Wednesday, 7 October 2009

The Direct Print button. Is there a place for it?


Just the other day I read yet another comment from a respected reviewer indicating that the direct print button on some Canon DSLRs is just a waste of space and function and that it has no place in the world of professional photographers. There have been many such comments. But I disagree (well, you knew I would).

Travel back in time with me, back to the days when most working photographers used film. Often the client would be present at the shoot (that bit hasn't necessarily changed). It was usual to shoot polaroids and show them to the client so that he or she could assess and approve (or otherwise) the shot. OK. Back in the time machine to today when we have the instant gratification of digital cameras and seeing the image almost immediately on the back of the camera. But which would you rather show to the client. A polaroid print (for them to take away) or hand them the camera to peer at - or even worse, get them to stoop down to see the screen as the camera is still on the tripod. Even if you show the image on a laptop the client doesn't have anything to take away as a reminder of what had been agreed.

Direct Print button to the rescue, along with one of the small portable printers that are designed to go with them. Now you can give the client a print to approve, something that can be taken away for future reference. Next question: Is the use of this button enough to justify a prominent position in preference to some other function (mirror lockup perhaps)? You decide.

Image: Thistle - Turville

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