The Complication of Digital Cameras

Digital cameras have given us a lot of power and a wealth of features, but at the expense of added complexity. David Hay looks back to a simpler time and shows us how he simplifies his digital photography

When I used to use a film camera I simply focused, checked the exposure and pressed the button. The decisions about ISO and White Balance had been made weeks before when I bought Daylight or Tungsten film of the appropriate film speed. When autofocus and auto exposure were added it meant that a picture could be taken instantly to catch a fleeting moment and then the settings could be checked and fine-tuned if the opportunity was still there.

The arrival of digital cameras required us to make more decisions as each exposure could have a different ISO or White Balance, as well as different exposure and focus settings. However, having the freedom to set these things for every frame is one of the great advantages of digital photography, so I won’t complain.

Teaching photography in the old days was easy. No matter what brand of camera the pupil turned up with, they all had a shutter speed dial, an aperture ring and a focus ring. A quick glance at a dial showed the current setting and it was easy to change directly to any other one. However, you couldn’t tell...

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About Author

David Hay

I took up photography at the age of eleven and have been passionate about it ever since. As a retired biologist I still marvel at the beauty of the natural world and try and capture the colours and forms of natural things around me.

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