What matters to you in a camera system?

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by drd1135, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I read a lot of threads comparing cameras and features. Many of us would claim that it's the photographer, not the gear, that really matters. I am not a fan of extreme positions, however. Given the same photographer, a better camera/lens combo could make better pictures. Many of the best photographers have very strong preferences in equipment. This is especially interesting on the SC forum, where we almost always begin with sacrificing sensor size (arguably a critical part of IQ) for camera size.

    So, what really matters to you in a camera? Eye level finder, lens selection or quality of fixed lens, ergonomics, etc.? Not the casual stuff here: what are the real deal breakers?
     
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  2. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    When I pick it up, do I want to put it down again ... that's about it
     
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  3. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    After using it for a while do I get along with it. And are the lenses high quality. I'd say that "usability" and lens quality matter most to me. I'd rather have lens quality over quantity.

    I'm not sure if it counts as IQ but can I get a good, workable RAW file from the camera. I've found that RAW files from different brands and cameras are different to work with.
     
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  4. Adam Quek

    Adam Quek SC Regular

    88
    Oct 5, 2012
    For me, the feel of the camera is above all else. It's like how pdh aptly put it in his reply, all that matters is whether you wanna put the camera down when you pick it up. Granted I have adapted to cameras in all shapes and sizes (yes, even camera obscura). Still I value the feel above and beyond all else.
     
  5. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Similar to what Paul wrote, and to put it simply, does the camera inspire me to take more photos (or not)? So I'd have to say that everything matters. How does the camera "feel" in my hands. How responsive is it. The looks of the camera. The sound that it makes. And of course, how are the photos that come out of it. That last factor is probably the least important one as most cameras in the market far outpace my photographic ability. Nevertheless, inspiration is such a state of mind, and the mere thought that I am using a "nice" camera sometimes inspires me to take better photos. Sort of like a good coach getting more out of a bench warmer like me.
     
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  6. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Wait, are talking just cameras or camera system as per the thread title?
     
  7. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    hmm I haven't experienced a lot of cameras at all, I held a Samsung NX10 in stores a couple of times and it just felt perfect ergonomically, and rock solid (more so than any other CSC I've handled so far, and more solid than most DSLRs too). It felt like the sort of thing that could just become an automatism from an operational point of view, and I'm still sort of considering buying it, even though it's pretty outclassed by some of the newer CSC's.

    The reason I haven't bought one yet is probably because of a couple of the specific features I'm looking for. Lenses would be the most important one of those; particularly focal length (either a superwide or a very versatile just-wide-of-"normal" * ) and size (the flatter the better!), with lens speed being pretty important too. The NX has a wonderfully small 30/2 lens, but combined with the 3:2 aspect ratio, that's just narrow enough to make me feel claustrophobic. The panasonic 20/1.7 on a m4/3 sensor gives a view that has me drooling...

    Other important features to me are:
    -compactness (any camera must be coat-pocketable or smaller, with lens mounted);
    -ruggedness (the NX10 already feels like it can take a ton of abuse, but it's not weatherproof);
    -tilting / rotating screen (massively helpful in getting more creative compositions; I think, after the lens and the shutter speed, a tilting or rotating screen is the feature that opens up the most possibilities in terms of composition);
    -silence; I really don't like drawing attention to myself by having a loud shutter go off. That, and the fairly crappy ergonomics and lack of lens choices, has kept me from buying a Sony NEX


    * I don't believe in the concept of normal lenses but that's just one of my pet peeves
     
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  8. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    i have to LOOOOOVE EEEEEET! when i pick it up

    it has to have great lenses, not that anyone could tell from my usual over processing that a lens was ever great... self lol... :D

    any body style thats not blobby black blob plastic like a typical dslr

    hot shoe so i can stick an ovf on top should i desire a break from my tiny tv :)

    small, but heavy

    a cultish following is nice, since i like hanging out with other whackos n talking about our whacko obsession... :D
     
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  9. Kin Lau

    Kin Lau SC Regular

    57
    Oct 23, 2012
    Everything matters depending on what I'm doing, which probably explains what I have 8 or 9 dslrs, 3 m43 bodies and a half dozen other slr and rangefinder systems, and over 100 lenses.

    I really like the X-Pro1, but it would not be my only system, I've got too many interests/needs to be limited to just one system.
     
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  10. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I used the word "system" so we could include compact ILCs like Mu43 or the Pentax Q. Lens selection could be the critical feature for some. (I suppose a camera like the X10 would be a system of one.) I'd rather be more inclusive than not for the spirit of this thread.
     
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  11. john m flores

    john m flores SC All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    It has to disappear in my hands.
     
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  12. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    We need to switch your name to King of Cameras! Inquiring GAS suffering minds would like you to list them all! :)
     
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  13. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    The most important feature I find in a camera is that I can trust it. Trust that it will do what I want it to do, trust that it can still deliver when I get it wrong, and trust that it will consistently deliver an image that meets or exceeds my personal threshold for IQ. I don't really have a blueprint for a perfect camera, and I think that a camera can surprise you even if it doesn't at first seem to be your cup of tea. I think that generally I am still attracted to the mini-DSLR type body; it wasn't through fashion that a few decades of camera development settled on that body style, but simple ergonomics. Oh, and I think that it is possible for a camera to be too small.
     
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  14. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    For me, weight and balance is the first consideration. Then its IQ and the viewfinder.

    I absolutely love the Fuji Hybrid finder and so at some time in the future will relinquish my DSLR for an X-Pro. The X-Pro does not feel too heavy for me, in fact it feels "just right", just as the X100 does. I have been back several times to look at the X10, and just cannot get a feel for it. Its not for me. The X-S1, however, seems "just right" also, and so as I sell things off, that is also on the must get list, for the times I really do want something at distance. The Panny FZ100 is OK, but the X-S1 would be better.
     
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  15. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Rajiv
    My camera requirements -

    1. Big fat sensor that will let me pull details out in post. Also good DR is a must, because I'm constantly blowing out highlights, I need a good enough sensor to be able to salvage the shot in post.
    2. Fixed fast lens, or a zoom with constant aperture through the zoom range (a pipe dream right now). 28-35mm works for me (would like it to go down to 24).
    3. Bult-in clear/bright EVF
    4. Manual override controls, at least for the big three, preferably dials. Can live without an EC dial.
    5. Don't care much for ergonomics, it could be an Argus brick and I'd still buy it. In fact I'd definitely pick up a capable Argus digital. I don't shoot enough for ergonomics to be an issue. Though I certainly won't complain if the camera feels good in hand.
    6. One major deal breaker for me is if I have to dig too far into menus for simple stuff like metering, drive modes, setting ISO limits etc.
    7. The simpler the camera, the more likely I am to buy it.
     
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  16. winginkris

    winginkris SC Veteran

    315
    Dec 15, 2011
    For me it's image quality first, as I do prints, then simplicity. I don't like all of the menus and bells and whistles on digital cameras that never get used. I love the X-Pro for it's image quality, but really don't like it's focus-by-wire. In this regard I wish Fuji had gone with a more "traditional" way of focusing. I'm sure most buyers are using auto-focus so it's a non-issue, but for myself, it's causing me to look at Leica a little too seriously!
     
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  17. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    I like my cameras to be simple to operate, fairly compact, and available with a traditional set of primes (24, 35, 85 or 90 or equivalents). incomprehensible menus are a no-no, and direct control of focus, shutter speed and aperture are vastly preferable. Image quality must be top notch; however, I refuse to fight with a camera that does not handle well.
     
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  18. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    At my age that probably means I've lost it. :frown:
     
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  19. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Rajiv
    Ok. You win the internets for today. Made me spit out my coffee.
     
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  20. Hyubie

    Hyubie SC Veteran

    360
    Jun 8, 2011
    Massachusetts
    + 1.

    To me it pulled John's lofty comment (initial reaction of "OOOOHHHHH, nice one, I have to think on that") crashing back to earth.