Friday, February 19, 2016

Camera naming and insanity

A reader commented:
"I understand nuttin' to Canon's numbering -- seems to me like they've been introducing the same friggin' camera over and over." (Canon 1D, Canon 1Ds, Canon 1D mark II, Canon 1D mark III. All of them visually near identical too.)

No kidding. I guess it started when Nikon had the Nikon F in the fifties. Some genius at Canon decided to call their supercamera the "F1".
But then Nikon replaced it with the Nikon F2! Argh, what to do? If they called their next model the F2 also, they would look like a me-too. So probably the same genius called it the F1 mark II. And both companies, sticking to the guns they know, have been following the same pattern since, with the big models. They did the same with the big electronic cameras on the nineties which still used film. Those very rounded ones. Weren't they called D1 or 1D or something like that also? Maybe just "1" and "3".

Of course come digital, Nikon calls their cameras D.... , while Canon calls theirs ....D. It's insanity. And spare me the "EOS" and "Coolpix" and "Powershot" just before the name... Who the heck knows  or cares which Canon is a Powershot or not, or why?

 Camera companies and many others too would do well to hire somebody with a drop of sense and imagination to name their products. 40 years ago I read of a Canon experimental camera called the Canon Frog. See, *that* name I can remember, decades later.

Despite them being near triplets, the 7D is not full-frame, while the other two are. And quick, tell me: the successor to the 5D mark II, is that the 6D or the 5D mark III? (Both exist, but oddly the 5D mark III is much more advanced and expensive than mark II, while the 6D seems very much like a successor...)

This is what Mike Johnston calls the "bar of soap" school of design. You take a big wet bar of soap and press it until it's nice and rounded and fit in your hand. Ergonomically not a bad idea, but it gets really boring when all models look near-identical.


DeltaCubed said...

"Whether it be the sweeping eagle in his flight, or the open apple-blossom, the toiling work-horse, the blithe swan, the branching oak, the winding stream at its base, the drifting clouds, over all the coursing sun, form ever follows function, and this is the law. Where function does not change, form does not change. The granite rocks, the ever-brooding hills, remain for ages; the lightning lives, comes into shape, and dies, in a twinkling.
It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and all things superhuman, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law."—Sullivan, Louis H. (1896). "The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered". Lippincott's Magazine (March 1896): 403–409.

Joe Dick said...

They all look alike, and they're all fugly.