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The Camera You Use Doesn’t Matter

Discussion in 'General X Camera Forum' started by CWRailman, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. jknights

    jknights Moderator Staff Member

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    Got to say that as a techie geek that I love new technology. That said, I am just awaiting my Nikon D850 but to me this is overkill except for the fact that I can get the best support VLSI firmware (EXPEED5) plus the ability to have images at 12/24/45MP. So my D850 will not be a 45MP monster!
    For me 24MP is perfect for 90% of my shooting.
    Fuji provide me with 24MP hence my reluctance to move to GFX 50MP, plus I have all the Nikon lenses I need from 12mm-1000mm.
     
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  2. johndizzo15

    johndizzo15 Premium Member

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    That's how I felt about both the GFX and A7R2. For the few weeks I had the GFX, I realized that it wasn't exactly what I wanted or needed as far as resolution goes. Sure, it was nice to have the res, but the bump in IQ wasn't enough for me as a tradeoff when I had to make concessions in the usability department for the way that I shoot. That is the same reason I eventually moved from the r2 to the A9. The files looked great, but 24mp is definitely the sweet spot for most of what I do and I'd rather exchange the added resolution for a significant bump in shooting experience. Then take into account the lens options and the choice was easy for me. Now I have two very nimble and enjoyable rigs to shoot in the xp2 and a9.

    This is a perfect example of the thought process that I personally go through when acquiring new gear and/or offloading other gear. I tinker, I test, I explore and figure out what I like most. All the while, the process is one that I am gaining enjoyment from. At no point though, am I operating under the assumption that I am somehow better at photography as a result of that process. Although I will say that having this much experience with a variety of rigs has gotten me to a point where I can basically pick up anyone's camera and be ready to rock after playing for a little while. Quite the contrary to the belief that we should be spending years growing attached to one particular body in order to achieve a mastery and connection with it.

    Oh. And I forgot to mention that I am still pumping out cherished images during this processing of equipment. So the point of photography itself has not been lost on me.
     
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  3. boulevardier

    boulevardier Premium Member

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    Most well known non-commercial photographers are associated with a certain look and camera, or at least a camera format. Pros are a different matter, clients have individual demands and personal style is often less important than giving the art director what he wants. Ansel Adams most notable work was done on a large format camera with movements, Salgado with a Leica and Tri-X.

    There are photographers who switch cameras with almost every project, Nobuyoshi Araki and Stephen Gill for instance, but they tend to be fine art photographers aiming at the gallery/book market. I still say most creative photographers' problem isn't their camera.
     
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  4. johndizzo15

    johndizzo15 Premium Member

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    True. But that statement is still based on the assumption that said creative photographers believe there is a gear-related "problem" (especially one that needs to be solved with new equipment) that is hindering their ability to make the images they want.

    Truth is, all creative photographers have a laundry list of shortcomings and skill areas they could improve on. But that isn't synonymous with the general consumer who chooses to acquire new equipment regularly.
     
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  5. boulevardier

    boulevardier Premium Member

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    Absolutely, and long may they consume. It means people like me who are happy with the last big thing can pick up their leftovers for a song!
     
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  6. Mischa

    Mischa Vintage lover

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    I'll drink to that, since I got my D810 for 1 grand less than the new price :D
    Okay, spent that grand on a 58/1.4 and the 85/1.8, both used but still in great condition with some warranty left :D
     
  7. johndizzo15

    johndizzo15 Premium Member

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    Great job on the savings.

    You must think you are a much better photographer now with the newer body and lens acquisitions. LOL :p
     
  8. Mischa

    Mischa Vintage lover

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    I don't, actually, because the Nikon layout is completely different from Canons. :p I currently have a hard time getting used to the controls and their placement :D


    But, that 58mm is a-m-a-zing!
     
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  9. Finder

    Finder Active Member

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    Who said there is a problem? It can actually be a solution.

    Both commercial and non-commercial photographers can have well defined or ambiguous styles. Certainly there are commercial photographers that are in demand because of their style.

    The fact of the matter still remains, these photographers and others have changed their equipment and that change impacted their work. Salgado's Genesis project was shot on medium format and you can see the change on his style. Ansel Adams medium format work also impacted his style. Changes in the photographic the process are not neutral. What people associate with particular photographers is irrelevant--Robert Frank is mostly recognized by one small project he did early in his career, but that is not indicative of most of the work he produced. Actually, I can think of a large number of photographers that changed cameras and formats through their career.

    I guess the conversation can be broken down into two ideas: 1) photography is an open system where there are many variables that can impact the creative process, 2) photography is a prescriptive process where a limit number of variables are significant. I think the evidence points to the former, even though cases of the latter exist.
     
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  10. Angus

    Angus Premium Member

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    Really?
    There's nothing out there for a song, unless it's damaged or useless
     
  11. boulevardier

    boulevardier Premium Member

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    Bearing in mind we're talking about creative photography as a form of expression, not photography to pay the bills, the question is whether repeatedly swapping camera systems in the way people on forums claim to, makes the photographer better. I don't think there's any evidence that it does. The people you mentioned certainly changed formats, and I took that into account before I last posted, but their main body of work is associated with a particular format, and often an individual camera and lens.

    There's nothing morally dubious about swapping cameras, for most people they're a consumer item they update like their phone and barely give it a second thought. My point is their output is most unlikely to improve creatively because they bought a new camera. Obviously you can challenge the opinion with extremes, if someone's existing camera is a first generation autofocus film SLR with a zoom lens, and they bought a Nikon D850, they'd probably see benefits so long as they were happy to put in the hours learning its operation and use of editing software. We're talking about amateurs camera chopping, 12mp for 16mp, 16mp for 24mp, the kind of technological churn camera sales are based on. I'm not seeing aesthetic improvements from the stuff posted on public sites.
     
  12. boulevardier

    boulevardier Premium Member

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    Well I bought a Fuji refurbed X-Pro1 a few years ago that looked brand new. If it had been previously used it must have been with cotton gloves, I've bought new cameras with more scuffs. It cost £250 with full warranty. The original price was well over £1000. When I acquired it the X-Pro2 wasn't even on the radar but I saved 80% by someone else's caprice.

    See how many full frame Nikons come onto the market now the D850 has been announced, and what the sold price on eBay is. Did the last model become a bad camera because the cutting edge moved a notch? Did the pictures an X-Pro takes become bad overnight? Most of the time the only difference is in stats, billboard size prints, and six figure ISO speeds.
     
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  13. Viewfinder

    Viewfinder Well-Known Member

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    Especially when I look at the reviews! Today they are raving and praising the outstanding, most impressing top-notch IQ of a camera which tomorrow becomes rather mediocre as there is a new model which "outperforms the old junk". OMG
     
  14. GregWard

    GregWard Premium Member

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    Again I find myself almost entirely agreeing. There are just a few (but in my opinion really very few) instances where a new camera might have some extra capability that helped unlock some creativity that was previously difficult, or maybe even not possible. As a slightly specious example (!) the Nikon D4S seems to have added the ability to take Portraits by the light of a single candle. Whilst this isn't big on my list of creative ideas - I could see it might help somebody. Other examples could be substantially improved AF Tracking (available on current top-end DSLR's vs, for example, several versions older) and maybe Olympus Pro Capture mode?

    That said - I do realise I'm splitting hairs here. The vast majority of upgrades that people make do not, I fully accept, fit into this category. Nor - for amateurs at least, are they likely to be due to genuine wear and tear. Personally I still have nothing against people upgrading without either justification - it's a free world. But I think most of us are agreeing that only the first two justifications are going to genuinely help take better photos. So the only real issue is other people who buy expecting something "magical" to occur. Even then we all also accept that some cameras simply inspire us more than others. I can only partially explain why my (now quite elderly) S5 Pro takes very different images - but it does - and I like the look. Ditto with even less of an explanation why my X100 original is so different. But it is.
     
  15. GregWard

    GregWard Premium Member

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    Actually I think there's a very good chance it WAS brand new. My understanding is that retail returns (which could have simply sat on a shelf) cannot be sold as new in the UK. So "refurb" could mean "been out of our hands - never even opened - and nowt wrong with it". Obviously it could also have been bought and returned in cooling off period, or a store demo unit, etc as well though.
     
  16. Angus

    Angus Premium Member

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    Okay, I see where you're coming from.
    I was thinking of Fuji lenses, most of the xf primes are catching nearly new prices on eBay, I've even sold an 18-135 for more than I bought it for.
     
  17. boulevardier

    boulevardier Premium Member

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    I quite agree. People buy stuff because they're compulsive, or rich, or miserable, or because it's payday, or because they spend too much time looking at barely concealed advertisements that pass for reviews on the internet. Good for them. I'm happy to take the camera off their hands when it doesn't change their life overnight. If people are any of those things, or if they're professionals who can write their purchase off against tax, why not?

    On the other hand no one should be discouraged if they want to use photography as a means of expression, and don't have money to throw at it. There's always a workaround and you can't buy creativity on a debit card!
     
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  18. johndizzo15

    johndizzo15 Premium Member

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    As stated earlier, there consistently appears to be a negative undertone attached to posts by those who are self-proclaimed to be more enlightened with regard to gear acquisition.

    Upon reading the post above, it doesn't come off as a statement of general respect for other's life/buying decisions and habits which is where the problem lies in these conversations.

    Personally, if something newly announced piques my interest, I preorder it. If it is already out, I look for a used copy from a major vendor or I buy through a service like Greentoe when feasible. This process, for me, does not involve being compulsive, being rich, being miserable, having a payday, or exhaustively going over reviews. I see something, it appears to be interesting, I buy it. If it doesn't work out, I return it or sell it. At no point though, am I expecting any of these things to "change my life overnight." I am also not feeling any angst over the decision to pull the trigger.

    I'm fortunate enough to be in a life scenario that allows me to make these decisions and be comfortable with whatever happens subsequent to them. Simultaneously, I have actively honed my photographic abilities throughout all of this as I am certain I shoot as much as anyone I know if not more (since I have rigs with me all day, every day). Those of you that have seen my images/posts over the last few years can decide for yourselves whether I am someone who is only interested in gear fiddling or if I just have a love for multiple facets of the craft.

    Ultimately, it will help us all sleep better at night if we just accept the fact that there is a very real reason why the phrase "to each his own" is a thing.
     
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  19. liggy

    liggy GASaholic Camera Fondler

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    Maybe it's time to change my forum membership title to:

    "Compulsive, Rich, Miserable and Just Got Paid!" :D
     
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  20. Greybeard Photography

    Greybeard Photography Member

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    And then there are those who are compulsive, miserable and cheap
     

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