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07-24-2009, 09:29 AM   #1
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Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, Leica, Panasonic…or?

This May not go over very well here but...

Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, Leica, Panasonic…or?

Does the Gear You have Really Matter? Or How I learned to just take a “Pitcher…”

Well, I will commence with a simple answer "NO"...Whether it is a Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Canon, Panasonic, Olympus, Samsung or any Medium format camera and digital back out there, it really is of no great consequence which brand you own! You want to know why? Based on a recent survey, 90 percent of all DSLR camera's rarely print their images larger than A4 (8x10") format. In other words and in most cases, a good 5 mega pixel camera with good noise specifications would be more than sufficient to do the job and do it very well.

Now, if what you spend most of your time doing is pixel peeping your images at 100 percent on your screen to see if you can notice any anomaly of any sort, than yes, do go out and purchase a $40,000.00, 50 mega pixel back for your Hasselblad. However, if you do so, you will find that you might notice some interesting phenomena, like high chroma noise issues at anything above 400 iso.

Another interesting problem is that when you go to press, the tram noise or pattern will destroy most of those fine pixels that you observed on the screen, a kind of natural grain producer of sorts.

Of course the quality of the sensor is very important, but I believe that any of the 10 mega pixel plus camera's out there could do an admirable job.

I have watched with bemusement the wars that are ongoing on the forums between this and that brand and usually come away thinking that unless you know why you have purchased a brand and to what purpose, than you might as well close your eyes and do a "eenee, meenee, mynee, mo" exercise to determine your choice.

So, if you have no plans to produce an image larger than 12 x19" and have a limited budget, feel confident that no matter what you buy, it will be overkill for that format.

Just be happy that the technology provided for the photographer today has easily out specified the top end camera that existed just 3 years ago.

Enjoy your toy and go out and play...

Benjamin Kanarek Blog Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, Leica, Panasonic…or?

07-24-2009, 09:50 AM   #2
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the ONLY reason I bought my K200 was so that I could use the two crappy Sigma lenses I had on my ZX-5. I am happy with my choice, but had I purchased the Maxxum I was comparing the ZX-5 to years ago, things could be very nikon-o-riffic.

I wholeheartedly agree with your points. it funny to listen to the "my screwdriver is better than your screwdriver" flame wars.
07-24-2009, 09:50 AM   #3
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I agree with you; just about any camera made in recent years is good enough for the vast majority of shooters and pictures. One thing to keep in mind is being able to crop though -- at least for us bird nuts there's often signficant cropping to be done, and then the megapixels start to count. Having a few extra MP on tap there can be a huge help.

One problem is that so many people now are camera owners, not photographers...
07-24-2009, 09:53 AM   #4
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QuoteQuote:
One problem is that so many people now are camera owners, not photographers...
that is so very true. very well put, I must say.

07-24-2009, 10:35 AM   #5
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I could not agree more. For people considering purchase of any new camera, my practice when asked for advice is to suggest that they consider:
  • What is the camera going to be used for
  • How serious they are about photography
  • How much they are honestly wanting to spend
If they are already an experienced photographer, I tell them that a purchase decision should be based on:
  • The features you really anticipate using (e.g. fps is irrelevant for flowers)
  • Quality of available optics
  • Price of available optics
  • Build quality of the body
  • Body handling and usability (hands-on if possible)
  • Sensor quality/rendering, not just megapixels (again, hands-on if possible)
Often enough, the obvious choice will be a Pentax product. Other times it might be something else. While there are significant differences between brands, most of the current products are capable of producing sharp, well-exposed images regardless of the label on the front.

Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 07-24-2009 at 10:40 AM.
07-24-2009, 06:24 PM   #6
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I agree also. I bought my K10D mostly because of my past good experience with Pentax film cameras and and I really liked the camera after picking it up in the store and taking a few shots with it. My budget was under $1000. I needed a somewhat weatherproof camera because it always rains when I go on vacations ( I broke a 37 day drought in Texas once ). A no brainer for me.
07-24-2009, 06:32 PM   #7
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Ditto

QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I agree also. I bought my K10D mostly because of my past good experience with Pentax film cameras and and I really liked the camera after picking it up in the store and taking a few shots with it. My budget was under $1000. I needed a somewhat weatherproof camera because it always rains when I go on vacations ( I broke a 37 day drought in Texas once ). A no brainer for me.
Much as I lust after the idea a K-7, my K10D and all those manual lenses still outperform my skill.

I do, though, frequently consider selling off everything and buying the three FA Limiteds before it is too late.

So I guess I would qualify as a Lens Owner.
07-24-2009, 07:03 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Based on a recent survey, 90 percent of all DSLR camera's rarely print their images larger than A4 (8x10") format. In other words and in most cases, a good 5 mega pixel camera with good noise specifications would be more than sufficient to do the job and do it very well.
I wholeheartedly agree, & take advantage of this reality by purchasing "old technology" at bargain basement prices. My current crop of digital shooters consists of a pair of 6MP Pentax *ist DS DSLRs (less than $200 each), a 7MP Canon G6 ($160) & a 7MP Canon S70 ($85), all in mint condition, all top-of-the-line cameras in 2004 (the watershed year of digitals, in my opinion). I haven't been tempted yet to "move up" to a "better" model. I don't care about most of the bells & whistles added to the newer models, as I shoot manually with all of my cameras (Each offers fully maual, RAW controls), using only manual primes on my DSLRs, & don't normally blow my photos up past 8x10. I spend all of my hobby money on building up an arsenal of P/K mount & M42 screwmount lenses. So please, shhhhh, let's keep these facts just between us.

07-24-2009, 07:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Much as I lust after the idea a K-7, my K10D and all those manual lenses still outperform my skill.
Paul, I don't have a K-7...
07-25-2009, 08:50 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Much as I lust after the idea a K-7, my K10D and all those manual lenses still outperform my skill.

I do, though, frequently consider selling off everything and buying the three FA Limiteds before it is too late.

So I guess I would qualify as a Lens Owner.
I will probably keep using my K10D for quite a while yet also. I have generally gone around 5 years or more before purchasing a new camera. I have always kept my cameras or given them to kids/family. I don't really know what the life expectancy of DSLR's are as this was my first one. As to the megapixel/sensor size issues I don't think it matters much except for bragging rights. I was getting really good pictures from my first digital camera, a Fuji Fine Pix2600. I have made some decent 8x10 prints from shots made with that camera and it was only 2 megapixels.
07-26-2009, 06:02 AM   #11
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As all digital cameras are disposable cameras IMO, I do agree that investing in good glass is important. If what your camera is giving you, is not what you need, that is a good indicator that it is time to upgrade.
07-26-2009, 08:54 PM   #12
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It's amazing how in this bad economy (here in the US anyway) the price to lifetime ratio of DSLR's is so astronomically high.
07-27-2009, 12:50 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
It's amazing how in this bad economy (here in the US anyway) the price to lifetime ratio of DSLR's is so astronomically high.
a product of the technology itself. nothing to do with the economy. cameras were expensive in the 60s and 70s as well.
07-27-2009, 01:00 AM   #14
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I agree with almost all the points, including the ones saying the brand only really matters if you have very specific needs. However I do think there is one relevant thing to add - high resolution will allow you to crop much more aggressively (if you're the kind of photographer who needs to). I've always found my K10D's 10mp sufficient.
07-27-2009, 01:08 AM   #15
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Technology will continue to evolve, and many of us 'gadget freaks' will continue to desire the next new advance in digital cams. Learning contentment is a challenge in itself, and contentment is not the same as complacency...
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