Friday, January 09, 2004

Digi carping blog.

I'm learning to use the digital camera that we bought for the office not long ago, and as usual in such situations, the instruction booklet is worth complaining about. Not just as a digital camera novice, but also as an editor.

Take a not-so-small example. Mounted on the top of the camera is a dial used to select a number of modes for shooting -- one is marked A for automatic, another is M for manual, and then there are a number of other symbols, not all of which are immediately understandable. If I were putting together the instruction booklet, the first thing I would think to do was create a single- or double-page graphic with a picture of this dial, with notes explaining each setting.

I was astonished to find nothing of the kind in the booklet. To understand each function, you have to look up each symbol within various chapters, but by its full name. How do you know the symbol's full name? Well, hell, you don't, so you just have to look until you come across it. There are only six symbols, so it isn't a vast task, but it is a nuisance.

All the same, I've more or less learned to use the camera. Not a bad thing to know how to use, and I'll take it on my next business trip, to take some photos at a panel discussion for my magazine. But I'm also taking a film camera. It's like those houses built in the 1890s that had that newer electric lighting but gas lights too, in case electricity didn't pan out. I'm not sure how this new thing will work out, so I'm taking a familiar technology with me.


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