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02-23-2012, 01:50 PM - 1 Like   #106
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What built Apple's rep, and what Apple did well; monolithic apps, half the OS in non-volatile ROMs on the motherboard, super tight control of the manufacturing process to assure quality... almost drove them into the poor house. Steve Jobs was a visionairy because he realized that Apple had been giving people quality when what they wanted was a smug sense of self righteousness and a guardrailed experience provided by a slick interface. So now, when you buy an Apple, you're buying a 300 buck PC with a custom skinned version of BSD Linux on it (free software) and paying a fairly massive premium for being to lazy to be a "nerd". Steve "You're holding it wrong" Job's biggest innovation was understanding that as long as you could make people desire it, the objective qualities of the object being delivered don't matter. And you'll make a boatload of money.

If Pentax wanted to follow in Apple's footsteps, they'd just buy Nikons in bulk, strip off the external controls so you don't do anything stupid like fiddle with them (How many years was it before Apple let users remap one of the HW buttons as an alternate shutter button on the iPhone? Wouldn't want anyone confused.) Rebadge them and mark them up 80%. Hire a 'hipper than thou' guru to tell you how much better you are than the fogies fiddling with knobs and buttons. Done.

John, I believe there's a job opportunity.

In fairness, Pentax is halfway there, since they're convincing a lot of people that skimping on R&D = customer loyalty. And look, it's pretty!

@ibkc - Yes, EVF's are the modern equivalent of a ground glass. And there's a reason why no non-anachronistic camera has been made with a ground glass as the primary viewfinder for a couple of generations. Even on the Rollei, the focusing screen is hooded within an inch of it's life and still sometimes hard to see in bright ambient, or to achieve critical focus on wide open. Almost every camera made toward the end of the film era that had any serious photography aspirations included some form of eye level viewing, but suddenly, when camera makers figured out that they could eliminate the design and manufacturing costs of a quality viewfinder on low/mid-range cameras, they simultaneously and completely coincidentally discovered that the whole "looking at a big piece of glass from a distance" interface had been completely awesome after all.

I'm really trying to stay away from this topic, but the level of self delusion and rationalization sucks me in like a vortex; it's like Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf built a camera.

02-23-2012, 02:23 PM   #107
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QuoteQuote:
you're buying a 300 buck PC with a custom skinned version of BSD Linux
Wow, what a BS story. Why don't you build a bunch of cheap PC's and load BSD Linux on it and sell them for the same price as a Mac Pro. That sounds like something a DA Linux fanboy would say.
02-23-2012, 02:45 PM   #108
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QuoteOriginally posted by junyo Quote
What built Apple's rep, and what Apple did well; monolithic apps, half the OS in non-volatile ROMs on the motherboard, super tight control of the manufacturing process to assure quality... almost drove them into the poor house. Steve Jobs was a visionairy because he realized that Apple had been giving people quality when what they wanted was a smug sense of self righteousness and a guardrailed experience provided by a slick interface. So now, when you buy an Apple, you're buying a 300 buck PC with a custom skinned version of BSD Linux on it (free software) and paying a fairly massive premium for being to lazy to be a "nerd". Steve "You're holding it wrong" Job's biggest innovation was understanding that as long as you could make people desire it, the objective qualities of the object being delivered don't matter. And you'll make a boatload of money.

If Pentax wanted to follow in Apple's footsteps, they'd just buy Nikons in bulk, strip off the external controls so you don't do anything stupid like fiddle with them (How many years was it before Apple let users remap one of the HW buttons as an alternate shutter button on the iPhone? Wouldn't want anyone confused.) Rebadge them and mark them up 80%. Hire a 'hipper than thou' guru to tell you how much better you are than the fogies fiddling with knobs and buttons. Done.

John, I believe there's a job opportunity.

In fairness, Pentax is halfway there, since they're convincing a lot of people that skimping on R&D = customer loyalty. And look, it's pretty!

@ibkc - Yes, EVF's are the modern equivalent of a ground glass. And there's a reason why no non-anachronistic camera has been made with a ground glass as the primary viewfinder for a couple of generations. Even on the Rollei, the focusing screen is hooded within an inch of it's life and still sometimes hard to see in bright ambient, or to achieve critical focus on wide open. Almost every camera made toward the end of the film era that had any serious photography aspirations included some form of eye level viewing, but suddenly, when camera makers figured out that they could eliminate the design and manufacturing costs of a quality viewfinder on low/mid-range cameras, they simultaneously and completely coincidentally discovered that the whole "looking at a big piece of glass from a distance" interface had been completely awesome after all.

I'm really trying to stay away from this topic, but the level of self delusion and rationalization sucks me in like a vortex; it's like Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf built a camera.
Let's not turn this into a Mac vs. PC argument - heaven knows there's been enough of them. But like them or not, Apple's been one of the best marketed companies over the past 15 years, and Pentax can learn a thing or two about marketing from them. By the looks of the K-01, they already are.
02-23-2012, 03:02 PM   #109
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I remember plenty of people loving the colored iMacs because they weren't intimidating, because they weren't designed for the "nerds" that were proud of the arcane knowledge needed to master a computer at the time
You are confusing two points: the look of a computer and how intimidating it is to use. Back when I was instructing complete newbies in computer use, we put the computer under the desk so no-one had to look at it at all (we couldn't with early model, but later). That gets rid of the factor of aesthetics completely. Then it's just down to how nice we can make the screen look, which meant staying away from amber or green displays, even if it meant paying more. (Yes, I do go back!) Third thing was interface design which I paid a lot of attention to, even in DOS days. Fourth was one-on-one instruction in a gentle manner.

QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
The brilliance of Apple was in realizing that there was a large group of people that didn't want to become computer experts but did want to get stuff done with them.
To be fair, lots of other companies built their careers on that premise. It did not take any brilliance to realise the obvious. This is mythology.

QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
But you sound like an "insider", someone with extensive computer experience (an Amiga? Awesome!) and not afraid of dealing with the intricacies of them to get something done.
Amigas were used by everyday folk, I can assure you! They were great for gaming, MIDI sequencing and graphics in general. The scientists and business boffins were in a different room.

In my day-to-day work I just want to get jobs done. That's why I don't run LINUX on the desktop. No matter what my level of professional involvement (none currently) I have always been passing familiar with end-users of all stripes, and have spent a good amount of time helping them. There's a few things I can say with certainty.

An MS-Windows PC is no more or less intimidating than a Mac. And never has been. They are both equally scary at first, and equally easy later on. In fact, people can learn the most arcane command-line interface if they have motivation. Just try to replace that familiar interface with a graphical interface and you will have a mutiny on your hands. (Been there, too!) The "intuitive" interface is also a myth. People simply like what they are used to.

QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
What's so wrong about trying to make it a bit easier or at least more approachable?
Nothing at all. But the K-01 is a poor attempt since it doesn't actually change anything about the camera interface from its DSLR counterpart. Except the lack of a viewfinder, which will make some users more comfortable.

QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
snowboarding and surfing to really learn the thing. Had they all asked me today what camera to get, I'd undoubtedly tell them to look at the K-01.
Er, why? How does it save them from all that complexity?

QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
At the end of the day, what's so bad about being less than perfectly rational? What's so wrong about adding some personality to our digital lives? Does it need to be dismissively labeled as "conspicuous consumption"? Can't it also be called "having a little fun"?
Yep, everyone likes a little fun. (And if you'd ever seen my performance art you might doubt my rationality!) But in my book fun is cheap, not expensive. My friends want a camera for 200 clams not 800. Because the economy has collapsed and that's all they have.

Not to mention that being part of a cult of personality or cult of brand is the very opposite of fun. Hence my continuing need to prick the bubble that is Apple's inflated ego. And hence my continuing refusal to be taken in by Pentax marketing in their assertions about the glorious future for their last two camera systems. (Actually, they don't seem too convinced!)

QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
and a desire to be cast in the remake of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Definitely. SF imagery now leads design and innovation. A friend of mine even wrote a book about it. Star Trek: Technologies of Disappearance by Alan N. Shapiro, published by Verlag Avinus.

02-23-2012, 03:16 PM - 2 Likes   #110
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QuoteOriginally posted by junyo Quote
Steve Jobs was a visionairy because he realized that Apple had been giving people quality when what they wanted was a smug sense of self righteousness and a guardrailed experience provided by a slick interface.
Jobs was nothing more or less than a successful capitalist. Every time I see him deified I can't help feeling sorry for the real computer innovators, like, say, Steve Wozniak.
02-23-2012, 03:56 PM   #111
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QuoteOriginally posted by junyo Quote
@ibkc - Yes, EVF's are the modern equivalent of a ground glass. And there's a reason why no non-anachronistic camera has been made with a ground glass as the primary viewfinder for a couple of generations. Even on the Rollei, the focusing screen is hooded within an inch of it's life and still sometimes hard to see in bright ambient, or to achieve critical focus on wide open.
I don't have a problem either of these things when shooting with my Rollei, FWIW. Even as old as it is, and even with it not having the brightest focusing screen (that honor goes to my Lubitel 166U - the Soviets knew how to make a great focusing screen!), it is a simple matter of keeping the screen clean and dust-free, and leaning into the hood, pretty much the way people push a modern camera right up to one eye. It's six of one and one-half-dozen of the other, IMO.

QuoteQuote:
Almost every camera made toward the end of the film era that had any serious photography aspirations included some form of eye level viewing, but suddenly, when camera makers figured out that they could eliminate the design and manufacturing costs of a quality viewfinder on low/mid-range cameras, they simultaneously and completely coincidentally discovered that the whole "looking at a big piece of glass from a distance" interface had been completely awesome after all.
I've also got a mid-80's 35mm SLR with a waist-level viewfinder: the East German Exa 1c. I also have an eye-level viewfinder that can be swapped out for it. The waist-level viewfinder actually comes in handy and I find myself using it more than the EVF. You can get unusual angles with it without having to contort yourself into odd positions. It also makes that camera a street/candid photographer's dream, because no one guesses that a camera is pointed at them.

And I'll ask you to explain how and why the iPhone camera has been such a resounding success - explain it without sinking to ad hominems about Apple's hype/marketing/people being stupid/whatever. I can explain it: besides producing nice photographs for the kind of device that it us, it's easy and comfortable to use, even in very bright sunlight. If it wasn't, people wouldn't use it, and that's the fact of the matter.

Yes, Virginia, there is more than one way to design a comfortably functional camera.
02-23-2012, 04:04 PM   #112
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Jobs was nothing more or less than a successful capitalist. Every time I see him deified I can't help feeling sorry for the real computer innovators, like, say, Steve Wozniak.
Right, Jobs had to get Bill Gates to write basic for the Apple II with floating point because the Woz did not have floating point in his version.
02-23-2012, 04:17 PM   #113
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In an attempt to get this thread back on track, I present some opinions of the Olympus OM-D from outside of the photography bubble:

"With an honest, throwback design the Olympus OM-D E-M5 ($999, body) builds off of the 40 year-long lineage of OM SLR film cameras."
Olympus OM-D E-M5 | Gear Patrol

"Thereís more to know about the performance of this gorgeous piece of engineering, but what we need to add are the new electronic viewfinder that can achieve a 120FPS and the tilting 3-inch OLED touchscreen for state-of-the-art imagery visualization. In terms of looks, the camera comes painted in black or silver, being water and dust-proof."
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera

"At a mere glance, the newly announced Olympus OM-D E-M5 looks innocuous enough; like an homage to the 40-year-old OM SLR film camera ó that classical tank of combat photojournalism history, as though it were torn right from the hands of Eddie Adams himself. But peel back the layers, and the strikingly compact E-M5 reveals a state-of-the-art Micro Four-Thirds electronic viewfinder with a beefy 16 megapixel sensor, 3-inch tilting OLED touchscreen, and impressive 1080i60 MOV format movie capabilities tucked inside a dust and weather-sealed magnesium body. "
Olympus OM-D E-M5 | Hypebeast

"Now, what I really like about the camera and what I think makes it G Style worthy is the way this thing looks. The OM-D E-M5 is heavily influenced by the old school Olympus OM-4. Itís a classic design and Olympus did a great job refining it for the OM-D E-M5. Olympus was already doing retro inspired designs with their PEN series but the OM-D takes it even further an in my opinion, is one of their nicest looking cameras in recent history. Now, the OM-D E-M5 isnít just all looks though as it is packed with new tech and a features that I think will make this one of the more popular Micro Four Thirds cameras on the market."
Olympus Announces OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds Camera | G Style Magazine

That's all for now. I really couldn't find much about this camera outside of the photography bubble. Please share what you find...

02-23-2012, 05:23 PM   #114
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It's pretty well impossible to say anything bad about the E-M5, considering it's market. I'd buy one in a trice if I was rich or something.

There's got to be some really good reason that Pentax couldn't give us something like this. I'm trying to think of it, trying, trying...
02-23-2012, 05:38 PM   #115
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
There's got to be some really good reason that Pentax couldn't give us something like this. I'm trying to think of it, trying, trying...
They're focused on being different and so far they are successful beyond our wildest fears.
02-23-2012, 06:21 PM   #116
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
If you can't see the similarities between these forms:
Where is the snorkel on the Apple products?
You don't show it with your K-01 images, but we know it is there.

Also, has the Apple laptop shift keys at awkward positions?
If so, it wouldn't be a problem, right? You just press "Shift", let go, press the main key, and then press "Shift" again (the "Oh, so working well" procedure for using the exposure compensation button on the K-01).
02-23-2012, 06:26 PM   #117
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
There's got to be some really good reason that Pentax couldn't give us something like this.
Because Marc Newson thinks that fake leather is worse than rubber (with cheesy ribs)? Or buttons in a straight line look better than any traditional (ergonomic) arrangement ever could?
02-23-2012, 07:19 PM   #118
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Where is the snorkel on the Apple products?
You don't show it with your K-01 images, but we know it is there.
You clearly don't understand the word "similarities". It's different than "identical".

Besides, Apple has had their share of controversial designs



But I suspect that you aren't old enough to remember

QuoteQuote:
Also, has the Apple laptop shift keys at awkward positions?
If so, it wouldn't be a problem, right? You just press "Shift", let go, press the main key, and then press "Shift" again (the "Oh, so working well" procedure for using the exposure compensation button on the K-01).
As a matter of fact, the raised nubs on Apple keyboards are on different letters (F, J) than all other keyboards (D, K). I've run dual systems for the better part of 20 years and always have to re-adjust. Is it a pain? Do I go on about it endlessly on online forums? Or do I just get over it and get on with my work?

And just so you know, I've been doing the "Tap-Spin-Tap" method on my Pentax K-5 and you know what? The photos taken this way are considerably worse than photos taken with the "Press-Spin-Release" method. So you're right! "Press-Spin-Release" is absolutely critical for good photography! Thanks for showing me the light!

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Because Marc Newson thinks that fake leather is worse than rubber (with cheesy ribs)? Or buttons in a straight line look better than any traditional (ergonomic) arrangement ever could?
You know that Apple keyboard I was talking about? I just took a look - all the keys are in a straight line. Imagine that!
02-23-2012, 07:44 PM   #119
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
all the keys are in a straight line. Imagine that!
Now you've got me worried. My keyboard has that feature too! Plus I just looked at my mobile phone keypad. A 6x3 matrix of straight lines! Straight lines everywhere.

Has the world gone mad with all these straight lines? How can people live under this linear oppression.
02-23-2012, 09:19 PM - 2 Likes   #120
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QuoteOriginally posted by ibkc Quote
Another one I use a lot, which also has very simple controls, but which takes photographs which rival the output of many dSLRs to this day:




Is this a dumbed-down camera?
Thank you. For most of photography's history, every roll film camera had three adjustments if you include the focus. There is a big difference between dumbed down and functional. The K-01 will be the first "real" digital camera I buy because of the design. Am I not a serious photographer because I prefer minimal controls like I had on my M6 (and k1000 for that matter) or Hasselblad? I love shooting with pinhole cameras, they don't have any controls at all! As far as the viewfinder goes, the only one I will ever use is a rangefinder type that allows me to see beyond the frame lines. SLR type of views drive me crazy, I feel like I have blinders on. I much prefer the larger ground glass screens for SLRs. Hell, the last 35mm SLR I used was the Pentax LX. The last finders I used on it? The waist level hood and the magnified waist level finder.

People that claim that the K-01 can't be used by "serious" photographers seem to have a very narrow view as to what constitutes serious photography and serious cameras. For those of us that considered 35mm to be a miniature format, looking at larger screens is much more natural than peering through a keyhole. We also don't judge the "seriousness" of a camera by the number of dials, buttons, and switches on it.
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