What is the test of usability in a camera?

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by snkenai, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. snkenai

    snkenai All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    One of my tests, living in cold country is: "Can it be operated with out removing gloves?"
    When I received my EM-5, I was skeptical of it's usability period, because of the tiny, close together buttons, etc. Now, after a couple of weeks, and less than 100 pictures, getting the settings basically to my liking. I can take a walk with the P20 mounted, aperture priority, turn on and off, change aperture, exposure comp, etc., With my thin leather, lined gloves on. A bonus is, that I carry it palmed, with the "hump" in the palm, and the base resting against the thigh. It is comfortable, and ready. On the tripod it is just as ready.
    With the OM 50mm, adapted, I can manual focus quite easily, if I use the EVF in magnify mode.
    All in all, we seem to be getting on quite well.
    Still need to work on picture mode settings.

    Feel free to add your criteria. No arguments! Please. :daz:
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    do I ENJOY using it. Hard to quantify and there aren't necessarily any specific triggers that "do it" or eliminate it for me. But if the camera calls out to me to bring it along, then it passes the test for me.
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  3. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    I'm finding the usability is down to me more than the camera - clumsy hands and deteriorating eyesight. :boohoo:
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    I can use it quickly if the need/shot arises.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. ajramirez

    ajramirez Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Depends on the use the camera will get. That's why sometimes you need more than one... My three main cameras are very different from one another, and they all pass my usability test, or they would get sold. The Leica and the Nikon Df work great when I just need a simple camera to use: manual focus, aperture and shutter speed dials readily available with settings immediately visible, and fast and super sharp prime lenses. However, when the situation calls for auto focus, speed of use, and the convenience of zooms, the usability of my Canon 7D Mk. II trumps the Leica and Nikon.

    Before someone points this out, I am aware that the Df is an auto focus camera. However, that is not how I have chosen to use it.


    • Like Like x 3
  6. Isoterica

    Isoterica Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Agreeing with Antonio.. it depends on what I want to shoot as to which camera is most useful. I have a lot more choices shooting film.. but anyway :)
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    My cameras tend to fall into "areas of application': long range, FZ200; low light, LX100; bad weather, OMD EM5 with 12-50.

    I also like cameras that I can use with my gloves on and that do not easily allow accidental activation of features and functions. Finally, while I insist on having a viewfinder (optical or electronic), I do not like cameras with external add-on viewfinders.

    Cheers, Jock
  8. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    After using many compact p&s, compact, and rangefinder cameras, I can just count the pages I've saved by camera on my website: Leica Q, Panasonic GM1 (12-32), Panasonic ZS40 - these are the big 3 for me - very different cameras, but each very useful in their own way, even though I had no specific application for any of them.

  9. snkenai

    snkenai All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    I like to have just one camera, that does it all. But, we all know, that there are times that we "need" a different style camera for that job, that the "one", just isn't quite right for. Case in point, EM-5 on tripod in portrait mode looking up. Near impossible to see the screen.
    After using Panasonic cameras for several years, with the swing out screens, the OMD tilt screen is a great frustration. I thought I would like it better, before I got it. If you never shoot portrait mode down low, or odd angles, it's great.
    Cameras are tools. Ask a mechanic, carpenter, etc., how may tools do they have to do the "job". My next camera, will likely be chosen for those odd angle/tripod shots.
  10. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Top Veteran

    Feb 6, 2015
    Central Ohio, USA
    It needs to not get in my way.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. bartjeej

    bartjeej Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    -does it fit in my jacket pocket?
    -does it snag on said jacket pocket when taking it out?
    -do I need to take off a lens cap first?
    -can I operate it with only one hand, including turning it on? (I'd make an exception for manual zoom, like in the Fuji X10 etc, because it allows much quicker zooming)
    -do I need to worry about rain and dust?

    I agree that rotating screens are much better for portrait orientation shots than tilting screens, but I really dislike them for street-ish photography - the screen sticking out from the side of the camera is just so damn obvious. Better to have it tilting up and hidden behind the camera, from the subject's point of view.
  12. john m flores

    john m flores All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    I have simple requirements:

    1. Can I get the shot without getting run over or falling off a cliff?
    2. Will using the camera affect my hairline?
    3. Will I get the shot?
    • Like Like x 3