User friendliness

mirogomirogo Posts: 1Member
edited December 2012 in General Discussions

Nikon has produced several new cameras in 2012, including the flagship D4 and high-definition D800/D800E
These cameras are providing high level technical features for photography, video-recording, digital communication, image handling, etc. introducing a plethora of continuously increasing options.
Checking this situation may be an interesting and an important subject of discussion by users.
As an example: please consider that people have normally 2x5 fingers. When taking the camera in your hands, three fingers of the hand lie on the front side, the index on the upper side, and the thumb on the back side. So, if you look on the high level Nikon D4, why are most buttons on the back side, usable by just the two thumbs of both hands?
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Comments

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Because humans have opposable thumbs? Most people are better with their thumb than say a pinkey or ring finger.
  • fuzzymucusfuzzymucus Posts: 4Member
    Yeah, your thumb is your work finger. Unless you have a QWERTY keyboard on your camera.

    Do you?
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 411Member
    I wish you could plug a keyboard into your camera and input batch metadata keywords...  Part of the answer may lie in the users. The D4 is a performance body (press, sports, photojournalists, action)so you need all of your controls within a thumbs reach. 

    the D800 on the other hand while it can definitely be used for the above obviously wasn't designed with that type of shooter in mind but for Landscapes, portraits, products, bridal shots(?), etc. In other words, tripod shooters, slower shooters, and shooters who don't need full manual control as the camera can automatically adjust fantastic in decent or common lighting conditions...


    I do press photography and sports. My D7000/D90/D200/n80 combo is really driving me nuts as I need a camera more optimized for what I do like a D4 but don't have the finances to drop $6400 on one yet. As a press/sports photographer, I change lenses while running (out of my tenba messenger bag), and have to make quick adjustments for drastic lighting changes. The less I fumble with the tool the more time I have to compose even if it is a second...
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    An interesting question is regarding left handed photographers. Most DSLRs seem to be made for right handers. Are there any lefties out there?
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,337Member
    I've never seen a camera, DSLR or otherwise, not designed to be primarily operated by right handed people. Being a righty, that makes life very easy. :D
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member

    As an example: please consider that people have normally 2x5 fingers. When taking the camera in your hands, three fingers of the hand lie on the front side, the index on the upper side, and the thumb on the back side. So, if you look on the high level Nikon D4, why are most buttons on the back side, usable by just the two thumbs of both hands?
    Because it is natural.  And actually on the high end cameras, you do use your other fingers.
     I end up using both index and middle fingers for the custom/AF/DOF buttons and dials all the time.    
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited December 2012
    In a bit of humor...I also have two eyes and need to look at the camera sometimes to see what I am pushing.  Usually this is a reflex, as in many situations I cannot even see the back, but with the lighted buttons, this is correctable.  To have all the controls on the front would require me at least, to turn the camera around and look to make adjustments.  On a tripod is some settings, this is not practical.

    My middle finger controls the DOF button, and the Function button which is virtual horizon on my D4.  I shoot some action shots and a lot of people, and the camera seems to be functioning well for me with the placement of the controls.  

    One other point, I am holding the camera with my little old stiff fingers and so if all the controls were on the front, I would be constantly pressing these unintentionally.

    Never have thought about this, but is there a right or left hand issue with a camera where the pressing of a button with the right hand and setting controls, focus, function dial, is all left hand.  I use my left eye, so maybe I am shooting left handed?
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • RatatoskrRatatoskr Posts: 32Member
    I'm left handed and I wouldn't buy a camera which would have me change the position of my hands. I have a 500mm that is quite heavy and being left handed my left arm is stronger than my right so picking up and hand holding my  500mm with my left gives much better results than it would holding up with my right hand although I could train my right hand to being more steady and strong.
    Man's heart away from nature becomes hard. - Standing Bear
    It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value. - Arthur C. Clarke
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    edited December 2012

    I'm a lefty and find this most benificial for SLR or DSLR photography.  The stronger arm is used for holding and focusing the lens while the right hand does most of the dialing and shutter work.  Although I'm left handed my right eye is dominant so I'm a right eye shooter.  I think if there were to be more controls at my fingertips it would lead to  too much dinking around with the fingers and more camera instability.    

    Post edited by Rx4Photo on
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • DXV_PhotoDXV_Photo Posts: 158Member
    I am also left handed and have to agree with the other lefties :D.  Being able to support the lens with my strong arm seems to help a lot but maybe unlike other lefties I switch back and fourth between what I do left handed versus right handed.  For me usually anything that requires two hands I do right handed like golf and batting.  Anything single handed is done with the left handed like tennis and throwing.  When looking through the viewfinder I can do that with either eye but mostly I do it with my right eye even though I am left eye dominant.  I feel to bunched up trying to look through the viewfinder with my left eye.
  • jonnyapplejonnyapple Posts: 130Moderator
    In a bit of humor...I also have two eyes and need to look at the camera sometimes to see what I am pushing.  Usually this is a reflex, as in many situations I cannot even see the back, but with the lighted buttons, this is correctable.  To have all the controls on the front would require me at least, to turn the camera around and look to make adjustments.  On a tripod is some settings, this is not practical.

    My middle finger controls the DOF button, and the Function button which is virtual horizon on my D4.  I shoot some action shots and a lot of people, and the camera seems to be functioning well for me with the placement of the controls.  

    One other point, I am holding the camera with my little old stiff fingers and so if all the controls were on the front, I would be constantly pressing these unintentionally.

    Never have thought about this, but is there a right or left hand issue with a camera where the pressing of a button with the right hand and setting controls, focus, function dial, is all left hand.  I use my left eye, so maybe I am shooting left handed?
    Don't get me started on ocular dominance, Msmoto. I have accepted my fate as a lefty-eyed person in a righty-eyed world. At least my nose doesn't change my focus point on my D7000 like it did on my D90! For the record, I'm right handed. 
    CC is welcome. DC is also welcome when I deserve it.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,337Member
    That I can understand, right handed and left eye dominant (I also have monocular vision to boot). I often have to use the focus point lock to keep my nose from bumping the focus point around.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • jonnyapplejonnyapple Posts: 130Moderator
    Just curious, Rob. Monocular as in only your left eye works or as in lacking depth perception? Do you mind my asking why? I teach a class that deals with perception of light and so I'm curious.
    CC is welcome. DC is also welcome when I deserve it.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,337Member
    Both eyes work, but one is lazy. Depth perception is an issue for me, but it is not a total lack there of.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • jonnyapplejonnyapple Posts: 130Moderator
    I read a cool story about a guy who had lazy eye while a child and so couldn't perceive depth. Then, while watching a 3d movie with his kids one day decades later, his depth perception just magically came back (the article implied the neural connections must have been there to reconnect). </thread hijack>
    CC is welcome. DC is also welcome when I deserve it.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    I am right handed, left eyed and can't remember .......what I was going to say....  Oh, yes, I hope the initial post here was a bit tongue in cheek as the buttons on the front would definitely not work for me.  

    If one comes from the world of the view camera, the early Nikon film cameras, and say a Hassleblad, it is quick to see the buttons are where they are needed, and on the back of a DSLR, this is where one is looking.  Unless they are the gal Adam gave his camera to one day and she looked into the lens to shoot his photo...
    Msmoto, mod
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    right handed, right eye dominant - makes it easy to see the surroundings with left eye. interesting to read that You are using Fn for virtual horizon Tommie, I'm using it for crop mode on both my cams.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,337Member
    edited December 2012
    I use Fn for virtual horizon as well. I have the AF-L/AE-L button set for crop mode or auto bracketing, depending on what setting bank I'm using.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited December 2012
    What's crop mode?  LOL  I do not have a D800 so I just shoot the whole thing.  I find the virtual horizon is so nice with the wide lenses and even the PC can be hand held this way.  Or at least on sticks it makes it easy to set up and not have to dig through menus to get the horizon.  I tend to be a stickler on keeping verticals vertical.  And correcting this in post processing does not fit in my world as one loses too much do of the image area.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    crop mode - dx, 4x5, 1.2
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Oh, I have tried the 4:5 crop mode once, but could never figure out the purpose on the D4.  I guess I like the ability to make mistakes and then crop in post.  Actually a lot of the shots I take are for other folks to have prints made and this is easier if the 2:3 format is used for a 4x6" print.

    I certainly can see this on the D800 with the file size being less than half in DX crop.
    Msmoto, mod
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    I guess it's a matter of choice. If I shoot portrait I most often end up with 4x5 proportions, as 3:2 is to high for my taste. Also if I need more reach I like the 1.2 crop on d3s and dx mode on d800. still acceptable amount of pixels and less work in PP.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    For sure, portraits are much better in 4:5.  This is what I learned on.  You may have convinced me to give the crop mode a try...like the 1.2 magnification.  I wonder if the new D400 or whatever might evn have some crop modes.....
    Msmoto, mod
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    edited December 2012
    I wonder a bit: nobody wants to have a touchscreen? With a swivel or even detachable from the body to spare an angle-finder. Off course, not for the Pro bodies which need to be used with gloves, but I'd love to swipe through the endless menus faster with a fingerslide than with the multifunction button. Also, to place the focus spot in live view that could be nice and much faster.

    Sometimes I wanted to have the front function wheel in a different angle, it's just not very ergonomical to the way the index finger is moving. Also, different forms/shapes of the side buttons could be helpful to find them easier in the darkness. And the delock button to change lens should work more diagonal and not in direction to the camera's back, for some lenses there's not much space for the fingertip to push this button. I also wonder why the battery grip could not have the same multifunction button like the body has?
    Post edited by JJ_SO on
  • bjrichusbjrichus Posts: 23Member
    edited December 2012
    An interesting question is regarding left handed photographers. Most DSLRs seem to be made for right handers. Are there any lefties out there?
    A bit late but I am left handed and have been using right handed cameras since 1960-something-or-other! Again, a vote for using the left (stronger) hand to support heavy lenses. It was worse before digital, when cameras seemed to all be made form cast lead (these kids don't know how light modern gear really is), and I am left side dominant when it comes to my pair of eyes, hands, feet... anything else really... 

    Post edited by bjrichus on
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