Recently, someone was showing me one of those whizbang new digital cameras. To show it off, he took a picture of me, it clicked, and then he showed me the image it had taken.

All fine and dandy, except that I had a moment of confusion and that feeling you get that something is wrong, but you don't know what. I didn't know why.

It took me a while, but then I realised what it was. It was a digital camera, but it made that cha-kaaowuk (well, that's the best onomatopoeia I can come up with) that an analogue camera makes. Why is this odd? Well, that sound is made by particular moving parts in an analog camera (e.g. the motorized film advancer and the shutter) that just aren't there in a digital camera. There is nothing that goes cha-kaaowuk in a digital camera! The designers of the camera had deliberately added a speaker, and an audio recording of an analog camera operating to make the digital camera more "normal". This is actually quite expensive to do ... you usually don't put quality speakers in a camera. But somehow the designers had done it to create that "normal" user experience.

This freaked me out.

Update: Strictly speaking, the above doesn't apply to all digital cameras. Some digital cameras, especially high-end ones, do actually have physical mechanisms for the shutter.

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