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Author Topic: 1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?  (Read 44154 times)

siba

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #40 on: February 02, 2009, 07:13:06 am »

Quote from: barryfitzgerald
So folks who pay for photographic services, are paying for "a nice set of lenses and a beefy camera" ??? Are they..
Most wouldn't have a clue what you are using.

I don't use a FF DSLR, I use 2 APS-C ones, and 35mm when I prefer to use that. They are all capable of better than email results!

It's pure nonsense to say you "NEED" a FF DSLR, you don't. It would be nice..but it is not essential.

If you want to say I am poor for using lesser gear, fire away..I don't really care myself, I just worry about what I produce.

The end product is what counts, sorry, that is so clearly obvious, denial is very unwise. Of course I will get better quality photos from a D3 at low light, but we come back to the same point again.."good enough"

The only absurd argument here, is to say equipment is more important than the end result. Some folks have a very odd way of looking at things.

no one is saying that equipment is more important than the end result. That would be absurd and quite an extreme view in what is a much broader debate. But, you're saying quite adamantly that the only important factor in photography is the end product. That is just as extreme a point of view. I do "NEED" my P45 and telling me that it is not essential for my photography is just not true. How could I use my contax if I didn't have a back attached to it. Do you suggest that I use film? Should I settle for image quality that is inferior to what I can obtain from the digital back by using an APS-C camera? Or, are you saying that APS-C sensors are the same image quality as a 39MP back? Because that is what you are implying.
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barryfitzgerald

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #41 on: February 02, 2009, 07:23:06 am »

What I am saying is..

For my needs, I find APS (and film for some jobs) more than adequate for the jobs I do. If they were not, then I would of course hunt out something that was better suited. I am not talking about shooting a wedding with a fuji compact. I am suggesting, that we all have different needs.
I don't do advertising shoots for billboards, so I have no "need" for a MF digital back..and associated gear with that.
I don't do studio work, I do on location stuff
The equipment I have is more than sufficient for producing magazine quality images. I know this, because I have sold some to magazines! And they did not ask what camera I used/
So I am not saying that high end gear is not better, or desirable (If you need it for your own requirements), but that we have our own demands, and needs..and that simply having the best of the best, was never a road to getting quality results.

Back to the topic, which is "when is good enough..good enough" ??

Not all of us are shooting for A1 prints. I won't be throwing my shots away, simply because they were taken with not as good as they could be cameras. They shots work, or they do not! I know more than a few landscapers with top notch gear, and a mediocre eye..

As it happens I wouldn't even look at a G10, 15mp is all fine and dandy, but I find the DR too limited, and dislike it on a tonal level. So for me, I will get better results with a 35mm camera.


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Ray

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #42 on: February 02, 2009, 07:53:53 am »

Quote from: barryfitzgerald
This is the problem, some people take things to extremes! Please point out where I mentioned "pinhole" camera.

I was trying to make my point as briefly and cogently as possible, but I'll expand upon it if you like. What you describe as an unhealthy obsession with the technical performance of cameras and lenses is what drives the industry and technological innovation. When consumers in general are undiscerning about such matters, don't care if lenses are sharp to the corners, don't care whether or not their camera produces sharp and clean results at ISO 3200, dont' care whether the DR of their camera is 6EV or 12EV, then the manufacturers also don't care. Why should they?
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barryfitzgerald

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #43 on: February 02, 2009, 11:02:12 am »

Manufacturers will care, simply because of competition
You can view the technology aspect however you like..
Were people unwise to buy a Canon EOS-1D back in 2001? At the time a very expensive camera. In pure IQ terms, I would imagine even the cheapest DSLR's on the market today, will soundly thump it with regards IQ, DR and high ISO performance. Obviously they wont have the build and features, but IQ is most important right?

Take the Canon D30, heralded at the time as a breakthrough camera..again, it's dated tech means it's left wanting compared to newer beasts. Things always get better.

So should I go on ebay and buy a £450 Canon EOS 1D/D30...to look like a pro, or would I be better of with a lower to mid point modern DSLR? I would on a personal level, go for the newer models. This is kind of what I am saying with regards "good enough" Those cameras, despite being old, managed to work for the people that bought them, in the same way the technology has filtered down to the low end too. The 450d isn't pricey, but it's pretty good, good enough to do serious work with.

So top end cameras will always be more expensive, and better. But good enough is just that..no point worrying "if something better" will come along, always will. I would love to get a FF digital, but I ain't blowing out £2k to get one. And when FF is better priced, I will be happy I got a deal. But then I do a bit here and there, if you are full time, you can justify the outlay, as you will get it back fairly fast. But I def don't see that working with more cost effective equipment, means you cannot do a good job. Today's budget stuff, whips yesteryears top end..bar a few FPS, in pure IQ terms, we already have it pretty good right now.
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Quentin

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #44 on: February 02, 2009, 11:10:48 am »

Quote from: barryfitzgerald
The only absurd argument here, is to say equipment is more important than the end result. Some folks have a very odd way of looking at things.

Completely agree.  Equipment is all but irrelevant so long as it is good enough for the job in hand.  I have pro photo friends using modest (not top end) dslr equipment who have major international clients.  Their clients could not give a proverbial toss about the equipment they use.  They are buying the skills of the photographer, not a hardware ego trip.

Quentin
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 11:12:04 am by Quentin »
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image66

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2009, 11:16:12 am »

Haven't we had this discussion before?  It seems uncannily familiar.  Oh, yes, I remember now.  8MP vs. 6MP sensors.

I've decided to jump off the bus.  As you all are spending tens of thousands of dollars pursuing the "Holy Grail" of image-quality and discovering that it's only good for 18 months, I've gone a different direction. I've had to.  There is no way I can afford to "keep up with the Jones" when this current approach has gone off the deep end of logic.

Rule #1:  Somebody will always show up with a lens bigger than yours.
Rule #2:  Somebody will always show up with a sensor bigger than yours.
Rule #3:  When A/B comparing images, he who has the biggest lens/sensor wins.  I'll never keep up with MR on this.

Therefore, I'm presented with options.  If you can't beat them or join them in this crazy quest, then play by a different set of rules.

For the paying photographic work in my life, believe it or not, even a lowly 5MP camera still meets and exceeds customer requirements.  It's impossible to justify the cost in a pure ROI calculation.  After all, my photographic business is a "business" and profit motivation is key.

From an artistic endeavor, maybe one can buck the system and go by the beat of a different drummer.  In the 19th century, Impressionism became an alternative style of painting.  Ask yourself this question:  Which is infinitely more interesting or desirable to hang on your wall?  A Claude Monet painting or a landscape photograph done with this week's latest/greatest camera?

Unfortunately, nearly all images taken with these top-dog cameras have the same look to them and the subject seems secondary to the technical aspects of the image. If you want to make a photograph of a brick wall look more interesting, throw more pixels at it.  So much of what I see from ALL of us is a rehash of the same thing.  For example, how many more pictures of blue ice are we going to see this month?  OK, I get it, the Sony captures blue and you can make out every mirror-like crystal and 100,000 year-old snowflake.  Lot's of "pretty pictures" but nothing that jumps out at me yet and says "I want THAT photograph on MY wall!"  Maybe I'm a tougher customer, though--I'm looking for artistic interpretation, not high-end bedspread sized-postcards.

But none of that is the point of this discussion, is it?  This discussion is about technical limits and how much one can spend to achieve this week's "perfection".

If money was no problem for me, I'd love to be that "somebody" in my Rules 1-3, and unfortunately, I can see myself "Counting Ants".

Ken
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 11:18:53 am by image66 »
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Pete Ferling

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2009, 01:38:38 pm »

Quote from: siba
It simply isn't true that clients don't care what equipment you use..... The issue in this thread is interesting as an absolute argument, and implying that the end product is all that counts when taking a photo is absurd.

Stefan

Frankly, I am more thrilled to hear compliments about having a good eye for composition than how expensive or big my camera is.

What today's market has done was level the field for all photographers, and the only things that will stand out is good working skills.  The sake of just having access to the tools is no longer a reason for job security or commanding higher prices.  Maybe then, in today's economy, we'll see more threads about business and technique than charts, spec sheets and scientific BS.

I know where I'm coming from, as I shoot for corporate work and hire out for the same when I can't be two places at once.  The first thing I ask to is to see examples of their work, and I've never asked about gear.  Which is pretty much the same case for when folks hire me.

My only negative to this whole way of thinking is that it's not very beneficial to those whom are making and selling the very gear we need to do our jobs.  As we migrate from print and paper (another discussion) to electronic formats, the requirements for high end gear is dropping off.  This year already I've produced "digital posters" (video for HDTV display) for five corporate events that normally would have required large prints from our 9800.  
Right away I lost a big reason to budget for new camera as the old 1Ds is still meeting that level of resolution, and in fact, it's overkill.

In addition, I will be spending a lot less on ink and paper and start to worry about the print heads drying up.

In the end, is this a problem?  No.  After all, I'm still doing what I like, and that's taking pictures.
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Bas Stekelenburg

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2009, 01:46:41 pm »

Dear Michael,

Thank you for your well documented opinion, leading to the conclusion that the Sony A900, with respect to format, resolution, quality and price, is the very best camera in the world.
To be honest, I have foreseen this conclusion when you announced to test this new born purchase on your trip to the south of the south, from where you took such excellent pictures, thank you for that!  And for a part I share your conclusion; there must be a balance between price and quality.
At this place you expect a HOWEVER, and here it is.
The however is not a reaction out of confusion, annoyance, frustration, or even greed.
One important issue you have not mentioned is the position of the ALREADY EQUIPPED moderate photographer, the one who choose his or her camera (many) years ago, and who was wise enough to invest the biggest part of the spendable money over the years in prime glass instead of a body that nowadays has to be replaced every two years. I happen to be one of those people who started ages ago with a Nikkormat with one-lens-only, the terrific 55mm f/3.5 Micro Nikkor. Every 5 years another body; when new or better lenses appeared it meant addition of the glass inventory. By now I am more than happy with four primes, 2.8 or faster, and three fantastic ditto zooms, the 14-24 being one of them, all regularly used on the D700 and the F5, among some MF equipment.
What good does it do for me to know that the A900 Sony is almost-as-good as the D3X, but a much better price/quality performer? I will certainly not e-bay my glass and bodies to start all over again with Sony! What if in two years, to name one, RED decides to buy itself into the 35 mm market with a splendid 40 MP camera with Leica mount to couple the best glass available to their best body available, for only a couple of thousands, should I start all over again?
What I do, and what many with me do I think, is wait and see what Nikon comes up with as their second best high pixel, moderately priced camera.
All of my colleagues who write CANON where I wrote Nikon, are already pleased with the D5 Mk II, and I am absolutely sure that they too will not sell any Canon equipment in favour of Sony.
In other words, I am fascinated that a new boy on the professional block came with an excellent product for a very affordable price, but it can be as such; as a new, beautiful product, without to be compared to, or praised above other beautiful products.
Only for the starters who have to decide what the brand name of their new outfit will be this is very interesting and a very good reason to take Sony into their considerations.
Not for us.

Bas
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douglasf13

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #48 on: February 02, 2009, 02:11:12 pm »


  Bas, I think that you make very good points in regards to owning a system, but, if one is so entrenched in a system that he/she won't switch, why be concerned about the reviews of any camera outside of his/her current system at all?  I keep reading that so many users have X amount of dollars in glass, so I ask, what kind of camera would it take for you to switch?

  It seems to me that, if one is actively reading reviews/opinions about different camera bodies with any real interest, he/she should at least entertain the notion of a system switch.  If not, what's the point?  Whether using Medium Format or 35MM, I shoot with 3-4 lenses tops, so selling a few things is no biggie for me.


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Jonathan Cross

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #49 on: February 02, 2009, 02:41:49 pm »

Thanks Michael for another thought-provoking article.  A very salient point you have written is,
"How is value determined? By balancing price and performance based on one's own particular needs and abilities."

I am an amateur Landscape photographer.  I use the best images for either cards or to hang on the wall, and occasionally to sell as prints.  Each of these means a print is involved.  I am aware of the 300dpi principle, which it seems results from the resolving power of the eye.  (I do not know the actual cited scientific evidence, just that 300dpi is very often quoted.)  For an A6 or even A5 greeting card this does not correspond to the need for many megapixels in the camera.  To hang on the wall, I do not need bigger than A3 - with a good size mount this is quite large enough.  A3 at 300dpi is about 17.5megapixels, though some will say that A3 at 250dpi is good enough because people tend to view it from further away than A4 or a card.  At 250dpi, A3 is about 14.5 megapixels.

All this means I do not need loads and loads of megapixels.  Value to me means the best possible pixel output from 14 to 17 megapixels, which means of course, considering good lenses as well as the camera body.  A good lens should well outlast the body, so I want to choose a manufacturer who will have a good chance of keeping on producing good bodies without buying more lenses.   I want all this at the best price. If I only wanted to view on a monitor I would be way down on the pixels.  Others may want rapid bursts for moving subjects and may have different requirements.

I guess that there are far more amateurs than professionals out there, so how about looking at it from their point of view.  Not a huge number of megapixels, but good quality pixels using a good body and good lenses.  Value to them is high quality output per unit currency.  Bodies with the number of pixels above are getting commonplace.  What matters is the best ouput in terms of all the usual factors, noise, tonal range, good colour, etc.

Am I talking nonsense, Michael?

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imagico

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #50 on: February 02, 2009, 03:00:03 pm »

What strikes me when reading the essay and the discussion about it is that maybe the meaning of the observed levelling of quality across the price range is misinterpreted a bit.  I will use the much overused car analogy to illustrate my point:

Cars are build and sold in a price range similar to that of cameras and none the less in practical use it often does not differ much how long it takes you to drive from A to B using a Toyota or a Ferrari.  Just like nearly all cars available today are based on the same technology (combustion engine) todays digital cameras are actually very similar technologically no matter if they cost 500 or 50000 €/$.  Now i think the interesting point is what we can learn from this analogy:

1) The situation with cars (i.e. the similarity across the price range) has been essentially the same for a long time.  You could say the car, after initial development testing out a large variety of concepts, has matured to this state.
2) The car market is very much established in this technological situation - so much that even with a strong external trigger (the oil price increase) alternative technologies (for example electrically powered cars) have a hard stand.

What does this mean for digital photography?

I think it is quite possible (although i would not bet on it) that digital cameras have reached a mature state with relatively few variation and development in basic technologies over the whole price range.  Like car manufacturing cameras (and especially their sensors) are very complex to make requiring a lot of experience from the side of the producer and both cars and cameras are mostly sold as whole packages by a single company.  This is different from some other technological products like computers which are primarily built from interchangeable components.

The bottom line: If this analogy is correct the most important question is not if you should today buy a Toyota or Renault, a Land Rover or a Mitsubishi Pajero but how technological innovation takes place in this market and if it does in a way that is to our - the photographers - advantage.
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Rob C

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #51 on: February 02, 2009, 04:18:12 pm »

I have a feeling that things are perhaps no different today than yesteryear, that the different opinions expressed here are all biased to the - inevitably - personal experience of the writers and extrapolation therefrom.

Doing the same thing myself - what else can you honestly do? - I would say that the chap who mentioned the fact that clients, if knowing much about professional photography, do look to see what you are using, has the right argument on his side. In my own day I used to have a couple of ´blads sitting around the studio even if I was doing the shoot on Nikon. Why? Client impression counts.

We had the same discussion, more or less, a while ago when somebody decided to knock James for having a black Amex card or something like that. Of course those things are important; those are some of the symbols that encourage and conspire to inspire confidence in people that they have backed a winner. Let´s face it, money sort of confirms that the guy who has it has earned it. This might be totally incorrect in some specific instances, of course, but the general idea is sound enough. To say that results are what count is silly: of course they do, they always do, always have, and that is taken for granted and hardly figures as a factor in the discussion if you assume (dangerous, I know) an intelligent client.

You do have to appear professional; you do have to ring the right bells, press the right buttons. The only thing that changes is what makes you look professional - which could be a question as much as a statement.

From an amateur point of view, it simply doesn´t matter a damn. Buy what you can comfortably afford and that´s all there is to it. If there is more to it, then you are just playing the olde Jones game and hell mend you for being so dumb!

From a professional point of view, first know your market and THEN buy the best you can to suit it. But bear in mind that you might want to go further upmarket and then, possibly, you will have to spend a little more than your present clients/shoots merit or with what your wallet might be comfortable. That´s what second mortgages are for!

Rob C

Mosccol

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #52 on: February 03, 2009, 04:37:30 pm »

Hello everybody and greetings from snowy London...

My 2¢ are cover two points: What is NOT Good Enough? and What can we learn from HiFi?

1) What is NOT Good Enough?

I have been using a well-loved EOS 20D for about 3 years now and my son works with a 400D which I use occasionally in both cases as an amateur and occasional local rugby team photographer. I can report that my son's 400 and my brother's G7 more than occasionally take better pictures than my 20D; gosh even my daughter's pocket Canon 570IS takes great pictures!

Without going into the debate of what constitutes good photography, I think that 8MP is now too low, especially if you are doing any cropping. I also think that there has been significant progress in the processing algorithms and again anything running Digic 3 or 4 will have a much better dynamic range, a better buffer speed and so on. I therefore declare (perorate?) that although I intend to keep my 20D for many years, it has now sadly made it to the NGE club! The new line in the sand for me is either the 40D or the 450D: they have modern chips and allow both cropping and printing to a good size.

2) The HiFi influence

For many years of youthful bliss (a.k.a. pre-children) I sunk a considerable proportion of my disposable income into 'proper' HiFi. Now that is the industry where the law of diminishing returns is best illustrated! When you do A/B comparisons with any two pieces of HiFi, you can usually tell the difference, no matter how trivial. This is what pushes you to spend insane money on something that can be had for $100 at the local *Mart. It was not unusual for example to own a turntable stylus that would cost more than a large television; or a pair of headphones costing considerably more than a full sound system.

But electronics made something interesting happen: after 3 or 4 generations for instance, pretty much *all* CD players became good at the $200 price point. There was no longer an excuse to sink $10k in a two-part CD player. So the market evolved like this:

- Slave labour CD players: $50
- Good audiophile grade CD players but can be improved: $200
- Slightly silly but the-tweak-does-make-a-difference (say Marantz Special Edition): $500
- Frankly-not-worth-it-but-if-you-have-the-money-why-not: say Naim
- Daft: Mark Levinson, Krell, most Linn etc.

Now if we take out pro users needing cameras built like tanks, you can see where this is taking us: very soon there will be a son of EOS 450D with video that will tick all the boxes. Anything above will be special needs and/or indulgence.

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Ray

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #53 on: February 03, 2009, 07:52:11 pm »

Quote from: barryfitzgerald
Manufacturers will care, simply because of competition

Doesn't make sense to me. Manufacturers exist only because they can make profits. You don't make profits by designing cameras with features that are not appreciated by the customer. There's a simple supply and demand equation. Not only does the price have to be right, the features and performance also has to be right. You can't compete with a product that is more expensive as a result of the inclusion of features that are not appreciated or desired by the customer.
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Rob Reiter

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #54 on: February 04, 2009, 12:34:54 pm »

A great discussion here and I agree with Michael's points. Of course, most of us who use any of these cameras don't just look at our pictures on the monitor-we make prints. And I think we are in a similar place regarding printing technology today. Epson, Canon and HP produce printers that are very close to one another in terms of print quality. None of them achieve across the board superiority, although each may exhibit a gamut that excels in one area and falls off in another.

Seven or eight years ago, each new generation of printers did represent significant leaps in recognizable print quality, but since the introduction of the Epson 9600 and UltraChrome ink, there has not been any printer that represents a quantum leap in quality and the biggest changes now come in mechanical areas-speed, ink swapping capability, jet clogging, etc.

So, while everyone needs to find the camera and printer that suits their style, in the end, the quality of the printed image hanging on the wall will still owe a greater debt to the photographer's vision and skill than to which sensor or ink or paper she used to get there.

Not a bad place to be...
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jani

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #55 on: February 04, 2009, 07:13:07 pm »

Quote from: Ray
There's a simple supply and demand equation.
This is a minor digression, but the "simple supply and demand question" was debunked decades ago.

It was a nice approximation in the 19th or 18th century (I'm sorry, I forget which, but it's so long ago that it's only of interest to historians).

Quote
Not only does the price have to be right, the features and performance also has to be right. You can't compete with a product that is more expensive as a result of the inclusion of features that are not appreciated or desired by the customer.
... and then it's not just a simple matter of supply and demand, but also of market perception, market exposure, third party perceptions and influence, and so on.

Amazingly enough, people still purchase phones, computers and Internet services from suppliers who from a simplistic supply-demand perspective shouldn't even be in business. The imagined value of a product also plays a role in the product's market viability.

Regarding your other claim, Manufacturers exist only because they can make profits., this largely depends on the point of view. Some manufacturers of goods are nearly permanent fixtures, while others are mayflies, comparatively speaking.

I think the repeated comparison with the world of high fidelity audio is of some value, although usually not in the way that Michael or posters to this forum portray it; it's an object lesson in how marketing and imaginary value works on how fit a product is in the market, as well as its profitability compared to the manufacturer's ambitions.

There's a term called "audioph00lery" which serves as another lesson here. Perhaps we could learn something from it.
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douglasf13

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #56 on: February 04, 2009, 07:29:19 pm »

Quote from: Rob Reiter
A great discussion here and I agree with Michael's points. Of course, most of us who use any of these cameras don't just look at our pictures on the monitor-we make prints. And I think we are in a similar place regarding printing technology today. Epson, Canon and HP produce printers that are very close to one another in terms of print quality. None of them achieve across the board superiority, although each may exhibit a gamut that excels in one area and falls off in another.

Seven or eight years ago, each new generation of printers did represent significant leaps in recognizable print quality, but since the introduction of the Epson 9600 and UltraChrome ink, there has not been any printer that represents a quantum leap in quality and the biggest changes now come in mechanical areas-speed, ink swapping capability, jet clogging, etc.

So, while everyone needs to find the camera and printer that suits their style, in the end, the quality of the printed image hanging on the wall will still owe a greater debt to the photographer's vision and skill than to which sensor or ink or paper she used to get there.

Not a bad place to be...

  Great points, Rob.  Sounds good to me.
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douglasf13

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #57 on: February 04, 2009, 07:29:43 pm »

whoops, duplicate post. sorry.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2009, 07:30:15 pm by douglasf13 »
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NikosR

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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #58 on: February 05, 2009, 01:25:00 am »

Quote from: jani
This is a minor digression, but the "simple supply and demand question" was debunked decades ago.

It was a nice approximation in the 19th or 18th century (I'm sorry, I forget which, but it's so long ago that it's only of interest to historians).


... and then it's not just a simple matter of supply and demand, but also of market perception, market exposure, third party perceptions and influence, and so on.

Amazingly enough, people still purchase phones, computers and Internet services from suppliers who from a simplistic supply-demand perspective shouldn't even be in business. The imagined value of a product also plays a role in the product's market viability.

Supply and demand principle still is very much applicable in the world of trade. Please take a look at what's happening around you these days. You are referring to macroeconomic theories but that's another discussion altogether.

Market perception and the rest you're discussing are simply factors which influence demand.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2009, 01:27:04 am by NikosR »
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1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?
« Reply #59 on: February 05, 2009, 02:50:10 am »


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This is a minor digression, but the "simple supply and demand question" was debunked decades ago.

Jani,
It's never been debunked my me, and that's what counts (to me). The 'supply and demand' equation is the foundation of all my purchases, from tomatoes to motor cars; from cameras to houses. I have a 'demand' for something (or more politely, a requirement, need or desire) and I search for a supplier to fulfill that requirement, need or desire.

I try not to pay more than I have to for the fulfillment of this demand, and I shall not be buying a D3X because my desire (or demand) for its qualities is not sufficiently strong, or shall we say, not comensurate with the price being asked.

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... and then it's not just a simple matter of supply and demand, but also of market perception, market exposure, third party perceptions and influence, and so on.

Merely fancy words and elaborations on the basic principle of 'supply and demand'. I think what you are trying to say is that the advertising industry plays a vital role in creating a demand for certain products and services. People may often buy things they actually don't need or can't use, but there has to be a demand of some description which is associated with the purchase, even if it's only a demand to make themselves feel temporarily good, as in 'retail therapy', or to impress the neighbours in the sense of 'keeping up with the Jones's".

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I think the repeated comparison with the world of high fidelity audio is of some value, although usually not in the way that Michael or posters to this forum portray it; it's an object lesson in how marketing and imaginary value works on how fit a product is in the market, as well as its profitability compared to the manufacturer's ambitions.

I think I've made a similar comment in this thread or perhaps another one. I call it the placebo effect. But what is interesting about this effect is that it's actually real, in a sense. The brain and body can actually respond as though the performance claims are true. When audiophiles spend $200 on a couple of short lengths of copper wire to attach the amplifier to the loudspeakers, they can actually experience more pleasure when listening to their favourite music. They imagine the sound quality is improved and (presumably) as a consequence of such imaginings, there is change in the brain that registers this effect.

Another example that I read about recently was in regard to wine tasting. People who are not wine connoisseurs can actually experience more pleasure when drinking the cheap wine, than they will when drinking the expensive wine, if they are told beforehand that the cheap wine is the expensive wine. Experimenters have verified this by placing electrodes on the subjects' brains and measuring the response in the taste/pleasure centres, to confirm that the subjects are not lying to create the impression that they are connoissers.

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