Techniques, Reviews and Commentary

How users see their cameras

I thought I might share a few outtakes from this experience in this weeks blog, it might help you, it might even infuriate you (if you are a fan boy of a certain brand) but overall it is just meant to be a commentary on what I have noticed, I will put these in point form to keep things simple.
  • Most SLR users have bought the camera after owning a compact and being dissatisfied with the operational speed of the compact, they also often mumble something about the look of the photos, (referring to DOF) but usually can’t quite put their finger on the difference.
  • SLR users who have not previously owned a compact typically are using the camera on full auto and have little idea of the cameras full capability; of course we deal with that pretty quickly.
  • Many owners of basic Olympus compacts are quite disappointed in the lack of features their cameras have once they learn about the options of white balance, continuous shooting and all the other things one expects to be able to do with a compacts these days.
  • Without a doubt Nikon takes the award as the brand most likely to confuse its owners, there seems to be little commonality between models. The Nikon manuals drive the owners crazy.
  • The brand which gets the most complaints regarding image quality is easily Kodak, though Kodak seems to have quite sensible menu systems according to students.
  • Canon Ixus models have very consistent performance and almost all owners are very happy with the final images and the ability of the camera. The Ixus models seem to have very good screens compared to the opposition.
  • On the other hand the Custom White Balance system on Canon DSLRs seems to drive owners crazy and many simply can’t be bothered with it.
  • The lens most likely to cause owner dissatisfaction is without a doubt the 18-55mm kit lens that comes with Canon DSLRs. Most students say the photos are soft, blurry other words the lens is rubbish. I used to own one and you will get no argument from me on that one.
  • The touch screen Sony compacts which are designed to be simple to use are NOT. Most owners hate the way the camera works.
  • Owners of the pancake compacts which have the lens in the top left or right hand corner often complain of blurry fuzzy pictures, the fix is normally easy, clean the lens. But overall this design is hopeless in terms of avoiding lens fingerprints.
  • Most Fuji owners are very happy with image quality; they love the bright punchy colours and find the cameras relatively foolproof.
  • Panasonic cameras are very consistent and their menu systems all work much the same, they are well built, work well and deliver good results and their manuals are not bad either. I can see why they have captured a large market share so quickly.
  • Speaking of manuals, the move to having the real manual on CD’s, (Kodak and Olympus are the worst offenders) utterly infuriates users. Many don’t even realise that there is a more comprehensive manual on the CD until it is pointed out to them.
  • Almost all DSLR owners think they need to buy a macro lens and most are very disappointed with the so-called macro ability of the lens that came with the camera.
  • By far the biggest overall complaint about all cameras is poor viewing screens, the second is incomprehensible manuals
There are of course many other issues; I will probably revisit this a little later down the track.

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