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Author Topic: Your Camera Does Matter  (Read 190354 times)

mfunnell

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Your Camera Does Matter
« Reply #140 on: March 16, 2008, 12:09:48 am »

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Hi Nick

I think the Golf referred to may have been of the VW variety.

Cheers

Tim

(P.S. nice site)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181810\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Whether a VW Golf, a golf cart or a billy cart should make no difference.  Its just equipment, after all, and equipment doesn't matter.

    ...Mike
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Some digital cameras, some film cameras, some lenses & other kit.

Day-to-day photos on [span style='color:quot']flick[/span][span style='color:quot']r[/span], some of my better ones at [span style='color:quot']d[/span][span style='color:quot']A[/span].

Provokot

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« Reply #141 on: March 16, 2008, 07:33:22 am »

An Art Director's point of view:

Once again, in the argument over equipment, I find it useful to put on my Art Director's hat so I can see things from the perspective of a user of photographs rather than a maker of photographs.

If I were buying stock images, I have virtually no interest in the equipment used to take the shot; I would be looking at the suitability of the image to fit in with my visual concept and it would either suit my needs or not. Technical quality is of course an issue, but I have often seen and have often used images because of their fit on a conceptual level and then done my best with Photoshop to improve the technical quality.

If I was commissioning work, I'd first be looking for a photographer whose work seems to match the style I'm looking for - and still not have much interest in his gear, other than perhaps the final print size that can be achieved. I would however, naturally expect him to be shooting with top notch gear; I want to know I'm using a professional who's continually investing in his business and more importantly on delivering top quality.

And just one other point:  I have seen many a good photograph, doubtless shot on good gear by a good photographer, butchered by a junior art director with ham-fisted Photoshop skills.
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Quentin

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« Reply #142 on: March 16, 2008, 08:20:47 am »

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So I take it that you've now dumped all your other gear and just use these two, as they are obviously all thats needed.

Quentin - What's that thing you're leaning on, just a prop?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181731\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No, I'm the mediocre photographer I mentioned earlier trying to compensate with bigger and better equipment  

Quentin

PS actually I am getting a tad frustrated with all the choices and I am trying to get back to basics.  With so much new gear around, its too easy to think you need that new piece of kit when you probably already have too much already.  Ever been out in the field with several different cameras and could not decide what to use?  I have.  I work better with less.  I'm probably happiest with the 8x10 and one lens and Provia 100 bit its a hassle to us and I use the Mamiya ZD more often than not.  The trouble starts when I go out with a shedload of gubbins in the boot (trunk) of my car.

Q.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 08:29:01 am by Quentin »
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DiaAzul

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« Reply #143 on: March 16, 2008, 09:30:50 am »

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The trouble starts when I go out with a shedload of gubbins in the boot (trunk) of my car.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181874\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's your problem Quentin. You want to get rid of the gubbins and replace them with a boatload of thingummies and whatsits.  
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/

BlasR

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« Reply #144 on: March 16, 2008, 10:31:21 am »

KR, say any car will take you to the same place,.

Watch the video, and see if that is the true.  

Maybe my sienna will do the same

PSS, your 3 mpix, was jpg ,

Are you still using it?

hey it's not different before and now, why change

it's so much different between 1ds and p45+




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBZ35KAsURE

BlasR
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BlasR
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JohnKoerner

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« Reply #145 on: March 16, 2008, 01:01:36 pm »

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Of course the camera matters. How much depends of the shooting situation. If you're shooting in bright sunlight, a digicam may produce results nearly indistinguishable from a 1D-III when both are printed 8x10 inches. But if you're shooting action in a dimly-lit gymnasium, the choice of camera can make the difference between good quality captures and noisy, unusable crap, no matter who is behind the camera. High-end, expensive cameras don't sell just because photographers have an incurable mine-is-bigger-than-yours complex (although that does factor into some camera sales), but because in many situations they offer capabilities that make a measurable difference in the quality of the final result. These may be improvements in image quality, autofocus speed and accuracy, handling, or ergonomics or "feel". In some cases these differences may be insignificant to the average person, but if those differences are significant to a paying client, then they may very well justify spending the additional money for the more sophisticated camera.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181296\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]




This is of course exactly true. All any idiot has to do to see this is to just take the matter to the extreme.

Just try to take an award-winning macrophotograph with a disposable camera to see if the camera quality "matters" or not as to the quality of an ultimate end photograph.

Here is a similar analogy: I may have never driven in a professional auto race in my life, but I promise you (as a complete novice to auto racing) I would blow the doors off of any pro race car driver ... if I were sitting in a Ferrari and he were sitting in a Toyota Corolla. All of the skill, training, and experience the pro may have would be useless to him against me, simply because I was sitting in the better, faster machine.

And this same truth applies to photography. If I take a Nikon D3 and go to a rainforest, and some great pro photographer takes a disposable camera with him to that same rainforest, I promise you I will come back with the better portfolio, not because of my skill (or his lack), but because I brought the better machine with me.

It is only when you start narrowing the disparity in machines that the difference in photographic prowess emerges between individual photographers.

Give a great photographer an average contemporary setup and he will still likely outshine a novice with a great setup ... for most applications anyway.

Jack
« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 01:05:36 pm by JohnKoerner »
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adias

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« Reply #146 on: March 16, 2008, 01:53:34 pm »

Of course the equipment matters, but within reason. Give less-than-perfect equipment to a good photographer and he will always have better results than a bad photographer.

BTW... the "What the Duck" cartoon makes the point that the photographer matters not the equipment... what was the point of referencing it? Counterpoint?
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michael

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« Reply #147 on: March 16, 2008, 02:54:28 pm »

In my What's New mention of adding the cartoon I called it a "rejoinder", or in other words a counterpoint as you seem to have guessed.

My purpose in putting it there was to reinforce, since some people have chosen to interpret otherwise, that it's both the equipment AND the photographer that are important. I can't believe that anyone seriously thinks otherwise.

Michael
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Satch

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« Reply #148 on: March 16, 2008, 03:19:10 pm »

According to his PHOTO.NET bio, Ken's day job is "in TV".  I'll bet he is (or was) a steady-cam operator, which would make sense given his views on jpeg, tripods, etc.

Also, couldn't find one mention in Google search of any published photos, works in "public collections", etc.
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dkekesi

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« Reply #149 on: March 16, 2008, 04:15:17 pm »

I do not try to be wise here I just want to share my opinion.
I read both LL and KR.com regularly. One aspect of these sites was not discussed here at all. I think they're both aimed towards a different audience. While KR writes for the occasional or amateur hobbyist MR targets the full-blown professionals. Take a look at the websites: KR.com is full of ads for promoting to buy equipment cheap, while LL is advertising its own top-end workshops and travel activities (knowledge and experience not easily obtained elsewhere). Also look at the topics covered. At KR these are for the casual amateur (not in a pejorative meaning) discussing common lens/cameras from a hardware point of view and leaving alone color spaces/RAW conversion while boosting saturation from the technique point of view. MR OTOH is mostly focusing on top gear (KR never wrote a decent article about MF digital systems, but it does not make him incompetent) and techniques required for exhibition grade results. These things clearly differentiate the two web sites!
Now let's get back to the original question: who is right? MR or KR? I'd say for the TARGET AUDIENCE both are correct. For an amateur the expected result is rarely publishable grade, let alone suitable for an exhibition. And why should the local sunset or Uncle Bob's hair be shot with $$$$$ gear when the results will be mediocre at best regarding composition, subject matter, use of light, etc. For these people KR's advice is the best I could give myself: learn the basics first and invest later when you reached the limits of your gear you have for your task. These shooters will get better off with KR's advice than with MR's.
But there are the professionals required to deliver photos and artists who seek ultimate image quality. They (hopefully) know and use the basics in their photography and the only limitation for them are posed by their gear. They will of course benefit from high end equipment.
These two are different groups people (there might be some overlapping, but I think I could draw a pretty solid line between them) addressed by two different web sites.
Finally the statement of KR "Your equipment does not matter" is just a provoking and catchy headline like found in all newspapers. No need to get hung up on semantics here. In the article KR clearly describes that camera matters, but to a certain degree only above a certain level.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 04:15:47 pm by dkekesi »
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Shutter

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« Reply #150 on: March 16, 2008, 04:29:43 pm »

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My purpose in putting it there was to reinforce, since some people have chosen to interpret otherwise, that it's both the equipment AND the photographer that are important. I can't believe that anyone seriously thinks otherwise.

Michael
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181926\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I agree with you, the camera does matter - but in my opinion things like resolution, autofocus, frames per second etc don't have a lot to do with it. It's the feeling that matters, the camera has to feel "right" in your hands. Otherwise you won't be able to enjoy shooting with it, no matter how great the camera is - and if you don't enjoy shooting with it you will be able to take al least technically perfect pictures but you won't be able to take great pictures.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, that the best camera for you is the one you like working with and not automatically the one with the better resolution/autofocus/whatever.


Christoph
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Satch

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« Reply #151 on: March 16, 2008, 04:38:26 pm »

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I do not try to be wise here I just want to share my opinion.
I read both LL and KR.com regularly. One aspect of these sites was not discussed here at all. I think they're both aimed towards a different audience. While KR writes for the occasional or amateur hobbyist MR targets the full-blown professionals. Take a look at the websites: KR.com is full of ads for promoting to buy equipment cheap, while LL is advertising its own top-end workshops and travel activities (knowledge and experience not easily obtained elsewhere). Also look at the topics covered. At KR these are for the casual amateur (not in a pejorative meaning) discussing common lens/cameras from a hardware point of view and leaving alone color spaces/RAW conversion while boosting saturation from the technique point of view. MR OTOH is mostly focusing on top gear (KR never wrote a decent article about MF digital systems, but it does not make him incompetent) and techniques required for exhibition grade results. These things clearly differentiate the two web sites!
Now let's get back to the original question: who is right? MR or KR? I'd say for the TARGET AUDIENCE both are correct. For an amateur the expected result is rarely publishable grade, let alone suitable for an exhibition. And why should the local sunset or Uncle Bob's hair be shot with $$$$$ gear when the results will be mediocre at best regarding composition, subject matter, use of light, etc. For these people KR's advice is the best I could give myself: learn the basics first and invest later when you reached the limits of your gear you have for your task. These shooters will get better off with KR's advice than with MR's.
But there are the professionals required to deliver photos and artists who seek ultimate image quality. They (hopefully) know and use the basics in their photography and the only limitation for them are posed by their gear. They will of course benefit from high end equipment.
These two are different groups people (there might be some overlapping, but I think I could draw a pretty solid line between them) addressed by two different web sites.
Finally the statement of KR "Your equipment does not matter" is just a provoking and catchy headline like found in all newspapers. No need to get hung up on semantics here. In the article KR clearly describes that camera matters, but to a certain degree only above a certain level.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181941\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You know, you might be right.  But that's not how Rockwell presents himself.  If he'd just say, "Ok I'm not a pro, and people don't pay me for my work, but here's my opinion, anyway..." then maybe people wouldn't hate the guy so much.

It's because he's so obviously trying to bullshit people into believing that he's some kind of "published" artist that people think he's a jackass.
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jashley

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« Reply #152 on: March 16, 2008, 05:05:44 pm »

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You know, you might be right.  But that's not how Rockwell presents himself.  If he'd just say, "Ok I'm not a pro, and people don't pay me for my work, but here's my opinion, anyway..." then maybe people wouldn't hate the guy so much.

It's because he's so obviously trying to bullshit people into believing that he's some kind of "published" artist that people think he's a jackass.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181947\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yeah, but as soon as he comes clean his "career" is over.  His reputation amongst his fans is based on the belief that he must be a "pro".
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Rob C

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« Reply #153 on: March 16, 2008, 06:07:50 pm »

Pss

As pros, current and past, we should know better than getting into these circular arguments where each poster says the same thing for whichever side, but tries his damndest to make it sound original.

It is part of the Last Word syndrome - wives sometimes have it to excess...

Ciao - Rob C

Nick Rains

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« Reply #154 on: March 16, 2008, 06:27:04 pm »

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Pss

As pros, current and past, we should know better than getting into these circular arguments where each poster says the same thing for whichever side, but tries his damndest to make it sound original.

It is part of the Last Word syndrome - wives sometimes have it to excess...

Ciao - Rob C
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181960\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

LOL, so true.

Rob, your pithy comments always make my day.  
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barryfitzgerald

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« Reply #155 on: March 16, 2008, 07:09:43 pm »

Nothing wrong with Michael's article..it states the obvious (and so does Ken's)
Both take somewhat extreme viewpoints, probably to highlight the message.
But this is the line I have a problem with..

"One of the hoariest of the hoary cliches is that a good photographer can take a good photograph with just about any camera. Horseshit."

Now if he wanted to say a el cheapo digicamera (or any other one come to that) gives awful print quality, and thus is no good to anyone, that is one thing. A good photograph, subjective at best..is one which works. We aint talking about "fine art super quality" we are talking about does this photo work.
Not a single person on this thread is dumb enough to suggest you can do everything with a pinhole, or that you dont need some equipment to do some work. Are we so stupid as to need an article telling us this? I can take a portrait with a kodak throwaway, sure I wont get the shallow DOF with an SLR and a prime, I wont get the enlargement I could with the SLR..so what?

Most of the American Civil War shots are not so great on quality, does this make them any less good? If someone points their webcam out of the window, takes a nice composition, but its unprintable or just plain looks tat. That is still a good photograph, that is bad quality. It can still be good.

If Richard Avedon were still around, and you gave him some iffy casio to shoot with, he will have more limited options, and restrictions on what he does, but you would get good photographs. The most important element is the photographer, NOT the equipment. The camera can help or hinder, but that is all.

What I find amazing is how some still think, that image/print quality defines a "good photograph" The equipment is not so important..a lot less important than we are told.


Another quote "a doctor can't do surgery without a finely honed scalpel"

WRONG!

No doctor would pick to do surgery with a pen knife, but if they have to..they can..

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html...9669D946197D6CF
« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 07:20:15 pm by barryfitzgerald »
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sojournerphoto

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« Reply #156 on: March 16, 2008, 07:33:04 pm »

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Here is a similar analogy: I may have never driven in a professional auto race in my life, but I promise you (as a complete novice to auto racing) I would blow the doors off of any pro race car driver ... if I were sitting in a Ferrari and he were sitting in a Toyota Corolla. All of the skill, training, and experience the pro may have would be useless to him against me, simply because I was sitting in the better, faster machine.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181908\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sorry, but without wishing to cast any doubt on your driving ability you are probably mistaken here:)
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dkekesi

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« Reply #157 on: March 16, 2008, 07:44:26 pm »

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You know, you might be right.  But that's not how Rockwell presents himself.  If he'd just say, "Ok I'm not a pro, and people don't pay me for my work, but here's my opinion, anyway..." then maybe people wouldn't hate the guy so much.

It's because he's so obviously trying to bullshit people into believing that he's some kind of "published" artist that people think he's a jackass.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181947\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
So if we say both MR and KR are right for the TARGET AUDIENCE then why are we arguing? Who cares how they present the message? MR has undeniable expertise and that's what is needed for HIS audience to get the message. KR acts as a pro (well, if we stick to the definition of pro being "someone who gets his/her income from photography" then he is a pro), because he found down the road that is required for HIS audience to get the idea (BTW I can't remember KR saying or implying to be a published artist, so I would not call him a liar in this matter). IMHO it's just marketing and it's his way of communication (which he also mentions on his website). The communication which both KR and MR both do pretty well, although in a different style. Now we all know that KR style marketing does not work with high-end photographers, but I also doubt that MR's moderate and purely professional way would impress any amateur. I think it's that simple. Low-end masses were always served differently than the top because they have different needs - take any aspect of life.
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pss

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« Reply #158 on: March 16, 2008, 08:43:33 pm »

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Pss

As pros, current and past, we should know better than getting into these circular arguments where each poster says the same thing for whichever side, but tries his damndest to make it sound original.

It is part of the Last Word syndrome - wives sometimes have it to excess...

Ciao - Rob C
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181960\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

you are so right...i always fall into the trap...one of the reasons i try to stay away from this forum...
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Jonathan Wienke

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« Reply #159 on: March 16, 2008, 09:20:59 pm »

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So if we say both MR and KR are right for the TARGET AUDIENCE then why are we arguing? Who cares how they present the message?

Because Rockwell's often-repeated categorical denial that the selection of camera has any impact on the end result is demonstrably false, and does not serve the best interest of any audience, whether rank amateur, seasoned pro, or anyone in between. Gear does matter. It may not matter as much as the talent and skill of the person using it, it matters more in some situations than others, and the difference between one brand versus another is often overstated, but that does NOT mean that the choice of equipment is irrelevant. Repeating an obviously false statement over and over so is not helpful or educational for anyone.

Reichmann at least pointed out that both the gear and the user play important roles in the process, thereby bringing some balance to the discussion, while Rockwell did not.
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