In the past couple of years I’ve run a lot of landscape photography workshops (I’ve stopped... for now), which means I’ve watched photographers - male, female, old, young, rich and not so rich - trying to get to grips with their insanely complicated cameras. Some knew what they were doing; others were baffled by technology. They’d push buttons, turn dials and scroll through menus, without having a clue what they were doing... or why. They had trouble doing the most basic things, such as changing apertures and shutter speeds. They’d try - in vain - to get rid of all the useless information that was cluttering up their viewfinders. Worst of all, they were so preoccupied with their cameras that they simply didn’t notice the light on the landscape. It wasn’t their fault. IMO, if a piece of kit is too complicated to use with ease, it’s generally the manufacturer at fault, not the end-user. And the camera manuals, written in techno-babble, only make matters worse. My response was to get them to put their camera on a tripod, switch to manual metering, set ISO 100 and f11, and leave the shutter speed as the only variable. For most people it seemed to work: the camera didn’t dominate their thinking, it stopped getting in the way. With fewer choices to make, they were able to concentrate instead on what’s ‘out there’. One guy said it was “like someone switching a light on”, and went home happy. On the day that Steve Jobs has died, I wonder what kind of camera Steve and Apple could have designed, to make the business of taking photographs more instinctive, intuitive, immersive... so the camera became a window to the world, not a door that needed to be unlocked. Even with all the new cameras - and formats - appearing, I’m sure that Apple could do for serious photography (ie not just camera-phones) what the company did for computers, music players and tablets: a total re-imagining. We’re accustomed to DSLRs that look like their predecessors: my Nikon D200 is really just my ancient film camera (Nikon FE) with more whistles and bells. But there’s no real need for DSLRs to look the way they do (it’s only old farts like me who spent more time with film than digital). Steve said Apple weren’t going into the phone business... then the iPhone appeared. He said there was no future in tablets... then the iPad came out. With Apple now so dominant in their chosen markets, it would be fascinating if they could partner a top-quality lens maker and come up with a revolutionary camera body that would facilitate good photography, rather than getting in the way. Maybe have all the whistles and bells, but have a simple way for users to personalise the interface to reflect the way they actually take pictures... Any thoughts?