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Author - Paul Schatzkin
…or the dumbest idea for a camera, ever?
Ming Thein offers some insights on the just announced Nkon Df – a camera that seems to blend all the disadvantages of digital photography with all the disadvantages of film photography.
I think Ming is mincing his words here.
To be honest, I really don’t quite know what to make of this camera… I’m confused. On one hand, there are very sensible engineering choices – the sensor, for instance; but on the other hand, marketing said that you have to have AF and a full digital set of controls and a retro look, so we land up having too many buttons and knobs and a bit of an F3-collided-with-a-D600 appearance to it.
I’m not mincing mine: I think this is the dumbest thing in camera design/engineering Nikon could possibly have offered.
Starting with the same dysfunctional AF array that soured me on the D600 right out of the box.
Ming talks a lot about the viewfinder. He’s talking about an optical viewfinder. But based on my experience with the Olympus EM-1 so far, I think the whole idea of the optical viewfinder is obsolete. I spent a lot of time while shooting the Barcamp on Saturday experimenting with flash settings – flash on, flash off, flash exposure plus/minus – and never had to take the camera away from my eye to make those adjustments because all the info is right in the viewfinder. I don’t think there is any optical viewfinder that puts that much info in front of your eye.
But better than that, each time I made an exposure, it would appear before my eye in the viewfinder. I could tell without ever looking at the back of the camera that I’d gotten the shot and move on to the next one. You can’t do that with an optical viewfinder, either.
It seems to me that some evil twin of Marshal McLuhan is now running Nikon. McLuhan wrote about seeing the future through a rear-view mirror – using new technology to do the work of the old. He wasn’t suggesting that that is necessarily a good thing – but this camera is a classic example of doing just that. It’s taking digital technology and trying to replicate the film camera experience. Jeezus, if you want a “film experience,” just get an F3 or an F100 off eBay.
And the price… almost $2,800?? That’s the same as a D800… which is possibly the finest DSLR on the market.
I’m with Ming. Totally confused.
Tomorrow’s Seventh Annual BarCamp Nashville is going to be one of those “coming around full circle” events for me.
The very first Barcamp in August 2007 was something of a “coming out” event for me. After selling songs.com – my early-stage, “Internet one-point-oh” business – to Gaylord Entertainment in the fall of 1999 (and spending a year watching them run it into the ground), I sorta went into seclusion for several years, during which I wrote two biographies of obscure 20th Century Scientists.
Then in the summer of 2007, I started reading about this event that was going to gather all the disparate elements of Nashville’s emerging digital arts and business communities for an “unconference” that covered a vast array of topics – the only unifying factor being some interface with “new media” and their underlying technologies.
Here, see for yourself:
I have not made it to every Barcamp since, though I have made it to several and made lasting friendships at each one.
This year, for the first time, I’ll be making an actual contribution other than my usual wandering around between sessions and heckling the presenters. I have signed on as an “in-kind” sponsor which means that in exchange for hanging the “Cohesion Arts” logo in strategic places around the (undisclosed) location (a designation that puts me in some most-esteemed company), , I’ll be providing still photography coverage for the event.
More than just taking photos, though, I hope to engage everybody in attendance who has a cell phone / camera (who am I kidding, that’s everybody...) in the day’s photo coverage. There will be a video screen in the front of the venue offering a continuous Instagram feed that will include not just my photos, but any photo that bears the hashtag ” #bcn13 .”
Barcamp is a hard event to describe to somebody who is not familiar with the concept. Yes, it’s an assembly of the region’s digerati, but there is no single theme for the day. It’s really just an excuse to get a lot of similarly minded people in a room and start bouncing ideas around.
For me, Barcamp has always been first and foremost about the people I get to meet. It’s a welcome departure from the virtual, online experience that tends to dominate our lives these days. Which brings me to the acronym in the title of this post, which came to mind while trying to describe BarCamp to a friend today:
You’ve heard of “mooc“s, right? That’s a “massively open online course,” those classes that universities offer for free to thousands of students around the world over the Internets.
And then there is the concept of “meatspace” – what was once – before we all started living our lives through screens and keyboards – known as “the real world.”
So BarCamp is a
Massively Open Meatspace Opportunity
At least, that’s what I’M calling it.
Now y’all get those cell phones out and start tagging your photos w/ ” #bcn13 “
And if you see a guy with a rumpled photographers vest and a couple of cameras round his neck, stop and say hello, and I’ll make sure we get an “official” photo into the stream…
P.S. A special shout out to Kerry Woo for suggesting I volunteer for this assignment. I’m glad they accepted the offer, and I hope I can live up the exceptional standard that Kerry has brought these events in the past.