What does good ergonomics involve for you?

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
SW Virginia
Real Name
Steve
I started thinking about this because of the side discussion in the Lo-Fi thread. So as not to cannibalize that thread any further, I thought I’d start a discussion here. When you think about good ergonomics in a camera, what is specifically involved? For me, this has evolved over the years and includes a good grip, front and rear dials, and a reasonable EVF and LCD. I’m not a fan of a million programmable buttons because unless I use them regularly I forget what they do. I’m also not a fan of touchscreens, because I inevitably touch them when I don’t want to and change settings. In many ways, all I really want are the basic exposure controls and some control over the focus point. Other than that, i’m not that picky. My favorite camera was the E-M1 from Olympus and is now the X-S10 from Fuji. It turns out that these bodies are very similar in many ways.
Check out the top down view.

On the other hand, I am perfectly happy using my A7RIII despite the infamy of Sony ergonomics. I will admit that I did add a base plate to the A7 that extended the grip a little downward to provide a “pinky“ rest. Oddly, I have no desire for anything like this on the X-S10, Probably because it’s considerably lighter. I had an XH1 with the battery grip and I admit it felt good in the hand. I also didn’t carry it around very much because it was so big and heavy. I like a good EVF but it is rarely a dealbreaker. I suspect this is true because I don’t use MF that often and are mostly looking for framing and sometimes even the decisive moment. :biggrin: For the record, my hands are decidedly medium in size.

So, what specific aspects of a camera’s ergs are most important to you? The best part of this thread is that you can’t be wrong. Maybe a little delusional . . .
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Df vs G9

These two share the SLR body factor and size and weight to some degree, I think I noticed some funny things about these two when I had these two head-to-head in a test shootout.

DSLRs are known for their good top LCDs. In this case, Df has a very tiny, poor one and G9 has a nice and wonderful top LCD. What's even funnier, G9 has the Nikon-style light switch on the shutter collar whereas Df has its in a cumbersome place.

Because I was shooting these ISO comparison tests I had to constantly switch ISOs and take shots between changes. Hardly a real-world usage case! But anyway G9's DSLR-style indirect ISO control (press a button and scroll a wheel) proved to be good. I recognize the power of being able to do these things comfortably while keeping your eye on the viewfinder. Could matter a lot shooting an eventful scene.

Nikon Df has EC and ISO hardwired to the wheels left of the viewfinder hump so that you cannot map these things to indirect dials. I very well understand why so many Nikon shooters gave a negative review on Df.

As much as I prefer direct-dial style of Nikon Df, the camera enjoys (or suffers) some design choices that actually make me think if a D610 or a D750 might be an interesting alternative for me to try!

Df vs Leica M

Leica M has a superior shutter speed dial and it's placed in a place my right index finger easily accesses it when I have the camera on my eye. The apertures are controlled by the lens so I have two thirds of the exposure control well accessible. For ISO I have to take the camera off my eye, at least this is the case for MP240 and I think M10 shooters with their physical ISO dial do the same.

M lenses tend to have apertures towards the front of the lens so they're easily accessed. Nikon F lenses tend to have them at the back, very close to the body. Cramped!

Because of Leica's good shutter speed dial (that goes by half-stops, the major thing for me) and good aperture rings of M lenses, Leica M is the superior shooting experience when working in full manual mode: the ergonomics don't get in the way.

Nikon's shutter speed dial not only is in full stops (that tends to be too much for me) the dial is also very clicky and hard to turn if the camera is on my eye. F lenses also are a mixed bag what comes to aperture. Ai/pre-Ai lens apertures are usually smooth to adjust and operate but the screwdrive AF lenses tend to provide a very coarse experience. These are also only in hard full stops so there's not necessarily the sufficient granularity in exposure control that I wish.

A word on G9 ergonomics

Panasonic G9 goes all in with the dials and bells and whistles, and as a result they have a winner on their hands. Good EVF you don't have to leave for changing settings, three control wheels. For P/A/S modes it's a winning combo to have the rear wheel act as EC. For Manual the wheel can be EC (when using Manual + auto-ISO) or ISO (for full manual).

The EVF lets you see zebra patters that warn about highlight clipping and you can respond to that fluently with the EC correction. The ergonomics about it all are so great.

The fully articulating screen is the G9's main pain point. The designers have might as well written "go f##* yourself" on the screen and achieve the same sentiment...
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
A perfect mix of weight and balance, that way you don’t need image stabilisation, so definitely not too light and preferably not too heavy. My preference at the minute is to use manual lenses, so all I ask is the 3 basics very much applying the k.i.s.s theory in terms of controls, ie if I can access shutter speed, iso and aperture (from the lens) then that’ll be all I need, maybe exposure compensation but that’s honestly not a deal breaker. But I carry a GR with me every day so in that regard when using an AF camera and one so small, I do quite like the option of being able to touch the screen at the focus point I want and for the camera to shoot. I used to consider a fold down back screen as a requirement but that’s not a deal breaker these days either.
 

agentlossing

All-Pro
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
I'm with you most of the time, Steve, on touchscreens, on any camera with a viewfinder for sure. Way too easy to hit it by accident. However, I do like touchscreens for navigating menus, many cameras let you disable the focus point adjustment or shutter release functions of a touchscreen while still letting you use it once you pull up menus - that's ideal for me, as long as they've taken time to consider touch functionality in the menus. If it's a menu system that's very obviously still designed around a four way controller and the UI is too small for a finger, it's frustrating and I end up turning it off.

I could do without buttons on a camera that are specifically oriented for menus. Button clutter on small cameras is one of the things I dislike the most. Even if I train myself to avoid pressing them by accident, somehow holding a small camera full of buttons makes it feel less like a "real" camera and takes some of the fun out of it. The classic design concept of throwing every manner of little button on the right side of the camera, where your hand needs to go to grip the camera, is really pretty unfortunate. Leica seems to understand this, as they still place a lot of their buttons to the left of the LCD, though, in reality, that's kind of an inconvenient place for them.

I like a camera to either be big enough to have all the buttons and switches it needs, or small enough for the designers to be comfortable with a different idea of the camera's shooting style and usability. I guess what I mean by that is a point and shoot. Even though the Ricoh GR III is very small, it can be easily shot and controlled with one hand, if you're in a mode (like aperture priority) where you only need to move on or two settings. The Fuji XE4 has me interested because they cleaned things up and removed a dial - I know that part is controversial, but why have twin dials on a camera with dedicated shutter speed (and in the case of most of their lenses, aperture) controls? I think they went in the right direction by removing the rear dial, too - even though that particular control is often considered sacrosanct, it is the one that's most frequently getting in the way when carrying the camera.

With a lot of my history being micro four thirds, I have to say that most (not all) of those bodies have too many buttons. Especially Olympus's smaller bodies, like the OMD EM10 and EM5 models. The Pen-F too; looking at the back of that camera has always kind of steered me away from buying one. With excellent touchscreens and small bodies, here's what I think micro four thirds cameras should do: mimic the XE4 just enough by removing some rear controls (but not the rear dial) and really beefing up the amount of space for your thumb and making the rear right edge of the camera just generally easier to hold for extended periods. Ditch buttons except for an LCD button that could do triple duty by having double-press and long-press sensitivity. Redo the super control panel (or Panasonic's similar shooting menu) to offer most of the needs formerly dedicated to small buttons. So you have a single good-sized button for operating the LCD: press it once, it goes to image review. Double-press it, brings up the shooting menu. Long press it, brings up the deep menus.

I don't know, maybe I'd hate that after all, but it would be worth a try. A small joystick would be a better solution for moving focus point than a four-way controller or a touchscreen on a camera with an EVF.
 

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
Sony mirrorless has so-so ergonomics and terrible lens-mount/hand-grip spacing, but due to the compact sizing, I actually like it for small primes and mid-sized zooms. For anything bigger though I prefer the full sized bodies of DSLRs for long lenses and heavier standard zooms and primes.
 

Biro

Hall of Famer
Location
Jersey Shore
Real Name
Steve
I have medium-sized hands and am fairly flexible when it comes to ergonomics. But I wear glasses and I need enough eye relief to see the entire viewfinder.

I can tell you this: The Pansonic GH4 feels perfect in my hands. The GH5 and G9 are not much different but something is slightly off there for me. Again, not to the point that I can't use those cameras.

I kind of regret letting my Fuji X-H1 go. It fit in my hands very well. So does the X-T4, although a slightly deeper grip would be an improvement.

I owned the X-S10 briefly and generally loved the camera. It's a fantastic value and one that I can heartily recommend. But the grip was a bit too close to the lens mount for my fingers.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
After checking out quite a few approaches (by different brands and models), I know I want a couple of things and don't care about others - but it's not as clear cut as all that because what I'm going to put up with heavily depends on the camera.

I have to repeat a lot of things that have already been said:
  • A good grip and key controls in the right places - that's where Nikon wins *for me personally*, whereas the brand that can't seem to please me is Sony. That said, I'm actually okay with A6000's small grip *with small lenses*. Interestingly, if the camera doesn't *need* a grip, I don't mind having none - the best example is the ancient Leica M8: It just fits into my cupped hand - all good. The M10 actually feels less secure without its thumb rest - but is great to handle *with* it.
  • A good viewfinder; I've come to prefer EVFs for quick work (my favourite being the Z 6's). That said, the gorgeous optical finders of both the D750 (my last DSLR!) and my Leicas rangefinders are a joy to use - but sometimes, working with them leads to chimping, a kind of slowing down I *don't* enjoy. The only (and last) camera I accept that doesn't have a built-in viewfinder is the GR III - but that camera's size and results make up for its shortcomings; in fact, whenever I'm about to sell it, I use it "one last time" - only to decide to keep it because it does what it does so well ...
  • As little buttons *and* menu diving as possible - that's where the Leicas shine (and Sony loses, together with Olympus and, in some respects, Panasonic). Nikon, again, is mostly fine. However, I *like* several assignable dials (two or even three) because I can keep them consistent across brands. For example, back dials are used for direct exposure compensation whenever possible - which lets me emulate dedicated dials most closely. I'm not that much of a fan of clickable dials, though - things can get fiddly too quickly for my liking; Fujifilm and Panasonic use them extensively - with very mixed results; I've ended up with ISO all over the place before I learned to tame the X-E3's front dial - in fact, it still happens at times.
  • Something that's less easy to describe: Predictability. Things do what you expect them to do without lots of customisation. Or if you have to customise them, at least most things work consistently *across one brand* - or if it's different, at least all settings are there. Again, Nikon does this extremely well, Leica is surprisingly nice (they have changed their paradigm several times, yet it's no problem to find your way around a new camera or menu), Sony is a nightmare - I still have to sift through everything to find what I need. Olympus is actually okay as far as this goes - as labyrinthine their menus are, at least you'll recognise things. Panasonic manages to hide stuff or not to let you change important things depending on some obscure setting or mode - very irritating, though not as bad as Sony.
  • If there is AF, I want it to be fast and reliable. And I want to be able to control all aspects of it - because most of the time, I just want a moveable single point, but I want a quick way to get to subject tracking, with as many supportive technologies as possible. Nikon DSLRs make this really easy, newer Sony models are fantastic - my old A7 II is bearable, but not good (better than the A6000, though). Both the Z 6 and Z 50 are (very!) solid in this regard, whereas I don't use tracking on Panasonic cameras at all (too nervous - looking through the EVF makes me giddy, regardless of the decent hit rate). Speaking of this, I've yet to use tracking on the E-M5 III - I've simply not been in a situation to need it ...
  • Touch screens aren't for me. I struggle with them more often than find a use for them. That said, they have their uses on some cameras and actually make them more accessible and/or versatile (Ricoh GR III, but also Panasonic GX9; I also use the touch screens on my Nikon Z cameras and the Olympus E-M5 III). As Andrew has said, as long as I can disable the functions I don't want, I'm okay with having them around. What I definitely *don't* like are soft buttons: The one thing I still dislike about the Nikon Z 50: You can't switch them off when using the EVF, so I'm "nosing" magnification quite frequently - vexing! Another pet peeve of mine are "smart" menus that depend on some set of obscure conditions to show what you need - or simply grey out stuff (see above) ... Sony's the undefeated champion of driving you nuts, but Panasonic can do that almost as well ...
I'm very old-fashioned in that I usually don't need or use many of the newest technologies and gizmos; the main reason is that I want to make sure that *I* decide how the image should turn out, not the camera. That said, I appreciate cameras that cover multiple use cases *and* make accessing their potential straightforward. I prefer cameras that - maybe after setting them up thoroughly - just let me go on with shooting and don't demand or divert attention away from photography proper.

M.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
SW Virginia
Real Name
Steve
I'm with you most of the time, Steve, on touchscreens, on any camera with a viewfinder for sure. Way too easy to hit it by accident. However, I do like touchscreens for navigating menus, many cameras let you disable the focus point adjustment or shutter release functions of a touchscreen while still letting you use it once you pull up menus - that's ideal for me, as long as they've taken time to consider touch functionality in the menus. If it's a menu system that's very obviously still designed around a four way controller and the UI is too small for a finger, it's frustrating and I end up turning it off.

I could do without buttons on a camera that are specifically oriented for menus. Button clutter on small cameras is one of the things I dislike the most. Even if I train myself to avoid pressing them by accident, somehow holding a small camera full of buttons makes it feel less like a "real" camera and takes some of the fun out of it. The classic design concept of throwing every manner of little button on the right side of the camera, where your hand needs to go to grip the camera, is really pretty unfortunate. Leica seems to understand this, as they still place a lot of their buttons to the left of the LCD, though, in reality, that's kind of an inconvenient place for them.

I like a camera to either be big enough to have all the buttons and switches it needs, or small enough for the designers to be comfortable with a different idea of the camera's shooting style and usability. I guess what I mean by that is a point and shoot. Even though the Ricoh GR III is very small, it can be easily shot and controlled with one hand, if you're in a mode (like aperture priority) where you only need to move on or two settings. The Fuji XE4 has me interested because they cleaned things up and removed a dial - I know that part is controversial, but why have twin dials on a camera with dedicated shutter speed (and in the case of most of their lenses, aperture) controls? I think they went in the right direction by removing the rear dial, too - even though that particular control is often considered sacrosanct, it is the one that's most frequently getting in the way when carrying the camera.

With a lot of my history being micro four thirds, I have to say that most (not all) of those bodies have too many buttons. Especially Olympus's smaller bodies, like the OMD EM10 and EM5 models. The Pen-F too; looking at the back of that camera has always kind of steered me away from buying one. With excellent touchscreens and small bodies, here's what I think micro four thirds cameras should do: mimic the XE4 just enough by removing some rear controls (but not the rear dial) and really beefing up the amount of space for your thumb and making the rear right edge of the camera just generally easier to hold for extended periods. Ditch buttons except for an LCD button that could do triple duty by having double-press and long-press sensitivity. Redo the super control panel (or Panasonic's similar shooting menu) to offer most of the needs formerly dedicated to small buttons. So you have a single good-sized button for operating the LCD: press it once, it goes to image review. Double-press it, brings up the shooting menu. Long press it, brings up the deep menus.

I don't know, maybe I'd hate that after all, but it would be worth a try. A small joystick would be a better solution for moving focus point than a four-way controller or a touchscreen on a camera with an EVF.
I'm with you most of the time, Steve, on touchscreens, on any camera with a viewfinder for sure. Way too easy to hit it by accident. However, I do like touchscreens for navigating menus, many cameras let you disable the focus point adjustment or shutter release functions of a touchscreen while still letting you use it once you pull up menus - that's ideal for me, as long as they've taken time to consider touch functionality in the menus. If it's a menu system that's very obviously still designed around a four way controller and the UI is too small for a finger, it's frustrating and I end up turning it off.

I could do without buttons on a camera that are specifically oriented for menus. Button clutter on small cameras is one of the things I dislike the most. Even if I train myself to avoid pressing them by accident, somehow holding a small camera full of buttons makes it feel less like a "real" camera and takes some of the fun out of it. The classic design concept of throwing every manner of little button on the right side of the camera, where your hand needs to go to grip the camera, is really pretty unfortunate. Leica seems to understand this, as they still place a lot of their buttons to the left of the LCD, though, in reality, that's kind of an inconvenient place for them.

I like a camera to either be big enough to have all the buttons and switches it needs, or small enough for the designers to be comfortable with a different idea of the camera's shooting style and usability. I guess what I mean by that is a point and shoot. Even though the Ricoh GR III is very small, it can be easily shot and controlled with one hand, if you're in a mode (like aperture priority) where you only need to move on or two settings. The Fuji XE4 has me interested because they cleaned things up and removed a dial - I know that part is controversial, but why have twin dials on a camera with dedicated shutter speed (and in the case of most of their lenses, aperture) controls? I think they went in the right direction by removing the rear dial, too - even though that particular control is often considered sacrosanct, it is the one that's most frequently getting in the way when carrying the camera.

With a lot of my history being micro four thirds, I have to say that most (not all) of those bodies have too many buttons. Especially Olympus's smaller bodies, like the OMD EM10 and EM5 models. The Pen-F too; looking at the back of that camera has always kind of steered me away from buying one. With excellent touchscreens and small bodies, here's what I think micro four thirds cameras should do: mimic the XE4 just enough by removing some rear controls (but not the rear dial) and really beefing up the amount of space for your thumb and making the rear right edge of the camera just generally easier to hold for extended periods. Ditch buttons except for an LCD button that could do triple duty by having double-press and long-press sensitivity. Redo the super control panel (or Panasonic's similar shooting menu) to offer most of the needs formerly dedicated to small buttons. So you have a single good-sized button for operating the LCD: press it once, it goes to image review. Double-press it, brings up the shooting menu. Long press it, brings up the deep menus.

I don't know, maybe I'd hate that after all, but it would be worth a try. A small joystick would be a better solution for moving focus point than a four-way controller or a touchscreen on a camera with an EVF.
There was a recent video from Fuji explaining their design choices for the very spartan XE4. Some of it reflects what you are saying about minimizing the number of physical controls, I.e., tiny buttons.
 

Tilman Paulin

All-Pro
Location
Vancouver B.C.
Real Name
Tilman
I think simplicity is important to me (which oftentimes means "fewer features").

The user interface of the Sigma DP cameras doesn't get into the way.
(They desperately needed to add a grip to those cameras though - a shame that Richard Franiec retired from selling grips :( )

The Olympus E1 is stll a pleasure to hold and use.
Again - a very limited camera - yet the essentials are readily available...

I'm pretty happy with more modern cameras, like the Olympus E-M1/5 cameras... but I probably only use 10-20% of the features they offer :)
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
SW Virginia
Real Name
Steve
I think simplicity is important to me (which oftentimes means "fewer features").

The user interface of the Sigma DP cameras doesn't get into the way.
(They desperately needed to add a grip to those cameras though - a shame that Richard Franiec retired from selling grips :( )

The Olympus E1 is stll a pleasure to hold and use.
Again - a very limited camera - yet the essentials are readily available...

I'm pretty happy with more modern cameras, like the Olympus E-M1/5 cameras... but I probably only use 10-20% of the features they offer :)
There’s a name I haven’t heard in awhile. Franiec made grips for lots of cameras. His business was based on unpopular ergonomics.
 

agentlossing

All-Pro
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
There was a recent video from Fuji explaining their design choices for the very spartan XE4. Some of it reflects what you are saying about minimizing the number of physical controls, I.e., tiny buttons.
I just read that linked article. It seems like Fuji kind of gets it, though watching a different video I got the sense that the menus are still complex and the choices a bit overwhelming. With digital cameras, the simplicity of the hardware kind of needs to be mirrored by simplicity of the UI. A camera can be powerful but simple - I'd say the GR III is the perfect example of that. I never menu dive, everything is at my fingertips, the camera seems simple while still being customizable and powerful.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
SW Virginia
Real Name
Steve
I just read that linked article. It seems like Fuji kind of gets it, though watching a different video I got the sense that the menus are still complex and the choices a bit overwhelming. With digital cameras, the simplicity of the hardware kind of needs to be mirrored by simplicity of the UI. A camera can be powerful but simple - I'd say the GR III is the perfect example of that. I never menu dive, everything is at my fingertips, the camera seems simple while still being customizable and powerful.
With so many customizations available, designing good menus has become an art form. It’s amazing how many of these companies struggle with it.
 
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agentlossing

All-Pro
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
With so many customizations available, designing good menus has become an art form. It’s amazing how many of these companies struggle with it.
I'd say still more, much of modern life has become an exercise in good UI. So much stuff we do is digital, and I'll wager our minds are wired a lot differently than those of previous generations... You can see it in the way elderly people seek out younger people (often relatives, but, as someone who can be said to be in a version of customer service, I've gotten some pretty odd requests from elderly people who are trying to do something with technology) to do things with their smartphones and computers. It's like a language, one which they didn't learn.

Maybe in 20 years we will all have fantastic UIs on everything we use, though sadly I doubt it. If you can cut a cost that seems unnecessary, like paying people to make a UI that is internally consistent, and consistently understandable, then why spend the bucks? Unless you're old-time Apple (I consider them to have left that path in these days).
 

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Location
Troy, NY
A deep grip.

Easy access to exposure compensation.

A high-range zoom lens that means I don't have to change lenses.

No touch screen. I am left-eye dominant, which means I tend to activate touch screens with my magnificent nose.

Absolutely essential: an EVF or OVF with good eye relief for a glasses wearer. Back screens are for reviewing pix or camera settings. Even an inaccurate OVF, like on the G12, is better than no VF.

Dials that cannot be easily rotated as the camera is pulled from the bag, leaving you wondering Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

Cheers, Jock
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Real Name
bart
Uff... That depends wholly on what the camera's purpose is.

Starting with the start: the on/off button should be on the hand grip and easy to find by touch. No press down button, but a switch or toggle of some sort. Olympus' left-shoulder placement is one of the craziest things I've seen in terms of UI but at least you can set a lever on the handgrip side to on/off.

For a quick use / "get the shot" type camera, I prefer unmarked dials over marked dials. For a "slow down and be in the moment" camera, the less digital the interface feels the better, so marked dials are preferred there.

I want to be able to use any camera one-handed if need be, apart from zooming. So two dials under thumb and index finger when the hand is in shooting position. I'm in Aperture priority 99+ percent of the time, so those would be exposure comp with thumb and aperture with index. Preferably large, grippy and impossible to miss, Olympus E-M5 / E-M1 style.

Having a focus point joystick within easy reach of a thumb in shooting position completes my trio of commonly changed settings. If there's an easy way of changing ISO and shutter speed in the rare case I want to - click a dial tonchange its function, or a third dial combining those - I am truly all set.

Handgrip: needs to be positive. I love the large deep handgrip on a body with a big lens, but on a smaller body or with a smaller lens, something that properly fills the palm of my hand will do if my fingers have somewhere to go. On a smaller body, a well defined thumbgrip does more for me than a pronounced finger grip, so long as the front of the body isn't too slippery.

Screen: on a quick "get the shot" camera I am likely to use the rear screen, at least initially after whipping out the camera. I prefer tilting to fully rotating. Fuji's 2 way tilt is the best I've seen. For a "slow down and be in the moment" type camera I'm actually starting to come around to the idea of the X-Pro3's not there/fold down screen combined with the hybrid viewfinder.

For anything but a pure "whip it out and document what's going on around me" camera, I do much prefer to have an EVF or OVF available.

If there's an ND filder, a custom button that directly activates it.

A customizable quick menu for the rare occasion I need it.

The rest of my preferences are more focal length / spec / sealing / size related than pure UI.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
SW Virginia
Real Name
Steve
Uff... That depends wholly on what the camera's purpose is.

Starting with the start: the on/off button should be on the hand grip and easy to find by touch. No press down button, but a switch or toggle of some sort. Olympus' left-shoulder placement is one of the craziest things I've seen in terms of UI but at least you can set a lever on the handgrip side to on/off.

For a quick use / "get the shot" type camera, I prefer unmarked dials over marked dials. For a "slow down and be in the moment" camera, the less digital the interface feels the better, so marked dials are preferred there.

I want to be able to use any camera one-handed if need be, apart from zooming. So two dials under thumb and index finger when the hand is in shooting position. I'm in Aperture priority 99+ percent of the time, so those would be exposure comp with thumb and aperture with index. Preferably large, grippy and impossible to miss, Olympus E-M5 / E-M1 style.

Having a focus point joystick within easy reach of a thumb in shooting position completes my trio of commonly changed settings. If there's an easy way of changing ISO and shutter speed in the rare case I want to - click a dial tonchange its function, or a third dial combining those - I am truly all set.

Handgrip: needs to be positive. I love the large deep handgrip on a body with a big lens, but on a smaller body or with a smaller lens, something that properly fills the palm of my hand will do if my fingers have somewhere to go. On a smaller body, a well defined thumbgrip does more for me than a pronounced finger grip, so long as the front of the body isn't too slippery.

Screen: on a quick "get the shot" camera I am likely to use the rear screen, at least initially after whipping out the camera. I prefer tilting to fully rotating. Fuji's 2 way tilt is the best I've seen. For a "slow down and be in the moment" type camera I'm actually starting to come around to the idea of the X-Pro3's not there/fold down screen combined with the hybrid viewfinder.

For anything but a pure "whip it out and document what's going on around me" camera, I do much prefer to have an EVF or OVF available.

If there's an ND filder, a custom button that directly activates it.

A customizable quick menu for the rare occasion I need it.

The rest of my preferences are more focal length / spec / sealing / size related than pure UI.
It’s funny you should mention the on/off switch. The three cameras I have been using recently have a lever switch around the shutter button (XS10), a small near flush button on the body (Pentax Q), and a collapsible lens that must be extended as an on/off switch (X20). The flush button is easily the worst.
 

melanieylang

Regular
1. A good grip, i.e. either deep, like my Panasonic G85, or rubbery enough that it won't slip, like my Fujifilm X30 compact. Not slippery and insufficient, like my Panasonic GX9.

2. A good EVF - it can be small if it's sharp and has good eye relief, such as my X30, but big like my G85 is better; the one on my GX9 is barely worth having.

3. A responsive touchscreen, which is easy to use to place focus with a finger while looking through the EVF, like my G85 and GX9; or none at all, like my X30, which is preferable to a laggy one, like my Fujifilm X-T20.

4. A tilting screen which also flips 180 degrees forward, like none I currently own, because fully articulating screens are neither discreet nor comfortable when shooting waist-level. This was the best feature on the Fujifilm X-T100.

All ergonomics are relevant, but those are my top 4.

Now if only there was one camera to rule them all...
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
It’s funny you should mention the on/off switch. The three cameras I have been using recently have a lever switch around the shutter button (XS10), a small near flush button on the body (Pentax Q), and a collapsible lens that must be extended as an on/off switch (X20). The flush button is easily the worst.
I really like the left shoulder placement for On/Off switch. Pen-F had it there and the switch itself has to be the nicest one I've ever used.

My current cameras place the switch either around the shutter trigger (Df, M240, G9) or it's placed for right thumb to operate (GX80). I don't mind this usual approach, as long as it's well implemented.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
SW Virginia
Real Name
Steve
I really like the left shoulder placement for On/Off switch. Pen-F had it there and the switch itself has to be the nicest one I've ever used.

My current cameras place the switch either around the shutter trigger (Df, M240, G9) or it's placed for right thumb to operate (GX80). I don't mind this usual approach, as long as it's well implemented.
The Olympus is always a point of contention. Many folks complain about the left should on/off switch. They never bothered me, but I do find around the shutter button to be the quickest to use for a spontaneous photo op.
 
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serhan

Hall of Famer
Location
NYC
The Olympus is always a point of contention. Many folks complain about the left should on/off switch. They never bothered my, but I do find around the shutter button to be the quickest to use for a spontaneous photo op.
I am one of them as a dog walker... I like cameras with one hand operation... P&S cameras are better with the zoom controls by a button also eg I shot BIF @ 600mm with RX10 IV while holding the dog on leash... Our dog is a lap cat at home, but a pulling sniff dog in the woods...
 

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