Too Many Options

In this article from Digital Photographer magazine the point is made that many, if not most, people don't understand their camera's capabilities, much less make full use of them. What I find really sad is the fact that many people are not able to be comfortable taking pictures of their family's special moments because they're intimidated by a machine that has been made unnecessarily complex. Why do you think that is? I know I've often complained when it comes to phones that I don't want to have to read a stinking manual just to figure out how to make a call. Pick it up, dial, I'm done. Back in the day we had Kodak Instamatics and Brownies and all these great simple cameras. You pointed, you clicked, you took the film in to a developer, and either it turned out or it didn't. All you did was load the film, and there was a shutter button. A shutter button big enough for your finger, I might add. While it is great how creative you can be with the new small cameras, to be completely honest, the manufacturers are trying to do too much to please too many people. If you are buying a fairly simple camera, it should have simple controls (big enough for your finger, for instance) and fewer options. I think the camera companies are missing the boat on this one by trying to be all things to everyone, and they just end up confusing people. One thing to keep in mind to help you until manufacturers buy a clue is that most cameras come with a 'quick start' guide. Take that out and look at it, then play with your camera at a time when the pictures don't matter. The other thing to do is to carry your camera with you and take more pictures so you do remember. You might be surprised at the fun shots you get right out of nowhere... kind of like this one! 😉 (and oh by the way, it did get posted at the local sheriff's office, and no one ever did 'fess up to being the one in the ditch!) Another thing you can do is take the time to play with your camera and run through the controls before the action starts. Pros do this all the time, just to be sure that everything is working and on the setting it should be, so learn from their example. The controls look more complicated and irritating than they are. Yes, I do think we need more simple point and shoot cameras for people who are not hobbyists, but if you take a few minutes and use the quick start guide, you'll be fine.