I totally agree, nearly…

Thom Hogan has recently published a very thought provoking article on his site entitled « Do You Know What’s Automated and How? »

Sadly I have to say that this is the first time I’ve found myself in total disagreement with what he has written.

The bulk of the article is interesting and brings to light what photographers often think, but rarely comment on, all the ‘automated’ bits added to seemingly simple setup parameters. These are done by the camera companies (for whatever reason) and the frustrating thing is that most people either have no idea that they exist, or knowing they exist, don’t know how to get around the problems that they pose. I think it’s important to point this out, and kudos to Thom for doing so, and so clearly.

However, the thing that I don’t agree with is this comment:

« ….but I think I’ve made my point: you need to know what all the automation is doing and whether its going to impact other things you need the camera to do. So:

  1. Figure out all the settings you use that do automatic things in the background.
  2. Figure out whether you need that automation or not.
  3. Figure out what side-impacts the automation may have on your results. »

I’m sorry Thom, while the first phrase is completely correct (to me) it’s also pretty much impossible to achieve without knowing EXACTLY what automatism has been applied/used to each menu item.

Item 1 – How am I supposed to « Figure out all the settings you use that do automatic things in the background. »

If we were to have a list of default values for EVERY menu setting, this would go some way to allowing us to choose…but I can’t see any manufacturer taking the time to produce a manual for it.