One Button To Rule Them All!
I’m the type of guy who loves shortcuts and hotkeys, I think it’s a result of many years of gaming where having keys to perform certain actions at your fingertips instead of reaching across the keyboard and taking your eye off the screen anything to get that competitive advantage. So when it comes to customisable buttons on cameras, the more the better, not to the degree where you try and cram as many buttons physically possible onto a small compact camera. This got me thinking, on the current X Series bodies we have the option to customise the D-Pad and a handful of Fn keys, some models even allow you to customise the front and rear dials. But outside of that, you’re limited to an approx. 8 or 9 customisable buttons (less on certain models). I believe I may have a solution that will increase the number of customisable buttons without adding any more physical buttons to the camera body, and it could actually be done via a firmware upgrade.
The solution I propose will double the amount of customisable buttons on each individual model, and best of all it will allow you to access all these while operating with one hand.
So how is this achieved?
It’s quite simple really, we take the button located at the front of the camera (not the one you press and hold to remove the lens), it’s also worth noting that not all camera models will have this so in order to pull this off you will need one that does. You press and hold that button (let’s call it the X button) to access the alternative or secondary shortcuts assigned across all the customisable buttons, so for example:
- D-Pad UP = Film Simulation
- X button + D-Pad UP = Custom Settings
- D-Pad DOWN = Metering
- X Button + D-Pad DOWN = Face Detect
You get the gist with the example described above. If you’re using the X-T2, that X button is conveniently located within reach of your middle finger while your index (shutter finger) can remain on the shutter, so it should be fairly easy to pull off for most people depending on the size of your hands.
Why stop there?
Asides from using the buttons, in theory, this could also be applied to the front and rear dials. With the X button held, you’ll gain access to other things outside of the default incremental shutter speeds and custom EV scaling. It could be used for say skipping 10 photos while in preview mode or changing the highlights or shadow sliders +-. If you take the new X-T3 which comes with a touchscreen, for example, this can potentially open up a lot more options i.e. press X button and swipe up, down, left and right.
What do you think? Is it a stupid idea or worth putting some R&D in? Share your thoughts in the comments, I’m really keen to know what the general public thinks. As mentioned earlier, I can see this come through as a firmware update, doesn’t require a new flagship model to pull this off.
EDIT: If you shoot a lot of videos, having access to these additional shortcuts to video settings could be handy don’t you think?