Ken Rockwell is an idiot: Your camera DOES matter.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by anubis404, Apr 2, 2009.

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  1. anubis404
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    anubis404 New Member

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    After viewing Ken Rockwells test of a P&S compared to a 5DmII and a 17-40 F4 in disbelief, I thought I'd do a little test of my own. KR's test pictures look very similar in sharpness, contrast, etc. Mine don't.

    Nikon D70s with Sigma 18-50 F2.8 is the first, the second is with a Casio Exilim 6mp PS. Both with the same exact settings except for F stop (D70s at F3.3, Casio at F3.1)


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Need I say more?
  2. OregonAmy
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    OregonAmy New Member

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    I'm not sure you'll get a lot of argument here. It seems pretty clear that Equipment + User makes a big difference; both contribute to the quality of photographs.
  3. adolan20
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    adolan20 New Member

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    Yeah I never did enjoy that article he had about it. Most people on here take some of his advice and ignore the rest. After reading that article, it made me think why does he have a D3 then? Why doesn't he just use a $25 camera as he suggested it took better pictures than his D3. It didn't make sense. Oh and the camera actually doesn't matter it depends on the person behind it:mrgreen:. Plus, the Casio doesn't have the metering capabilities that your D70s has.
  4. elemental
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    elemental New Member

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    I can't even say I'd recommend any of his advice, and I'll be a Nikon shooter as of tomorrow. I suspect even the things I agree with just because some of his other statements are so ridiculous. Even if Kanye came up with some great solutions to solve America's deep class, race, gender, and sexual orientation issues, it would be impossible for me to get the look on Mike Myers' face out of my mind ("George Bush does not care about black people"). That's how I feel about Ken Rockwell and photography. Ta=hat said, some of his out west shots are gorgeous.
  5. adolan20
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    adolan20 New Member

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    Yeah I enjoy his lens reviews and some of his camera reviews but other than that I'm not too fond of any of his articles. But, he did say in an article that I shouldn't waste my money on the D80. As you can see I clearly didn't listen:mrgreen:
  6. dEARlEADER
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    dEARlEADER New Member

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    well.... the 1st one is underexposed, the second over exposed....

    why don't you try a little harder?......

    1st by matching the frames so they are identical

    2nd by matching the exposure

    then throw them both out there without labels...
  7. Mike_E
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    Mike_E Well-Known Member

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    Why do you take the guy seriously when he plainly states that he's joking?
  8. nikonpreap
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    nikonpreap New Member

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    Ken Rockwell never produces awful work, only work too advanced for the viewer
  9. anubis404
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    anubis404 New Member

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    I'm not debating artistic value, I'm debating image quality.

    Both were on manual, both at 1/1000, F3.1 or 3.3.
  10. anubis404
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    anubis404 New Member

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    Minute differences in the exposure and framing do not invalidate my point. The differences are obvious.
  11. dcclark
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    dcclark New Member

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    Well, I'll make the rather obvious statement that the point of his article is not that any two random cameras with the same settings will produce the same photos. It's that, in the hands of a user who knows what they're doing, two different cameras can both produce equally excellent (or poor) images.

    Taking two cameras, fixing the settings, and saying "look, the photos are not equal" says nothing useful at all. If you are experienced enough to understand how both cameras take photos -- how they tend to over or under expose, etc. -- you can make both photos look just fine.

    But more importantly, it's entirely up to YOU as to how well-composed, lit, arranged, etc. the photo is. No camera can do that, and that's the real point of that article. You just took two equally uninteresting sample photos using an expensive and a cheap camera. Did you need a $3000 camera to do that?

    So while I'm not saying Ken is a god or anything, I am saying that you seem to be misinterpreting the point of that article entirely.
  12. dEARlEADER
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    dEARlEADER New Member

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    umm.... okay then...:raisedbrow:
  13. anubis404
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    anubis404 New Member

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    You are so quick to accuse me of misinterpretation when you yourself fail to interpret my post. An intelligent monkey could've discerned that I am not debating the importance of the role of a photographer. I, like Ken, took and expensive camera and a cheap camera, fixed the settings, and took an uninteresting photo. A third grade science teacher could've taught you the importance of conducting a controlled experiment. So before you run in here screaming "No!! its da photographer that matterz!", maybe you should get your facts straight. If debunking Ken's picture test offended you in some way, then I apologize.
  14. dcclark
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    dcclark New Member

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    My apologies, I assumed you were specifically referring to Your Camera Doesn't Matter, based on your posts and the title of the thread.

    That said, the article you referred to clearly states that he adjusted the settings on each camera to give better results -- i.e., exactly what I said. The article I linked to, rather, makes the point that the photographer is more important than the camera -- this is just on example of why that is true.

    Please, no need to call names -- that's quite unnecessary.
  15. anubis404
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    anubis404 New Member

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    Then I should've been more specific. I optimized the point and shoot's settings for the occasion, just not the shutter speed and aperture. The LCD was very dim, and I didn't quite hit the exposure on the head. The point of this whole thread was to raise an eyebrow or two to the credibility of Ken's test.
  16. tirediron
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    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

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    Don't mean to burst your bubble dude, but that ship sailed a long time ago! :lol:
  17. Garbz
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    Garbz New Member

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    Yeah? Because there's clearly more than 1 stop difference between both frames.

    Yeah the differences are obvious. The differences are not minute.

    Please if you're going to test the validity of something then do it more scientifically. Identical frames, identical exposures, tripod.

    I may as well say my mum's 5 year old Mitsubishi is better than a Ferrari if the Ferrari's gearbox is jammed and there's a 3 year old kid behind the wheel.
  18. Dwig
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    Dwig New Member

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    But what ISO was used on each, duh!

    One reports a Gain of 0 and one reports a Gain of 2. Also ISO calibration between differnent models and brands are not exact matches. Neither are the various sharpness, contrast, and saturation controls in any two different RAW converters, either those in the camera or those on an external computer.

    The OP's comparison images are useless for a critique or response to Ken Rockwall's editorial.
  19. JerryPH
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    JerryPH New Member

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    In this "discussion", more than anything else, the level of challenge or difficulty we place on the camera will let the camera show "it's stuff". If I am taking a picture of a pool or backyard in bright lighting conditions and I have a (let me use 2 cameras I own and am intimately familiar with for the sake of discussion) Nikon E8800 and a Nikon D700, I can make the 2 pictures near identical. The conditions are so favorable, that someone with an etch-a-sketch could manage quite nicely! :lol:

    Now, let's all go to an evening concert and start shooting... I think the answer is obvious. Shooting conditions are now difficult and challenging. Camera limitations are being hit or surpassed and the camera with superior specifications will get the superior results.

    Equipment *does* matter, unless you are shooting scenes that do not challenge the capabilities of either the camera and/or the photographer. The photographer plays a large role in the sense that a knowledgeable photographer will be able to pull better results out of any given camera than someone that just sets it to "auto" and lets the camera make all decisions for them, but even the best photographer in the world would not be able to give you one decent shot in a truly challenging condition using a low quality camera.

    A little common sense in this debate goes a long way to debunking the rantings of the very misleading Ken Rockwell and his weak sense of humor.
  20. Iron Flatline
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    Iron Flatline Guest

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    I like the second one better.
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