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johnkay

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Quality vs Value
« Reply #40 on: February 02, 2009, 07:54:57 am »

I am eagerly looking forward to the next of Michael's articles, which are making a realistic and practical comparison of these three bodies.

Remember that camera of it's time, the Kodak 14N  (which Kodak informed us was not a Nikon body but a completely new design?) but accepted
all our Nikon legacy lenses. I cannot help feeling that if- hypothetically- Sony were now suddenly able to produce a 900N there would be many
defectors from Nikon bodies.

If Nikon cannot produce a stripped down 700x at a price fairly near to that of the Sony and Canon soon, many may reluctantly decide to switch
their lens collection, and the boat will have been missed.

John Kay
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JohnBrew

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« Reply #41 on: February 02, 2009, 08:13:55 am »

Quote from: 250swb
Yet sitting in a fox hole in Vietnam I'm sure many photographers felt the value of their Leica M3 was reliability and compactness, rather than as a pretentious status symbol. And I'm sure the soldiers around him didn't give a cuss about whether it was a Pentax or a Leica either. I doubt Cartier Bresson felt he was using a status symbol, but thought it was the best and most valuable tool to do his job. I could go on with examples. Consigning an M3 as a pretentious status symbol is a severe case of knowing the price of everything but the value of nothing ;-)

Steve

Correct! I use my M3 almost every day.

Dan Wells

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« Reply #42 on: February 02, 2009, 10:58:15 am »

Even though I raise (or support Bernard on) one quibble with Michael on the value status of the D3x, a camera that never ceases to amaze me in the thousand-plus high detail landscapes I have shot with it, I agree wholeheartedly with his fundamental point that image quality has gotten so good that camera manufacturers will have a much harder time selling us upgrades. The D3x actually supports that point, by replacing (much more expensive) low-end medium format for many applications. Every previous DSLR I have owned, I have had some issue with image quality - something (usually dynamic range) I wished was better. The D3x is good enough for me - I'll shoot this camera until the day the shutter dies. For photographers who don't print as big as 24x36, the "good enough" point is reached somewhere below the D3x, while exotic applications may demand yet more, while the basic point remains - "good enough" cameras are available now, where they weren't for a lot of purposes five years ago. A photographer who is lucky enough to shoot their own personal good enough camera can concentrate on learning their tool really well, on developing the relationship with their tool that Ansel had with his 8x10, or Henri Cartier-Bresson had with his Leica - knowing how their camera will "draw" (to use Sean Reid's term) each image. A few years ago, the question was was "how will each new generation of camera impact what I do" - now, for photographers whose work is well-matched to their camera, the question has become "how can I make this image with the tool I have chosen". An exciting day for photographers (although a sad one for camera company accountants). Hint to camera companies - photographers always want lenses, even when cameras are evolving more slowly!
     We've reached a point where cameras HAVE become "good enough" for most purposes - the only difference I have with Michael is that I'd include the D3x as a part of that trend, rather than singling it out as an outlier away from the trend. The D3x offers the very best image quality available from small-format in a rugged body, without spending three times as much on medium format. Witness Phase's recent "who's afraid of the D3x" (my title, not theirs) promotion in which they give away FIVE lenses with purchase of a P45+. The D3x will make very, very good 24x36 inch prints - I'm still learning how, but my initial attempts are nothing to sneeze at, even as I learn the optimum sharpening and other adjustments for my combination of camera and printer (iPF6100). The dynamic range is just amazing (11 stops or so with texture, 9 with real detail - one stop on each end added to what the Zone System was designed for (Zone 0 is a textured black, not maximum black, and Zone X isn't paper white, but a textured white - real detail extends from Zone I to IX on the D3x) and the resolution is stunningly sharp. I will not claim that it can equal a P65+, because it can't, but comparisons against lower-end medium format digital are VERY close. It has added new print sizes to what I can do, up to 24x36. I don't know the Alpha well at all, but big prints I've seen from it are not D3x level (they're very good, but the D3x is substantially better).
       When we can print 24x36 from carefully selected and used small format, where does that leave the state of photography today? We have access to an amazing range of cameras for every budget and need, and many of them are VERY reasonably priced. For hobbyist use and 8x10 printing, there are at least six manufacturers (Nikon, Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus and Pentax) making great SLRs, any of which will deliver a superb 8x10 print. In this category, the camera I'm really looking forward to seeing is the little Micro 4/3 interchangeable lens "rangefinder" that Olympus has been showing under glass. The thing is the size of a G10 if not smaller, yet has an (arguably) SLR-size sensor in it and interchangeable Zuiko lenses. Oskar Barnack would have loved it, with its strong dose of Leica spirit. Some of the SLRs are under $400, and few if any in this category exceed $700.
     In the advanced hobbyist/13x19 print category, there are 12 mp range DSLRs galore, many of them under $1000. You can get fully professional autofocus at the top of this category (from Nikon in the D300), a rotating screen on a few Sonys, compatibility with any lens line you choose, and even a full-frame camera (a clearance 5D mkI). All of them are under $1500, with only the D300 or a 5D pushing that figure (and both manufacturers have cheaper options).
     In the category of cameras that match 17 inch printers well, there are still three manufacturers left, with a wide range of camera types and prices. There has not yet been a crop-frame SLR that has convinced me of its credentials at this level (will there ever be? - there are limits imposed by pixel size), but Canon, Nikon and Sony all make full-frame cameras that do. There's also a Canon reasonably priced on the used market (the 1Ds mkII) that certainly falls in this category. Perhaps the Alpha 900 or one of the newer Canons belongs even above this, intermediate between printer sizes (as Michael says, able to print 20x24). Cameras at this level are available below $2500, and there is a good choice of features - from 12 MP with a usable ISO 6400 to 21 MP with video, or 25 MP with Zeiss lenses. If you're willing to buy a used camera and accept a heavy battery pack, there's even a fully professional, weathersealed vertical-grip body in this price range.
    Nobody has yet shown me a convincing 24x36 print from any "35mm" DSLR except the D3x - that doesn't mean nobody's printing them from the Alpha or a newer Canon - just that the prints I've seen from both didn't convince me of their ability to print that size (noisy shadows in particular - the Alpha files were from Sony,  presumably converted from raw with their own converter, while I understand that many Alpha users prefer the results from other converters). I'm making 24x36 prints of detailed landscapes from the D3x, and other owners are as well. I'm sure that Canon (and maybe Sony) will release their own 24x36 capable SLR before long, although at least Canon's will probably be the same price. The 24x36 print size is a former piece of medium format territory that has now been invaded by at least one DSLR, and more shall soon follow.
     I agree that the Alpha 900 is an amazing value in comparison with the D3x, but the D3x is itself a superb value against medium format. The image quality it offers is sufficient to print at any "normal" size, and it can replace medium format for many (most?) uses. The $8000 D3x is doing the job of a $18,000 low-end MF system. The $40,000 MF systems still stand alone and apart (and protected by the laws of physics) for the few applications that need them.
     A bottleneck that we have already hit is "how large is your printer", and the closely related concept of "how large is the wall where you'll be displaying your prints". The bar for "35mm" image quality has cleared 24x36 inches, and, even if it never goes any higher (we see cheaper 24x36 capable cameras, NOT 30x45 capable cameras), 44 inch printers are very rare machines due to their great size (think upright piano), price and the amount of wall space their prints require. My iPF6100 is already a large and ugly piece of furniture that I have given up a corner of my workroom to because its prints are so beautiful, and I don't really want to meet the larger, heavier, uglier and more obtrusive iPF8100. Different photographers' tolerance of the demands of printers will vary, and some few will accept sharing their home or office with an iPF8100 (which I considered) or an Epson 9900. Others will decide that any printer larger than an Epson 3800 has a low spouse/partner acceptance factor.
      Whatever your print size and needs, there is a camera out there that will meet them (and unless your print size is above 24x36 inches, it doesn't have to be MF). Unlike a few years ago, there aren't a lot of compromises in any digital SLR today that impact the images you make with it. They'll get better than they are today (more slowly than they have in the past, because the laws of physics are lurking in a dark alley nearby, waiting to whack unsuspecting camera makers on the head), but the improvements will be less and less relevant to the images we make with these tools.
     When I remember back to my first digital SLR and printer setup (the Canon EOS-D30 (not the 30D - the original 3 MP D30 with the funky color space) and Epson's original Stylus Photo 2000 (the first pigment ink printer), and look at the 24x36 inch print I made yesterday, I realize how far we've come in the past eight years. It is now possible to make a print from a camera that looks like a 35mm SLR that would have required a view camera not that many years ago!
      Where I'm more worried (and as a photography instructor at a university, I see a LOT of different cameras!) is with compacts. Digital compacts are rapidly LOSING features that would help photographers use them to make great images. Most compacts no longer feature independent aperture and shutter speed controls (a few years ago, most decent ones DID, even if they were inconvenient to reach), and I've seen a few this year that don't even have exposure compensation (and not $50 Kodaks, either).  As the SLRs get better, and are good enough for more and more applications, the compacts seem to get WORSE! This is terrible news for photography teachers - our own cameras are wonderful, but what the students show up with is harder and harder to teach with (at least the cheaper SLRs mean that I see more and more of them, and can recommend them with a clearer conscience)!


                                         -Dan


                                                   -Dan
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cecelia

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Quality vs Value
« Reply #43 on: February 02, 2009, 11:18:29 am »

Well spoken Dan!!  I fully agree with your comments.
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rockrose

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« Reply #44 on: February 02, 2009, 11:24:59 am »

The first line: "We are coming to a significant crossroad in the evolution of digital photography. There is a convergence of factors underway that is changing the way in which we perceive the merits and value of the equipment that we purchase."

I think one important factor can be added: the huge difference in the way we communicate: internet.
At this moment on a lot of sites there are discussions about the quality of the Canon 5D mkII (which I own for a month now), regarding the IQ as well as the technical quality. This was unthinkable even 10 years ago. I bet without the internet maybe 90% of the users would never have noticed the 'black dots' (I wouldn't have). The immediate world-wide comparing of a lot of specs between models and brands has different consequences: some people won't buy the mkII now, Canon comes with new firmware within a month, people spend more time testing and comparing then they are making pictures. On the one hand this is good: producers are forced to uphold the quality, on the other hand people get unsatisfied with gear Cartier-Bresson could only dream of. When my 5DmkII doesn't die, I am very happy with it, even if I don't make pictures like Cartier-Bresson yet ;-).
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01af

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« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2009, 12:28:07 pm »

Quote from: gingerbaker
Please, please can we stop using the DxO ratings to compare between different camera systems? Madness lies in those charts, madness, I tell you!
Phew! And I thought I was the only person who is seeing this.

The whole point of the new DxOMark website obviously is to attract clueless gearheads, to give them something to rant about, and to create traffic on the DxO web pages. But lo and behold---everybody is loving these pages; they get drawn into them like moths into the light. Just why can't people see how pointless those DxO rankings actually are?


Quote from: gingerbaker
... the DxO rankings do not tell us which sensors/cameras can produce the best images. What they tell us is only which cameras produce the best DxO scores.
Exactly!

And I am afraid that if people don't stop taking these brain-damaged DxOMark Sensor rankings for gospel then sooner or later we're going to end up with camera manufacturers designing their digital cameras not for best image quality but for best DxO rankings.  

-- Olaf
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douglasf13

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« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2009, 12:34:31 pm »

Quote from: 01af
Phew! And I thought I was the only person who is seeing this.

The whole point of the new DxOMark website obviously is to attract clueless gearheads, to give them something to rant about, and to create traffic on the DxO web pages. But lo and behold---everybody is loving these pages; they get drawn into them like moths into the light. Just why can't people see how pointless those DxO rankings actually are?



Exactly!

And I am afraid that if people don't stop taking these brain-damaged DxOMark Sensor rankings for gospel then sooner or later we're going to end up with camera manufacturers designing their digital cameras not for best image quality but for best DxO rankings.  

-- Olaf

  That's why these reviews from MR are so informative.  He actually goes out and USES these cameras side by side, rather than using one camera, downloading RAWs from another, and then using online tests to form an amalgamation of theories about them.  That's also why I've become so interested in Iliah Borg's opinion, as he owns and uses many of these cameras daily.

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250swb

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« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2009, 12:50:01 pm »

Quote from: Ray
I also agree with jjj on this point. The Leica M8 is like a designer shirt. You are paying a premium for the name. There are better and more affordable tools available, better on balance, although the Leica might have one or two features of 'niche' value, such as a lack of an AA filter.


So you are saying that a Canon 5dMk11 or a Nikon D700 ISN'T a 'designer shirt' if people buy it to show off with? Lets face it, hardly any of the mid to high end DSLR cameras sold ever do a full job of work, unless it is to display the status of the owner. So this nonsense about Leica being for toffs is part true and part untrue, but your broad brush should also include the weekend warrior who wants to impress his mates, or people on camera forums with the latest DSLR.

As Michael points out, there is little to upgrade for in most camera releases if truth be told. But do you hear of people deciding to leapfrog camera releases so their next model is a reasonable improvement  from the one they have, not just a vague shuffle forward. No, of course you don't. What you do hear is 'I'll grab one of those because I need this, or that feature', which makes you wonder what they did before 'this or that feature' was invented. No, get real, Canon, Nikon, or any other manufacturer sells more DSLR cameras to 'style' concious photographers than for any other reason. The value for most purchasers is in having the latest kit, no matter the common sense or expense, pure and simple.

Steve
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 12:51:02 pm by 250swb »
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01af

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« Reply #48 on: February 02, 2009, 01:10:31 pm »

Quote from: 250swb
... hardly any of the mid to high end DSLR cameras sold ever do a full job of work, unless it is to display the status of the owner. [...] Canon, Nikon, or any other manufacturer sell more DSLR cameras to 'style' conscious photographers than for any other reason. The value for most purchasers is in having the latest kit, no matter the common sense or expense, pure and simple.
That's absolutely true (by the way, it used to be true 30 years ago just as well). And that's good! Because it keeps sales up and prices down. But it's bad, too. Because particularly those who buy multi-thousand-dollar cameras for a status symbol rather than for doing their jobs are more interested in DxO rankings than in image quality.

-- Olaf
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David Watson

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« Reply #49 on: February 02, 2009, 03:20:04 pm »

Quote from: 01af
That's absolutely true (by the way, it used to be true 30 years ago just as well). And that's good! Because it keeps sales up and prices down. But it's bad, too. Because particularly those who buy multi-thousand-dollar cameras for a status symbol rather than for doing their jobs are more interested in DxO rankings than in image quality.

-- Olaf

Why does it need to be like that?

I am sure that there is a strong element of truth in what you say but I also think that there are a significant number of photographers, who can afford to buy and enjoy the latest equipment as objects in their own right rather than simply a means to an end, can and do produce wonderful imagery.  Why should the two aspects of photography - an ability to take great photographs and an interest in the latest equipment technology be mutually exclusive?
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Peter McLennan

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« Reply #50 on: February 02, 2009, 03:33:02 pm »

Dan's essay is very illuminating.  He notes that a principle gating factor controlling how much money you need to spend on a camera nowadays is how much wall space you have.  

My D300 and Epson 4800 already produce satisfying prints larger than I have space for.  The principal reason I can see for upgrading the D300 body is for a couple more stops of exposure latitude.  Other than that, I'm good.  I'll spend the money I save on fuel for photographic adventures.

As I've said here before, this truly is the Golden Age of Photography.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 03:34:52 pm by Peter McLennan »
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inissila

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« Reply #51 on: February 02, 2009, 04:58:02 pm »

I think it's amusing how Michael goes on and on about "value" of the A900 based on the purchase price and pixel count of the sensor. Then he goes on to say he ordered a 60MP digital camera - for what costs 15 times the price of the camera whose value he admires so much.

He assumes the lenses that Nikon and Canon have, and Sony does not, have zero value. Any half-competent landscape and macro photographer will see the extremely high value in the PC-E/TS-E lenses, which makes a far greater difference to image quality in many contexts than 24 vs. 12 MP.  Any wildlife/sports photographer would see the value in high-performance supertelephoto lenses - which Sony does not have. For available light portraiture I prefer to work with lenses that are easy to manual focus. I could go on and on - there are just so many things that a serious photographer would need that just aren't there in the Sony system.  

To me, an A900 just has no value at all. Sony had to price it the way they did - because they have almost no AdAm/pro user base left and because they lack so many lenses that their body would have to be perceived as great value to have any buyers. And frankly - if I had to take it for free, I would have to pass. For if I wanted a camera with such a limited set of lenses available - I'd pick a Zeiss Ikon or something which is at least nice and has some unique characteristics.

His G10 vs. MF comparison was just too incredible, any half-competent photographer would see the difference in the richness and depth of tonality and color even on the web sized images. I don't know where he found his "Panel", perhaps they were all retirement ready from the point of view of their vision.

I can't put this any nicer, I am sorry if I sound rude. But I can't feel anything but disgust for the author's lack of seeing the larger context in which the value of camera bodies and systems are evaluated. Not everyone just uses a 24-70/2.8 for everything.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 05:08:19 pm by inissila »
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jpit

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« Reply #52 on: February 02, 2009, 05:40:33 pm »

I am not sure why Michael leaves the 5d MKII out of his value equation.  It does score higher on the DxO ranking (albeit by .1 of a point) than the A900, costs about the same, very similar resolution, and does better on high iso photos.  Add to that the fact it shoots video (which in the past he has stated will become  important) and you have a camera which certainly competes with the A900 in value.
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michael

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« Reply #53 on: February 02, 2009, 05:54:26 pm »

All will be revealed in good time.

Michael




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Ray

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« Reply #54 on: February 02, 2009, 05:56:27 pm »

Quote from: 250swb
So you are saying that a Canon 5dMk11 or a Nikon D700 ISN'T a 'designer shirt' if people buy it to show off with?

Yes. That's basically what I'm saying. People can use anything as a status symbol according to their circumstances. In certain very poor parts of Africa, ownership of a plastic bucket is seen as a status symbol. I used to find it amusing that in India, many years ago, fountain pens were often bought primarily as status symbols rather than for use. It was fashionable to always have one sticking out of one's shirt pocket to indicate to everyone that one was literate and educated.

And of course, one can imagine that those who were really hard up and desperate, would simply buy a fountain pen top and clip it to their shirt pocket. There must have been quite a market in those days for just fountain pen tops. (Apologies if any Indians reading this feel offended. I'm talking about a situation many decades ago.)
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 07:55:29 pm by Ray »
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Plekto

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« Reply #55 on: February 02, 2009, 06:11:18 pm »

Quote from: inissila
To me, an A900 just has no value at all. Sony had to price it the way they did - because they have almost no AdAm/pro user base left and because they lack so many lenses that their body would have to be perceived as great value to have any buyers. And frankly - if I had to take it for free, I would have to pass. For if I wanted a camera with such a limited set of lenses available - I'd pick a Zeiss Ikon or something which is at least nice and has some unique characteristics.

http://www.mhohner.de/sony-minolta/lenses.php
These will work with the A900.  It's not a completely worthless list, after all.   I see super telephoto and macro lenses on that page, and that's only the actual Minolta/Sony ones.  Sigma and many other makers made lenses as well.
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Misirlou

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« Reply #56 on: February 02, 2009, 06:14:17 pm »

I'm starting to think harder about the "system" aspects myself. As we've covered here many times, the old rules about aperture are no longer sufficient, if you want to extract maximum resolution from a particular digital system. For example, the latest Photo Techniques magazine has a good article about the relationship between diffraction and pixel pitch.

If we're already to the point where we should be basing our whole system around expected print size (I know I am), then our equipment considerations need to take that into account. Maybe buying the best glass is wasted money, if you're using a crop frame camera. Maybe Canon and Nikon don't make lenses that reach the available resolution from their own full frame sensors. Worth thinking about.

I've contended for about 5 years now that the manufacturers might consider redesigning lenses to concentrate exclusively on resolution at the expense of all other optical qualities (like fall off), then fix those errors in post with s/w, the way DxO and DPP do now. You might create a whole new system with simpler, cheaper, lighter glass that actually produces better ultimate IQ. Surely the reason the G10 performed so well in Michael's tests is that the lens was designed specifically for that sensor. But we're still expecting our SLR lenses to work well on film bodies, crop bodies, ad FF. Maybe that's the wrong way to go now.

And while we're at it, why not make our sensors match the proportions of the paper? It would be interesting to hear from those of you who make very large prints how you decide on a final image proportion. Do you crop to artistic subject dimensions, or to a size that's cheap to frame? Just curious.
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douglasf13

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« Reply #57 on: February 02, 2009, 06:19:40 pm »

Quote from: inissila
To me, an A900 just has no value at all. Sony had to price it the way they did - because they have almost no AdAm/pro user base left and because they lack so many lenses that their body would have to be perceived as great value to have any buyers. And frankly - if I had to take it for free, I would have to pass. For if I wanted a camera with such a limited set of lenses available - I'd pick a Zeiss Ikon or something which is at least nice and has some unique characteristics.

  While I wholeheartedly agree that T/S lenses are the biggest hole in the Sony line-up*, they are working on the telephoto end, and, frankly, I don't see much of a glaring hole outside of those two extremes, especially when they announce that Zeiss wide-angle prime they've been showing.  For studio and available light portraiture, there really is no better lens line-up than the ZA 24-70, 85 and 135, and that's why I chose it.  In fact, it's interesting you say that you wouldn't take the A900 for free.  If you told me the 1Ds III, 5Dii, A900, D700, and D3x were all the same price, and put them on a table and told me to choose one to keep, I'd pick the A900 first.  My point being, it really depends on the photographers needs.



*there are Schneider and Zeiss/Hartblei t/s lenses for Alpha, but they kind of go against the "value" issues. ie, EXPENSIVE!
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 07:05:36 pm by douglasf13 »
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John Camp

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« Reply #58 on: February 02, 2009, 06:25:37 pm »

The value vs. quality discussion almost seems like the old film vs. digital arguments, because almost *any* statement you make about it -- including Michael's essay -- is going to be largely wrong, when viewed from an individual perspective (and cameras are used one at a time, not as a mass).

Some comments:

1. Comparisons like the G10 vs. the P45+ are entertaining, but essentially meaningless, because for the comparison not to be completely ridiculous, everything has to be tilted in the smaller camera's favor. I don't know about the P45, having never even seen one, but I know that with big prints, or in poor light, or in DR, or in the ability to capture very wide or very long shots, a D3 or D3x would kick the G10's ass. In other words, the test was rigged in the G10's favor, and to make a valid point -- that small camera quality can be very good for most purposes, and that *most* of the population really needs nothing a lot better. But, LL really isn't aimed at the general population, is it? Does *Ray* seem like a part of the general population?

2. Is the A900 better value for money? That would depend largely on individual circumstances, and those are so varied that it's almost impossible to answer the question. Would the hypothetical buyer have to buy a whole new Sony system to replace a lot of paid-for Nikon equipment? Are there any problems with, say, going on an antarctic expedition where there are 50 Canons and 25 Nikons and only 1 Sony, which leaves you with no possibility of borrowing gear if something goes wrong? Would the A900 be better value if Sony decides, "Eh, maybe we're not right for the high-end camera business," and the A900 gets orphaned so that eventually *all* your equipment becomes worthless, including the lenses, flashes, adapters, etc? What's better value for a guy who wants exquisite value and for whom the price difference is trivial? You can generalize to the population (for people just starting out, with no experience, with no long learning curve to abandon and another one to begin, yes, I think the A900 might represent a better value proposition, but for somebody just starting out, I wouldn't recommend a top-end camera of any kind. Why not learn on a good $900 outfit to see if you like it?)

3. IMHO, photography has always been somewhat of a crippled art. Most art traditional visual forms (painting, sculpture, ceramics)  are "human sized," but the size of photographs has always been largely dictated by the technology. Ansel Adams once said something about taking the largest camera he could carry -- because he wanted large "human-sized" prints. I've seen a very large Adams print that was made for display outside an exhibition, and it didn't look so good, though he was a masterful printer, because it was simply too large for the negative. Looked fine at 20 feet, but from the usual Adams photograph viewing of four to six feet, it looked bad. Now, with the new technology, we are finally seeing large, human-sized prints that will blow you away at any distance, and that can be made with relatively transportable cameras. But we're at the bottom end of the range of human-sized prints with 35mm cameras. For people whose work demands larger prints, the D3x may give them more of what they need over the A900. And the next Canon may give them even more and perhaps the next Sony will leapfrog the Canon. For people working along this edge, the quality/value scale may have little meaning. This is particularly true for people like Bernard, who are long-distance trekkers and where MF may not be a viable option simply because of weight.

4. For me, the D3 (NOT a D3x) is a better value than an A900 because I don't sweat the resolution that much, but I *really* like the low-light abilities. So -- for me a $4,000 camera is a better value than a $3000 camera that has twice the resolution, because I *really* want to take shots at ISO 6400, and if they have some shadow artifacts, and the color's not quite right, I'll live with it. If I could get ISO 12800 or ISO 25000 with a 24mp camera, I'd be in hog heaven. I'll take as much resolution as I can get, but I gotta have the high ISO.

5. Camera size can be critical for a lot of people. As soon as the Olympus m4/3 comes out, I'm going to buy one and slap my Leica M lenses on it. I like lenses that are a little long, and the idea of a small, compact camera with an f1 100mm-equivalent lens really turns my crank. It'd be expensive, but no A900 would do what you could do with that combo...and if you *need* that combo, then an A900 would be bad value, period.

JC


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lattiboy

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Quality vs Value
« Reply #59 on: February 02, 2009, 06:26:03 pm »

Quote from: inissila
I think it's amusing how Michael goes on and on about "value" of the A900 based on the purchase price and pixel count of the sensor. Then he goes on to say he ordered a 60MP digital camera - for what costs 15 times the price of the camera whose value he admires so much.

He assumes the lenses that Nikon and Canon have, and Sony does not, have zero value. Any half-competent landscape and macro photographer will see the extremely high value in the PC-E/TS-E lenses, which makes a far greater difference to image quality in many contexts than 24 vs. 12 MP.  Any wildlife/sports photographer would see the value in high-performance supertelephoto lenses - which Sony does not have. For available light portraiture I prefer to work with lenses that are easy to manual focus. I could go on and on - there are just so many things that a serious photographer would need that just aren't there in the Sony system.  

To me, an A900 just has no value at all. Sony had to price it the way they did - because they have almost no AdAm/pro user base left and because they lack so many lenses that their body would have to be perceived as great value to have any buyers. And frankly - if I had to take it for free, I would have to pass. For if I wanted a camera with such a limited set of lenses available - I'd pick a Zeiss Ikon or something which is at least nice and has some unique characteristics.

His G10 vs. MF comparison was just too incredible, any half-competent photographer would see the difference in the richness and depth of tonality and color even on the web sized images. I don't know where he found his "Panel", perhaps they were all retirement ready from the point of view of their vision.

I can't put this any nicer, I am sorry if I sound rude. But I can't feel anything but disgust for the author's lack of seeing the larger context in which the value of camera bodies and systems are evaluated. Not everyone just uses a 24-70/2.8 for everything.

Seriously? All that hot air and disdain over Sony not having any TS lenses and a 400mm f/2.8? Yeah, they should have T/S lenses, but let's face it, that is a seriously niche market and the lenses will cost a tremendous amount of money.

As far as available light portraiture, I guess you haven't heard of the CZ 135 f/1.8  or 85mm f/1.4s? As far as macro I guess you haven't heard of the 50mm and 100mm f/2.8s (and 200mm f/4 KM)? As far as specialty glass, I guess you aren't aware of the millions of Maxxum lenses floating around the world?

And what's this about "losing" the pro user base? I wasn't aware they had lost so many people in the 5 months they've had a "pro" (although it isn't) camera out.  
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