There’ll be Tears before Bedtime

How long do you take trying to find a particular operation on your camera whilst you’re in the midst of taking photographs? What I mean is: you’re trying to locate a particular function in the menu when you need it but can’t find it without flicking backwards and forwards through the camera’s function menu – how much time do you spend doing this?

Some functions are hidden deep in the camera’s menu and unless you know how to access them you’ll end up wasting valuable ‘photo time’ flipping back and forth and probably finally giving up, ‘Oh well! Can’t find it so I’ll just do without.’ Woa! You’ve just spent a lot of money on a camera and you’re not prepared to exploit it to the max? Really?

So…who’s fault is it? Camera manufacturers? You?

When you first unbox your new camera you’ll probably get a mini-manual to show you how to set up the basics and if you want to know more then you’ll probably have to go on line to access the full manufacturer’s manual and for most folks I suggest that’s a bit of a nuisance. After all, you just want to try out your new bit of kit. And…you’ll probably never go beyond that. But if you do need access to more camera functions (and you will) then it becomes a bit too much. So much effort just to find one thing. Why are menus so complicated? It’s like mining for Opal! Why can’t the camera manufacturers include a full manual in the box?

Welcome to the world of ‘getting off your backside and making an effort’. Ever tried building a suite of bedroom furniture (wardrobes, bed side tables, chest of drawers etc) from flat-pack without following instructions? How many bits have you got left over at the end? And why doesn’t it look like the pictures in the magazine? It’s because you’ve not followed instructions! Simple.

Same with camera menus. I come across this so many times when I suggest to people that they need to set their camera to a particular function…they just don’t know how to do it. Why? Because they don’t know their camera.

Accessing online camera manuals is so simple these days. you can even store them on your cell/mobile ‘phone and have immediate access… even out in the field.

So why should manufacturers supply full paper manuals. We live in a paperless society and we should all recognise that full paper manuals carry a huge carbon footprint. They carry a huge negative environment price tag. Once you realise this… then you’ll get it!

So get inside your cameras menu, learn how stuff works and stop wasting valuable field time and start making the images you want rather than what you have to just because you don’t know how to fully operate your expensive camera. Take control…don’t be a button pusher.

You should ultimately be able to operate your camera whilst looking through the view finder rather than missing that moment.

So stop blaming the manufacturer for not giving you a full paper menu and instead ask yourself whether or not you want the camera to dictate what you can and can’t do. Personally, if I’m spending hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds on my camera then I want to know all there is to know about my piece of kit. Your choice of course, but don’t expect someone else to mop up your tears of frustration. 😢😢😢

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