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Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras?

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Damien_Demolder, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. Damien_Demolder

    Damien_Demolder Well-Known Member

    Buttons, like laces, take a little while to get used to. When Nick Kamen impressed us by taking off his jeans in the laundrette for the Levi’s ad, we all rushed out to buy button-fly jeans, only to spend longer in the loos than the ladies as we fumbled to do them up again. As with most things we become used to them, and with time, pushing small plastic discs through hemmed holes becomes as second-nature as knotting a tie, changing gear or loading a film onto a spiral – we can do it with our eyes closed.

    A good soldier can strip down a rifle in the dark and a good photographer will instinctively know where that thumb needs to go when the exposure requires 1⁄3EV more. For years we’ve used buttons and wheels, dials and rings, to control the settings on the cameras that are an extension of our shooting arm, but these mechanical access points are starting to look old fashioned. We encounter touchscreens at the bank, in the supermarket, at the station, on the mobile and on the microwave, and they are beginning to infiltrate camera design, too. Buttons are clutter and clunky, while touchscreens are sleek and efficient. At least, that’s what they want us to believe.

    Take part in our poll, Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on your camera? by heading to the homepage.

    Thanks all

    Damien

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    I've an open mind on the subject. My daughter's compact has a touchscreen, and it's rather good for the functions it controls. Not as tactile as wheels, dials and buttons, but potentially a quick and easy way of adjusting some controls - and I would rather have control via a touchscreen than something buried in a menu.
     
  3. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    I selected "Yes but only for Live View AF"

    Touch screen control on devices, such as smart phones and tablets, is a fantastic idea when it does away with all other means of control, but the cameras I want or need to use have to have manual controls as a matter of course.

    The main problem I foresee with touchscreens on a DSLR is the the screen will get covered in finger prints, nose grease and general smudges, and for a big nosed left eye shooter like me, there's too great a risk of accidentally changing settings while I'm shooting.

    Now the ability to plug an iPhone or iPad in to the camera is a different matter and something I could see being of great use to, for example, photographers doing large numbers of tripod mounted shots.
     
  4. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    Touch screens don't do away with menus, they merely alter the way you access them.
     
  5. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    A few weeks ago I would have rejected a touchscreen outright but since then I have acquired a new phone which uses them very effectively, so I voted yes but only if duplicated by buttons.

    The biggest problem I have found so far on my phone is the size of my fingers, so I would want to try out a touch screen on any camera I was considering.

    Edit: Not that I am considering a new camera so it's all a bit academic
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  6. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    I'm all for it as it speeds up use and allows more intuitive control. If I want direct control of everything I use a fully manual camera with black and white film which I develop myself. I don't want to be faffing about with endless buttons each with their own function - put it all at my fingertips please.
     
  7. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    I do not have any.

    Buttons have the advantage that you do not have to look at them....................

    However for some situations like live view and flipping through menus they could be easier and quicker.

    Buttons like keyboard shortcuts have many advantages when you know them.
     
  8. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    You're right there, but I don't see the benefits being that great in a camera where the elements you need to control are really just settings. The real benefits of touch screens are in their replacing keyboards, number pads and mice.

    I suppose it might make renaming file folders easier, but I never do that anyway.
     
  9. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    Touchscreen for phones or MP3 players, but not on a camera.

    Played with that one that has the controls on the back of the screen. Bluddy awful to use :(
     
  10. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    Old fashioned isn't necessarily the same as bad or inferior.

    Personally I'm quite happy with buttons. My experiences with touchscreens has yet to convince me that thay are an acceptable let alone efficient substitute.
     
  11. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    I loathe and detest touchscreens in all their forms that I've experienced - there's no tactile feedback, and they just increase the chance of getting smears on the screen (a significant drawback for a camera if you want to check detail focus when reviewing the shot). And the fact that a given area of the screen can have many different control functions is poor ergonomics - it defeats "muscle memory".

    I did consider that they might be useful for selecting the AF point in live view, but although all my digital cameras have live view in some form or another, I find I rarely use it, and on none of the occasions that I have would I have found touchscreen selection of AF point to be helpful.
     
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    No, but they can lead to much quicker access to functions on small cameras in particular.
     
  13. IanJTurner

    IanJTurner Well-Known Member

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    No no no! :D

    I like buttons and dials and mechanical things that click and clunk! I hate touch screens!

    I was recently out and about snapping away with my 550D (which has lovely solid feeling buttons, but alas, no dial on the back) when someone handed me their smart phone i-thingy touch screen what-not and asked me to take a picture of him and his family.

    I think I'd taken three or four pictures of the floor before I even realised I'd pressed anything!
     
  14. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    They can do, but mainly as a function of the UI design and not as a direct result of the access being touch screen. The main problem with menus is the way they're laid out with many being unintuitive and some simply unfathomable.
     
  15. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    What I really like about the GF2 is that I could pick it up and set it in far less time than it would take on the GF1. I rarely change metering/AF/exposure modes, so instead of having buttons cluttering up the camera I can set it and pick it up ready to shoot. When I do want to change, the options I want (you can customise the menu) are all on screen and at a single touch I can change the setting. So Menu>function>select - done. 3 touches. Compare with the button-only method. Menu>keep clicking down until desired function is reached>select>click through the options until the desired one is reached>select. Touch screen wins hands down (pun intentional) ;)

    The issue I have with the GF2/3 is that the screen is not quite big enough to make it really effective. At least the screen on the G2/3 (although it is the same size) can be articulated and positioned more appropriately to maximise the touch screen potential.
     
  16. DeeJay

    DeeJay Well-Known Member

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    In relation to a camera, I am more of a buttons & wheels type of guy. My biggest issue with touchscreens is there ability to be used in varying temperatures, angle of view and longevity.

    Some of the touch screen devices I have had in the past have really struggled when the temperature drops and not really lasted a long time. I own a second hand D80 which was made in 2006 and all the dials and buttons work perfectly. I still have access to a 1st generation iphone and the touch screen no longer works on this device which was manufactured around the same time. Also I have trouble using my current touch screen phone in cold temperatures (with gloves, impossible, without gloves very difficult), yet my 'traditional' phone with buttons never misses a beat.

    I would like to see a move towards "weather proofing" more lower spec DSLR cameras really. I think a lot more people would appreciate this than a touch screen.
     
  17. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    Damn right! I have a s/h Canon 1Ds which I bought before obtaining the DMR. Not having used it for a while I can't even remember how to zoom in on the displayed image now. I could put the Leicas away for a year or more then come back to them and know how everything works without having to consult the manual.

    As for the question I couldn't imagine anything worse than a screen which gets messed up with greasy fingermarks all the time.
     
  18. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    Yeah right! ;)

    That's what I enjoy about my manual cameras - the basics are unforgettable. Aperture and shutter speed can be set by feel alone.
     
  19. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    Touchscreens, h8, h8, h8!
     
  20. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Re: Would you be happy with more touchscreen controls on cameras

    Aye. On my Canon DSLR it could be useful when zoomed in and reviewing an image to provide more granular control than the joystick if you move you finger/thumb over the screen slowly and faster than the joystick if you move quickly. It wouldn't hurt to be able to use the menus with a touchscrren either.

    So long as they don't do away with existing controls, or at least the useful ones, I'm all for it.
     

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