June 11, 2008
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Review under pressure

Michael Kamber, a news photographer, reviews a digital camera (the Leica M8), comparing the tool to his needs. He discovers some important shortcomings, but that's not the point: neither you or I are shopping for a camera to take into a war zone next week. The design issues he raises, though, are fascinating to consider.

Books about Good Design make it seem that the designers of successful products simply thought things through, while the people who made other things were idiots and scoundrels. That’s sometimes, but not always, the case. You can’t optimize everything, and I think it’s hard to know in advance what people will do with whatever you make.