It could just be that I’m having what they call senior moments – which is an nice way of saying – getting old and thinking poorly – and it’s true that the brain begins to shrink and lose neurons around the age of 50 and I’m well passed that… you can tell by the way I write that I just sit down and whatever happens happens… but really… am I the only one that feels that the digital tools we’re using are getting too complex.
I have had the Canon T4i with the manual that is almost 400 pages. And there are so many options that have appeared since the T1i came out that it’s honestly, mind-numbing. If you were to write out a menu of choices and how different paths are effected by whether you are in live mode, or movie mode, or regular mode…
In other words, you begin with major modes. I would say that there are three of them: Looking through eyepiece mode, live mode (LCD for shooting) and Movie Mode (which is actually similar to Live Mode).
Then from each of these major modes there’s a subset of modes such as AV, TV, P, A, M and about 7 more!
And from there, each of these sub-modes will work differently depending on the sub-sub-modes such as how the thing is set to focus (I think there are about 10 ways to set this up); and eventually you wind up with tweaks such as whether noise reduction should be enabled under certain circumstances.
Now, I’ve been using the Canon SLRs and DSLRs for at least 16 years – and I am the type that goes through the book – actually reading the manual and trying to understand what each thing is for. I read about it, and then do some tests with the camera and eventually I find a way to simplify my shooting style.
But of course after I received the T4i as a gift, I found out that Lightroom 3.x (that’s what I’ve been using since 2010) really didn’t want to read the raw files. Normally you can download a RAW File plugin but unfortunately Lightroom 3.x won’t work with the latest RAW PLUG-IN (7.x) which is the one you need for the Canon T4i to be understood by Lightroom.
There are some possible but clunky ways around it, such as using a RAW to DNG conversion program from Adobe – but yikes – that’s doubling the number of files and is a PITA.
And so they got me since it’s relatively inexpensive to upgrade from 3.x to 4.1 LR ($79) so that deed was done.
But then I was presented with what looked like a very new version of Lightroom with – yes you guessed it – lots more stuff. Even at the top level, there are TWO MORE MODULES: MAP AND BOOK.
I don’t know what map does and I’d like to remove it from the top. I don’t want to geo-tag my images. I just don’t move around that much. It would be a boring trip for anyone.
And then BOOK… and it just goes on and on… at a certain point there are just too many options and the physical camera will split, and the software will split. And we’ll be back to something simple again, or relatively simple.
I understand the commercial reasons behind all this feature overload – but please. If you are going to add all this stuff, make it easy to setup profiles that stay in terms of the User Interface. Or then again – maybe it’s just a prolonged senior moment.