Friday, July 20, 2012

P mode = Pro mode

I was reading an article on dpreview about a Sony NEX, and I found this interesting sentence:

From the SLT-A57 there's the 'By Pixel Super Resolution' intelligent interpolation, with the 'Clear Image Zoom' it brings. 

So, they implemented in the firmware of this new NEX, some features borrowed from the A57; given that Sony didn't implement these in the flagship A77, I started wondering why. Probably because customers of the A77 look for a professional camera, and so they don't care about consumer-grade features.
But is this a correct reasoning?

Let's forget for a second that the definition of "professional camera" is somewhat fuzzy (I remember someone said that the only difference between a pro and a standard camera is the number of buttons on the body).
However I do use cameras which can be easily mista... ehm... defined "professional", but 90% of the time the camera is in P mode. Modern cameras are smart enough to take the picture semi-right in fully automatic mode; by "semi-right" I mean a picture which can be adjusted in 10 seconds of postprocessing from Lightroom, without any nasty side effects.
Even if it took 10 seconds to change settings, press buttons, levers, switches... on the camera itself ("look, ma! a professional photographer is changing setting to take a super-professional picture!"), usually I don't have that many seconds, I have to be quick, so P mode + a 0.5-second review of the basic settings in the viewfinder is generally fine.

Having a professional camera does not mean that you have to use it "professionally" all the time. So it would be nice if products were incremental: I would like an A77 that does everything that an A57 does, and something more.

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