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Old Nov 12, 2012, 2:00 PM   #1
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G'day all

I've taken this sideways from another thread about cameras ...
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Originally Posted by zig-123 View Post
Posts like this [about megapixels in camera sensors] make me chuckle a bit and make me wonder wether the marketing departments of major camera manufacturers ever take the time to read forums like Steve's in order to find out what consumers are really looking for.

If they do, they aren't paying attention. All one needs to do is to read the "what camera should I buy" forum to find out what the most common questions relative to cameras are. They would quickly find out that: "I need a camera with more megapixels" is not a request posted very often- if at all.

If there is a common thread to most all of the posts in that forum, it's the " baby is on the way and I need a camera with quick response time so I can take great photos of my baby playing with fido. Or the 2nd most common request, "my son/daughter is getting into school sports and I need a camera to take sharp images of him/her so that I can post the photos on Facebook or twitter for all the world to see".

Reading all the requests for helping people find the right camera for their particular needs quickly leads you to the conclusion that most people are looking for camera with a good auto focus system, a lens that is sharp, and a system with very little lag time. Nowhere, do I read that I don't have enough megapixels and want more ( except from nuts like me who print their images as large as 17" x 22").

The reality is that most people take a photo then post it on the internet. That person does not need a 36megapixel camera.

That's not to say that a camera with more megapixels is a bad thing, it's just not addressing what most people are looking for in a camera. Zig
I well realise that I [and some other Steve's forum members] live in the great land downunder where some things are different and many things are the same ...
Some time ago I was in one of Australia's largest chain stores - our local Walmart sort of thing - and was of the periphery of a conversation

Customer - a young woman pushing small shild in pram - "I want to take better photos of the baby"
Staff - "what camera have you got ?"
Customer - one like those [pointing to the $150 P&S jobs]
Staff - well what's wrong with your current photos?
Customer - here's some I have just printed
Customer - see, they're not 'clear'
Staff - Ah - what you need is one of these [lifting up a nikon twin-lens-kit camera]. These are real good cameras.
Customer - what makes it so good?
Staff - you can change the lens to get a bigger photo .... ... and its got a special shutter deep in the camera to make the photos nice and clear
Customer - I don't know if we can afford it - we're struggling to pay our rent
Staff - don't worry about that have a look at 'this' [handing a rent & buy document to the customer]

At this point I left before I blew my top - but really felt I should have said something

So my point - Yes Zig, there's a world of difference between many buyers and the cameras they need / seek.

Maybe for some professional 'togs, they really do need full-frame & the pixels to go with it. Maybe the local wedding 'tog 'needs' 20mp for the regular ask for a 36" canvas to hang in the entry way.

-BUT- I believe for we enthusiasts, the performance covers a lot more than just megapixels. ie- just like a car, it's engine, braking, steering, comfort, fuel economy etc etc so with a camera its focus, exposure, pixels, ergonomics etc etc

Any thoughts??
Regards, Phil
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 2:51 PM   #2
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Trying to get an honest opinion and good advice form a "typical" salesperson in the electrical section of your chain-store is nigh on impossible.
Where commission is to be earned... expect the worst..! Besides, the same person will be masquerading as a washing machine expert in 5 minutes...!!
For those who plan to purchase any sort of electrical equipment- and have little knowledge on such items- would be well advised to seek out a family member/friend etc who does- or something as simple as a bit of on-line research.

Going back to mp's... I suspect for the vast majority of people or amateur/enthusiast snappers,anywhere between 8-16mp is more than enough- and just think of that large wedding photo taken in 2004.... still looks good doesn't it... and I'm guessing it was taken by a "pro" with a camera in the 6-10mp range..!

I have no problem with a high resolution sensor- it is necessary for some specific applications- though for me,personally- operational speed,AF speed,dynamic range and high iso noise control is what matters.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 3:31 PM   #3
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Whe you ask a salesperson a question, you're saying that you think he or she knows more than you. That's a really dangerous thing to do.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 6:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozzie_Traveller View Post
G'day all

I've taken this sideways from another thread about cameras ...


I well realise that I [and some other Steve's forum members] live in the great land downunder where some things are different and many things are the same ...
Some time ago I was in one of Australia's largest chain stores - our local Walmart sort of thing - and was of the periphery of a conversation

Customer - a young woman pushing small shild in pram - "I want to take better photos of the baby"
Staff - "what camera have you got ?"
Customer - one like those [pointing to the $150 P&S jobs]
Staff - well what's wrong with your current photos?
Customer - here's some I have just printed
Customer - see, they're not 'clear'
Staff - Ah - what you need is one of these [lifting up a nikon twin-lens-kit camera]. These are real good cameras.
Customer - what makes it so good?
Staff - you can change the lens to get a bigger photo .... ... and its got a special shutter deep in the camera to make the photos nice and clear
Customer - I don't know if we can afford it - we're struggling to pay our rent
Staff - don't worry about that have a look at 'this' [handing a rent & buy document to the customer]

At this point I left before I blew my top - but really felt I should have said something

So my point - Yes Zig, there's a world of difference between many buyers and the cameras they need / seek.

Maybe for some professional 'togs, they really do need full-frame & the pixels to go with it. Maybe the local wedding 'tog 'needs' 20mp for the regular ask for a 36" canvas to hang in the entry way.

-BUT- I believe for we enthusiasts, the performance covers a lot more than just megapixels. ie- just like a car, it's engine, braking, steering, comfort, fuel economy etc etc so with a camera its focus, exposure, pixels, ergonomics etc etc

Any thoughts??
Regards, Phil
Hi Phil,
We're in agreement. Most everyone looking to buy a new camera, in reality, wants most of the same key points you've mentioned. And yes, pixels is certainly one of them. However, not at the expense of a good auto focus system, hi quality lens, low light (high ISO) performance etc.etc.

Somewhere, the big camera manufacturers got it in their heads that more megapixels meant "better" to the unsuspecting consumer. And, to make matters worse, your experience in the "super store" is an altogether too often occurrence, here in the states as well. As camera shops close, most areas of the country have only big box stores that do nothing to educate
perspective buyers. The enthusiast in the states, buys from companies such as B&H Photo, Adorama, or KEH.com. But, he/she is an experienced user that knows what he/she is looking for. No such luck for the average person looking for something better.

It is my belief , that the average person looking for a nice small camera that can provide them with portability, good sharp images, and the ability to take it along on a vacation would be well served with a camera having 16 or so megapixels, and high quality medium zoom lens.

It certainly would beat their I-Phone.

Zig
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 8:46 AM   #5
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I was an electrician for 30+years and more than once I stepped into a conversation in a "Big Box" store in the electrical dept. Some of the advice being given was just plain dangerous. I got dirty looks (and some arguments) from the clerk, but the customer always thanked me. In our local (now closed) Ritz camera store, I don't think anybody there ever owned a camera judging by the advice they gave. Sad.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 7:35 AM   #6
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i used to work for currys, but i left this year, i wasnt a salesperson but i new more than the all the rest of the staff put together and many times i heard the sales staff just saying absoloutly anything to get a sale, they dont care they have targets and earn minimum wage, they are under a lot of preasure to get good figures by the manager, who dont care either, im not defending them, far from it, but they walk in off the street into a salespersons job and after 3 days of training (not product traing either) are expected to start advising people on which laptop or camera they should buy, quite frankly its a joke,
there is lots of product training available, with tests at the end, but in our store the sales staff were given the answers by the managers to get them through their training, i complained to people higher up the ladder but nothing was ever done about it.
it bothered me so much that i resigned.
writing that just got me all wound again lol
Dave
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 1:57 PM   #7
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Thanks Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by kazuya View Post
i used to work for ...... i complained to people higher up the ladder but nothing was ever done about it. it bothered me so much that i resigned. writing that just got me all wound again Dave
Thanks mate ~ some hurts do hurt, and the hurt never goes away ~ but it fades and is, hopefully, replaced by better things as time goes by

Regards, Phil
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 2:53 PM   #8
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I agree that most people would do as well with a 10 mp camera as a 16. In fact, one of my pictures taken with a 10 mp camera was published in a coffee-table sized book full page, and it was cropped a bit (not much). Looked great, too, one would never have known that the photo was taken by a camera that was a couple of generations old by the time the book was published, and taken by a complete amateur on a before-work walk one day. It didn't look out of place in a book mostly of historical or professional pictures (long story how it got in there, it was mostly by happenstance, and having the right photo for the right place in the book).

As was pointed out, most people are looking for AF, good low-light performance and good quality images. Many don't know what a pixel is, much less care about the number of them when they start looking around for a camera. But camera manufacturers have a problem - they can't say "our camera focuses faster than its competitors" because that's really subjective. And when you say "my camera focuses in 1/20 sec. faster than camera Y," people's eyes will glaze over. How fast is 1/20 sec? For someone walking down the street it's insignificant, and most people who are not into photography wouldn't have any reference to judge it. Of course, a photographer would know that 1/20 sec. is a long time for having a shutter open.

So camera manufacturers want to come up with something more concrete to say that their camera is better. They originally chose mp, and that was not such a bad thing in the beginning. When you are talking 1-3 mp, you are talking a rather significant difference. People got used to thinking more mp meant better pictures, because it did in the beginning. Now the difference between 12-16 mp (for most uses) is minor. And depending on the sensor, more megapixels could (but not necessarily) mean less dynamic range and more noise. Most people don't have a clue about such things and will again, gloss over such fine details that they don't really understand and could care less about.

And so you have the camera manufacturers continuing what worked for them in the beginning - "My camera is better than yours because it has more megapixels" is the continuing advertising claim. It worked in the past, and it continues to work now, with those that only know they want the "best" camera (and don't understand why there isn't just one "best" camera out there - after all, isn't there just one "best" dishwasher, one "best" detergent, one "best" set of pots, and one "best" style of shoes?).
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 5:34 PM   #9
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Kinda reminds me of the Box-Mart treatment of bicycles... They have Zero idea what they're talking about, but they'll regurgitate what they've heard quite authoritatively. "Yes, Ma'am, that 20" bike is good for kids from 4 to 6!"
(A 20" bike is pretty darned big... but they're going by wheel size, which doesn't really tell you anything)
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 5:28 AM   #10
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the storys i could tell ya lol
just as an example one time the head saleswoman came to me and said

staff: dave this guys out front, he says his laptops broke and hes been told he needs a new hard drive for it, have we got any,
me: no sorry we havent got any
staff: i didnt think we had but thats ok ive told him if we dont have any he can buy 20Gb of cloud storage instead.
me: eh?
staff: yea i told him he could use the cloud instead, and its better than a hard drive because he will never lose his data ever again.
me: and how will he get to the cloud with a broken laptop?
staff: oh wont that work then?
me: no he needs a hard drive to get the laptop working before he can go online
staff: oh right but we havnt got any
me: i know but that doesnt mean you can sell him something he cant use.
staff: damn i coulda got good bonus points for selling a cloud service.

and thats what my days consisted of, stuff like that constantly
i have to laugh now looking back
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