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On-line War

Friday, March 14, 2008

This might get interesting.
2 prominent on-line photography experts are exchanging words over photo equipment:
Here: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/cameras-matter.shtml
and the article in question:

Who's right? I think they both have merits with their point of view (as if my opinion matters:~). Although I don't have high dollar gears compare to these guys, I have invested a small fortune with what I have, although I constantly look over the fence with equipment envy (damn marketing people!), I know what I have now, I am not even close to surpass what they are designed for, with my current skill.

What's more important for me, is to have a camera with me when I go out. I need something that will suit my needs. I travel a lot for work, but I carry a lot of stuff when I travel: a suit case with my clothing, tool bag (a medium tote that can't be carry-on due to what's inside), and my laptop. Do I want to carry my DSLR on every trip? No way. I prefer my pocket sized SD400. It fits inside my laptop bag without any problem, and doesn't add too much more weight. If I didn't have my camera with me, I could've missed my 2 favorite shots from a recent trip.

For a compact camera, it did a superb job of metering, and capturing enough details for me to print 8x10, and great colors (or B&W)! In this case, the equipment matters! Since this camera was just the right size for me to carry with me on my trips. But at the same time, I have to say that I was at the right place, at the right time, and these pictures could've been taken with any camera. I got there after I finished with my work, so it was not the harsh mid-day sun, but the light was just rightt, about an hour before sunset.

So this was partly luck and timing, with the right equipment. I am not exactly sure if I could've get it any better if I HAD my DSLR - Well, sometimes I get a little too caught up tweaking the camera setting, to get it "just right", and miss the oppurtunity (well, maybe a little exaggerated, but it has happened before).

But this shot, where sun had set, really pushed the point and shoot to the limit. Very noisy shot, slight camera shake (no tripod, remember, I have to travel light :~). If I had better equipment with me, I could've pushed the ISO up, thus possibly eliminate the shake (or built-in shake reduction would be nice). After a little post processing, I didn't hit the delete key on this one, since it has certain aspect I liked.

I think people do get caught up with their gear, and put a little too much emphasis on it sometimes. Brand loyalty sometimes get into a very heated discussion that ended with nothing to do with picture taking. This goes beyond cameras, remember Atari 800 and Commodore 64 battles; Mac vs. PC; original Star Trek vs. The Next Generation. Even users within their own brand rant about the new camera release, case in point:

"New Sony A200 - WHAT, NO SPOT METERING!!!!!!! MY A100 had it!!!!!"

"New Pentax K20D - WHAT, STILL ONLY AT 3 FPS (frames per second)!!!!!! MY K10D HAD THAT, I NEED HIGHER BURST (oooooh, the sound of machine gun firing away with your camera!)"

My advice, keep your working camera, that you have not out grown yet, :) No one is forcing anyone to upgrade, just because new models are out. It's not like a time bomb destroys your existing camera with a new camera release..

I just heard this on a TV show (Behind the Camera - Produced by Bravo, Canada), by a Director of Photography: "Technology will not improve your creativity". So true, but it does help, from time to time.

Oh, I am still a gear head, but I seldom buy first generation toys, and definitely, I don't get religious about it. It's just a hobby for me.

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