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02-18-2008, 09:19 AM   #1
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A corporate continuum?

I was thinking about folks who are saying the one body is better than another, or that certain brands 'clearly' beats out another. IMHO, each body made by different mfg's has advantages and disadvantages depending on the perspective and shooting style of the user.

In terms of corporate philosophy, imagine this continuum:

<>------------<>----<>-------<>
Canon------Sony--Nikon---Pentax

Canon: High noise reduction, fast AF, high FPS, lower resolution.
Sony: Medium noise reduction, fast AF, high FPS, medium resolution
Nikon: Low noise reduction, med AF, high FPS, medium resolution
Pentax: Low noise reduction, med AF, low fps, higher resolution

Canon is good for the action shooter, soccer mom or wildlife photographer with the machine gun approach to photography. Sony and Nikon seem to be the best all-rounders, with a balance of speed, resolution and IQ suitable for lots of applications. Pentax tends to favour the slower, more calculated shooter but rewards users with IQ, build quality and value.

No camera body is 'better' than the other...each represents their respective brand's philosophies. Each body is just a different ways of taking photos, and this range of choices in the marketplace means we can each find a camera suitable for our own styles of photography.

02-18-2008, 10:24 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by d.bradley Quote
I was thinking about folks who are saying the one body is better than another, or that certain brands 'clearly' beats out another. IMHO, each body made by different mfg's has advantages and disadvantages depending on the perspective and shooting style of the user.

In terms of corporate philosophy, imagine this continuum:

<>------------<>----<>-------<>
Canon------Sony--Nikon---Pentax

Canon: High noise reduction, fast AF, high FPS, lower resolution.
Sony: Medium noise reduction, fast AF, high FPS, medium resolution
Nikon: Low noise reduction, med AF, high FPS, medium resolution
Pentax: Low noise reduction, med AF, low fps, higher resolution

Canon is good for the action shooter, soccer mom or wildlife photographer with the machine gun approach to photography. Sony and Nikon seem to be the best all-rounders, with a balance of speed, resolution and IQ suitable for lots of applications. Pentax tends to favour the slower, more calculated shooter but rewards users with IQ, build quality and value.

No camera body is 'better' than the other...each represents their respective brand's philosophies. Each body is just a different ways of taking photos, and this range of choices in the marketplace means we can each find a camera suitable for our own styles of photography.
This couldn't have been said much better. It's easy to get into they "better camera" debate... but you're right... different cams for different people!
02-18-2008, 12:31 PM   #3
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Excellent analysis!

Where would you say Olympus fits in? High noise reduction, fast AF, medium FPS, low resolution, somewhat low price. I think I'd put it between Canon and Sony.

Then there is also Fuji, which fits very nicely in between Nikon and Pentax, I think.
02-18-2008, 02:53 PM   #4
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Good analysis. But only a snapshot, too.

That Pentax has the highest resolving sensor now is by accident (because Samsung managed to build one). I remember the days where Pentax was lowest resolving with its 6MP *istDS only.

I would better like a two-dimensional plot, with IQ on the x axis (resolution, DR, noise, good primes go here) and pro features on the y axis (weather sealing, fast AF, fast fps, long tele go here). Full frame would be in both camps. Price ignored.

I see Pentax in the lower right to middle right corner then.

02-18-2008, 03:25 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Good analysis. But only a snapshot, too.

That Pentax has the highest resolving sensor now is by accident (because Samsung managed to build one). I remember the days where Pentax was lowest resolving with its 6MP *istDS only.

I would better like a two-dimensional plot, with IQ on the x axis (resolution, DR, noise, good primes go here) and pro features on the y axis (weather sealing, fast AF, fast fps, long tele go here). Full frame would be in both camps. Price ignored.

I see Pentax in the lower right to middle right corner then.
The continuum is based only on overall product philosophy...just showing that Pentax is the polar opposite of Canon in terms of the way they seem to design their products. There are too many variables to plot...so yes, it's just a snapshot. KISS rule
02-18-2008, 03:37 PM   #6
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good analysis indeed,
we could debate about it for next few pages on this thread, and as well where would, Oly and Fuji sit, but I think the bottom line (which especialy a lot of Cannon users should read) is:
different camera for different photographers
to explain on myself: do I need high fps, few more pixels, rubbish build quality and really bad kit lens from Cannon? No thanx, for landscapes I'm perfectly fine with 6mpx, SR, good built quality and very decent kit lens from Pentax. But I understand, that some people want to impress with better specs, or faster / quieter focus, and so on and on. Fair enough, they can have their Cannons and Nikons. I wish them many nice pictures, as long as their don't cross my way saying, hey I have better camera (unless they don't have something one class up )
02-19-2008, 01:47 AM   #7
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I don't understand how Canon could be "lower resolution". Can Pentax match their L-lenses in resolution?
02-19-2008, 02:17 AM   #8
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Don't agree here..

QuoteOriginally posted by d.bradley Quote
Canon: High noise reduction, fast AF, high FPS, lower resolution.
Sony: Medium noise reduction, fast AF, high FPS, medium resolution
Nikon: Low noise reduction, med AF, high FPS, medium resolution
Pentax: Low noise reduction, med AF, low fps, higher resolution
I don't agree with your propositions which do not match my own experiences with Canon, Nikon and Pentax DSLRs.

Canon DSLRs are not with "high noise reduction" and "low resolution" as you suggested. They do have low noise but high resolution which means a high signal-to-noise ratio which is in fact the most desirable thing.

As for the Nikons, they usually have more noise but yet maintain a high resolution.

Whether you agree or not, Pentax do have higher noise and lower resolution, this have been verified from various lab tests including DPR and IR tests, e.g. the K10D against others. As for the AF, you need to further separating it for its speed and accuracy, and further divided into if under daylight and tungsten, also for steady or moving objects and so on. Well, there is also the metering and exposure accuracy departments.

If I have to rank those performance aspect, to name a few, I would rank as follows:

Resolution: C > N >> P

Noise: C >> N > P

AF speed: C > N >> P

AF accuracy (steady object, daylight): C ~ N ~ P (K DSLRs are better here)
* ~ means similar

AF speed and accuracy (moving, daylight): C > N >> P

AF accuracy (steady, tungsten): C ~ N > P

Metering accuracy: N > C >> P

Exposure (control) accuracy: C > N ~ P

.... and so on..

All in all, I totally disagree with you that it is about different styles and design philosophy. It is just about (huge) difference in performance and accuracy. There is still a long road to run for Pentax to catch up. Well, there is always a good reason why they so far do not have a real upper market DSLR model yet. The sad thing is if we compare the MZ film SLRs to the K DSLRs, actually the AF speed and accuracy at low light is obviously better and the metering accuracy is good enough too (so, I just wonder why Pentax DSLRs are inferior than the previous MZ cameras which should be made with older technology, sad).

02-19-2008, 02:29 AM   #9
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Yes, *true* Pentax glass can be better and cheaper!

QuoteOriginally posted by Tokina Quote
I don't understand how Canon could be "lower resolution". Can Pentax match their L-lenses in resolution?
YES! True Pentax own made lenses can rival Canon L glass resolution wise but yet even have better flare control!! Some true Pentax lenses could have an unique best taste too, e.g., 3d feel and shadow rendering, nice bokeh etc. which not every Canon L lens can match with when we talk about unique (favourable) characters.

It's Pentax's DSLR bodies not up to the standard and lag behind but NOT the Pentax optics. The latest "Pentax" lenses are letting me down mostly, though.

The most good reason to choose Pentax in the past is that for what the best Pentax optics I mention were selling at just a faction of those luxury Canon L glass which have been selling at ridiculous high price, just look at their 85/1.2L, which is 3 times more expensive than the Pentax FA* 85/1.4 which IMO taste even better.

But with the inferior Pentax DSLR bodies nowadays (MHO again), many of we old Pentax users do have no good choice (on better gear setup), very frankly speaking. Now that the DA* is also selling at high price as the Canon L but not as good as the old FA* and the L as well (IMHO again), there is simply no reason to choose Pentax anymore if starting from scratch, and that's my humble advice to anyone who asked me the question.
02-19-2008, 02:59 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by d.bradley Quote
The continuum is based only on overall product philosophy...just showing that Pentax is the polar opposite of Canon in terms of the way they seem to design their products. There are too many variables to plot...so yes, it's just a snapshot. KISS rule
Opposite??? Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Olympus, whatever.. are all competing in the same mainstream be-just-like-the-other-guy, behaving like a heard of sheep where no one dare to be different. Squint your eyes and you cannot tell the difference between any of them, they are so alike that you just as well can let the price decide.

There is also nothing even resembling a KISS philosophy about any of them, they are all perfect examples of the just the opposite - pure clutter. A Leica M8, that is an example of Keep It Simple Stupid. The M8 is also an example of beeing different and not just another brick in a grey wall of bordom. But that is a rangefinder, in the DSLR market there are no big choises for a customer to make toaday. People can buy a camera blindfolded, it doesent matter. Its like in soviet, like a choise between Vaz or Lada. Imagine your self blindfolded in a camera store with all the brands in front of you. You may, just may recognize the camera you are most familiar with, but you have to feel your way into very small details to tell it apart from the others.

QuoteQuote:
Each body is just a different ways of taking photos, and this range of choices in the marketplace means we can each find a camera suitable for our own styles of photography.
Get real. That is coward corporate newspeak coming out of the market departments. The differences are so small that there is allmost no piont in choosing at all. It is like the dress code for men in the corporate executive boardroom. I think it resembles a case of H.C. Andersens The Emperors new clothes, in the same way as communist leaders told its people that they had a world of choices.

Last edited by Kiss; 02-19-2008 at 03:16 AM. Reason: Spelling
02-19-2008, 06:13 AM   #11
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I pretty much agree with RiceHigh and Kiss.

I think Canon makes the best cameras and lenses. They are the market leader for reason!

I chose Pentax because they offer the best value for the price I can afford to pay. Shake reduction in camera body and compatibility with cheap manual lenses makes the difference. Unfortunately new Pentax models have nothing for me, just more useless features and more megapixels in a small sensor. They are NOT trying to keep it simple
02-19-2008, 07:12 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kiss Quote
Opposite??? ....etc...
There is also nothing even resembling a KISS philosophy about any of them, they are all perfect examples of the just the opposite - pure clutter. ...etc...
[oh geez]...Get real. That is coward corporate newspeak coming out of the market departments....
Take some deep breaths... Now also consider that d.bradley's mention of the KISS concept was pointed at his presentation of the philosophical argument he postulated, not the product(s).
02-19-2008, 07:59 AM   #13
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02-19-2008, 10:21 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote
Take some deep breaths... Now also consider that d.bradley's mention of the KISS concept was pointed at his presentation of the philosophical argument he postulated, not the product(s).
Thank you m8o, you are absolutely correct.

I'll elaborate: "Keep It Simple Stupid". In retrospect, I shouldn't have even written out my impressions of noise, resolution, etc etc....it's irrelevent.

So forget about the individual variables of lenses, resolution, noise, cost, size...bla bla bla. Individual characteristics vary and we can quantify them all we want. RH has kindly done so, but he and KISS are missing the point completely.

For some people (or in some situations), a little $100 P&S is "better" than a D3. Why? That's what the person wants. Maybe it's the money, the size, the easy of use. Maybe they like noisy images Who knows.

The point is that there is a continuum of camera makers out there with different products, philosophies and priorities. Align yourself with the one that suits you best.
02-19-2008, 10:30 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
I don't agree with your propositions which do not match my own experiences with Canon, Nikon and Pentax DSLRs.
I'm no expert...just my uninformed opinion. ymmv.

QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
All in all, I totally disagree with you that it is about different styles and design philosophy. It is just about (huge) difference in performance and accuracy. There is still a long road to run for Pentax to catch up.
Then we will have to agree to disagree. Pentax made a choice NOT to market towards sports shooters. They have money...they could have said "screw off" to samsung and spent the year developing a new AF system and used an old sensor. But they didn't, because their design/marketing philosophy is a far, far cry from that of canon.

"performance" and "accuracy" are relative terms, and this only goes to prove my point. Everyone puts value on different aspects of a camera body, for example, I use m42 lenses exclusively, so AF performance is moot. With all the variables it is virtually impossible to say that one is simply better than another.
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