Mode control dials
neil posted in Travel on November 6th, 2007
Mode control dials
Sadly, most cameras feature a mode control dial. This method of changing from manual to aperture to auto to whatever simply has no place on a professional camera. Considering that even bottom of the range D40’s and rebels can make good backups and chest cameras, nearly every DSLR has the potential for professional use. Thus this particular waste of space should be eliminated.
Its not until it starts to cost you pictures that you realise quite how nasty an object it is. Most dials are “clicky” but will turn while shoved in a bag or bouncing around off your hip or chest. I’ve lost images from a football game when the dial on my D70 went from A to M and overexposed a burst of pictures. Granted I should have known the shutter speeds were all wrong but all too often you don’t have time to realise this if you are switching cameras quickly.
You also can’t see it in the dark. While shutter speed, ISO and aperture are all available on a nice backlit LCD, there is NO direct indication of what method is being used to set them! This can be very important. I often switch between aperture priority ambient light shooting and manual flash shooting in a single situation. An example occured while shooting a fire: I was getting the camera ready to shoot ambient light next time the fire flared up but could’nt see the change between M and A. Hence I was reduced to twiddling the aperture and seeing how the shutter speed varied and checking the focus mode to check I was’nt in the dreaded “Night portrait mode” just up from manual. If the moment had happened while I was figuring out what my camera was doing, I’d have lost it.
Nikon earns kudos for getting this abomination off the D200 and D300. Canon still has it on the 40D and the 5D, one of the reasons I plumped for a “pro” body when making the switch.
Get it off my camera or give it a nice solid lock and a wee light.