Re: Great Technical Manuals from Canon! (Was - Re: Tech writers stillnecessary, but performing poorly)

Subject: Re: Great Technical Manuals from Canon! (Was - Re: Tech writers stillnecessary, but performing poorly)
From: "Jennifer C. Bennett" <fritillary -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 16:38:46 -0500

> Today, you've got the same kinds of people that once bought the box
> cameras buying gadgets equipped with hundreds of functions and perhaps
> thousands of ways of using them. Given that complexity, a simple 10 or 20
> page pamphlet isn't going to teach you everything you can do with such
> devices, illustrated or not. It's going to take a lot of information to
> do so properly. But even if you provide such documentation in a clear and
> relatively concise manner, put together using all your technical writing
> know-how, you're still going to find a lot of consumers that just don't
> have the patience to seek out the information they need in that
> documentation as part of the process of learning how to use their new
> gadgets. Yet the same consumers will be some of


I've got to commend Canon and their documentation for their PowerShot
A640/A640 camera. It came with TWO manuals, a 33 page Basic camera guide,
(in totally separate English and Spanish versions) and a 145 page Advanced
camera manual (also in totally separate English and Spanish versions). It
was advertised as a camera that is easy enough to use for the beginner, but
has options that will satisfy the beginner who wants to eventually become
more creative with his or her photography skills. The manual parallels
these statements. Awesome! Reading all these messages has given me the
impetus to write an e-mail to Canon and do that commending I was talking

Note: I just checked their site, and there are no "general feedback"
contacts, and I'm not sure if Support, Sales, or Site Feedback would be
appropriate, what do you Techwhirlers think? Maybe I should write a letter?
If so, I don't know who to direct such a letter to.

As a tech writer, I've never received feedback on any of my documentation.
And I've always been a lone writer, so no peer feedback. I'd like to
somehow notify Canon that I appreciate the care they put into their manuals.

And the camera is awesome too, by the way, and well-priced! :)



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