Dirk Rösler from Japanexposures got me thinking about cameras with two recent articles on his site. I don’t think I’m feeling the charm of a camera quite like he does, but I must say he hit the nail on the head in his second article. Getting used to a new camera always disrupts real photo work and leads to a period of fiddling with the gear.
So, what do I appreciate in a camera? What follows is a bit of experience mixed with philosophy, so if you don’t like that, don’t
Road cyclist sometimes rave about a racing bike so good, so finely tuned that it seems to disappear beneath the rider on the road. I had this experience with a Pinarello steel road frame in my active cycling days and let me tell you, it is a weird and beautiful feeling! Endorphins from the excercise play a role here, to be sure.
Likewise, I prefer a camera to get out of my way when I use it. The Nikon F6 is a good example, I don’t have to pay it much attention when I photograph. I already wrote about it’s sensible and exact automation. Add to that a 100 % viewfinder with not too many distractions and you got a camera that disappears when you use it. The only thing interrupting “The Flow” is the blackout of the mirror. A rangefinder would be better in this regard, but worse when actively composing with the edges of the frame. Parallax is always an impediment.
So, for me, a camera that gets out of my way, that disappears is preferable to the latest computer with a lens attached to the front.