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Comment Consistently bad (Score 1) 57

The menus on Canon cameras are actually one of the best features and one I tout when people ask me for camera suggestions. Every Canon digital camera I've owned since the late 90's, whether various models of point and shoot, or five different dSLR models (including the 5Dmk3) has a menu system consistent with the other models.

Consistently bad interfaces are still bad interfaces. I own a Canon camera (among others) and the interface is not meaningfully better than the one on my Sony or my Nikon. They all have some strengths and lots of weaknesses. The fact that they are consistent across their platform is what I consider a basic requirement. It's kind of like getting excited because all of Apple's products share a consistent interface? They'd be idiots if they didn't do that. But that's not my point. My point is that their interface is just bad. It's awkward, inefficient, unintuitive, and ugly. I could live with ugly if it was efficient but it isn't. Consistency is nice but there is a lot more ground to cover to make the interface good.

Comment A faster horse (Score 1) 57

The camera manufacturer will typically give at least two shits about what professional and semi-pro photographers think.

If anything they care a little too much. They're afraid to try anything wildly new. That's the problem. It's like the old Henry Ford line "if I asked my customers what they wanted they would say 'a faster horse'". Companies need to listen to their customers but even more so they need to figure out what customers actually need rather than what they say they need. Most people are actually rather bad at designing work flows that are different than what they are accustomed to. Sometimes that is fine but to really progress it is necessary to take some risks and try some new things that might or might not work.

Comment Checklist marketing (Score 2) 57

What kind of menu do you want? There is a lot of information and settings that have to be presented to the use

There really isn't. Not on the camera itself anyway. 95% of the menu setting never get touched or get set once and never touched again so why do they need to be in a crappy interface at all? One could remove most of the menus on any given camera and nobody would even notice because they never get used. Those "features" exist on the camera because it provides a checklist for marketing purposes, not because it makes a better product.

Canon does a pretty good job at it on such a small screen, IMO.

Why do many of them need to be on the small screen in the first place? You are going to interface the camera with a computer at some point so why not offload the menus for the rarely/never used settings to a PC or tablet? For the interface itself take some design cues from touch interfaces like on smartphones for crying out loud. They don't give it a moment's thought. Make it seamlessly work with PCs and tablets with zero headaches. Right now it doesn't. I just bought a camera a few months ago and the software to talk with my smartphone sucks and getting it to work with my PC was needlessly painful and still doesn't work great. I disagree that Canon or anyone else does a "pretty good job" of it on the camera screen and even the bits they do well could be better. I think they put in the minimum amount of effort and the results show it.

Comment Good design is better than workarounds (Score 1) 57

Then set up the MyMenu section and add what you want.

How about the designers of the camera doing a decent interface to begin with instead. You are suggesting a workaround to a stupid system. I prefer that the system not be stupid in the first place.

My question is, will this finally drive some of the MK II prices down?

Unlikely but a good interface probably would capture some amount of market share for the first company to get it right. Since camera buyers tend to be sticky to a particular platform it seems like it would be a worthwhile way to grab market share

Comment Features you don't need (Score 2) 57

The menus are fine. If you know what you're doing you won't be using them much anyway.

The menus are NOT fine. They are terrible. If they aren't any use then they should be removed. If they are of use then they should be efficient and functional and easy to understand. Now I understand that many people need different features, which is fine but that doesn't excuse having a shitty interface for them. If it is used incredibly rarely then offload it to a tablet or a PC or (heaven forbid) a phone. Let people load the menus they actually need and want on to the phone and put an interface on the camera that doesn't suck.

Just because you have trained yourself to utilize a bad interface doesn't magically turn it into a good interface. You're just making the best of a bad design.

If you're using the menu too much you're doing it wrong.

Wrong. If the menu isn't useful then it was designed wrong. A feature that isn't efficient is a bad feature.

Comment "That's the way we've always done it" is idiotic (Score 2) 57

The menus basically have to be where they are now, because old photographers expect the MS-DOS menu experience

"Have to be"? Baloney. They don't have to be anything. Who gives a shit what the old timers expect. Give them something better than what they expect. The camera manufacturers have just been lazy and can't be bothered to invest the money into designing a decent interface because they know theirs is as "good" as anyone else's and they have people locked to their platform via hardware.

That argument is the "that's the way we've always done it" argument which drives me absolutely bananas. If they had tried a bunch of stuff and that proved to be what worked best then fine but they haven't done that. NOBODY has done that. They just do a minor iteration on an interface from the 1990s that wasn't good then and still isn't good.

And, for reals, out in the field that paradigm is often the one that works best.

How would you know? Nobody has tried anything different. It works but that doesn't make it good, efficient, or pleasant to use. Camera companies trap photographers to their line of hardware and so they don't need to care that the software interface is shit since they know they aren't going to change platforms.

As for the colour scheme, I guess it's for readablity under adverse conditions (pouring rain).

Beyond whatever is necessary for function I couldn't give a tinker's damn about the color scheme.

Comment Menus on cameras are terrible (Score 2) 57

Have they made changes to the 1980's menu system for example?

That would be shocking if someone actually fixed that problem. I have yet to run across a camera menu (Canon or otherwise) system that doesn't make my eyes bleed. While I'm not a pro photographer by any means I've handled enough cameras across enough brands to realize the menus are pretty much universally shit. Just horribly designed with terrible interfaces. Buried settings with little rhyme or reason to them, clumsy navigation, poor descriptors, idiotic menu choices, etc. I'm not looking for pretty - just efficient and functional. Haven't found one I like yet. The cameras I've tried haven't nailed the collaboration with smartphones, tablets or PCs either. You can get them to talk but it's super clumsy and annoying. That should be basic by now but they haven't figured it out.

Comment Re:Everything to everyone (Score 1) 18

Indeed. The suits get nervous and catch featuritus. In my opinion Youtube should improve its existing commenting feature. It's hard sift and re-find comments if there's a lot per vid, for example. And the reply notifier is buggy.

Forget about being a blog/photo/texting gizmo. You lost that battle already.

Comment Re:Just a fad (Score 1) 105

I'd have to disagree.

I'd LOVE to be trollin' around slashdot etc. instead of actually driving during my commute.

And my lazy son won't get a driver's license, making me drive. I'm thinking of telling him to Uber, but the idea of riding with a creepy stranger kind of bothers me. I'd rather it be creepy robot.

There are people too young, too old, or too ill to drive, and many that just don't want to. I'd say that's at least 1/4 the population (excluding younger than say 12). Big potential market.

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