Postulate 1: Every camera can be improved.
Postulate 2: Every camera could be changed in specific ways to improve it for any given gear geek user.
How many times in your life have you ever said, or thought, "I like [x camera]. But I wish it [had/didn't have] x"? Q.E.D.
The Keppler Axiom, named for Burt Keppler, is:
The more cameras you've tried or used, the more acute Postulate 2 becomes.
Mr. Keppler wrote, in one* of his many columns in Modern Photography and Popular Photography magazines, that his "ideal camera" would cobble together many of the features he had liked best from a great many of the different cameras he had tried...which were great in number. This feature from this camera, that feature from that camera. Add them all together to get the camera he thought would be perfect.
However, that last sentence ignores The Persistence Corollary of the Improvement Law, which is:
Even the perfect camera can still be improved!
This seems illogical, but it is true. Use the perfect camera for long enough, and you will say, "Hmm, I like [x camera]. But I wish it [had/didn't have] x."
This leads us, finally, to The Resignation Imperative:
The best camera for you will still have a few things that you wish were different.
Resign yourself to this: it's not a flaw in the equipment, it's just a manifestation of the Improvement Law, which is an immutable law of the Universe. It will always be true. We must learn to accept Postulate 2 as part and parcel of humans being human and cameras being cameras.
Viz., I like the Panasonic GX8, but I wish it had a flip-up viewing screen, like the Fujis, rather than a flip-out (AKA articulated) one. I like flip-up screens better. :-)
The Improvement Law in action. C'est la vie.
ADDENDUM: I forgot to add The Antidote to the Persistence Corollary of the Improvement Law, which is: the more work you like that you make with a given camera, the more you will like that camera, regardless of its features or flaws.
* The column is lost to history. I have made quite an effort to find it, including contacting Burt's old right-hand man, retired Popular Photography Editor-in-Chief Jason Schneider. No one can find it. It did exist, that much I know; it featured a drawing of Mr. Keppler's imaginary unicorn camera with the shutter-button on the front rather than the top. But the column is lost.
Original contents copyright 2016 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Merle: "Um, kind of applies to just about everything—the body (as in human), the spouse, the house, the car, what I had for breakfast, the weather (expected –13°F tonight, yikes!), ad nauseam. Doesn't mean we can't be happy with what we have at the moment and enjoy that moment for what it is."
Kenneth Tanaka: "The Tanaka Identity Postulate: 'Whatever you use, there you are.' (A variant of 'wherever you go'). That is, at any given moment and situation you will take fundamentally the same picture with any camera, regardless of its sophistication."
MikeR: "Had I known the LX100 was coming out, I would not have bought the GX7, as the former does everything I want that the latter does...EXCEPT!!...I wish the viewfinder tilted up (thus proving your point)."
G.Watson: "More Keppler gems."