The Downside Of The Touch Screen

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The Downside Of The Touch Screen

People love touch screens – whether they are on tablets, smart phones, or camera LCD screens, the public cannot seem to get enough of them. They poke, tap, swipe, scroll and twirl all day. The images open, close, expand, contract, and disappear forever.

I very nearly hate the touch screen.

When I use it on my iPad it gives me none of the tactile feedback that the standard keyboard does. Each stroke I make as I write this tells me that the wireless keyboard has registered my entry by a small sink and tap feedback. Even if I am not looking at the screen as I type…and I frequently am not…I know something will be up there when I do. In the case of the iPad I have to watch each stroke on the screen to make sure it actually happened. Note that in neither case can I guarantee that the word will be correctly spelled – that’s a separate process of proofreading later.

When I tackle a phone with a touch screen it is worse, because the phone has smaller dots on the screen representing the qwerty keyboard. The dots are smaller but my fingers are the same size. The spelling worsens.

On the back of a camera the LCD touch screen might be thought a great advantage. If it has usable icons, perhaps. If it has symbols that need to be translated by a Swiss psychologist I am in trouble – I would do far better with a dial or a menu.

The really annoying thing is when the slightest touch of finger or nose on that screen triggers it off. You get to be very wary of it when it continuously shoots before you are lined up.

But I must not be too negative…after all this is digital, not film…the touch screen on a swivelling LCD is an elegant thing in a studio. The camera is frequently mounted on a tripod or camera stand and the user has both hands free. The screen may be tilted up to save the photographers’s back from being tilted down. if the camera has provision for touch screen focusing the lens need not be disturbed – the careful alignment of a scientific or advertising shot cannot be thrown off at the last moment.

If the manufacturer allows the camera to be controlled remotely from a tablet with the same touching, the whole exercise becomes fun. You still set it off inadvertently but you feel that you are being a techno-geek while you are doing it.

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