In any category of device – whether it’s cameras, or cars, or phones, or anything else – there seems to be a kind optimal sweet spot in their evolution.
At this point, the tool does the job better than it’s ever done before, and certainly beyond the limit of the user’s capabilities with it.
Beyond this pinnacle, it seems we’re only sold marketing gimmicks (barely) disguised as essential upgrades.
In fact, on many occasions, the “upgrade” actually degenerates – or sacrifices entirely – something about the previous iteration that was a highly valued attribute, so instead is perceived by the user (you and me) as a downgrade and we regret we didn’t stick with what we had before.
Then there’s the additional sin of most upgrades – adding more features and/or making them more complex to find and make use of.
Usually these are features that we’ll never use anyway, and then they just muddle and overly complicated the basic use of the device we require.
I’ve never been a slave of the upgrade parade with cameras, though I have had my share of used cameras where I’ve wondered why they had half the features they did, and without them the camera(s) would be far more direct and satisfying to use.
Especially when the cost of the extraneous features would be more wisely invested in a better lens or sensor perhaps.
What examples have you come across yourself? Which cameras (or other devices/machines) have you purchased only to find they actually downgrade the experience compared with what you had before?
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