Orientation sensor on digicam: nice-to-have, or essential?

After getting $100 from my parents this Christmas, I attempted to replace my old Olympus D40 with a much more modern Stylus 1010 at the post-Christmas sales. My reasons included better battery life, faster startup, and not having to spend 15 minutes after uploading my hundreds of photos to my gallery manually rotating my images to be the right way up.

It didn’t even cross my mind to check that the 1010 knew which way was up, the same way that I wouldn’t ask if a car came fitted with a gas gauge. But apparently it, along with ~50% of consumer cameras don’t have an orientation sensor. And these aren’t cheap cameras; the 1010 came out only last year, and was $300+ at the time.

IMHO, if my camera can, for pennies in hardware, perform an act that saves me literally hours of tedium, it had better do it. Despite being amazing in every other respect, the 1010 was returned today, and I’m now ogling the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5.

I’m currently crafting a letter to Olympus that uses both the words “baffled” and “boggling”. But if they don’t think people demand one, then perhaps it’s just me. How does anyone else feel?

The TZ5 is a nice little camera - I am currently tagging a pile of photos from a trip my wife took with my stepson, and that was the camera he used. Looks good, and the orientation is fine.

And Orientation sensors are essential. How anyone can try to sell even a consumer camera without one is beyond me.

Of course, I like information, and now want a camera with built-in GPS geotagging :smack:

Actually, all I need to do is grab my Forerunner, sync the camera and the GPS clock, and find some software to sync the two data set. Easy. And I can use it to geolocate other things as well. Google Earth and Garmin - making my life better.


Essential. Entirely, totally, completely essential. I can’t believe something this simple and useful would get left out. I find that 50% figure absolutely incredible.

Baffled, boggled, befuddled! Frankly, I’d use stronger words and mention lost sales and recommendations.

I wouldn’t buy a camera that didn’t have it.
I shoot a lot of portrait-mode shots. Having to rotate them all manually in iPhoto would be a hassle.

Are you sure it doesn’t have it? How were you copying the files to your computer? Did you use the Olympus software? In review on the camera, did it orient the images properly?

I heard that some recent cellphones can already add GPS tags when you take shots with their built-in camera. The next model of TZ5 (the TZ50) has built-in WiFi to upload photos to Picassa via hotspots. :eek:

The 50% figure is a rough estimate from asking the Best Buy clerk which of their compact cameras had one. (Though he apparently just checked dpreview, oddly enough)

Yep; Bulk USB; Uh uh; Nope. :stuck_out_tongue:

No really, I figured I was screwing something up too, but I checked the EXIF info with both jhead and Irfanview, and there was nothing but default values in there. The camera menus had nothing, so I submitted a question via their online system (to which they have yet to apply), and later called their 1-800 number.

That was an exercise in itself. I was talking to a rep faily quickly, who said it should have it, then put me on hold to get that model camera. After a few minutes, he came back to say that it wasn’t orienting the photos on the display, but that even though the photos came out landscape, the information was recorded there. I told him I knew all about EXIF info, and that the Orientation flag was not being set, and invited him to see for himself, which he did.

He then put me on hold for a bit longer, coming back to say something like the camera recorded the information internally, but that it didn’t do anything with the photos. I told him that didn’t make any sense, and he told me he was just letting me know what his supervisor had told him. At that point I decided that I was burning my cell minutes to no profitable end, and bid him farewell.

I think Visions will give me a good deal, so hopefully by next week I’ll be filling harddisks at a furious rate. :smiley:


Seriously, I would just as soon not have some program trying to tell me where the top of my image is.

After uploading hundreds of pics, I spend a lot more than 15 minutes looking at them and deciding to erase about a quarter (or even half) my shots. Do you save every single photo?I only keep the good shots.
Ya, know…so when I go back to it a year later, I don’t have to wade through 5 shots of grandma with her eyes closed or sneezing, to enjoy the 2 good photos of her smiling. Rotating the photo ain’t that hard…thoug it does require me to make a whole click.

I save all my shots. Certainly more then 10,000 a year, this year will be much more.

You don’t rely on a program - you rely on a sensor in the camera to record the camera orientation when the photo is taken. The photo software just reads the data recorded in the photo and displays the photo correctly. It means that the file does not get rewritten or modified to display correctly.

And it is faster and more accurate - in our household, I always rotate the camera one way for portrait shots, and my wife always rotates it the other - it’s easy to identify photos that need rotating in a folder full of pictures, but it may be less easy to filter out the ones that need rotating anticlockwise (I always batch select and rotate). I always ended up with a few upside-down pictures. With our current cameras (with orientation sensors), I don’t do anything, and it just works…


A habit of uploading all cameras everyday and doing a prelim cull will cut way back on the frustration.

10,000 a year? Keeping all? A really good picture taker.

As an old-fashion photog - WTF?!!:eek:
27.something a day?

There was something nice about film (several, actually) - back when cameras were expensive, film was expensive, and processing was expensive, people thought about “is this shot worth the money?”

Even when I was in full record-everything in sight mode (Bodie, Sedona, Everglades), with 2 cameras (yes, identical - you guess why a person with 30# of 35mm gear would walk around with 2 cameras. Yes, both were working just fine)

Anyway, when shooting everything in sight, I rarely went through more than 3 rolls/ day (3 x 36 = 108 frames). After proofing them (I had my own darkroom and did my own printing) I considered myself lucky to have 3 shots per roll worth even thinking about printing.
Digital. Love it. Fear it. :smiley:

I shoot ski festivals and races, often shooting in burst mode on and off for several hours. I can shoot up to 1500 shots a weekend. Disk space is cheap.

OK - How long do you spend reviewing 1500 frames? Do you delete any, or just keep getting new chips?
We may have a new generation of hoarders - leaving 1000’s of pics for their poor kids to try to sort through.
Come on, folks - yes, you can capture damned near every second of your life - but:

  1. First, make sure you are enjoying the moment, not messing with a camera.
  2. If those pics are to have any meaning, EDIT! They can’t ALL be keepers, and trying to find the good shots gets progressively harder as time passes.

How many to do print/display?
Do you title them? 10 years from now (my film will be fine - will you still be able to find a device to read your chip/disc?:smiley: ) looking through a mountain of un-edited, untitled pics will be a real drag.

And, since nobody wants to guess: one body (aka ‘camera’) was/is loaded with color, the other black and white (real photogs shoot in b/w)

I’m the official photog for the festivals; it’s my job to capture the event. During the day I’m working, having fun is just a side benefit.

After the event I go through the shots quickly, generally pulling out 200-300 of them from each event for further scrutiny. Those get run though photoshop for cropping, color correction and some simply editing and published online. I usually make a video of the event from stills and video that I shoot as well.

The other 800-1200 shots go on a hard drive and get written to a DVD for archive. I’m never sure if a skier from the event will contact me and ask if I have any shots of them, or the event organizer doesn’t like a particular shot and asks me to find another from the same sequence, or if I just decide that one shot of a particular skier doesn’t work. DVDs are wicked cheap; not having just the right shot available is painful.

8G SDHC cards are about $10 - no one should ever run out of memory for their cameras.

My hard drive will work for a long time. I suspect I’ll be able to read my DVDs for a long time. They’re all labeled with date and event information, I can find what I need.