Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Chrissie_Lay, Nov 25, 2016.
Take part and vote on the AP poll - Have you ever customised your camera?
First thing I do after charging the battery.
Well, apart from the go-faster stripes, spoiler and furry dice, not really.
I've got a Kodak Instamatic that my father customised for me - it's got a piece of Dymo label (remember that?) with the word 'Hasselblad' stuck over where it says 'Kodak' on the front of it!
It struck me when I read this article that AP had landed on a formula for a never ending article as by the time you worked through all the settings for just one model per manufacturer they would have changed their systems yet again. Canon had a nice system on the 1D iv - the new 5 series system is pretty horrid - plus why they replaced the +/- zoom function on the AElock/AF select buttons with the magnifying glass and control dial for zoom on image playback escapes me completely. It would be a great customisation option to have that back.
I always customise the camera . I turn off the beep. I set the date. I set it to record raw. I'll set a default AF mode. I'll turn off the LCD review function. I'll set the default information on image playback and I'll set it to use a single AF point. After that I may make changes on an as-needs basis - usually the only thing I'll go into a menu for is to set portrait and landscape AF point positions if I am shooting people and want to the AF point nearer face height than chest height.
Additionally on my Fuji I swapped a button function - think it was to get ISO - and configured the viewfinder.
The one thing that annoys me on my 7d2 as well.
The only true customisation I have made is to reassign button function for back button focusing. Everything else I would just class as altering settings as needed.
I once used reverse electroplating to remove the chrome from an old SLR's top plate and sprayed it black. It looked as silly as it sounds.
The odd thing is, I never even thought of fiddling with options as "customizing". As anyone who read my Nikon Df piece in the November 5th issue will know, one of the first things I did was to disable one of the many useless buttons and dials on the camera. I wish I could disable more. Especially the one that makes the focus point wander at random.
On "real" (film) cameras I've changed focusing screens and viewfinders, and bolted on motors and trigger bases and soft releases, but I'd still not regard that as "customizing". Nor yet the red one-metre bellows I had made for my De Vere 8x10 inch camera by Custom Bellows.
For years I fancied a fire engine red Leica M2, but nowadays there are several people offering custom painting off the shelf, and I realized that I don't really want one badly enough to pay what people like Shintaro are charging.
On the other hand I did ask Leica why they don't offer an option on digi-Ms to make the shutter speed dial rotate the right way (like all film Leicas except the M7). They confirmed that it was entirely possible. Maybe they'll do it one day.
So... Yes and no.
M6 TTL also goes the way of the M7. The idea was that the direction of rotation of the speed dial matched the direction of the meter LEDs.
I don't think that this article is really customisation as I see it. I've replaced a focusing screen in a DSLR (which wasn't supposed to have replaceable focusing screens) and have made several homemade eyepieces. I've also created handmade straps and other such external accessories.
Going back to the article, I haven't owned a camera yet where I haven't dived into the menus and started making changes to how the camera behaves to fit my way of working.
I changed the slippery advertisement for Canon that passes for a strap for one that stays on my right shoulder without falling off. Does that count?
I was also thinking of physical changes rather than just menu options! I've removed the hot mirror from one, which I do see as customising, but when I saw the options I knew they where only thinking of the software options, so answered appropriately - they are always tweaked & frequently changed repeatably (like the electronic shutter option).
I do it the minute the battery is charged.
On my Olympus Trip 35 film camera I stuck a strip of Dynatape on the back with the word 'FOCUS' as I kept on forgetting to do it.
Set up my Canon DSLRs for back button focus and raw shooting, but that's about it. The Sony NEX is not particularly customisable, raw shooting and shutter release without lens, from memory.
Bought and fitted a new focusing screen for my Rolleicord years ago.
The Bronica is like a lego set, you build the camera from bits, but not sure that counts.
Shoot without lens is generally the first thing I change too. I've never understood the reason why anyone would want it in the default setting.
I got as far as ordering the focusing screen for my DSLR, but before it arrived I read reviews that claimed that the microprisms would upset the metering so I never actually fitted it.
My 5x4 camera was very much built up as a construction set. Initially I didn't intend to get a complete camera just the standards to rig for tilt shift with my DSLR, but the systems grown. It might well have turned out cheap in the end to buy a complete system, and the parts would match better.
Shoot without lens is my first stop in the menus too - after turning off the beep
I did replace my DSLR focusing screen - in hindsight I wish I had paid to do it properly, but that would have involved shipping my camera to the USA and waiting for it to come back.
I just applied small amounts of Sugru to the focus assist and focus point selector buttons on my Fuji X-T1 to make them more prominent and easier to feel without taking my eye from the EVF...
Nikon seem to set up the D500 so it is useable as point and shoot out of the box and anyone who can use a camera phone can get better pictures from the D500 than their phone.
They probably do the same for all their DSLRs, even a D5..
Good for Nikon. Isn't that what a new customer wants? Seriously, no joke, this is correct.
All Nikon's DSLRS can do so much more. It is up to the customer to make the effort to learn how to get control of the camera in order to more exploit what is available.
I would expect other manufactures to take a similar approach.
I bought a Sony RX100m3 some time ago. Same applies.
Of course I set up the camera to suite myself. And not only that, I change my mind about the defaults as I learn how to drive the thing. I am somewhat concerned that the D500 manual is over 500 pages, and that leaves many questions unanswered. For the first time ever I have bought a third party (byThom) e-book to short cut experimentation. One thousand pages, many generic but at least a third specific to that camera. I have no complaint about the initial setup but welcome the opportunity to set things 'right' even if I am wrong.
Been there, done that, Dangie - forgetting focus, that is. You could have done a Dylan and typed 'JUDAS' on the tape as it is just a case of getting used to the little window in the corner, displaying the 'petrol pumps'.
Did pimp one of mine for a while with a red convex extension for the shutter button. Think it makes tripping the Trip a little smoother.
First thing I do is to set the custom functions and button options to match as closely as possible my other bodies. Unfortunately the makers have a tendency to lose customization options between models - usually the most useful ones at that. For instance I on my D30 the set button in the rear dial is set to ISO adjustment, an option not available on my 20D or 40D which is a shame as i find it a much better option than trying to find a tiny button on the top plate...
Beyond that the only physically customised camera I have is my IR converted 1000D
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