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Old May 3, 2010, 2:19 AM   #11
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There is something quite Zen about having just a minimum amount of equipment. One camera and one (fixed focal length) lens. This allows you to master your equipment then forget about it. Of course this doesn't work well for people who like to photograph a variety of subjects and styles.

But for documentary/snapshot style photography a great deal can be achieved with very limited gear. Many of the greatest photographers in history have effectively worked this way.

I very often leave the house with my camera and 50mm lens, and it never really seems restricting when I'm out there. Sometimes I'll take a 28mm lens along if I'm feeling adventurous, but that means I generally leave the other lens at home. :-)

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Old May 3, 2010, 5:18 AM   #12
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In the shooting sports world, we have a saying: "Beware of the man with one gun, for he probably knows how to use it.". The same thing applies with cameras.
Learning and keeping in mind the control set for more than one camera can be somewhat confusing, at least to an old man like I am. This was brought home to me as I started using my D7hi again after spending a lot of time with Pentax DSLR. Where I used to use the camera without much though to controls, I found I had to hunt for things which had previously been intuitive. No pictures lost, but I wasn't shooting anything that required fast responses.

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Old May 9, 2010, 11:29 AM   #13
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I've shot film a long long time. I started shooting digital about a decade ago. And I got my first dSLR just over two years ago. With film, choosing a camera is easy; and for different image characteristics, use different film. With digital, the camera IS the film; thus we continually 'upgrade'.

To decide on an upgrade, I ask myself: 1) Where am I going? 2) What will get me there? 3) What can I afford that will keep me happy? Which boils down to: 4) What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have?

What I couldn't do with my Sony DSC-V1 was ultrawide, ultralong, and very low light. These are more lens issues than camera issues. So I looked at who made lenses I wanted that I could afford, and the only affordable ultrawides were from Olympus and Pentax, and Olympus had issues. Then I read user ratings of gear, and Pentax got fewer gripes than other makers. So cold analysis led me to a Pentax K20D, 10-17 and 18-250 zooms, 50/1.4 prime (and eventually lots of used glass). I'd never used Pentax before; I was (and am) partial to Sony and Oly; but now I'm a Pentaxian.

How many cameras are enough? I still carry the great Sony DSC-V1, and a Minolta F300 modified for IR, and an Oly 770-SW for jumping into water; and they're all smaller than the big K20D with whatever lens. Am I happy with the K20D? Quite, but it's not at all like using a point-and-shoot (P&S). Having control over focal length, aperture, DOF, exposure, means that you're RESPONSIBLE for all those, whereas the P&S's little robot brain and short lens handle them for you. No matter what you've done with P&S's, with a dSLR you MUST practice, practice, practice.

What dSLR is right for you? An m4:3 system will certainly be lightweight and compact, like when I used an Oly Pen-FT SLR and could carry the entire system in one pocket of a field jacket. But the 4:3 sensor is rather small, which limits the maximum size of displaying images. Not all APS-C cameras are huge. Let me suggest a Pentax Kx, very small and fabulous in low light, with the best image quality available in APS-C.

How much is enough? That depends on how much money you have...
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Old May 9, 2010, 12:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
I very often leave the house with my camera and 50mm lens, and it never really seems restricting when I'm out there. Sometimes I'll take a 28mm lens along if I'm feeling adventurous, ...
Oooo. How 'devil-may-care' of you.
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
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