When All You Want Is A Dial That Turns

flex-copyHave you ever experienced the new-camera syndrome where the designers have been watching Star Wars or Buck Rodgers and have decided that there shall be no dials anywhere on the camera? No dials, no levers, and no buttons. All the command functions must be done by touch-sensitive spots located somewhere on the thing, but none of them will be delineated. You are expected to fly it by mobile phone app and a sort of zen mental concentration. A Harry Potter wand is also a possibility…

Like as not the camera will be expensive – perhaps one of those premium brands that is sold only to plutocrats and aristocrats. It will have been designed by a European so famous that you have never heard of him but since they say he has also been responsible for gold cigarette lighters and sports cars you feel you should. Whether the camera is actually covered in unborn leopard skin is irrelevant – the real measure of its trend value is the fact that you can see how neither how to pay for it nor how to turn it on.

Welcome to the new world of design opulence. We have passed the 70’s false walnut grain. We have passed the 80’s swooping space-station designs. We have passed the 90’s tech-world blue drawing paper grid pattern with pencil sketches. We now have brushed titanium monoliths. If you are cagey you can make your own mirror-less body with a Stanley file and a block of old aluminium.

Don’t worry if it is inert and cannot be switched on. Neither can the newest of the exquisite cameras.

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