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03-16-2014, 08:55 PM   #1
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The Best DSLR for Everybody

Without wanting to make any assumptions about individuals, I have been pondering what aspects of a camera may be more likely to appeal to different photographers. It can't all just come down to price alone - manufacturers must surely consider different types of user in desiging their range and deciding what to include or not on each model.

The K7 for me is my first DSLR - but I had a few years experience with a much simpler film SLR (another brand), which was very much in the 'consumer / budget' category. Operationally it offered less user control, very little customisation or options for things like metering, bracketing, film transport speeds and autofocus. And it was very reasonably priced.

Why did I choose it? Maybe for the same reasons that many 'newbies' might choose similar types - I was not aware specifically about many of the advanced features it lacked, or what I might use them for, and I was not inclined to fork out a huge amount for a new hobby when I didn't know the extent to which I would get involved with.

The K7 was a huge step up from this earlier camera in its operational sophistications. But this time I immediately appreciated the high value of what it offered to me, because the basic knowledge was there and I was aware of what help the extra options could be to my picture taking. I didn't know that the first time around, and as the hobby had become ingrained and more important in my life I was prepared to spend more money and look at it as a longer-term investment in a whole system.

So that explains the price aspect .... I still think though this is not always the prime deciding factor, as surely manufacturers must realise now. Here's a little scene that I've been imagining ... for your entertainment if you'll stay with me ....



(Man enters quality camera shop. Shop assistant comes over.)

Ass : 'Hello Sir, can I offer you any help?'

Man : 'Ok Yes, I'm looking for a camera. My friend who's a photographer says I should try and get a DS...D ..'

Ass : ' A DSLR Sir? That would be a great choice, and we have a good range here'. What would be your price limitation?'

Man : 'Well, ah, I struck it a bit lucky a few months ago, so now I always just try and get the best money can buy. What would you recommend?'

Ass : (Looks very happy) 'No problem, we have a top of the line camera, its called a K3' (Gets a K3 out)

Man : 'That looks great. What can you tell about it?'

Ass : 'Well, its packed with the latest technology and it has some very advanced features - the most notable new one is the addition of a high pass filter simulator thats works with the sensor shake system'

Man : (Looks concerned) 'Ah, thats sounds good - how would I use that?'

Ass : 'It works in place of a traditional aa filter over the sensor to eliminate moire effects on some types of subject - you can switch it on when needed ... with other cameras you don't need to do that, its automatic.'

Man : 'Well, OK, I don't know much about that sort of thing ... um, what about that automatic camera you mentioned? - whats the best one like that?'

Ass : 'That would be this one' ... (he gets out a K5II)

Man : 'That looks very nice as well' (looks happy - fiddles with the mode dial) .. 'how do these controls work?'

Ass : 'that sets the shooting mode - you've got green square, thats basic, or P with more control, or you use Av, Tv or Tav ... or Sv depending on what you're shooting.'

Man : 'So, what if I wanted to shoot some hockey'?

Ass : (Fiddles with dial) ..'Then I'd set Tv, then you can get a fast speed for the action ... actually, there's lots of different ways you could do it.'

Man : (Looks a bit worried) 'I was looking at those ones over there and they seemed to have a some pictures on the dial - one looked like a runner - would that work for Hockey?'

Ass : 'Yes Sir, thats a sports mode'

Man : 'Well, I would probably use a lot of that - whats the best camera with sports mode?'

Ass : 'This may be what you saw ..' (gets out a K50)

Man : 'Great - it looks OK, I mean that's not the main thing is it, the main thing is it does just what I need?' (laughs - then tries a few shots) ... 'What are those little red squares lighting up all the time - seem to be jumping all around?'

Ass : 'Thats the focus point indicators Sir - they show you where the picture is in focus - you can control that from the menu here ... (presses lots of buttons and fiddles with the menus) .. 'this would help you get the precise point of focus for where you expect the action to be' ...(trys a few shots but can't really get what he want's in focus)

Man : (looks dissapointed) 'I did find it a bit distracting - what if I didn't want to bother with all that and just had things in the middle?'

Ass : 'Well Sir, you can set centre focus point and de-activate the indicators - we'd have to check the manual to see about doing that ....

Man : (looks distracted now) 'Um, oh well, I'm not sure now - let me have a think ...'

Ass : (looks panicked) 'Um, tell you what, you could get one that doesn't have all those lights ...'

Man : 'OK (looks happier) whats the best camera without all those lights flashing?'

Ass : (Produces a K500) 'Its got the pictures on the dial, and no lights where you look through ... takes great shots!'

Man : (Looks relieved) 'Thats great, perfect, I'll take it - I know I'm getting the best camera now!'

Ass : 'I think that's absolutely the best camera now Sir!'

Man : 'Great ... now, show me the best lens to put on it!'

03-17-2014, 02:22 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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Things used to be so much easier once upon a time.

Assistant: Yes sir, this is the new Pentax K1000. You set this ASA dial here to match the film youíre using and leave it there. Turn this shutter speed dial to 500 or 1000 if you need to capture action, set 125 or 250 for general outdoor use, and go for perhaps 60 or 30 in low light depending on how steady your hands are. Then turn this aperture ring on the lens so that the exposure meter needle in the viewfinder is in the middle of the scale. Youíll learn more about the relationship between aperture and shutter speed and things like depth of field as you gain experience. Now turn this focusing ring on the front of the lens so that the image is clear in the viewfinder. . . and take the photo.

Man: Thatís great, Iíll take it. Why would anyone ever want anything more complicated than that?
03-17-2014, 03:56 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
Why would anyone ever want anything more complicated than that?
More knobs, dials and buttons, it's every man's dream - complexity sells.

Or to put it another way; 'One upmanship'
03-17-2014, 08:19 AM   #4
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Great scenario. The hard part with imagining those for me has been the following.

1. Finding an actual store that carries Pentax
2. Finding an actual store that wouldn't drag me over to the Canon/Nikon/Sony area.

03-17-2014, 08:22 AM   #5
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Why do sales people always have to be an A**?
03-17-2014, 09:34 AM   #6
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I always try to let people know the more sophisticated the tool is, the more they'll have to work. Even automatic devices require more work on the part of the user. The more you learn, the more you can do - these are extraordinarily powerful tools, these DSLRs.

But that conversation is exactly why there are multiple models with what is essentially similar hardware.

"Why do the most expensive cameras make you do all the work?"

"The people who buy them don't want the cameras making all the decisions."
03-17-2014, 09:50 AM   #7
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I just want M / Av / Tv / B modes ... everything else can be shoved... including those useless fancy "artistic filters"

Last edited by mrNewt; 03-17-2014 at 10:16 AM.
03-17-2014, 09:57 AM   #8
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I mostly live in TAv mode, but use Av, M, and need to work on bulb mode for specific requirements. Within that, though, I do use some various options. The beauty is these cameras are flexible enough to encompass a wide variety of shooting styles and requirements.

03-17-2014, 10:15 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
I mostly live in TAv mode, but use Av, M, and need to work on bulb mode for specific requirements. Within that, though, I do use some various options. The beauty is these cameras are flexible enough to encompass a wide variety of shooting styles and requirements.
Bulb mode... yes... I knew I forgot something important that I don't use much...
03-17-2014, 10:51 AM   #10
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Imho: photographers tend to wax nostalgically about their first simple slr. Especially if it was a k1000! Most noobs will go out and buy a canikon because it has the most bells and whistles or Ashton Kutcher told them to! And then they will go home and never get past auto! Personally I think the K50/500 is a winner as is, but the funny thing is the 50 is out selling the 500 by a good margin. that tells me the K500's target group doesn't realize it exists! There is the real problem, not a need for a super simple camera!
03-17-2014, 11:22 AM   #11
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LOL!

Let's not even talk about Soccer Moms. I had a family member complain that the camera I suggested she get (to shoot outdoor sports) was not "big enough". Seriously. Like physically it just wasn't impressive looking enough for her.
03-17-2014, 11:32 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DRabbit Quote
Like physically it just wasn't impressive looking enough for her.
Show her this:

That ought to get her fired up!!
03-17-2014, 11:35 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joel B Quote
Show her this:

That ought to get her fired up!!
You know how hard the panties will drop!?
03-17-2014, 11:41 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrNewt Quote
You know how hard the panties will drop!?
You know how soccer moms love BIG lenses!!
03-17-2014, 11:50 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joel B Quote
Show her this:

That ought to get her fired up!!
LOL!

Of course, it's all funny until they start asking "if I use the same camera as you will I get photos just as good"?
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