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What is a camera?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Happy Hens, Feb 24, 2002.

  1. Happy Hens

    Happy Hens Well-Known Member

    What is a camera? What indeed is a camera? Well it is a light tight box which has a hole that has lets light in to create an image on a piece of film, this is called a pinhole camera.
    Later on, these boxes had new improvements added, including a shutter, shutter speeds, lenses, variable apertures, focussing, auto focussing, various focal lengths, film wind on mechanism, motorised winders, viewfinders, metering, built in flash units, automatic exposure modes (for aperture, shutter and both).
    Now for someone like me who has learned most of what I know with the manual focus cameras of old and even some of the new fangled autofocus ones, where is it going to stop?
    For me, a camera such as Nikon FM or Olympus OM1n or even an automated one such as Pentax P30T should be the standard camera spec. But nowadays there are new cameras being produced very regularly and what extra do they have that the previous model doesn't have? Probably very little except that it has a tweaked up exposure system or focussing system and a hefty price tag.
    For example, I remember when the Minolta Dynax 7xi was released and the photo mags were saying it was the best spec camera on the market and it could not be tested in just one issue as it was such an important leap forward in technology etc etc. Nowadays of course a 7xi is old fashioned, not up to the job etc. You don't want that you want a new ...whatever it is.
    The (long and drawn out) point I am trying to make is that the basic SLR is sufficient and the little add ons such as auto focus for people with failing eyesight is fine. Aperture priority or shutter priority or even a program mode can help with quickly getting a well exposed grab shot is also fine. A winder to capture a fleeting moment is fine. Built in flash is fine too should you need a bit of extra light. Fast various focal length lenses are fine also to help frame the shot as you like is okay.
    Apart from these features what else can they put into a camera nowadays that justifies the expense and makes cameraholics like me also, to drool at the mouth and want the latest up to date marvel which at the end of the day, experience should get the same picture with basic SLR's such as the Olympus OM1n, Nikon FM or Pentax MX.
    What does everyone else think?

  2. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Interesting posting Billy. In my opinion the only significant developments in the field of 35mm photography over the years have been the introduction of the electronically controlled shutter with it's ability to set stepless shutter speeds and the advent of AF for those of us with poor eyesight. Everyting else has just been window dressing in a constant attempt to attract potential purchasers I feel. This "autoexposure" capability led to greatly increased speed in capturing an image as the photographer now did not have to fiddle about with controls to balance the exposure and also created the ability to sucessfully capture a perfectly exposed "grabshot".
    The electronic stepless shutter was significant because previous mechanically controlled shutters did not have the ability to set "in between" shutter speeds and so strictly speaking, all mechanical shuttered cameras were actually manually controlled shutter priority cameras. The advent of the stepless shutter brought about for the first time the availability of a "true" aperture priority camera where the exposure was balanced out by the stepless shutter.

    There is no denying that AF shook the world of 35mm to it's roots and brought about a significant change in the camera buying public's preferences with manual focus being consigned to the "back burner" of the photographic world.
    Perhaps TTL flash deserves a worthy mention also for it's ability to greatly simplify things for the macro worker and it's ability to use any aperture (within the gun's range) instead of being restricted to a choice of a few apertures.

  3. David Stout

    David Stout Well-Known Member

    I've said elsewhere this weekend that great photographs are taken by great photographers NOT great equipment (whatever that may be in your own eyes...)

  4. RonM

    RonM Alpha Napper

    A camera, very simply put, is just a tool, for capturing light on either film or a 'digital device'. As David says it is the photographer who decides what and when an image is to be captured, he/she just uses the camera to assist them in 'doing the job'. The development of cameras over the years has made the job of image capture easier. It is like any other industry where individuals have improved/developed tools to make the 'workers' job easier.

    /img/wwwthreads/smile.gif<font color=blue>RonM FRIPN</font color=blue>
  5. David Stout

    David Stout Well-Known Member

    As you say Ron, the camera is just a tool. It's probably why there are so many good women photographers out there - they are more concerned with the image than the equipment. It seems that most men are preoccupied with their tools [Entrance: BigWill].

  6. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    It's a head with the brain removed /img/wwwthreads/smile.gif

  7. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    .....probably explains why men are always playing with theirs........camera that is!

  8. Lounge_Lizard

    Lounge_Lizard Well-Known Member

    You mean - always searching for the right aperture?


  9. josie

    josie Well-Known Member

    Well, let's really lower the tone here.
    when they've sorted out the apoerture, they still can't find the right button!/img/wwwthreads/smile.gif

    <font color=red>Here's to the next bank holiday!</font color=red>
    Bye For Now,
  10. Canonball

    Canonball Well-Known Member

    <font color=red>OUCH!<font color=black> /img/wwwthreads/frown.gif

  11. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    That'll be the Canon G2 spot she's on about then!

    Big(Thinks a "G spot" is a type of metering!)Will
  12. dogbyte

    dogbyte In the Stop Bath

    "Apart from these features what else can they put into a camera nowadays that justifies the expense and makes cameraholics like me also, to drool at the mouth "
    Price tag:D30 £200 or two for £350
  13. ziggykor

    ziggykor Well-Known Member

    Maybe the correct focal length.

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