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Thursday, 04 February 2016


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You may be (Ralph) Kidding, but that's the saddest story I've read all day.


*kidding alert

Thank you for the humor this morning! I can only hope and pray that this will be forwarded to engineers and executives at all of the camera companies!!

Nice try.
But always remember: Truth is stranger than fiction.
(I'm not laughing while saying this.)

I'll take the No Kidding camera any day, thank you :-)

Oh, and speaking about camera naming - and German language, as we did yesterday - do you know how to count to ten in German ?? It goes like this:

3, 2, 1, 4, 5, 4.2, 6, 7, 8, 8.2, 9, 240.

Brilliant - enjoyed that.

Oh I must quickly get three of them. One for each hand...I mean one for each shoulder and one around my neck, all with the famous Kidding 10-1000 f.7 super (in every way) zooms. The depth of field is so thin on those lenses that there is no focus plane at all! With all of them set up totally different I will be ready for any situation whenever I actually leave the house to take pictures. I can't wait to download test patterns to blow up to 200% and compare them to my photos of my bedroom wall. I know these cameras will make my cat pictures so much better. I may turn pro. I am ditching the Nikon D50 and the Canon 1DX II. They are so last week!

And here I sit just hoping and praying the batteries in my 8x10 Deardorff don't die because I am not sure how I would replace them.

The lenses? Unless they get DxO marks in the stratosphere, what good is the camera?

You must be Kidding!

Spot on!

I can't quite put my finger on it, but something about the way you wrote this makes me think you were being ironic and possibly even sardonic.

You forgot to mention that one of the interchangeable sensors is Monochrome only.

Our new body will be backward-compatible with all previous lenses, included discontinued mounts. We know how much money you have invested in your glass.

Just kidding! We're introducing Mark II versions of all of our most expensive lenses. Each lens will have a minimum $800 increase over the Mark I version because they now feature hydro, olio, aero, and intelligence-phobic coatings. Each lens also features a new grouping of three elements which does nothing to the image but adds a totally cool set of letters and numbers to the lens name.

"It's all right there in the 585-page manual."

Oh, but Kidding Camera Company did away with 585-page manuals a long time ago. Now there is a PDF, downloadable from the Kidding Camera Support website, that is 400 pages long, with the same 25 pages of content appearing in 16 different languages. The manual was originally drafted in Mullukmulluk, then translated (poorly) into the other 15 languages.

The manual is incredibly useful. For example, when going through the menu system, you may be confronted with the choice of whether to set Elevated ASA Smoothing (Kidding's proprietary name for High ISO Noise Reduction) to High, Low, Off, Automatic or Variable. Confused by the Automatic and Variable options, how they differ, and what it is that causes them to change the degree of Elevated ASA Smoothing applied, you may wish to consult the manual. There you will learn that in the Elevated ASA Smoothing sub-menu, you have the choice of setting the camera to High, Low, Off, Automatic or Variable.

Best regards,

P.S. On camera size: I often feel like cameras should either be as small as possible (I love my Panasonic GM-5...the ergonomics are surprisingly good, but when I buy a small camera I realize and accept that I am making ergonomic tradeoffs), or as big as is helpful. What it shouldn't be, in either case, is HEAVY. I don't care if a camera is the size of a Nikon D5 or the Canon equivalent, as long as it doesn't weigh as much as those cameras do. Back in the day, I used to use my Nikon FE-2 with a motor drive grip attached...but without any batteries installed, so the motor drive wasn't functional. The ergonomics were outstanding and the grip didn't weigh much of anything without batteries. Wouldn't you like to have a big, ergonomic camera with a truly large LCD on the back (2x current LCD size) and a big, beautiful viewfinder, that didn't weigh more than your current Olympus or Fuji cameras?

I assumed that you were spoofing Sony (I seem to be sending them most of my SS checks), until you mentioned the 585 page manual. Sony cameras come with 5 page manuals which might as well say: "here it is, you figure it out!"

Cracking me up. Hilarious, and so true.


Just Kidding.

Mike, you forgot the Buy it Now link to B&S

Made me laugh. A couple of additional points from me:

1. We will provide a long-lasting battery with a precise battery meter so that the camera does not feel like an unreliable electronic appliance and does not die unexpectedly in the middle of your once-in-a-lifetime trip when you finally reach the place you've always wanted to photograph

- in fact we will keep making the body smaller without paying attention to battery size, so that the estimated battery life of the Mark IV.4.240b model will not be long enough to turn the camera on AND take a photo - you will only be able to do one or the other before the battery dies

2. Photography is a visual art. Acknowledging that we have devoted significant time and resource to developing accurate white balancing and metering - all provided automatically by the camera without using a ubiquitous "grey-card-o-meter-to-the-right" that every advanced amateur carries at all times.

- as any kid following Internet fora knows for certain, sharpness is the only criterion that is applied while judging contemporary photographs. There is also dynamic range, but only if you mean by that the option to "lift shadows by 23 stops" and produce "single shot HDR" effects that everybody wants. Digital photography has nothing to do with pleasant visual effect achieved with the help of your sensor/processing engine in camera - it's all about what we can do to the RAW files "in post". Actually, if you're not prepared to spend many additional hours in front of your computer manually correcting the images produced by our camera's automated systems, you're not a true photographer and clearly you do not understand automation.

3. Lenses are only good if they are comfortable to use and carry, and if they don't scare away your subject from a distance. We will develop a lens line that includes good quality, modestly fast, small size prime lenses with pleasant tactile controls (aperture ring, focus ring with mechanical stops and usable distance scale), that will actually last longer than the almost-obsolete-at-time-of-purchase camera body.

- it is obvious to all camera shoppers that lenses are only as good as their size suggests. We will produce random, incoherently designed zoom lenses with humongous maximum apertures, chart-topping sharpness stats and 25-axis stabilisers just for bragging rights. If they become too large to actually use, we will just make the online images of the lenses for B&H smaller. Once you buy and shoot test charts - you will surely be hooked. At least until you notice the back pain and your subjects shying away from the battleship-sized front element.

A nice laugh but, as we all know, most successful humor is rooted in truth. This one hits close to home. So, which of the current camera companies' products come closest to the No Kidding camera? I nominate Fuji, whose cameras aren't perfect by any means. But I'll bet if Mike submitted his wish list to them, they'd take it under serious consideration.

While wildly exaggerated, there is much validity in these satirical comments.

Does the Kidding camera takes the new Sony FE G Master lenses?

The 585 page manual is large enough to read.
Kidding... we put it on microfilm because we were unable to print a small enough font on paper.

As your art commentary continues to imitate my life...

My wife, born in '85, graduated from the Corcoran recently...last one before the GM affiliation I believe. Miraculously turned that MFA degree into a great position on C St. [and they say it can't be done!]

I too traded in a 5DmkII and 1DmkIII on the 5DS. And like another reader promptly stopped doing much commercial work. Now use my small camera for 90% of shooting [Leica D-Lux Typ 109 in my case.]

And, all Kidding aside, I can barely hold on to the tiny thing! I put a grip on it, which greatly improved things. Still wish it had half the buttons.

I think a 3D scan and print of an M3 body with a well cut out for various compact models would be a fantastic project for someone. [give in to auto-focus and auto-ISO, cover up the LCD and buttons...just leave the aperture, shutter speed, and trigger available. wow.]

Thanks for the constantly relevant commentary. Wish I'd found your site years ago.

Well--sailboats with auxiliary engines are the norm in many size ranges.

Not only is it a sensible size, we realise that digital technology frees us from having to design cameras shaped liked bricks (because there's no longer a need to push strips of film through them), actually considered how human hands work best, and designed the body and controls accordingly.

Heh heh heh.

Consider the 1970s MZ motorcycle, the TS250/1, aka The Supa 5. Most of them don't tickover. It's a 2 stroke and you have to add oil to the petrol, every time you fill up. It's ugly. It takes skill and practise to ride smoothly. The kickstart is on the left and you have to learn the starting technique. The front brake is poor.

But they are economical on petrol, robust and easy to maintain. I don't know about now, but when I rode them, nearly every spare was reasonably priced and often common across the range.

They were often bought by people who didn't choose a bike to impress others, but just for what it did. You are not treated as a mug by the manufacturers. It was quite common for MZs and their owners to be scorned by other riders who were being taken for a ride in more ways than one.

Other marques have owner's clubs. For MZ there's a rider's club, because it's about riding them, not just having them. I think they are great. I've had two.

I've read many good and excellent posts here. Sad to say, this was not one of them.

[But it was remarkable...by definition, since you remarked on it. --Mike]

April is 2 months away.😡👎

I'm ordering the Delux Plus (French accent, please,) which is not listed on the website and is only available to the rarefied select customers (none of you know who you are except me,) and has the two most crucial features not included in the plebeian release.

1 - The full manual (with the edition of 4 additional languages, including Urdu,) is printed and beautifully bound. It is pesonally delivered by an executive of UPS or FedEx, your choice.

2 - An additional and secret (DON'T tell anyone you heard this from me!) shooting mode has been added. Il s'appele Le moment décisif. This allows you to shoot just like HCB without even looking at the camera.


Now the ALPA 12TC is a real joke.

Instant classic. It will join Great Photographers on the Internet in the Hall of Fame of internet photography articles. It currently only holds 2 articles, I believe.

I look forward to the third in 2026.

I can barely contain myself, waiting for the year of teaser videos to begin. Life becomes so... well... pointless without teaser videos!

The camera naming thing is just *killing* me! When Olympus came out with the original OM-D E-M5, everyone called it the "OMD" because, well, that's enough. I wish the camera companies would take a clue from automobiles. Can you imagine if Porsche came out with the "912"? (Ok, they did. But they figured out branding, even with numbers, in what -- 1976.) Apple also gets this right with their laptops and desktops, and *almost* fixed it for the iPad line, but then blew it. Here comes the iPhone 7!

Will Olympus come out with a Pen-F mark II in 18-20 months? Sure thing. That article about how Yoshihisa Maitani had to get the original Pen F manufactured elsewhere because the Olympus factory manager thought it was "too simple." "The accepted wisdom was that real cameras had to have lots of controls." No! Not lots of controls! The *right amount* of controls, well thought out.

Oh well.

Over at the Kidding!Rumors site they are saying that the Firmware Update v. will include a 4K remastered edition of the Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks. I can't wait

Ha! Yes! Maybe this is the camera you hanker for:

We will, of course, provide firmware updates introducing new features that can be supported by existing hardware, based on feedback from our users.

Kidding! If you suckers come up with some great ideas, we'll definitely make them available to you... in the Mk II, which is more or less the same camera but with some updated software.

Thanks Mike! Funny and perfect antidote to the wailing banshees on others sites arguing about stuff like the merits of 50, 400 or a zillion focus points.

For a second I thought you wnere kidding but everthing is ,in fact, true.

So why is it that I visualize this guy when I'm reading that?

The Nikon Coolpix A has changed my mind about holding a camera by my fingertips: it works very well when the lens isn't long and the camera is well designed. The fact that the camera fits a coat pocket greatly increases the likelihood of me having it with me too.


It seems to me that many of your ideas for an ideal camera can already be found in some older models. My Leica M8.2 only places the focus where I want it to, has essentially no distractions in a big clear viewfinder, sparse menus with few options, and simple controls that are a pleasure to use. It's drawbacks are poor high ISO and an ancient low res rear LCD. These shortcomings make me treat it as my "film" camera, with ISO 640 as the highest usable speed, and no ability to critically review images. With prices low for such an old model, it could even be considered relatively affordable these days.

I think as new updated camera models are introduced, feature creep leads them farther and farther away from their intended original concept. I moved on from a M 240 because of the frustrations that you outlined above.

Had planty of customers over the years asking for a left handed camera, just like the many on the web (almost always dated April 1). Priceless, but a bit curley for new staff.

"For convenience, some, most, or many settings will be reset each time the camera is turned off. Please reference your camera's specific firmware version as described in the manual."

Did you know that Ralph Kidding was a former marketing manager at Olympus? Kidding!! He's actually the current CEO.

You left out the way the tripod mount blocks access to the card and battery. This is an important and common feature these days.
Oh, and focus-by-wire with so much wired-in hysteresis that you cannot focus by rocking the focus ring. A Pana, Oly and Fuji specialty.

As it turns out, the 585 Kidding manual is horribly confusing, so everyone needs to wait until noted internet writer and Kidding camera expert Jhon Rogan puts his "Complete Guide to the Kidding ZRZ-01.1X Mark I" up on his website for download before actually using any of the advanced features.

The following is an excerpt from a real manual:

"NR turns noise reduction on [...]. Hold ADJ to display the NR setting [...]. Use the [...] knob to tailor NR for the present [...] conditions. In general, the higher the number, the more aggressive the noise reduction. Settings F1-1 through F4-4 are recommended. F5-1 through F8-4 use a different algorithm, where the -x part of the setting indicates the degree of mix between the DSP-processed and unprocessed signals (-1 is about 50% processed, -4 is 100%). A small m appears to remind you that a Mixed setting is in effect, e.g. NRm F5-1."

That's it. There are essentially 32 different NR settings, and it's anybody's guess exactly what they all do. In fact, a small cottage industry has sprung up with one guy writing a massive manual to explain this manual. It involved a lot of reverse-engineering to figure out just how the thing worked.

One more thing this camera should have:

Controls are positioned and operate consistenly from model to another. If you buy the 'pro' version and later get a consumer version for your spouse, they pretty much work in the same way for all the features they share.

Kidding! We move all the controls around along with where information is displayed. It's more fund to try and figure out where to adjust the ISO speed rather than actually adjust it.

"Had planty of customers over the years asking for a left handed camera, just like the many on the web (almost always dated April 1). Priceless, but a bit curley for new staff."

The first 35mm SLRs were left handed, with the shutter release and wind lever on the left side. Exactas and Exaktas were great cameras.

My Graflexes are left handed, Makinas were left handed, I used a left handed Linhof for a while, and some Rollies are pretty left handed.

I can't think of 21st century cameras that are left handed, and most are downright unusable by someone with a disability that prevents them from using their right hand. If I were a camera reviewer I would make a point of trying every camera left handed. It is one of the things Sony botched with their A7 grip, compared to CaNikon, where you can use the camera upside down with your left hand.

I half expected the jokes to come true, but no. They look odd these lefties even if they are budgy mock ups for a gag.

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