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Old Nov 6, 2012, 4:25 PM   #1
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Default Pick a System, Any System...

Sorry but; I don’t care how accurate the viewfinder or how fine the display screen is, I don’t care about low light performance or how high the ISO can go, I don’t care how fast the AF is or how fast I can get the shot, I don’t care how smooth the focus ring is or if it is "fly by wire", I don’t care how many menu options there are or if it is touch screen or not, I don’t care how many system lenses there are or legacy compatibility, I especially don’t care who’s name is on the glass or the camera and I don't care how many MP’s are on the silicon chip or how they are optimized.

What I do care to know is, for any given glass, with any of the sensors, in any given camera, what combination will produce the best resolution and image quality on the final enlargement! (ref: at least 24x36 Fiji Lambda ) Oh yeah, and keep the budget under my self imposed enthusiast level of $2,000. Can someone work out that equation? I think many of us would come out from under the ether if we just got a straight answer.

Let’s go off the target market range here, think for ourselves about what we really want to do… Isn’t it all about making the most professionally beautiful images with the best equipment that you can afford! At least that is one of the things I go to bed dreaming about.

I am so mired in the hype that I cannot think straight anymore, someone please help, seriously!

Thank you for your thoughts.

Last edited by umanemo; Nov 6, 2012 at 4:42 PM. Reason: formatting
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 4:54 PM   #2
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A significant part of what determines the quality of the final image is the lens. I could suggest any of the Nikon D3200, the Sony A65, or the Sony NEX-7 (all of which use an excellent Sony 24MP image sensor) and be well under your budget of $2,000, but without a decent lens, you could end up with 24MPs of crap.

So let's pick a lens. What do you want to shoot?
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 10:18 AM   #3
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Well, the problem is - there is no strait answer. Some scenes/situations benefit more than others by using better equipment. Some scenes/situations benefit less so.
There is NO SINGLE CAMERA or Interchangeable lens camera and single lens that does everything - it doesn't exist.

For example - you mention you don't care about focus systems. Well, if you're shooting static images in decent lighting - it really doesn't matter a whole lot which interchangeable lens camera you use. BUT, when your subject starts moving (like a kid playing sports) or you shoot in low light (clubs, basketball gyms, churches) suddenly it matters a whole lot. And then so does the lens used.
So, in the first situation a given camera can produce a stunning image when printed in the second situation the printed image looks like garbage. So, if you want help selecting a TOOL - let's start with the specifics of the job - i.e. what is it you want to photograph - the more specific you are the better we can help you. If there was a single camera that was best at everything no other camera would exist.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 1:39 PM   #4
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Interestingly umanemo, many of the things you seem to have little interest in actually have a significant impact on final image quality and resolution.
In addition,lens availability for a given system should be given some thought- as different shooting applications require a different type of lens- and that's without going into the quality of the said lens.
The truth is there are many very competent systems out there- with good glass available- and I believe a photographers competence is far more significant than a barely measurable difference in IQ between a given system.
However- if you could give us an inkling into what you plan to shoot,some of us here might have a few hardware suggestions.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 2:33 PM   #5
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you say you don't care about low light performance. are you planning to only shoot pics in broad daylight? if you're planning to shoot indoor shots - stuff like family pics, indoor sports, photos in restaurants, pet stores, etc, low light performance matters a great deal. after all, you can't have great quality images if they're spattered with grain or other kinds of noise. and while the lenses that are sharpest tend to be primes, everyone has their own focal distance they prefer, and if you want to shoot at multiple distances without changing lenses, you'll need more than once lens and a couple primes may not do the job.

as the others have said, we could give you better input if we knew what types of pics you shoot.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 2:52 PM   #6
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I have no doubt that this is nothing but an intellectual exercise. umanemo posed the problem of wanting ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by umanemo View Post
... the best resolution and image quality ...
... with a ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by umanemo View Post
... budget under my self imposed enthusiast level of $2,000.
Nothing else is a consideration.

For $2,000, clearly we're not talking about anything in the realm of 'Full Frame', unless we'll make a pin-hole lens with the body cap. So that leaves something with Sony's 24MP APS-C sensor and the best lens we can find with the money left over.

Is everybody with me so far?
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  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • A good camera helps a good photographer; it doesn't make one.
  • If you're going to use a filter, make it a good one.

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Old Nov 7, 2012, 3:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
I have no doubt that this is nothing but an intellectual exercise. umanemo posed the problem of wanting ...... with a ...Nothing else is a consideration.

For $2,000, clearly we're not talking about anything in the realm of 'Full Frame', unless we'll make a pin-hole lens with the body cap. So that leaves something with Sony's 24MP APS-C sensor and the best lens we can find with the money left over.

Is everybody with me so far?
Actually - maybe it does and maybe it doesn't. Depending on what is being shot, the OP might have to spend money on a tripod, a flash or a non kit lens. Depending on what is being shot - those components MAY be more essential to overall results than the camera sensor.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 3:04 PM   #8
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Default You asked for the details...

"He came up the hawse!" would be my personal equivalent to a phrase from my Dad's maritime collection of quotes, and I sit here envying all who posess the accreditation to actually belong to the fraternity. I am tipping my hand here.

But the reality is that I have been recognized by a small industrial segment for my eye in capturing certain aspects of very detailed industrial sites. Not that it will pay a great deal but it may be worth the idea of upgrading from 1.2/3 sensors crammed with megapixels. (IE. my G-10, S100 and LX-5) So I seek again advisors who use larger sensors daily in the hope that I may be convinced that I do not need to morgage the house to persue a potential new income source.

I have landed quite squarely before a perplexing dilemma involving the choice of system I should enter into for my new occupational adventure. Starting exactly one year ago I have read everything on the EVIL mirrorless systems, everything. All though I am an expert on paper, I just have no hands on with these systems; NEX7, Fuji-X-E1, O-MD E-M5, GH3 and the K-IIs. Why these? Because they fall into my budget, yeah, budget! (See I am an expert... on paper, just for the fact that I recognize that do not have unlimited paper to spend in a sky's the limit arena!)

The client requires 100-200% resolution so that they can "Read" the Mfg'r marks on the details in these photo's. It will all be daylight stuff on a tripod, of course, but I must carry everything in to those sites and spend lengthy sessions on the many photosites, angles, required at each shoot. The standoff will be several tens of meters from the subjects and from undeveloped construction sites (read: rough terrain) so I plan to use a moderately wide landscape type optic 21-24mm for the "Single shot" requirements of each site. The enlargements are for board room review but the real scrutany will be done from the files by the engineers, hence the 100-200%.

Heavy metal does not seem to be justified - effort wise and economically. Can anyone make a real world suggestion though, based on their experiences with resolution and IQ of the EVIL type system cameras. 16 to 24 MP's even? And what about that optic - what's the best I can expect for corner to corner sharpness?

Sorry for the lengthy dissertation but I really want to head in this new direction and I am not a Photography Pro who studied the field academically, I just "came up the Hawse!"

Thanks for your input thus far and anything else you may be able to offer.

PS. If anyone recognizes this from another site, Please excuse my detailed persuit in gaining every answer possible.

Last edited by umanemo; Nov 7, 2012 at 3:10 PM. Reason: SP?
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 3:35 PM   #9
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I'd say that performance rules out 'Mirrorless' and budget rules out 'Full Frame'.

I suggest the Nikon D3200 ($600) and the unstabilized Tamron 17-50/2.8 lens ($450). The D3200 has the excellent Sony 24MP sensor, and the Tamron is very sharp and has little distortion throughout its zoom range.

If you can wring out a little bit more from your budget, my preference would be to buy two of each, but otherwise you can buy all the accessories you want with the $950 that's left.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • A good camera helps a good photographer; it doesn't make one.
  • If you're going to use a filter, make it a good one.

Last edited by TCav; Nov 7, 2012 at 3:38 PM.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 4:14 PM   #10
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Alternatively, there's the Sony A65 ($900), also with the excellent Sony 24MP sensor, and the unstabilized Tamron 17-50/2.8 lens ($450) which will be stabilized on the Sony body.
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  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • A good camera helps a good photographer; it doesn't make one.
  • If you're going to use a filter, make it a good one.
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