Instruction manuals


RobL

Link Posted 08/07/2015 - 11:37
I have just read a beef in AP about cameras only coming with digitized instruction manuals now, and the difficulties that presents when out and about - imagine trying to scroll through a hundred-odd pages on an iphone in daylight! The justification is the cost of printing manuals apparently. Well hurrah to Ricoh/Pentax for understanding their customers' needs better than the other manufacturers and including the handy sized English language-only manuals which came with my K50 and flashgun; presumably the same applies to other models. I hope Ricoh get this message and long may it continue.

walkeja

Link Posted 08/07/2015 - 11:41
If my K3 manual is anything to go by, then it won't be long before they do the same!
Pentax K1-ii and MZ6
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wvbarnes

Link Posted 08/07/2015 - 11:51
The K3 came with a pretty useless slimmed down book, no video cable, no USB cable for the new type connector. The excellent K5 book got used for all the three years I owned it. They found enough margin to pointlessly print RICOH under the rear LCD on the K3 however.

I would for example have liked to have had a decent explanation of when to use what combination of the myriad of revised AF priorities, segments, hold delays etc. A pdf would fit on a smart phone. I don't carry one and my eyes would struggle with the tiny print. Ever tried scrolling a zoomed pdf?
Last Edited by wvbarnes on 08/07/2015 - 11:56

McGregNi

Link Posted 08/07/2015 - 12:22
I've always thought that it would clearly be in manufacturers best interests to provide some form of 'educative' guide to getting the most out of complex camera systems. It's rarely enough to explain only how to activate something ...

For real understanding there has to be some photographic context, an explanation of any choice making rationale that would go into making specific settings. How much this is for camera makers to offer, and how much the responsibility should remain with the photographer to educate themselves, is open to debate ....
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 08/07/2015 - 12:27

bwlchmawr

Link Posted 08/07/2015 - 13:27
I agree with Nigel. How simple cameras were a few years ago with just film speed, aperture and shutter speed to set. Now even "entry" level cameras can do so much and each new model introduces ever more complex features. Luckily sensors are pretty forgiving, particularly if you shoot RAW, and auto-focus better than it was.

I shot an obscene number of pictures in Spain last week and left the little MX-1 on aperture priority with aperture to suit the subject, a limited auto-ISO range and usually a little negative exposure compensation.

I'm sure I don't fully exploit the camera's features and as for the K5... well, there are deep, dark and murky areas of the menu system where even angels fear to tread.

There seems to be a fine opportunity for educating the technologically challenged though how this could best be accomplished, I don't know. Nigel's flash guide is an example of what could be done...
Best wishes,

Andrew

"These places mean something and it's the job of a photographer to figure-out what the hell it is."
Robert Adams
"The camera doesn't make a bit of difference.  All of them can record what you are seeing.  But, you have to SEE."
Ernst Hass
My website: http://www.ephotozine.com/user/bwlchmawr-199050 http://s927.photobucket.com/home/ADC3440/index
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McGregNi

Link Posted 08/07/2015 - 14:05
I can see I need to crack on and get this guide out! Should be ready in a week or two

I found great benefit from my copy of the 'Magic Lantern' guide book to the K7 .... all the details and settings and options, but with accompanying explanation of the expected effect on the photo taking process ... practical implications if you like.

It is this guiding principle of support with the settings that I have used when writing the flash guide .... a little bit of 'what you could do' ....a little bit of 'what would happen if you did' ..... and a little bit of 'why would you want to do it anyway' ....
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 08/07/2015 - 14:07

Mag07

Link Posted 08/07/2015 - 17:23
I bought an ebook for my K7 by Yvon Bourque as I hate camera manuals with a passion lol. Best few dollars spent in a long while. That said, being an ebook, it's on my phone/tablet and I love the fact that it's easily accessible without having to carry yet one more little thing in my bag. Though to be honest, I don't really find myself using it as reference much. Once I've read it a couple of times, things just stuck in my head. Once you get familiar with what is where on a camera, it's easy enough to navigate without external help I find.
'Photography...it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten....' (Aaron Siskind)

1stEverPentax

Link Posted 09/07/2015 - 20:31
I may be old fashioned but it has to be a printed manual for me every time. The manual that came with my K-x was without doubt the best manual i've ever received with any consumer item..and crucially it was so useful and was often used particularly when i wanted to try out a new feature.

I've just bought a K-50 under the triple discount scheme and the fact that it came with a fully comprehensive operating manual was a factor in my decision. Not a deal breaker admittedly, however If choosing between two cameras with not much between them i'd go for the one with the paper manual.

I can't believe they can be that expensive when they are printed in their tens and hundreds of thousands.

doingthebobs

Link Posted 09/07/2015 - 21:27
Printed manual for me, every time.

PDF copy has its place but the printed word works better for me to dib in and out of.
Bob
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