January 4th, 2013, 11:31 AM
I remember being very impressed with the 6 megapixel Nikon D40. My wife has my old Canon SD700 P&S that takes wonderful pictures; subsequent P&Ss I've used rarely attain that level of IQ. Kirk Tuck often talks about his decade old Kodak digital camera that has quirks but at base ISO is an amazing camera.
I would like to add one thing... yes, people obsess over cameras and their IQ, but I've come to realize that often it comes down to lenses. I will pay for a high quality lens and I will hold on to them even if I sell the camera. I have a Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm that I dearly love, and since quitting film I'm still searching for a camera to use it with. A Leica is my only current option (I want to use it at the 50mm focal length, not cropped), but I'm so far unwilling to pay that much just to use one lens.
January 4th, 2013, 11:41 AM
I agree that there is much to be said for the intangibles of your experience with the tool you use. Resolution, noise etc. are all useful benefits of new technology but I believe that skill is a much greater determining factor in the quality of an image than the technology behind it. My initial comment came as a reaction to a post (on an unrelated photo site) where a fellow was going on about how a particular camera (I forget the model) was UNACCEPTABLE (with emphasis) and I felt like that was a very narrow way to look at a process like photography that is so much more than the technology behind it. You may or may not like the way a tool works. Everyone has the things that they feel are important to what they are trying to achieve but UNACCEPTABLE just struck me as a rather short sighted and entitled way of looking at things.
Originally Posted by pdh
I have spent twenty five years as a swordsman. I have as much experience in that as many of you have in photography and I feel I can speak with a certain level of authority on it. I have very specific things I like in a sword (be it a live blade or a wooden practice weapon). I like the handle a certain way, I prefer a certain length of blade, in wooden weapons I like the way certain woods feel...you get the idea. If someone handed me a sword and it was not to my liking I would not cast it away and deem it unacceptable. I can still use it. I may not like things about it but I wouldn't act like a petulant child about it either. I have some students that try and blame the fact that their practice sword is too this or too that (heavy, long, short what-have-you) and I always try to explain that a good swordsman can adapt to any weapon and any situation. The art of it is internal and the sword is merely an extension of you. If you get hung up on the tool you're never going to master it.
I think is the same is true here.
Last edited by dixeyk; January 4th, 2013 at 02:07 PM.
January 4th, 2013, 11:47 AM
My favorite photography is nature, close-up, and some marginal macro. In this, I want the best detail possible. I can't afford the best equipment available today. So I have to make do with what I can afford. That means working to better my skill and care in the actual action of capturing the subject.
I also use salvaged parts of old lenses etc, to get the close-up desired, without buying some very expensive macro lens. But I will buy the best that I can. Sometimes "making do" is much of the satisfaction. Being disabled (heart), does give me the time to putter, at my chosen hobby.
I enjoy watching what is coming down the road. Gives me a hint at what my equipment might be in a couple years.
Here is one (not "wild" nature) from my current user. E-p2 and Sigma 30mm 2.8. We think it's "good enough", for family memories.
January 4th, 2013, 11:52 AM
hard to beat a smiling bride for pure joy.
January 4th, 2013, 02:13 PM
Stephen: I still think the E-P2 is a great little camera.
January 4th, 2013, 02:59 PM
In the latest Outdoor Photography Canada a columnist photographer John Marriott (landscape, wildlife, long lens photographer) states that for him a camera must be capable of a sharp (especially eyes) image sized 18x12 at 300 dpi and viewed at 50% at a minimum (for a 2 page magazine spread). How many megapixels is that ? Is a 16 megapixel E-M5 satisfactory? Probably not. He uses a 5D Mark III at 22 megapixels. Liz Carmel will sell you a 90+ inch by 55 inch print for a tad over $3000. How many megapixels are needed for that?
My point is a photographer should probably define - rightly or wrongly - his/her needs and match a camera system to that. If you do that some systems probably are unacceptable. That does not mean they are bad systems just not a match for the photographer in question.
If you simply chase technology with no defined criteria - how do you know if you ever reach an endpoint? Maybe for many all they really want to do is chase gear and the photography aspect is incidental and if honest about it - irrelevant.
The much harder challenge is to know yourself and your needs - that is the real issue here.
Last edited by EasyEd; January 4th, 2013 at 03:02 PM.
January 4th, 2013, 05:16 PM
I did side by side tests shooting at 8, 12, 16 and 24 megapixels and printing at A4, A3 and A2. An A3 print (the size you're talking about) is easy at less than 16MP in most cases. However in a few cases 24MP wouldn't be enough. Very few. But I've actually done the tests. Made the prints. How many arguments between people on forums are from those whove done the actual tests.
Plus what's 50% on screen, anyway. How big is the screen? What's the screen resolution? Viewing distance? Bit depth? It's only relevant if you know all the information. Other than that the 50% or 100% thing is a daft concept except for the single person doing the viewing. Especially as megapickles keep increasing exponentially. At 100% images from a 12MP DSLR will usually look sharper than ones from a 24MP DSLR. When theres less actual detail, edges look smoother and things look sharper. To see a real difference we need to look at the image size, not the image resolution. We need to rely less on others comparisons and do it on our on screens. Our own printers. If you really want to compare things, buy a printer.
January 4th, 2013, 05:25 PM
And while I'm here... another counterpoint.
Too much choice stiffles creativity.
It's the old go out with one camera and one lens thing. After a while you learn to see. See how that lens responds to a scene. Do it for long enough and you start to see the shot before lifting the camera to your eye.
But carry a bag of zooms and every accessory known to man and you may still see nothing. Too much choice.
Technology can do this too. If you owned a camera that could be set at a single ISO and then had to be left there for the day. Would that help you to "see"? Or how about fewer options in metering or focusing? Or dynamic range?
I'd argue that we NEED limitations in technology if we are going to be have vision. And that the less restrictions we have the more difficult it becomes to see. (Sharp image/fuzzy concept and all that). Having limitations allows us to focus and to concentrate. Having limitations (and accepting them and learning what they are) actually enhances the creative process and will lead to better images.
Last edited by flash; January 4th, 2013 at 05:27 PM.
January 4th, 2013, 06:04 PM
I was just saying what he said in the magazine. I am well aware of the impact of viewing distance and yes the 50% thing is kind of weird and yes more information is better but you also have to remember John Marriott is predominantly a wildlife/landscape photographer and Liz Carmel writes for Outdoor Photographer and is primarily a landscape photographer. As a result they are typically looking to see every feather every eyelash every texture change in a landscape. That kind of resolution when combined with close viewing of larger images requires megapixels - and then there is the issue of crop space. And you are right - there are cases in which 24 isn't enough hence 36 or go medium. The point is each individual needs to think seriously about what his/her requirements are and of course recognize that they may change over time which is fine. But don't handicap yourself right off the bat - the most important thing is to actually learn to seriously think about it. The needs for street and sports/action and portrait are different from each other and different than those for landscape.
Your point about too much technology is a very good one however I would not hunt that dog too long - as I think you can then limit your vision. Are we talking about a beginner here or somebody who already has some ability to "see"?
So once again know yourself and let that dictate your needs.
January 4th, 2013, 07:24 PM
I started when I was maybe 13/14, now 66. In later years, chased the "latest/greatest, at least as much as I could afford. Better bodies (film), zoom lenses, big bag, tripod, etc. Then digital, several different bodies, different lenses. Now with two bodies (one to be sold) 3 or 4 lenses (varies). I now, carry one body with one lens (prime), and close-up adapter, when I go out and about. I just work harder at getting it right.
Still looking for that ONE just right body/lens combo. I just don't think, I will live long enough, to acquire them.
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