As an ex-TV guy, I will say unequivocally that digital cameras, especially in the video sphere, are vastly better than the old stuff. When your camera has to have a full-fledged VCR built into it, it gets a little heavy. And it’s power hungry, so the battery has to be dense and heavy. And because it’s heavy, the tripod has to be heavy so it doesn’t collapse under it. Carrying all that junk around is a great way to get a semi-permanent sore shoulder and back, which I had.
The new rigs weigh maybe 30 pounds total. There were cameras in the old days that weighed that much without the accessories. I’d never want to go back to the bad old days in photography.
I’m usually the same way with cars, too. I don’t like overcomplication for the sake of overcomplication, as in the parking brake example above, but I do say bring on the technology!
When I was a kid my mom drove a full-size van. The most technologically advanced thing in that van was the cruise control, which would only hold your speed properly if the road was flat. Any hill, and you’d speed up or slow down. Even that was new enough that my grandpa freaked out when he found out it was in there. “Don’t trust that thing!” he told mom, thinking ‘cruise control’ meant ‘autopilot.’ “You keep your hands on the wheel!”
Backing it up was dicey because it had tiny little wing mirrors and no real rearward visibility until obstructions were fairly far away. Its engine was carbureted and tended to die if you drove it down the mountain before it warmed up because the change in air density would choke it off, so you’d be halfway down the 4,000 foot drop when you lost power steering and brakes. That was fun. And coming back home was also fun because it lost so much power that you’d be crawling by the time you got to our mountaintop neighborhood.
I went back to visit my old home town a few years ago. Rented a modern car. The engine ran fine no matter what we did or where we went. It had a lot more power to begin with so the power loss at altitude wasn’t as big of a deal. The backup camera made life easy. The power wing mirror made parallel parking easy. The navigation system helped me figure out where I was, because everything’s changed over the last 40 years.
In short, I’m all for technological advances. Give me more of 'em! But what I don’t like is when those advances involve gotchas that provide absolutely no benefit to the consumer.
Having to have a special tool to change brake pads is stupid. It’s not necessary and the system could easily be designed such that it wasn’t required. Having to have John Deere come out and authorize a new fuse is similarly not necessary, and is there solely to screw the consumer for the benefit of a soulless corporation.