Ever since George Eastman told our grandparents/great-grandparents that all they had to do was press the button and he would do the rest, millions of us have continued to take trillions of humble snapshots of special moments in our lives. Not high art perhaps, but increasingly precious as the years pass by. But today it's not so easy at all for many people swept up in digital mania.

What prompts this thought is a brief visit to an old friend last weekend. A glorious afternoon with brilliant sunshine. My friend was in the garden playing with his young daughter. I hadn't expected to be taking any photos that afternoon so had no camera. But he wanted me to take some and asked me to use his latest toy, a Konica-Minolta bridge type camera with zoom & electronic viewfinder. One of the last models they introduced and of which there seem to be many clones around.

I didn't feel very enthusiastic about using it but I didn't expect any problems. Covered with buttons & sliding bits and made of what felt like incredibly flimsy plastic, I had to ask for an instant crash course in how to operate it. But then the real problems began because in the bright sunshine both the LCD screen & the view from the electronic viewfinder were incredibly difficult to see. So I ended up shooting half blind; worse when the shutter button was pressed there was a substantial delay before the shutter fired so I was not really sure of what I was capturing. As the daughter was moving about all the time it made it very difficult to get anything worthwhile.

Afterwards I thought to myself I could have got better results using a Kodak 126 cartridge camera of 40 years ago. It's a shame because so many people using this type of electronic gadget are not going to get as good photos as they could have with a 35mm compact. It's strange one never seems to read about these very real problems in the photographic or computer press.

Apologies if I've posted this in the wrong forum but this one seemed kind of appropriate!