As a kid I was fascinated with the variety of camera kits that were offered by the big name…and some of the little name…camera and film makers to get people started using their materials. These could range from a camera with a film, to a camera, film, and neckstrap. Then it got complex – you could add a flash gun to the kit, and then you needed a battery and a set of flashbulbs and a cover for the front of the flash gun. All packed in a cardboard tray box with brightly coloured instruction book. There was a clear implication in all the literature supplied that the camera would only function with the films, paper, and chemistry made by the parent firm.
The current box full o’ camera has generally got a neck or wrist strap, battery, charger or charger cord, lens and lens cap, and several frightening pieces of literature warning you not to leave the camera in the oven or lick light poles in Edmonton in January. There are wonderful pamphlets advertising the accessories you can buy for it, but none of them actually admit that you should have gotten the damn accessories in the kit to begin with. The only firm that ever did the whole box full was Fujifilm with the X100 Limited Edition kit. I bought one and got the leather case, strap, filter, and lens hood ready to go.
Tha lens hood business was a sore point with me in my retail days as I knew that people needed them but neither of the major makers would put one in a budget kit. And then they compounded their sin by making the packing code for the various hoods completely incomprehensible and hiding the code. In some desperate instances we were forced to open Ken Rockwell’s column to find the info we needed to go upstairs and find the lenshood. That’s a serious deficiency, when you need Rockwell…
I have always advocated a total package for the consumer. A camera, flash, card, battery, charger, strap, bag combo that can be handed over in one box with confidence. I would go so far as to have the battery charged and the card formatted with the thing set onto the most automatic mode that it has so that John Q Public could literally go out the shop door, point, and shoot. With frightening literature insinuating that no other shop was to be trusted for future purchases.