Posts Tagged ‘cameras’

Film Mode for Digital Cameras

Monday, April 14th, 2008

I do sometimes miss the good old days, days still early in the evolution of the consumer camera. A trip to the corner shop for a roll of film, loading it up and away you went with 24 or 36 chances to achieve perfect momentary photon capture. No instant review for the impatient snapper, and no willy-nilly shots aided into existence by the thought of a quick and easy delete. Wind and snap, wind and snap ’till the film’s exposed its last, then it’s off to the shop for development and the waiting game begins. The feeling you used to get when you got to see your photos for the first time was hard to top.

There is no question that digital cameras have revolutionised photography in the hands of the people, but in some ways it has also reduced the value and merit in hitting that shutter button. We’ve become a global community of trigger happy snappers, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but as I said before, I do sometimes miss the good old days.

So I propose a new feature for the digital camera, a feature I thought of when trying to deflect the volleys of “can I see it?”s and “let us have a look”s, not so much a feature but a way to alter the photographic experience, an emulation of the way things were back in the days of film. It would simply be a new mode that could be activated.

Film mode could include:

  1. A limit to the number of shots available, thus making the photographer think about each shot taken.
  2. No review available after an exposure, and no way to review shots until all the shots are used up. This could be handy if you’re sick of having to show people the photo after every shot.
  3. Limits to the automatic focus and shutter speed could be optional.
  4. For the real hardcore types the photos could be encrypted in a way that only photo print shops could decode, forcing you to get them all developed in one go.

Ok, I’ll see if I can think of some more and add them. And yes, I’m aware of the seeming silliness of placing such restrictions on cameras capable of so much more. It is meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek.

Optional “film mode” on a new digital camera design could be a handy marketing gimmick though. I’d buy one, or maybe I should just dig out my old 35mm right now.