Picking a Camera System.

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by ZWolfe21, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. ZWolfe21

    ZWolfe21 TPF Noob!

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    Yes, its a Nikon vs Sony, vs Cannon vs Ect. Topic. But read everything here.

    I've been trying to do my research here on bodies, personally from everything i've read (and my own experiences, albeit limited, don't tell me anything different) pro/FF bodies are, more or less, personal preference. Which feels better to you, which do you like, so on and so forth. Which doesn't bother me. It would seem through out the digital era they all go back and forth anyway. I've looked on the forums but mostly all these types of posts focus on the body and i'm interested in lenses.

    On a foreward about Sony, as the a200 is what I have, I really do like the body, light, and more then capable for what I do. Which brings me to my next point. I don't intend to upgrade soon. I don't think i've outgrown what I have but that raises questions in my mind which I havn't been able to bed down on my own research.

    To my mind, for cost and proformance Lenses seem to be conciderably more important than whats in the body at the upper teir models. I mean, isn't Sony making Nikon sensors right now? I like the Sony system, and would almost stick with them save the fact they are new and photography isn't there bread and butter and i'm concerned they would pull the plug if they don't meet sales quotas. But it does seem like they've came a long way in their lenses.

    Lenses can make or break even the best camera body, and after you get a good set, probably cost significantly more then your body. So as for a system goes, where would the picks be? Not that bodies arn't that irrelivent, but there are advantages and disadvantages to any company at the pro/FF end but seem rather less important then whos lenses do your trust. Not something I'm intending to do tommorow, but i'd rather have an idea of where to start then buy into a system an realize that i've spent 5 grand on stuff that isn't going to meet my needs.

    If its relivent, I don't have a particular area of focus yet, nature photography, weddings, action shots, whatever. I photograph everything right now, just trying to find my way as it were. Its not about money either, they all seem rather comporable in pricing, save nikon's new D3X.

    Maybe i'm reaching here, or overthinking it.
     
  2. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    i don't own a pro body DSLR. i never have done. i have owned an A200. the only good lenses seemed to be legacy Konica Minolta ones. i query the view that the lens maketh the cam. what use is a good lens with a camera loaded with crap film? similarly, a great sensor and processing engine is critical. all the component technologies need to be optimised as much as the photographer can afford. analogous to HiFi equipment like turntables... a great tone arm, a great cartridge, a great stylus. and that's wasted on crap vinyl or used through crap monitors. it's all important. filters,lens,body,recordable media,monitor, PC, software, printer, paper, inks. any weakness in that chain will impact on the results.
     
  3. ZWolfe21

    ZWolfe21 TPF Noob!

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    I understand the importance of the processing chain. My point was that from what I can read, the differences between the camera bodies of different manufacturers tend to almost boil down to personal preference,esspecially at the upper tier which is where this is eventually headed, and so much discussion takes place on camera bodies but less on lenses. Where do the lenses stack up, thats what I wanna know. I certainly don't care about which body has live view and which has video, not what i'm interested in. But lenses arn't talked about as much and body proformance seems to be personal preference, more or less.

    I could have it all wrong. But it seems to this one that the two things that change more often then camera bodies in technology are PCs and cell phones. Lenses last far longer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010
  4. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    Generally, Sony is heading off into consumer land; making lots of ranges in the different sectors (thus catering to different levels of interest with their beginner, amateur and serious enthusiast ranges). They don't have a pro camera. Their cameras can be used by pros, but their cameras are not labelled as such (as of last year, anyway). The a900 is their flagship camera, and it does have a reasonable 5fps with 23~4 MP. Still, many consider it a semi-pro full frame; the full frame equivalent of the a700. Primarily, the cost of it is lower as Sony has supplanted features, generally, with megapixel count and the full frame is offered as an extra feature, not necessarily a sign of professionalism. Note, for instance, the lack of pre-attached battery grip, as a pointer.

    Still, it doesn't matter; it can be used for professional work, but in the world of sports, not really, no. At the moment, that doesn't exist for Sony users.

    Bodies are important. Cameras are always important; but the main reason that many talk about the importance of lenses is that they are the eye of the camera. And to be honest, many over-emphasise the importance of equipment over composition, technique, etc.

    A body in the pro region is especially worth arguing over. Why? Simply because manufacturers, as you said, have different choices. The followers may not like it, but that's the way it works.

    Nikon has decided to remain low on the pixel count for the most part, splitting up the D3 as a sports camera (now the D3s), with 9fps at 12MP. Some might argue the pixel count is insufficient, but then others counter with the fact that a low pixel density helps low noise at high ISO's. Canon takes the 1Ds Mark IV to another level; 10fps on a 16 MP sensor is impressive... but then Nikon followers challenge that, and the whole debate starts.

    The 1D Mark IV and D3s are less argued over... mostly because they're just not really quite so different (although at times, when too similar, people compare). They're high in MP count, but they're meant to be so. Noise is always 'worth' arguing over.

    But I say, invest in lenses if you want. They don't die out in price, at any rate, unless a new model is created. That only happens every few years, though.
     
  5. ZWolfe21

    ZWolfe21 TPF Noob!

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    Points very well taken, and I didn't mean to come over in saying that bodies arn't important and not worth the argument but it all sounds more along the lines of "pick your poison" to me in terms of preferences. "Chevy vs Ford basicly.

    But i've never heard it from the lens perspective.

    Reguardless your post has shed light, and i've learned more and I thank you for that. And for your comment about compostion and techniuqe I certainly understand. As I stated, i'm not looking to buy even this year probably i've not outgrown the camera I have. But i'm trying to avoid getting stuck somewhere thousands of dollars later that i don't want to be, which is why Sony is on my mind. I like the feel and style but don't know where they're headed or know much about the systems availible and their complexities.
     
  6. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    I actually mentioned the 'worth fighting over' in a sarcastic way; they are not worth fighting over. They're worth fighting over to those who argue, as they provide lots of differences and thus room to argue over.

    It depends on you. Eventually, there will be a camera to suit.

    It's better to stick to Canon/Nikon, as they've been in the field for a while and have already a wide range of pro-amateur-beginner equipment. It's the truth, regardless of unfortunate or fortunate feelings this may bring.
     
  7. A few comments about Sony.

    The company is quite well funded, which means they can do both R&D as well as Marketing. That's rare, and impressive. It also leads to multiple versions of essentially the same camera. The idea is to own shelf space at places like Best Buy. If there were only one or two Sony cameras, it wouldn't seem as impressive to the typical consumer.

    Sony is not new to cameras. And they are only indirectly new to SLRS, because they acquired the Konica and Minolta brands. These were very good systems that lacked the capital to make the leap to digital in time, and had to bite the dust economically.

    That also means the legacy lenses work! They may not have Auto-Focus, but they are quite good.

    Sony may not have the dizzying selection of lenses that the other brands do, but they seem to cover the range with high quality made-for-digital glass.

    Every Pro-Sumer market that Sony has entered, it has dominated. Video and music production would be unthinkable without Sony at this point. I would not be surprised to find Sony being one of the top three, and quite possibly top two! manufacturers in five years.

    Markets like China and India don't have legacy relationships with older brands. They don't care about Nikon or Canon the way we do, or the way the world felt about Leica as recently as ten years ago. That's why Sony (and Panasonic) cannot be ignored. The same can be said for Pentax. This race is (fortunately) not over yet!
     
  8. ...and one more thing: Sony's deep pockets means you can get high quality bodies and lenses at a relative discount.
     
  9. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    Lenses aren't near as important as great light. I would learn how to use natural light for you landscapes and some outdoor sports. Master studio lighting and you can use a low end body and kit lens no problem.
     
  10. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    The Sony G lenses are very close to the Zeiss lenses in quality which is quite high. Quality lenses are necessary with the 24 megapixel A850 and A900 whose resolution is at the top of the DSLRs.

    The cameras in the wings for release suggest a move toward medium format with models moving up to an A1000. There is also a move to full frame at 14 to 18 megapixels with HD video integrating fast autofocus, live view, and stabilization that will allow smooth filming while walking. Built in HDR burst shooting and blending as well a panorama burst shooting and stitching in camera are already out on one Sony camera and will be moving to the full frame DSLR sector as well. A new sensor with greater light sensitivity and multiple shooting and blending is being used to drastically reduce picture noise. They are using a 15 frames per second frame rate capability for their burst shooting and blending modes.

    Sony is very different from Nikon and Canon to the extent that it is like comparing apples and oranges. It depends on the type of shooting that you do and envision in your future as to what features are important or useless to you.

    For anyone who does journalistic type of shooting, mixes stills with video, and avoids a tripod, there are some attractive features on Sony cameras which work well when paired with G lenses or Zeiss lenses.

    skieur
     
  11. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    Exactly. Apples and oranges are very different, though they may appear similar. They have different texture, skin, season, origins, seed - Sony is great, but at the moment, they market mostly to the consumer, and since that's what brings most of the money in, I don't foresee that it will change.
     

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