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Old Sep 24, 2012, 10:12 AM   #11
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Even the ones that aren't are still twice the price! How are people better off paying more for the same thing?
People will pay more for what they want. They want small size. That is important. If it's smaller they will pay more for it.

There are a number of threads from long time member TG who sold off all his high-end Canon DSLR gear and uses an fz-200. It's not mirrorless but it's smaller than a 1d11N and 100-400L lens that's for sure. Even photographers are looking for a smaller form factor for convenience sake.

Mirrorless is another form factor that allows for a smaller overall footprint.

I think Peter really hit it on the head. I learned photography on an SLR and shot for a number of years with one. But I reverted to a point-and-shoot 35mm film camera for quite a few years because it was infinitely more convenient. When I started using digicams the limitations were too evident for what I wanted to do. But a large DSLR and lens kit is a pain in the butt.

People want convenience - that convenient solution just has to produce results that are "good enough". If you doubt people will pay for that you aren't paying attention to what is going on with the latest iphone. Heck, look at the macbook pro and air for that matter. Or look at the ipad. Are any of these platforms better than a true desktop computer? Nope. But people sure will pay a bundle for the convenience when the results are 'good enough'. There is still a place for desktop PC/MAC - it's just not for the average consumer anymore. Same with photography.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 10:16 AM   #12
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I think that article is a bit of a nonsense actually...!!
Mr Nosowitz own words in his first paragraph....

"You've got somewhere between a few and several hundred dollars to spend on a camera. You want to learn a little bit about how this stuff works, so you can tweak some settings to get better shots, but mostly you just want your pictures to look good. You want a nice background blur. You want sharp focus, accurate colors. You want shots taken in low light to have a minimum of noise and blur. Great!..."

In one breath he states how the buyer wants to learn about how things work,to tweak settings,wants background blur,accurate colours,sharp focus,low noise...etc... and then says- well mostly you just want your picture to look good...!!!
Make up your mind....!!!

If you're keen to learn the photography ropes, a DSLR makes great sense- direct access to most the functions that matter and which actually make a difference to your pictures, never mind the vast superiority in handling and balance.
An iso button is just that regardless of whatever DSLR body it's attached to- so the skills learned are pretty much transferable to any DSLR once you've familiarised yourself with the said brand/body- unlike compact camera's menu systems which are ALL different..!!

For those of us who are not that interested in getting too involved in the photographic process (which is fine) and likes to keep things "bijou" then a snazzy phone or a point and shoot should suffice.

If you want improved pictures,yet still wish to remain compact (and why not...) then the Sony RX100 makes a great deal of sense- though I still feel a modicum of photographic knowledge will help get the best out of it. I also wouldn't mind betting that many potential purchasers of the RX100 will have owned a DSLR at some point,or indeed are looking to a lightweight DSLR companion- thus has served his/her apprenticeship..!
It would seem extravagant to me to purchase such a camera just to leave it in auto...!!!

Also- notice how quickly Mr Nosowitz glosses over the DSLR advantages- namely the many buttons (for which he clearly has a phobia) which improve the speed of adjustments, the AF speed, better handling/balance, a proper viewfinder- be it optical OR electronic- these are all VERY important factors in the image capturing process- especially if you're looking to improve such matters and learn the photographic ropes.

In essence- for someone who actually want to learn about photography- that's the picture taking process AND the hardware- then a DSLR is THE way to go as far as I'm concerned. If the said user wants to move onto a high end compact such as the RX100 in the future- fine- but at least he/she should then be equipped with the knowledge to get the best out of it- as opposed to sticking it in "auto"..!

If you want to learn to drive a car- you've got to figure out the pedals,gearshift,indicators,mirrors etc.... and all that goes with it.
If that sounds like too much bother- get a twist and go moped...
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 10:41 AM   #13
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People will pay more for what they want. They want small size. That is important. If it's smaller they will pay more for it.
If the camera is smaller but the lenses are bigger, they're not getting what they're paying for. They're supposed to feel good about that?
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 10:43 AM   #14
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...for someone who actually want to learn about photography- that's the picture taking process AND the hardware- then a DSLR is THE way to go as far as I'm concerned....

Process and hardware are two separate things. One doesn't need a particular hardware to learn the process of taking pictures.

Composition, timing, lighting, and vision are what make great pictures and those do not need a specific hardware platform to be learned.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 11:09 AM   #15
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If the camera is smaller but the lenses are bigger, they're not getting what they're paying for. They're supposed to feel good about that?
Agree completely - the entire package needs to be smaller. Let's take an example: buyer goes into a local Best Buy. They seen a Nikon D5100 with 18-55mm kit lens and a Sony Nex-5n with 18-55mm kit lens.

Nikon body: 3.8" x 5" x 3.1 "
Sony body: 2.32" x 4.37" x 1.5"

Winner: Sony is much smaller in dimension

Nkon body weight = 19.7 oz
Sony body weight = 9.49 oz

Winner: Sony by an even larger margin

Now the lens:
Nikon 18-55: 2.8x2.9
Sony 18-55: 2.4X2.4

Winner: again Sony lens is smaller in both aspects of the dimension

Lens weight:
Nikon 18-55: 7.2 oz
Sony 18-55: 6.9 oz

Winner: sony by a lesser margin.

Total form factor:

Nikon kit weight: 26.9 oz
Sony kit weight: 14.1 oz

That's a pretty sizable weight difference there. I will admit that I can't provide an accurate depth measurement of camera-plus-lens because of the flange. But, just go into a Best Buy and pick up the 2 cameras - there's a fairly noticeable difference.

Edit: adding Oly E-PL3 to the mix.
Body: 4.33x2.52x1.46 and 11.04 oz - again smaller and noticeably lighter than the Nikon.
Lens: 2.2x1.9 inches and 3.9oz - very much lighter than the Nikon.

So, even when we consider the lenses - two of the biggest mirrorless/m4/3 competitors are noticably smaller and lighter than a predominant aps-c DSLR. For a consumer who values convenience and size/weight there is a noticeable advantage.

Last edited by JohnG; Sep 24, 2012 at 11:26 AM.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 11:21 AM   #16
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Indeed ramcewan- one doesn't need a DSLR to understand or learn about the image taking process and all its components- but I personally feel they'd be better served doing it on a DSLR, as all the required adjustments are directly to hand and the superior DSLR handling can only aid the whole process.
But my post was to illustrate that the original article didn't seem to know what type of shooter he was addressing..!
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 11:25 AM   #17
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JohnG- I'm curious as to why a camera package NEEDS to be smaller... isn't that up to the potential purchaser..?
An interesting comparison of the D5100 and the NEX-5n... can you honestly say the Sony handles better...?
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 11:37 AM   #18
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JohnG- I'm curious as to why a camera package NEEDS to be smaller... isn't that up to the potential purchaser..?
An interesting comparison of the D5100 and the NEX-5n... can you honestly say the Sony handles better...?
Simon - good question. A major point in the article, and a point I'm making is: the consumer in-general wants convenience and small size. Again, look at the quote I included in my first post - we're not talking about the serious enthusiast, birder or sports photographer. It's why I also said that several friends/relatives that bought DSLRs either never or almost-never use them because they're inconvenient. A similar claim the author of the article made. Exactly why macbooks, macbook airs, ultrabooks have become the norm over desktops and even traditional laptops. And, as someone else brought up - it's why SOOO many people take photos with their smartphones via carrying a camera at all. All in the name of convenience. Again, you and others can disagree - that's OK. It's all opinions. I was merely saying that I tend to agree with the article and I'm an avid DSLR user. So, in my opinion (worth no more or less than any other user's opinion) the article isn't necessarily bad.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 11:51 AM   #19
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I personally think the article is flawed in that it doesn't seem to know who it's directed at.
Indeed- the majority of "pic snapping" consumers- as opposed to photographers- do indeed, it seems ,place bijou proportions and convenience over all.
I'm just not sure the NEX and such like fit into that category- as although they're smaller than your similarly priced DSLR, I just don't think they're small enough to justify the compromises over the DSLR, nor small enough to be as truly pocketable as the "pic snapping" consumer requires.
If you're happy to have the NEX or "G" or EP-L wotsit fitted with a fast-ish pancake lens and are happy to compose with your feet- then that's fine I guess,but probably not as versatile as what your bijou/lightweight seeking consumer are after.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 12:46 PM   #20
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I personally think the article is flawed in that it doesn't seem to know who it's directed at.
I think you hit the nail on the head. The author talks about wanting better pictures, but isn't willing to learn what 'all those buttons' are about. Sort of like wanting to fly a plane without bothering to learn what 'all those instruments' are for. At least he isn't likely to kill himself (or others) with a camera.

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