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Old Jan 19, 2006, 9:55 AM   #51
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Thanks for the very specific info guys.* I think that just made my decision to go with the KM 5D.* I will just hope for upgrade sake that Sony will have a product years down the road worth purchasing to use my old Minolta lenses.* Or will just be forced to buy everything new and start over.* I plan for the KM to last a good 6-8 years considering the investment.
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Old Jan 19, 2006, 8:56 PM   #52
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Yes, actually I really am serious. I don't think that photo would produce an acceptable 4"x6" print, never mind an 8"x12".
Fair enough. You are certainly entitled to have your own standards. I don't think we have enough information to know how Mtclimber's image would print, though. I suspect what we've seen is neither a 100% crop nor the complete image resized. I think it's likely to be heavily cropped, perhaps from a horizontal image, and slightly downsampled. (Note to Sarah: you're welcome to correct me.) And I think there's a good chance it would print very well at 4x6 and reasonably at 5x7.

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Would I encourage someone to spend more than they can afford? Certainly not. But recommending a $1000 DSLR solution is not really the same thing as having an unlimited budget. The top Canon stuff costs $8,000 for just the body, I wasn't recommending a $20,000 solution.

So if $1,000 is within financial reach then I don't think it's a waste of money to spend it on something that's going to give a great deal of joy. I bought my DSLR to take better pictures of my baby, though it also happened to re-vitalise my interest in photography in general.

I know a lot of people who spend a great deal more on absolutely useless ventures. Fancy cars for example, when they live in cities and never go more than 20mph anyway. Who really needs more than 3 pairs of shoes? (mostly aimed at the ladies that one ) Don't even get me started on Golf (mostly aimed at gentlemen)! Anyone ever been to a Casino? Cigarettes?

Not everyone needs a DSLR, but I genuinely believe that for gobucks' purposes the waste would be to spend $300 on something that would give disappointing results with great frequency.
Very well said. I can't argue with you on most of this, and don't wish to. For what it's worth, I've been considering the K-M 5D for myself. And I'm still thinking about it, even with the news that the company is getting out of the camera business.

But I also think we see in these forums an unhealthy obsession with superficial perfectionism. People who have little awareness, much less understanding of photographic principles are being told that if they'll spend the bucks to buy an SLR, all their problems will be over. They'll be able to take perfect photographs: perfectly exposed, perfectly focused, perfectly noise-free, and perhaps perfectly awful as well. After all, no equipment will make a good photographer of someone who lacks vision, as I know all too well.

Meanwhile, the (sometimes unintended) message is ground into those who read these forums: if you can't afford whatever is the latest, cutting-edge toy, just forget it. You will never be able to capture the images you want without the best equipment.

But it's not so, and somebody needs to make this point occasionally. This time, it must be my turn.

I'm not arguing with the recommendations you and others have made to Gobucks. He has a specific need, has stated that the F10 results to do not suit him, and is willing to spend an appropriate amount for a dSLR system. I'm sure your advice has been valuable to him.

My concern is with the others who read this thread. The ones who read your comment about Sarah's F10 photo, and conclude that they need to meet your standards for noise. I want them to understand that they are free choose how much money to spend and how high to set their goals, that spending money on cameras they don't want is just as foolish as some of the other expenditures your named, and that sometimes learning to do the most they can with the equipment they have (or can afford) is the most satisfying accomplishment of all.

Thanks for a good discussion!

By the way, want to see some photos that really are technically horrible, dreadful... but incredibly precious?

http://www.skylighters.org/photos/robertcapa.html

Would you have discarded these because of their serious technical flaws?

Of course, I hope none of us are ever in quite the situation this photographer was in. But if we are, I hope we'll manage to get a few shots, even if only with a lowly p&s like the Fuji F10!
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Old Jan 19, 2006, 10:02 PM   #53
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Thank You, Robb

... for saying what had to be said.

You are correct, I am one of the few who is willing to post sample photos. And I must be honest and admit that I was in quite a hurry when I grabbed that silk spinning F-10 example. But I needed a Fuji F-10 existing light example and that was the first one I came to, unfortunately.

Here is another Fuji F-10 existing light example, perhaps it will be better.

I too, am always concerned about a person's budget. There is always the chance that in the Forumwe might unknowingly bepress for the higher and higher budget figuretoo much. I always like to see low cost alternatives offered first. I guess that is where I am coming from.

MT


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Old Jan 19, 2006, 10:08 PM   #54
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Hi Robb,

considering that the F10 doesn't go that wide and looking at the setting of the picture (looks like inside a factory), I suspect that it is only slightly cropped if that, and has been resized. If it were a 100% crop the noise level would no doubt be quite acceptable, but I suspect that we're seeing most of the picture resized there, and with the noise that visible even at the drastically reduced resolution, even 4x6 prints would be noisy.

Your last point I definitely agree with--if you open up a newspaper, on any given day you'll find a number of much less than technically perfect yet printworthy pictures (and it's not just pictures in warzones)--sometimes it's just getting the shot at all. No doubt we sometimes go overboard. Personally, I feel that as my major hobby, I don't mind spending money on it. However, it's also true that recommending a DLSR to people who don't know aperture from ISO setting (and who don't care to learn) might be putting the cart in front of the horse.
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Old Jan 19, 2006, 11:41 PM   #55
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Robb

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But I also think we see in these forums an unhealthy obsession with superficial perfectionism. People who have little awareness, much less understanding of photographic principles are being told that if they'll spend the bucks to buy an SLR, all their problems will be over. They'll be able to take perfect photographs: perfectly exposed, perfectly focused, perfectly noise-free, and perhaps perfectly awful as well. After all, no equipment will make a good photographer of someone who lacks vision, as I know all too well.
That's very well said. And in fact there is a very common scenario that we see all the time in the SLR forums where someone upgrades from a P&S to a SLR and their photos get worse for a while before they get better.

The correct reaction is then to say that they have a more complicated piece of equipment and it's going to take a while to learn how to use it properly.

Unfortunately the more common reaction is to blame it on the camera, or more usually the lens. My pictures are not as good as before and I've just spent loads of money, so it's because the kit lens is rubbish and now I need to spend a few thousand dollars on pro lenses. Which of course won't help the situation.

Before spending money on pro lenses most people new to SLR photography would be better off spending money on a course and books and just taking lots of photographs and trying to learn from their mistakes.

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By the way, want to see some photos that really are technically horrible, dreadful... but incredibly precious?
I have hundreds of those myself, photos of my little one that are not technically good at all but I love looking at from time to time. And the point is very well made.

However I am absolutely thrilled that amongst all the ones that are nice memories but not very good photographs I have some that ARE also good photos. Where they are technically good and aesthetically good and they happen to be of my own family! And I have enough of them that they are the ones that make it to print.


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Would you have discarded these because of their serious technical flaws?
Of course not. And the debate over technical v aesthetic merit is endless. They are two separate things that interrelate in a complex fashion. Let's not forget that those photos have enormous aesthetic (not to mention social) merit. There were a lot of war photographers, and we've mostly forgotten them, Capa endures because he was special.

Gaining technical proficiency is comparatively easy, aesthetic excellence is much much harder to learn, clearly impossible for some, and the difference in ability between photographers can be stark.

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Of course, I hope none of us are ever in quite the situation this photographer was in. But if we are, I hope we'll manage to get a few shots, even if only with a lowly p&s like the Fuji F10!
And that's not entirely fair. There's nothing lowly about the F10. Cameras are tools, nothing more or less. Different tools are suitable for different conditions and circumstances.

The tool that allows you to get the shot is better than the one that doesn't and there are some circumstances where a SLR is a worse choice than the F10. It is however a better tool under most conditions and my genuinely held opinion that it is better tool for the conditions under discussion here.

Low light non flash is difficult for P&S cameras to cope with, and no less difficult because it is commonly required.




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Old Jan 20, 2006, 10:09 AM   #56
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Excellent points have been raised in this thread.

There is an honestand realistic need to stay within your budget.

Both P&S as well as dSLR cameras can take very good existing light photos. Albeit, low light level photos with a dSLR camera are a good deal easier, with faster resulting shutter speeds as the ISO settings are increased to levels higher than are currently available on P&S cameras. PMA 2006 may bring changes within the P&S realm.

The eye and the skill of the photographer seems to dictate the resulting photo a good deal more than the camera complexity or cost. Hence, it is very worthwhile to really learn basic photographic principles/skills. Your photos will become better.

Often times when a photographer upgrades to a new more sophisticated/complex camera, there is indeed a learning curve that must be accepted as the photographer learns to adapt to and get the most from the new camera equipment/tool.

Universal answers to photographic problems/situations are few and far between. Everyone has their own style and skill level. Just work to constantly improve your skill level, and if your budget allow, your equipment as well. Work at get the very best photos out of the equipment that you own.

MT
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Old Jan 20, 2006, 10:25 AM   #57
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Great discussion, and the point you make "By the way, want to see some photos that really are technically horrible, dreadful... but incredibly precious?" is often overlooked when discussing camera equipment. Not the least of the reasons is that its often hard to illustrate expediently (as your example does).

1) HAVE a camera. (Any camera)
2) USE your camera. (A lot)
3) Print your prize photos (with any luck, you'll have a few)

As long as the first criteria is met, the others are up to you. More megapixels and lower noise are things that you'll wish you splurged on after you get to step three, its the frustration of getting a great shot but feeling a twinge of disapointment every time you look at it becuase (by your standards) its ruined by pixelation or grain. Your camera is long paid for, how much would you spend now to magically turn that into a technically better photo?

I have several photos from an early digicam (a gadget, a toy really) that are 320x240 which I would pay hundreds of dollars to have enlarged just big enough to frame. They're useless, though, and its been a thorn in my side for years. That little digicam opened a world of photography to me, but let me down so hard I didnt take one picture for several years after.

While using your camera, compromise turns to frustration when it wont power up quickly enough, dosent allow a fast enough shutter to eliminate blury pictures, wont zoom close enough, or simply isn't at hand because its gigantic and you left it at home. It can also be frustrating to know what you want to do, but be unable to get the camera to do it. This happened to me with a really nice P&S at dusk in the smokey mountains on vacation, I spent a half hour trying to photograph an amazing view of fog rolling into the valley below using every possible setting on that camera, but my best attempt is still a big let-down.

Obviously, this leads to discussions about dream equipment based on emotion and forgets about the other 98% of what you use a camera for. I've never really used film cameras, I don't know how my expieriences would relate to someone starting out with a cheap 35mm P&S because every time I used one I was too worried about cost to shoot enough to get any good shots. It seems that in my moments of biggest frustration with digital cameras, film probably would have bailed me out, at least a little. Of course digital cameras have changed a lot since the clunkers I used to use, but the cheap ones still have some of the same limitations.
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Old Jan 22, 2006, 6:17 PM   #58
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I keep going around with the KM 5D, Nikon D50, and Canon Rebel XT.* Sometimes I have a problem with over-researching my options and drive myself crazy.* It comes down to this:* the KM and Nikon are pretty close considering megapixels and price.* I am leaning towards the KM because of the image stabilizer and higher ISO quality when comparing the two.* The Canon will increase my budget but I could absorb the cost right now if in the end the Canon makes me happy.* I do like the 8MP and the comfort of buying a Canon.* They will only continue making a good product and if an upgrade is in the future, I will have already lenses.* So, KM vs. Canon: is the Canon worth the extra money to get 8MP and not have built in image stabilization?* Someone please push me over the edge!*
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Old Jan 22, 2006, 6:30 PM   #59
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In this months issue of Digital Camera they have a Long Term Test of the Canon EOS 350d (ie one of the editors has been using it for 2 months):

"The 8megapixel 350d leads the specification race for this price bracket by a whole 2 megapixels. I was expecting a considerable improvement in resolution as a result... - yet the improvement isnt as great as I thought it would be. It just goes to show sheer megapixel isnt the be all and end all of digital photography.....

In terms of build quality the 350d is solid. However it lets itself down with the lack of height. I keep finding my little finger waving about as theres nowhere to rest it on the short body. My other gripe is kit lens. Its nowhere near as sharp as the Nikon offering for the competing D50, and its the achilles heel of this camera. Canon really can make better lenses than this...."

Obviously if your in UK you can buy the mag to read the rest, just thought that little titbit might help ya
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Old Jan 22, 2006, 7:27 PM   #60
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gobucks-

For what it is worth, here is an ISO 3200 photo, naturally taken without flash at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow with a Pentax 1st DS. The DS is just 6mp camera so it would be quite like the KM 5D. Yes, it does have some noise, I have made no attempt to process it. However, it will give you a good idea what ISO 3200 can do.

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