Are you looking to buy a new camera this year? Perhaps you are hoping that the holiday season will bring you a fantastic new camera as a gift. I bet you already know which camera you would like to have next. But what is wrong with your current camera?
I’m no different than almost any other photographer; I like new gear. There, I admitted it, and I'm sure you can too. Go ahead, and I'll wait. Now, don't you feel better that you accepted it? New gear, especially a new camera body, gets me excited, and it even motivates me to get out and shoot more often. That's a good thing. Yet how much of that new camera's capabilities are you going to use?
The other day, I was sitting with my camera waiting for some photos to download to the computer, when I started scrolling through the various menus. As I scrolled, I kept thinking to myself that I never used this setting or that setting. I began to realize that I didn't even know what some of the features do or how I would use those settings. Don't get me wrong; I believe that I understand my camera well, and I do customize numerous settings to get the camera to perform the way I want it to perform and need it to perform. Yet, if I had to guess, I use less than 20% of the various settings and capabilities of the camera.
Sure, I have customized the camera to use back-button focus, which I love. I have my dual card slots set to record raw to one card and JPEG to the other. I've changed my low burst rate to more of a medium burst rate of 5 frames per second. I've even adjusted my dial wheel's shutter speed and aperture settings to scroll differently than the manufacturer's settings. However, when I scrolled through those menus and their sub-menus on my camera, I started to realize that I don't use and have never used a considerable portion of them. Of course, some of the features are not needed for my type of photography, and I'm sure some of the features I use aren't required by other photographers. The camera manufacturers know this, but it is better for them to load the camera with many different features to appeal to as many customers as possible.
I believe when most people are considering a new camera body, their desire for the new camera body focuses mainly on five features: sensor size, ISO range, megapixels, burst frame rate, and today, mirrorless or not. Sure, there are other considerations like camera body size that come into play. But who is looking at all those other features when purchasing the camera?
So, what's wrong with having all those features even if I don't use them? They're there in case someday I do, right? Well, I can agree with that until the time I'm trying to find that setting I want to change, and I have to traverse my way through all those menus and options. First, I need to remember where that setting is changed in the menu and how to get there. Second, it takes time to scroll and click through the menu. I want to be in the settings that I want to change as fast as I can. And most of the upper-end cameras still don't have touchscreen features. We are still hampered with dials and buttons to make changes.
Here are a couple of features that I have never used:
- Auto white balance adjustment
- The entire retouch menu
- Multiple exposures
- Limit AF-area selection mode
What features do you never use, and what features are ones that you can't live without for your photography?