OUT THE WINDOW TO THE LIGHT – Marilyn Armstrong

INTO THE LIGHT THOUGH THE DAY WAS GRAY


I don’t have any space pictures. I wish I did. But I do have some pictures from today and this gray day as my orchid is getting ready to bloom.

Fat buds on my purple orchids. If the sun comes out (they promised tomorrow), they may bloom

I need to admit that I’d have more pictures if I hadn’t accidentally pressed a button somewhere on my newish camera. Now, I haven’t used this camera very much, probably because I haven’t been outside much. It hasn’t been very photogenic outside. We had one small snow at the beginning of December and nothing but a dusting since then. So mostly, I’ve been taking bird pictures and for that, I used my Olympus with a long lens.

Today, though, I wanted to take pictures of the fat buds on my orchid. I decided to use this camera and I took it into the dining room. Which is when I realized the Christmas cactus was back in bloom. The flowers were hidden under the leaves of the aloe vera and since I also have a red table covering, I hadn’t realized that some of that red was flowers.

I took out my camera to take pictures, but it wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t take a simple shot. Like most new cameras, the Panasonic DC ZS-80, it has a menu system with more choices for options I will never use — and couldn’t because I’m not even sure what they do.

I eventually found what I was looking for: the button that deletes all the settings that may have been set, including those you may have set by accident. It turns out that one of the things I had done was to set it on permanent movie mode and merely pressing the movie button didn’t unset it. And there were a few more settings that needed changing involving histograms and levels and red-eye settings. I never set them because I never used the menu. I just set it to Program or iAuto and took a few pictures. I don’t think I’ve taken as many as two dozen pictures with it.

Which is probably why I decided to use it today. Guilt.

I have this problem with almost all my cameras. Each one has its own super complicated menu that includes settings no one uses. After making the menu impossible to understand, they then charge additional money for the “upgrade.”

One more Goldfinch

Complexity is not an upgrade unless it gives you something you want and can use. I think these super complicated menus have led many of us to despair. It’s why many of us gave up all but basic settings. We use iAuto and make other changes with software.

All of this reminded me why Garry so loved my Leica. It is the only camera we own that has a menu written in simple English. And, if you set it in Auto it tells you “Just point the camera. I’ll take care of the rest.” No kidding. It reassures you!

What’s the point of a camera with a menu so absurdly complicated? Why do they add so many settings you have to hold the manual (assuming you have a manual) in one hand and the camera in the other while wearing your reading glasses?

I also forgot that this camera is slower than the one I normally use and by the time I got through figuring out how to reset the camera to default, it wasn’t afternoon. It was getting dark.



Categories: Cameras, Marilyn Armstrong, Photography, square

Tags: , , , ,

15 replies

  1. oh Marilyn I understand your frustration, not sure I even understand 10% of what my camera can do!

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  2. LMAO now that was delightful and so up my alley. Since I can’t read anything under an inch high, I’d have no end of problems. I have to have someone show me or if I can read instructions memorize them. I do miss photography. I don’t have a camera anyway, we had a Nikon and massive zoom lenses and I have some pretty awesome pictures I should get developed. Still I can live vicariously and do, through you and a couple of other talented people. Thank you for your diligent efforts, it means worlds to me for sure. xoxo

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  3. and often those manuals are unintelligible …..

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  4. I am with you on this, Marilyn. Why do all technological items like phones and ipads come with all these additional options that no-one ever uses. The few people who want them could pay a bit more for them and the rest of us could be left in peace with a more simple item.

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    • I think all these “extras” make us LESS likely to use the camera — or phone. I hate my mobile phone. To make a simple phone call, I have to dig through menus and the menus aren’t particularly clear and most people can’t find the settings. There’s a reason why I hate these devices. They do NOT simplify life. And they make us increasingly dependent on having the battery charged!

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  5. well Marilyn, you weren’t shouting there there Gary, get my camera, then tumbled over, and doing harm, shucks, don’t worry Dear, the eclipse will be back in another fifty years. Simple does it best, there was a time when people knew each other and knew what they wanted, now it’s like your camera menu, they can’t decide, there are too many choices. They say that fifteen choices is max, they learned this from food shoppers, too much choice tires the shopper out. Love your plant collection, sounds like a hive of health you live among. Keep on sending out your wisdom, Aloe Vera, where’s the “other stuff”…

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