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Thread: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

  1. #1

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    Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    Lately when buying a new camera one find mostly only a very basic manual included, and a CD with a full manual, or even in the case with the Sony x100, not even a CD.......

    Some months ago I bought the Olympus E-M5, which came with a CD for full instructions, as I used for years mostly Panasonic camera's, and as the E-M5 has a quite execsive menue, I found it hard for every little instruction to switch on the computer, and not everybody has a iPod, instead to print from the CD myself, I took the CD to a printer, so I had then a nice instruction book, which helped me very quickly to understand the E-M5......

    Just a short time ago, I was a bit interested to get the Sony X100, but this camera does not even come with a CD, one has to download from the Sony side, I would say for the price of the Sony, which is here in Australia about $700.00 one should at least get a CD with it, if not for anything else, I did not buy the Sony.......

    I would interested to read what other members have to say about this ?

    Griddi........

  2. #2

    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    Manuals certainly are useful. I carried mine around with me and read it over coffee to get to know my (first) DSLR. I then referred to it on occasion while out shooting. Of course the downside of a printed manual is that they are expensive to produce, environmentally unfriendly and can go out of date with firmware updates etc. E-manuals that you download have the advantage that they are up to date and the manufacturer doesn't have to pay to print them, store them, ship them etc. With the rapid growth in large screen smart phones, tablets and e-readers I guess they think that it is now feasible for users to carry the manual in e form on one of these gadgets.

  3. #3
    Tringa's Avatar
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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    I'm sure it is a way of saving costs but I prefer a paper manual because I always carry it when I'm out with the camera and I don't have a portable device that I could use to read an electronic version.

    Though I did get a bit of a surprise when I bought my current camera. I assumed a 370 page manual would be multilingual and I'd only need part of it. No chance - all 370 pages are in English.

    However, it is good to have and also good that it is for the camera only and not a semi-generic volume.


    Dave

  4. #4

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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    Hi Dave,

    of course it is of saving costs, although I do not carry the manual with me, and mostly I do not need to look into it very often anymore, as I know the working of the E-M5 Olympus, which I bought last May, but I think, with a camera which is not that cheap, one should get a paper manual.......

    Last year I bought the Fuji X100, and this camera came with a full paper manual........

    Griddi......

  5. #5
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    I had the same issue with my Canon SX40 manual. I just printed it out at home, two pages per sheet, both sides and took it to the local Office Depot. In ten minutes they cut the sheets to size, added a clear plastic front page, a firm black plastic back page and assembled it into a spiral binder that ended up being 220 pages, 4" x 6" and 1/2" thick for about $7.

    Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

  6. #6
    Daisy Mae's Avatar
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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    Of my 3 main cameras (all Canons) 2 have paper manuals and one a PDF.

    The one I am least familiar with has the PDF...cause and effect.

  7. #7
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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    I honestly don't think cost is even a factor when companies are deciding whether or not to include a manual, paper or CD.

    Environmentally, do you know how much paper and plastics would be saved on an annual basis if every camera manufacturer required you to download their manual? And, although it's an extra step on our part, they're almost guaranteed that everyone who purchases their product has a computer to do so.

    As an aside, I own a retail business selling products to recreational users. None of the products come with manuals any more, and most companies don't even print catalogues either. When I asked a manufacturer directly (a few years back), why this was the case, the response was that their multi-hundreds of thousands of dollars marketing study showed that ALL of the customers who were willing to spend a large portion of their disposable income (say on a camera), had everyday access to a computer and Internet, and MOST of those even had access to a portable format of Internet access such as a smart phone or tablet.

    Seems to me it's a very cost effective way for huge corporations to make a concerted environmental difference. Not that they're trying to 'rip us all off'.

  8. #8
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    My D800 that I bought in May came with a 447 page printed paper manual. As I live in Canada, I got a separate one in French and English. The French one was had exactly the same number of pages. I rarely carry it around as I keep most of my manuals on my Android Tablet; which is much more convenient.

    Ofrliminating course it is to save money. It cuts inventory and shipping costs.

  9. #9
    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    I work in an environment where we produce a series of documents for the general public. The 'documentaliste' (I don't know the word in English, sorry) reviews 15 of these (there are over 450) every month and brings them up to date. Up until recently she reprinted the document, with the modifications - over roughly a three year period, she reviews each one at least once. This creates a HUGE amount of waste, as copies of the documents are also sent out to our 'partners'.

    I suggested creating a database of PDF files which are accessible by everyone, partners included - and as soon as a change is made the element is instantly available to everyone - the document database is always up-to-date, not to mention the immense saving in paper/waste.

    All this to say I can understand why the manufacturers print less and less on paper.

    Added to this, as a personal aside, I very rarely even look at the instruction manual - yes I have a .pdf available (somewhere?) in case I have a tricky question, but my photography revolves around looking through the lens with a strict minimum of tweaks. I grew up with three major controls in photography - once I know how to set them on a new body, I'm fine.

  10. #10
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    When I did computer phone support and pointed out that the answer the customer wanted was on page xxx of their manual for future reference, all too often I could hear them tearing the shrink wrap off the manual. Way too many product users NEVER open the manual.

  11. #11
    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    Sadly with the invent of Internet I can't help thinking we're all getting lazier - I mean it's so much easier to Google something than read a book/manual etc.

  12. #12
    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    I had the same issue with my Canon SX40 manual. I just printed it out at home, two pages per sheet, both sides and took it to the local Office Depot. In ten minutes they cut the sheets to size, added a clear plastic front page, a firm black plastic back page and assembled it into a spiral binder that ended up being 220 pages, 4" x 6" and 1/2" thick for about $7.

    Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......
    It's very nice - but honestly, do you read it?

  13. #13

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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    And many photographers say the print will never die

    Actually, I would much rather read from a printed book/magazine/manual - anything, rather than from a screen. My usual time would be sitting up in bed before I slumber, camera (or other device) on my lap so I can go over it at the same time. For some reason using a electronic display disturbs my sleep patter afterwards.

    I too miss the printed manual. You can also easily make notes in it next to the point in question, fold corners over to quicker access to the usual pages for reference. You can also use it for squashing bugs and waving at flying insects .

    E-manuals have some advantages, some disadvantages. Print, same advantages and some disadvantages.

    Long live the print.

    Graham.

  14. #14
    Daisy Mae's Avatar
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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamH View Post

    I too miss the printed manual. You can also easily make notes in it next to the point in question, fold corners over to quicker access to the usual pages for reference. You can also use it for squashing bugs and waving at flying insects .
    Graham.

    Totally....and you don't need a charger!

    While I was posting this my modem went down.....yet another vote for print!"

  15. #15
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    I am of an age where I am more comfortable with hard copy instruction manuals that those on a screen. Perhaps, however, there is a new generation of consumers that is more comfortable reading off a screen.

  16. #16
    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    I prefer, by a long way, the printed page - however, my question remains - do we actually read the manuals?

    I can well understand having a printed manual as a reference, for example for HTML or stripping down a car engine, but as I so rarely actually look at a camera manual, for me at least, it's a complete waste of resources to print it.

  17. #17
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    Quote Originally Posted by darkslide View Post
    It's very nice - but honestly, do you read it?
    You betcha! At home I look up what I need in the PDF copy but if I'm in the field trying to figure out how to use a feature I havn't used before, yup! Isn't that what it's there for?

  18. #18
    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    Yes, of course - it's just that when I'm "out in the field" I always seem to have other things to concentrate on - like taking the picture...

  19. #19
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I am of an age where I am more comfortable with hard copy instruction manuals that those on a screen. Perhaps, however, there is a new generation of consumers that is more comfortable reading off a screen.
    This applies to me too. When at home, I use the screen version.

    But more importantly how do you use a CD in the field? By the ocean on a bright sunny day? Carrying a tripod and camera bag?

    I always have my manuals packed in my bag. And I quite often refer to them.

    Glenn

    EDIT: Sorry Frank, I missed your post until I posted mine. You're right on.

  20. #20
    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: Seems no full printed manuals anymore.......

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn NK View Post
    This applies to me too. When at home, I use the screen version.

    But more importantly how do you use a CD in the field? By the ocean on a bright sunny day? Carrying a tripod and camera bag?

    I always have my manuals packed in my bag. And I quite often refer to them.

    Glenn
    May I ask why?

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