Computer-based photography is the perfect breeding ground for buzz words and acronyms. Even DEET can’t protect you from RIPs, FTPs, PDFs, and DVDs loaded with TIFFs. Escape those pests and you run smack into Brave New Words trying to chew their way into the dictionary: how long before workflow makes the page next to work force?
I have come to detest “Actuations” (see also Clicks). This is the number of times the camera’s shutter has fired, and it wasn’t an important number to most photographers prior to digital bodies. Then, you appraised a camera by its age, appearance, and whether it worked smoothly or not.
Now, as photographers continually upgrade to ever-newer models, these shutter cycles have become Important Information. It’s often difficult to determine how a body’s been treated from the outside (blame the polycarbonates), but numbers are absolute. A camera with 10,000 shots on its counter becomes preferable to another with 15,000, and actuations sails virtually unnoticed into our vocabulary.
NOTE: For those who shoot with a Canon 1Ds (see also Antiques) and use the Mac OS X platform, you can find out the number of shots on your body with a program called Simple EXIF Viewer. I dropped a couple of JPEGs into this small application and discovered a wealth of information, including an accurate count of those damn actuations. Be sure to read the notes on the Web page, as the program may not work for all cameras.