What the h*ll?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by mysteryscribe, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I see the same discussion comes up over and over. It is about as likely to die as arguments over who was the worst president in the last fifteen years (For the fifteen year period of your choice).

    This is my outsider opinion only:

    How much camera you really need on any given day will vary. If you were the perfect photographer, who only shot one kind of thing, you would only need the camera that suited your single need and nothing more. Alas that isnt the real world.

    For instance, if you were just a wedding photographer and did nothing but candids with camera A. And never ever did anything else with it. And always shot them so that you never ever had to crop an image more then 2%, how large a pix count would you really need.

    Change that variable. Everything is the same except you are a lousy photographer and have to crop the heck out of the image. Now how large a pix count do you need.

    You are the great photographer again, but now and then you need to make an 11x14 from the image. Of course it will be the perfect image so you wont need a lot more pix than the first photographer, but you will need some.

    Okay you are sloppy now and you need to make an occassional 11x14 so how big a count do you need.

    You are the great photographer again and you need to make large bridal portraits or you are sloppy and still want to make them.

    Do you need as much camera if you shoot landscapes as if you shoot people. The list of questions goes on.

    In the days of film you could shoot 4x5 but it was inconvenient so you could shoot med format but it was expensive, now you can shoot digital with a whole new list of constraints. So how much is enough?

    The worst thing about digital that I can see, and since i don't shoot it i might be whisting in the dark, is that the images really aren't quite big enough just yet to get that sloppy photographer enough pix to get the 40x60 image. And of course if you buy a camera as large as you really need it won't be enough for everything, so you have to buy an ever larger one next year. If you buy the largest one made you age going to wind up floating that famous 40k mortage we all heard about.

    Camera manufacturers are in a beautiful position with digital. They can do more than just impove the light tight box with more bells and whistles. They can actually improve the guts of it. When they do that they have an honest claim that one is better than the other. So it will be like a heard of cows trudging from one field to another searching for that perfect bit of glass er grass.

    I wish I had an answer to the delima but I don't. Just plan to buy new cameras every couple of years and get over it, I guess. And you thought the outlook for film was dim.
     
  2. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    well, first of all I think discussions on any topic come up again and again as a forum is always gathering new blood, new people will raise old topics and reheating the discussions ;) That is quite natural ...

    as for your lousy photographer argument, true, a lousy photographer (like myself for example) can never get enough megapixels to be happy with his shots and crops. But then again there are so many other reasons to have more MP, the images you get are just more versatile in terms of usage.

    Let us take three cases:
    1. Someone needs images for a webpage, well he probably can do that with a mobile phone camera!

    2. I agree that for any family portrait or bride shots that fit into a photobook, then below 10 MP and even much less will be most likely fine.

    3.If however you print landscapes, abstract objects or whatever on 3x2 metres, framed on aluminium and attach it to indoor walls in fancy modern apartments or company headquarters (where you do stand close), then you need a hell lot of megapixels.

    A company next door to where I live does it, and I want to print there, but my camera is just too weak in terms of MP :(

    Alright, case 1 and 3 give the two extremes, and many people will probably live somewhere between 1 and 2 ...

    but then there are people who want just one camera and be as versatile as possible, then they will always want many megapixels to be on the safe side, even those with a lot of talent.

    Those 3x2m prints on fabric are real and very fancy by the way, but you pay 1500 USD + for a single print ;) I will probably go for smaller ones ;)
     
  3. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I wrote this big answer and lost it. Obviously I was meant to shut up and let others voice an opinion.

    but let me say this one thing. There are always constraints on photographers that make them decide what camera to shoot. In film it was mostly size of the camera and cost of the lenses. I'm sure not everyone is going to rush out and buy the 30megapix camera even though it is out there now. They are going to decide okay what do I really need.

    What you really need is a function of how you see and what you shoot. Well that's my opinion. We used to say, "If you are going to need to crop a 645 more than in half to make a horizontal into a verticle you might as well shoot a good 35mm neg and save the money." That probably holds true for a ten meg camera as well. I can't say that for sure because I don't shoot anything but a point and shoot digital but I almost never crop anything except to shape it for a print. Still I don't shoot one seriously. It might be totally different.
     
  4. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    i hate it when that happens to me :/

    I know, there always are constraints and always will be ... but I try to get which is best for my purposes and makes sense .. that is why I would only buy that 30 MP camera, if I knew there were lenses on the market that I can afford and which can satisfy this camera ... since I doubt these lenses exist, I would not bother to look at 30 MP ;) ... but with below 7 MP I personally would be very unhappy.

    I crop often for shape, and sometimes because I mucked up composition, quite often because I simply could not get near enough to the subject while taking the picture (talking of my poor attempts of wildlife photography). For the latter, higher resolution (which is not just megapixels as we all know) is just what helps me.
     
  5. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    hmm. noone else seems to care about this thread except us two ;)

    ..and I have to get to bed now as it is 2 at night already over here ;)

    ... hopefully someone else will give is opinion ....
     
  6. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I'm not sure many people even understand it.
     
  7. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My turn!

    Although the real world is a continuum of shades of grey, the old Socratic dichotomy still pops up now and then.

    In this instance, no matter which camera a photographer first purchases, there are two opposing continuations. The first is to upgrade whenever there is a significant improvement in equipment [and I don't intend to define 'significant', thank you.] The second is to select a camera [or camera 'system', or what have you.], accept its limitations, and then work within that particular box even while gear improvements continue to be made by the manufacturers.

    The difference in the attitude toward equipment 'update' between photographers can be measured by the time span between exercises of the first option. Some are content with periods measured in decades. Others are back to the market in a matter of months.
     
  8. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That was an interesting contribution :)

    I myself was shooting with the same old camera for 14 years, accepting its limitations, even though there was improvement on the market. However I did upgrade my lenses from time to time. I still have that camera and doubt I will ever sell it. In fact I just recently got the shutter replaced.

    Nowadays I also own a DSLR, I guess this one will be my main camera for 3-4 years, which is significantly less than those 14 years! But the reason why I guess I will upgrade within the next few years is that I think that there will be some more significant development on the digital sector, much faster than in the film sector in recent decades. And if some of those features appear to help my photography a great deal (talking of image quality, dynamical range and such, mainly sensor related, ... not talking of funny gadgets which noone needs) - then I will buy it! (If I haven't wasted all my money on glass, travel and booze by then ;) ).
     
  9. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I think (therefore I am an idiot) that advances in knowledge of all kinds are coming so fast now that they make the purchase of anything risky. Risky only in that the technology will be eclipsed before you get it home.

    I'm just wondering if you shouldn't buy what you need now. Only because when you actually need more the new technology will have surpassed what you would have bought today.

    IE a person who is good and shoots wedding and nothing more. Why not buy the 6.something megapix for now then wear it out or as close as possible before you need the ten pix to shoot billboards.

    Is it sensible to pay for those extra megapix before you need them? Most likely there will be a twenty megapix for the same price in five years. I honestly don't know its a quandry for a working pro I'm sure. For me it is only a philosophical question. A way of thinking that a new photographer should be at least aware exists. There is so much pressure on him to buy buy buy.

    When my son in law upgraded from the d100 to the d200 I saw a difference but only in the 20x30 and larger shots. I'm still not convinced some of the differnce isnt more contrast in the prints now than before. Some is definitely more resolution there is no denying it.

    In the 11x14 there is no quality difference now. Not in the basic image. I'm sure there are giant strides in the production, but that isnt the camera. So just a different way of thinking. By the way a second level camera in the hands of a good photographer does not produce poor quality images. Just so you know not everyone would refuse to hire you because you had a pentax not a nikon. Most people will hire you based on your work and your price. At least that is my belief.
     
  10. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hmm, that is a horrible decision these days ... and that is why I fought with myself for more than 2 years before I ever even touched anything digital. Even though I love computers and would call myself a high-tech fanatic in some respects.

    Of course, if you have a well defined field of what sort of photography you are mainly doing, and you find something which fits your needs and which you can afford ... go for it!!!

    That is true! And that is very sensible indeed. As I already met quite a few people who spent A LOT on expensive equipment which makes me drool, and then you see their images an realise they actually do not know what to do with their equipment. They spent more time with cleaning their sensors, and telling people how great their lenses are and what you can do with them, just they don't do it with them. They take (sharp) images which are easily surpassed by images from 2 megapixel mobile phone cameras in the right hands ...
     
  11. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hmmm, I just read some old saying:

    Beginners worry about equipment.

    Professionals worry about money.

    Masters worry about the light.


    ;)

    Some truth in it ;)
     
  12. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I wonder, based on the speed with which digital is advancing, if we will soon see camera leasing as an option for the high-end rigs [currently, the DSLRs.] It seems to work with automobiles. Last time I checked, about 1/3 of US auto 'sales' were leases.

    Leasing [as opposed to short-term rental -- by the way, anyone hear from Hertz lately?] as far as I can determine, has an appeal to those who like to keep up with the Joneses and are willing to pay a premium to do so. This is not a bad thing -- just an observation.

    If the auto market splits 1/3 - 2/3 in lease to outright sale, and if this translates to the DSLR crowd, that's a decent size market. [Canon, Nikon, etc. -- remember, you read it here first! A small donation would not be automatically refused.]

    Incidentally, I buy my cars outright, run them for about 8 years average and then give them to a family member, usually a beginning teen-ager, who needs wheels at that time. I don't give my cameras away, though.
     

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