The Sony NEX-6 digital camera reminds me of an unwelcome trend: crapware*, formerly reserved primarily for Windows PCs.
On the NEX-6, three of the six main icons are either useless garbage for what I want to use and/or could be condensed into the others. Of the menu commands, 80% are unwanted or inapplicable for shooting RAW. It’s a dung-heap of design. Not that Olympus gets a pass (it might be worse) or most other vendors. Sony and Olympus get an F. While Sigma gets a B+ in its DP Merrill cameras.
The NEX-6 dedicates an Applications icon permanently on the main menu in which we find such sexy (to Sony designers) toys as PlayMemories Camera Apps, Introduction, and Application Management. This is worse than crapware for computers, because neither the icon nor its contents can be removed— it’s a a permanent fixture.
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 has its equally adorable Olympus PenPal menu group.
But maybe I’m pissing into the wind onto an electric fence here: surely the Sony and Olympus designers are brilliant, and what camera users really want is to spend $1500 on a plastic gadget so they can head over to PlayMemories.com. Pity the poor user who owns a Sony, an Olympus and a Nikon camera: which lovely service to choose?
Actually, I do like the idea of wireless being built-in, but not for the reasons these bozos seem to think.
But that’s really only the tip of the intellectual cloaca iceberg: it’s JPEG support that really gums up the menu system and controls. A user preference: Raw Only = On — this would vaporize all crapware, all JPEG menu items (and video settings), and rejigger the camera to show one or two menus with only the core settings needed for taking photographs in raw form.
* crapware refers to unwanted dung-heaps of applications loaded onto new computers (Windows OS generally, but Apple just about qualifies now). The user has to spend time cleaning up and getting rid of crapware.
Thomas H writes:
I just wanted to express my respect and acknowledgement for Your mostly unconventional way of writing, and even the critical reviews and PoV´s (point of view..) are very helpful in a time, where marketing crap, bloatware, WiFi and other pseudo "innovations" float the market...
Many of the forum sites, rumor sites and even the "official" photographic press isn´t so clear and provocative, as it actually would be needed: to get a transparency on what is really useful and senseful... Kudos for Your efforts!
I can affirm practically what you wrote about Sigma: since Xmas last year i also own the DP 1+2 Merrill and since that don´t want to use my em 5 or also some Leica gear anymore... the Sigma feel so pure and efficient in their operation, like an old SLR! (although being a bit quirky and not useful above 400/800 ISO) So an small independent supplier in the photographic business is the real hero that brings digital (electronic) photography back to its core... without any gimmicking feature overload SIGMA brings us back the feeling of authentic picture taking, that vanished with the rise of the hyperbolic photographic machine guns...
I hope your engaged and independent perspective helps any similar thinking company to go further on that way.
DIGLLOYD: When I think about which camera I would take when not taking a DSLR, I gravitate towards the Sigma DP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill because the image quality is superb and the no-nonsense menus and controls get out of the way. See my editorial on which cameras I care to carry.
Bruce Z writes:
Geez Lloyd, why don't you tell us how you really feel! ... and of course, I am among the many subscribers who feel EXACTLY the same way you do about this "crapware" infestation.
Just think of the hours of software development that they have to pay tech monkeys to write. I'll shoot myself if Leica does this with the "M" ...
DIGLLOYD: I think we can count on Leica to not do this sort of thing. See my editorial on which cameras I care to carry.