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11-12-2013, 10:02 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Too many modes!

There is a line I love from the movie Amadeus where the Emperor says "There are too many notes!" in regards to Mozart's latest concerto.

I just read the review on the K3 and there were a few sticking points on user interface because of tediousness in menus and settings.

Now, I'm not as dim-witted as the emperor but I think camera makers have to start whittling down the feature glut because they are becoming difficult and annoying to operate. There are multitudes of auto-focus modes and exposure modes and movie modes, etc. etc. Before AF you simply looked through the lens and focused the damn thing.. wherever in the frame you wanted.. you didn't have to hit a few buttons to select the focus select mode and then select the spot you wanted to focus on. You know what I'm getting at...

All this high-tech assistance looks great at first blush but when you actually use these features, their downfalls and inconsistencies make them not worth it.

I can see now why some of the pro cameras forego some of these nice-to-have features. They are more concerned with performance of the basic features, like low noise, fast focus and frame rate.

If you listen to all the experts out there give advice, they say "use manual mode" to learn photography. A person who buys a K3, does he want an auto-everything point-and-shoot or does he want a professional grade camera that performs?

As a person gains experience, he can make up for all those nice-to-have and not-so-well-working features that clutter the camera and make it annoying to use.

11-12-2013, 10:31 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by gbeaton Quote
There is a line I love from the movie Amadeus where the Emperor says "There are too many notes!" in regards to Mozart's latest concerto.

I just read the review on the K3 and there were a few sticking points on user interface because of tediousness in menus and settings.

Now, I'm not as dim-witted as the emperor but I think camera makers have to start whittling down the feature glut because they are becoming difficult and annoying to operate. There are multitudes of auto-focus modes and exposure modes and movie modes, etc. etc. Before AF you simply looked through the lens and focused the damn thing.. wherever in the frame you wanted.. you didn't have to hit a few buttons to select the focus select mode and then select the spot you wanted to focus on. You know what I'm getting at...

All this high-tech assistance looks great at first blush but when you actually use these features, their downfalls and inconsistencies make them not worth it.

I can see now why some of the pro cameras forego some of these nice-to-have features. They are more concerned with performance of the basic features, like low noise, fast focus and frame rate.

If you listen to all the experts out there give advice, they say "use manual mode" to learn photography. A person who buys a K3, does he want an auto-everything point-and-shoot or does he want a professional grade camera that performs?

As a person gains experience, he can make up for all those nice-to-have and not-so-well-working features that clutter the camera and make it annoying to use.
I personally don't think the K-3 has too many modes. Pentax has decided to keep the same interface as on the K-50, basically, but they've added more options to all of the screens. I'm willing to bet that whatever comes after the K-3 will have an entirely different interface that's designed to accommodate "more stuff"

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11-12-2013, 11:19 AM   #3
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When you listen to a concerto you have little choice other than to listen to every note. Fortunately, it isn't necessary to use every feature available on a camera.
QuoteQuote:
Before AF you simply looked through the lens and focused the damn thing.
Well, I'm pretty sure you can do that still.The fact that a camera is capable of multiple auto focus modes does not stop you from focusing manually. A camera having the ability to choose aperture, shutter speed and ISO doesn't mean you can't set them yourself. A camera's internal light meter doesn't mean you can't use the "sunny 16" rule, or just make an experienced guess instead.
Yes, the professionals say "use manual mode" to learn photography. "Use manual mode" not "don't use a camera that has capabilities beyond manual".

It's the way of the world. Look how cluttered and complicated cars have become. All that extra unnecessary stuff like radios, air conditioning, heaters, power windows, automatic transmissions, turn signals, electric starters..................... Nobody needs all that just to get from point A to Point B. Clutch, brake, throttle and a steering wheel is all you need.
11-12-2013, 11:26 AM   #4
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I've always found that too many is never enough .
Based on the review on the front page, I think the number of modes is just about right. Maybe they just need to re-order them in a different format to be easier to follow.

QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
... Clutch, brake, throttle and a steering wheel is all you need.
That's all I want in my car!

11-12-2013, 11:50 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by gbeaton Quote
All this high-tech assistance looks great at first blush but when you actually use these features, their downfalls and inconsistencies make them not worth it.
In adition to the "just ignore it" responses (which strike me a just a little bit snarky) maybe right now a simpler mid-range camera like the K-50 would be better. It wouldn't have the leading edge features of the K3 but it wouldn't have so complex a feature set either. For example, you can just completely ignore video and half the complexity goes away and the rest is pretty familiar.

It's all some kind of compromise, I guess. I plan to get a K3 at bonus time. For me it will be a pretty complete learning experience since my most recent digital camera purchases have been the K-01 and Q - both cameras that use the mid-range feature sets and menus.

For simplicity I still use a film KX - and my most challenging and complex camera is an MZ-S - I had to pay through the nose to get a paper manual for it because I really couldn't operate the da#$ed thing without it.

Last edited by monochrome; 11-12-2013 at 11:56 AM.
11-12-2013, 12:11 PM   #6
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Its actually the K3 review that points out the cons. Operation of the camera has become, in some cases, more complicated and annoying, compared to the K5 for example. Sometimes you can't ignore the complexity, like when it affects the ease of operation of dedicated buttons.
11-12-2013, 04:52 PM   #7
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Like everything else someone can learn what to use that suits them and what they use less of. What is a shame (IMHO) is if someone buys a full featured camera only to use the auto mode. To each their own.
11-19-2013, 08:50 PM   #8
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I'm reviving this thread with this video I found on an "intelligent camera.. so you don't have to be"



11-20-2013, 02:23 PM   #9
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@OP
There are 'too many modes' only if you happen not to need them. Not everyone has the same needs and I think it is a bit arrogant for one to think that something is superfluous just because he does not need it himself.

For me for instance all the colour, digital filter, white balance options are useless and just take up buttons and menu space that could have been used for better things but at the same time I understand and appreaciate that for others these may be useful or even essential. The camera is not designed specially for me and has to be useful to a whole variety of people with different needs.

Take for instance the focusing - if you shoot landscapes and portraits then yes all the AF functions are pointless - at best you need just plain single AF with one centre point and activated by shutter half press. If however you shoot sports, birds in flight and such then you need as much automated help as you can from the camera as there is no way you can manually keep track of focus. Even if you shoot just birds you will find that you need different settings depending on whether the background is trees, sky or water and more so whether or not there is also stuff getting in the way in the foregroung.

Automatic does not necessarily mean 'unprofessional'. What an 'expert' says is useful or not will depend on what his expertise is about and what he considers useless may be essential to another 'expert'.

Advising someone to use fully manual to learn is only applicable to someone at the very beginning of the learning curve. As one progresses one needs to start to learn to use the more advanced functions, if of course they are applicable to the types of subjects he will be shooting.
11-20-2013, 02:42 PM   #10
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I think the OP is trolling here.

Pentax added so much to the camera's menus and control layout that it made the K-3 somewhat more difficult and slower to operate than the K-5 or K-30/K-50. There really isn't a reason to bash the camera itself for these user interface problems. A lot of functionality was added, and there had to be a way to accommodate it.

--DragonLord
11-20-2013, 04:49 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
@OP
There are 'too many modes' only if you happen not to need them. Not everyone has the same needs and I think it is a bit arrogant for one to think that something is superfluous just because he does not need it himself.

For me for instance all the colour, digital filter, white balance options are useless and just take up buttons and menu space that could have been used for better things but at the same time I understand and appreaciate that for others these may be useful or even essential. The camera is not designed specially for me and has to be useful to a whole variety of people with different needs.

Take for instance the focusing - if you shoot landscapes and portraits then yes all the AF functions are pointless - at best you need just plain single AF with one centre point and activated by shutter half press. If however you shoot sports, birds in flight and such then you need as much automated help as you can from the camera as there is no way you can manually keep track of focus. Even if you shoot just birds you will find that you need different settings depending on whether the background is trees, sky or water and more so whether or not there is also stuff getting in the way in the foregroung.

Automatic does not necessarily mean 'unprofessional'. What an 'expert' says is useful or not will depend on what his expertise is about and what he considers useless may be essential to another 'expert'.

Advising someone to use fully manual to learn is only applicable to someone at the very beginning of the learning curve. As one progresses one needs to start to learn to use the more advanced functions, if of course they are applicable to the types of subjects he will be shooting.
You make some good points. Too bad you spoil it by getting personal. Next time, keep it to yourself!
11-20-2013, 04:52 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DragonLord Quote
I think the OP is trolling here.

Pentax added so much to the camera's menus and control layout that it made the K-3 somewhat more difficult and slower to operate than the K-5 or K-30/K-50. There really isn't a reason to bash the camera itself for these user interface problems. A lot of functionality was added, and there had to be a way to accommodate it.

--DragonLord
What's the matter? You don't like humour?! Did you own that Canon camera by any chance? Keep your accusations to yourself. Its offensive.
11-20-2013, 10:05 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by gbeaton Quote
What's the matter? You don't like humour?! Did you own that Canon camera by any chance? Keep your accusations to yourself. Its offensive.
My apologies. I don't own any Canon equipment, but the original post read a bit like a troll post to me. It was rather provocative, since it seemed to exaggerate a rather minor issue with the K-3. No offense was intended.

--DragonLord

Last edited by bwDraco; 11-20-2013 at 10:16 PM.
11-21-2013, 03:44 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by gbeaton Quote
Too many modes!
Just use what you need and don't worry about the rest. It's surprising how fast you can learn something when you need too.
11-22-2013, 04:19 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by gbeaton Quote
There is a line I love from the movie Amadeus where the Emperor says "There are too many notes!" in regards to Mozart's latest concerto.

I just read the review on the K3 and there were a few sticking points on user interface because of tediousness in menus and settings.

Now, I'm not as dim-witted as the emperor but I think camera makers have to start whittling down the feature glut because they are becoming difficult and annoying to operate. There are multitudes of auto-focus modes and exposure modes and movie modes, etc. etc. Before AF you simply looked through the lens and focused the damn thing.. wherever in the frame you wanted.. you didn't have to hit a few buttons to select the focus select mode and then select the spot you wanted to focus on. You know what I'm getting at...

All this high-tech assistance looks great at first blush but when you actually use these features, their downfalls and inconsistencies make them not worth it.

I can see now why some of the pro cameras forego some of these nice-to-have features. They are more concerned with performance of the basic features, like low noise, fast focus and frame rate.

If you listen to all the experts out there give advice, they say "use manual mode" to learn photography. A person who buys a K3, does he want an auto-everything point-and-shoot or does he want a professional grade camera that performs?

As a person gains experience, he can make up for all those nice-to-have and not-so-well-working features that clutter the camera and make it annoying to use.
Surely Pentax don't expect every user to use all the available modes, they're catering for everyones needs. I've had my K5 a couple of years and fully conversant with all the modes but have only ever used AV,TAV,manual and bulb. I've never used the video yet and probably never will!
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