If you’re an iOS user, you know very well that you can search for whatever you want on your phone. It even recognizes the content in your photos, so I can easily find a picture of a sandwich if I want in my library. But if phones can do this, then why can’t cameras? And more specifically, why can’t cameras incorporate it into their menu systems? Camera menus these days are getting way too complex. There are a ton of features that are jam-packed into them, and more are coming. So the answer to making them easier to navigate isn’t cutting features but making a search menu.
Panasonic, Canon, and Nikon make some of the easiest camera menu systems. On the other side, the worst menus are produced by OM System, Sony, Leica, and Fujifilm. All of them, however, can be much easier to navigate. For years, all you had to do was two clicks of the screen, and you’d get to where you needed to with Canon’s menus. Now, you can’t always do that. So, in addition to the menus, the cameras need a search functionality.
But this shouldn’t just be a search functionality for specific terms in the camera menus; it should be able to figure out precisely what you want using a database. It’s pretty simple, and this technology has been around for over a decade. Our website has an internal search that helps you find exactly what you want based on the terms you’ve got.
Put it this way: if AI databases and machine learning are built into the cameras, why can’t they do the same for their own menu system? It’s a far smaller set of terms to become familiar with.
The brands that could most benefit from this are Sony, OM System, and Fujifilm. Sony’s menus are nightmares for most photographers. And though they’re making things easier for visually impaired photographers, they’re still not always the best to use. OM System and Fujifilm don’t even always make their menus touch-compatible. So a search functionality could help immensely instead of making me have a quick menu option.
Think of it this way: It’s easier and faster for most of us to load up the camera menus and start typing precisely what we want. One tap and then typing in the letters for Format is more straightforward than needing to scroll down to the quick menu to find it. In Canon’s case, it’s sometimes easier to find Format if you know exactly where it is.
Regardless of this, camera manufacturers are leaning hard into their technological superiority. So if that’s the case, why can’t they create a search function similar to what people have on their phones?
With all this comes an even more enormous elephant to slay: better touch screens with a larger screen overall. Maybe it’s time for a 4-inch LCD screen for lots of these cameras. If the cameras are overall becoming larger, shouldn’t the screens, too?
I really hope that in the future, we’ll see a built-in search functionality. If cameras were to embrace the fact that they’re technologically inferior, I’d be all about it if it were done holistically. But since they’re all preaching to be better than phones, then maybe it should also be holistic. Many can stream live to social media platforms but can’t post images immediately. And this will have to become a significant step forward.