30 Sep The Control Panel
Our featured image is somewhat of a scoop for the Camera Electronic Weblog column Rumours Section. It is a hastily-snatched image of the new control panel on the Flapoflex Digital Overreacher camera. Taken on the testing track at a secret location outside of Northam, it shows the user-friendly nature of the streamlined interface that Flapoflex will be introducing in their new range of cameras.
A lot of us have complained about the number of times we have had to push buttons to steer through a menu. On some of the smaller compact cameras nearly all the commands were done with the menu button and you daren’t decide to change from one major setting to the next if there is any action going on – the fistfight in the ballerina’s dressing room will be long over before you get all the darned buttons pushed. Plus sometimes the buttons are so small and so haphazardly-placed as to defeat us.
Not so with the Flapoflex Overreacher. Every knob, slider, pushbutton, and socket on this camera is there right in front of you and they are all solidy anchored in a metal plate. This is one control panel you can bang with your fist, and we’re willing to bet you’ll want to lots of times.
Even better than that – the hint that some camera makers have given about control illuminations ( Thank you Nikon and Pentax in particular. ) has been shrewdly taken by the Flapoflex engineers. All of the controls on this panel are alight after dark, thanks to the patented Leak-o-Matic voltage shunt built into the power supply board. On a good night you can read a newspaper off this panel.
Shrewd readers will have noted from the featured picture that there is no control for the drive mechanism of the camera shown. This is on a separate panel at the side of the camera and you’ll notice that the large dial controls the rate of change of the change of rate in the continous shooting mode. Users familiar with the Barr & Stroud MkXXIII naval rangefinder should find this a breeze. Simple firing tables are found in the CD enclosed in the camera box and these can also be downloaded on an app.
While we cannot say whether there will be minor changes to the layout for the camera between now and the launch party, the inclusion of back-lighting for the major controls will go ahead as planned. We rang up the plant and talked to a Mr. Edison who seemed most emphatic about that.
The rumoured voice control may not go ahead. A.G. Bell has severed connections with Flapoflex. He cut the red wire and the blue wire…