menus than it is to just twist a dedicated dial.

The next one is kind of a extension of the current “F3 design”. You have many buttons and dials like you have to day. But you can basically program any button to do anything; either simple stuff or multi step actions like: “Set ISO X and Aperture to X” etc. And you have an E-Ink screen on top to show the current settings.

And the third is what Leica are doing with their TL system. Imagine a dedicated camera that is like an iPhone. Not a lot of buttons or a view finder, but instead just a few buttons and a large screen.

It isn’t about having one design for everyone. But instead making sure each design idea is the best possible for those who like that kind of camera. For example the “TL” design will be very appealing for those who prefer to shoot with their phone. But want something “better”. And to let those of us that prefer old school shooting to have that. Finally, I think the F3 design is good, I don’t like it that much. But I think it could be a hell of a lot more powerful for those who enjoy it if they made it a little bit more flexible and customisable.

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July 04, 2018

Every time I see someone arguing for why choosing your own gender is “wrong”, I see some desperate person hiding under flawed arguments and logic to avoid something they are very uncomfortable with.

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July 04, 2018

I can see my Apple Watch battery life being significant worse as I’m approaching the two year mark.

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July 04, 2018

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July 04, 2018

Got my Classroom friendly sharpener today. It’s awesome!

Finding the lenses you need.

July 04, 2018

If you have no idea about lenses, start with a 40mm (27mm on a crop system). It is between a 35 and 50; the two most popular prime focal lengths. Great everything from portraits to street and general “snapshots”.

The next step would be to decide what else you would like: more flexibility (zoom), something wider, something longer or something faster? Where and how you’ll shoot will also be an important factor. Because if you shoot stuff that moves fast you’ll want fast autofocus, if you walk around with it a lot you want something light. But if you shoot in a studio you don’t care about either.

The f-stop number on a lens tells us how “fast” it is or how much light it can let it. Lower number, larger hole. Lower number means more glass, more glass means heavier and slower autofocus (because something has to move all of that glass to focus).

I personally always try to find the fastest light combo. Like with my Fuji I always go with the F2 line of lenses. There are faster versions of similar focal lengths (like f/1.2 and f/1.4) but they have slower autofocus and are much heavier. One of the reasons I take as many photos as I do, is because almost all of my lens combos are very small and compact.

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July 03, 2018

The world have spent too much energy making sure white straight cis men like myself are comfortable

Why I prefer primes to zooms.

July 03, 2018

You can either get a set of primes (fixed focal lengths) or one (or more) zooms to cover the same focal lengths. There are good and bad sides to both. The good thing about a zoom is that you carry less lenses and you don’t have to switch them that often. The bad thing is that they are almost always slower, and are heavier very expensive.

I used to use a 24-70mm lens on my Canon Rebel. It was a f/2.8, aka very heavy. This was the kind of lens you can forget about using with one hand. I’m not getting another one for a number of reasons.

  • I didn’t use that many different focal lengths.
  • I could get more or less the same thing with 3-4 primes
  • The primes would all of them be light enough for one handed use
  • The primes would be faster.

I always use my camera more, and bring it more places, if I use a small and light lens on it. And other people aren’t always that fund of me walking around with huge lenses for a number of reasons. There are stuff I’ll miss about not having a zoom, like more flexibility in terms of how far away / close you have to get. But I have always enjoyed small and light primes more.

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July 02, 2018

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July 02, 2018

New job 1st of September