Since essentially no new film camera being introduced so this topic is kind of not applicable. However, over the years manufacturers have introduced a lot of automation into cameras whether or not we really need them. All of these automation are in the form of pre-programmed type. There are things like P mode, scene mode, green auto everything mode but they don't ever let us program any of these modes ourselves. I think if they made it programmable it would be a lot of fun and useful. Pre-programmed stuff are boring and not useful because most of the time not to our liking.
There are camera's that do offer some sort of programmable functions. I have a Minolta 700si, that allows you to set up and program in certain settings to be recalled later. Have I ever used the function, well no.
not sure what you mean by programmable, but OM4's and OM4T's let you select 8 spot meter readings!!! which it averages all for you! It even allows you to select exposure for highlights or shadows, all with a separate buttons!
edit: oh I forgot, you can save your exposure settings too!
You can always use an completely manual camera. With that, you're then relying on the program in your head!
The other mentions here are more to do with customisation of functions rather than 'stepping-in' to modify camera metering settings. The OM4 is an additive multi-spot meter — one of the very best in a camera of that epoch. Naturally with a hand-held meter we can customised metering to be additive or subtractive, averaged or baseline... camera manufacturers serve the mass market, so don't really have interactive "programming" of camera functions as a top priority. Customisation of functions is different to tweaking a program.
Canon EOS1N ('Brutus', 1993—), TS-E 24mm f3.5L, 20mm f2.8, 17-40 f4L, 70-200 f2.8L
Pentax 67 ('Pentaximus', 2010—) + SMCP 45mm f4, 55mm f4 & 165mm f4LS;
Zero Image 6x9 multi-format pinhole (2008—); Sekonic L758D;
Olympus XA, Nikon Coolpix P7700
"If you're not having fun, then you're not doing it right!"
The electronic Leica Rs, from the R5 on, allow you to continuously "shift" the program (from a preference for maximum DOF to a preference for fastest speed). Very probably not the only cameras that did.
Personally I don't ever use those functions, or program mode, though I can imagine a number of situations where they could be useful...
M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa
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In the late eighties or early nineties I remember some cameras offered more than one Program mode: things like "Program for sport photography" which would try to use a faster shutter speed, and "normal program". I think there were cameras with three different Program modes. That was not useless innovation as one could use basically a quasi-aperture-priority program but without overexposure when the shutter reaches its maximum speed, or a quasi-shutter-priority but without overexposure when the lens reached its minimum aperture.
A "programmable program" or intelligent program would have its use.
For instance, for generic tourist walk, if the lens is 50mm, the program might try to assure that the shutter speed is 1/60" first and foremost, then close the aperture until the lens is at f/8 (or f/10, or f/11, you got it), then operate the shutter speed only until it reaches its faster setting, and only after that begin closing the aperture again.
Mind you, I do agree the discerning photographer, when having time, will always use manual settings, incident metering etc.
Automatisms are IMV only for those occasions when there is no time to "think" and one only wants to concentrate solely on composition and moment.
It's a bit like matrix metering. Utterly useless when you have time to think. Possibly useful (a better camera guess in difficult situations) when it is the camera that has to calculate the exposure.
So for those situations when automatic exposure is what you need, a "programmable program" would be quite useful in my opinion, one that can be tailored to one's needs, lenses and circumstances.
There are many digital cameras that can be shot tethered, in which case you can do all kinds of specialized things and write all manner of programs to make the camera do whatever you want. There is some nice software already, which allows you to play with tall kinds of things but the name slips my mind.
Originally Posted by Chan Tran
The more advanced thing to do would be to hack into the firmware and do whatever you like. I don't think that'd be too hard.
But what exactly would you like to do?
Yes, the XXXsi series upper end anyway were programmable.
Originally Posted by hoffy
I think the Nikon F100 allowed you to save settings and I think there were two custom modes to choose from.
Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.
You got my idea! But instead of the program in your head, you can load it in the camera and have the camera executes it just the way you would if you were to adjust the camera manually.
Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour