lens vs. image sensors in digital photgraphy

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by aniramca, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. aniramca

    Ron Hunter Guest

    I agree that a good artist can do good work with minimal tools. It is
    also true that given better tools, the same artist can produce better
    work. Given an ignorant person with no talent, or skill, the same
    better tools, and it is likely the results will be worse, not better.
    Ron Hunter, Dec 11, 2006
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  2. aniramca

    smb Guest

    No disagreement here. Regardless of the tool, you have to use it
    within its limitations.

    For the record, I'm not promoting the $150 cameras. I just used that
    as an example to show how it's incorrect to assume that the more money
    you throw at your equipment, the better photographer you will be.

    Of course. But even $150 digicams these days are quite capable of
    delivering a decent photo. You just have to know how to use them and
    when not to use them. Sometimes you need a power screwdriver, and
    other times a simple hand screwdriver will do the job just as well.

    That's a given. The point is that the equipment worshipers of that
    day thought they needed Leicas to be as good as someone like Haas.
    Today the wannabees think all they need is a full frame dslr with the
    latest image stabilized lenses. It's all the same thing.
    smb, Dec 11, 2006
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  3. aniramca

    smb Guest

    How about plenty of light, static subject, no intention to print
    beyond 4x6 for an album or for a web page? Those are the conditions
    that a LOT of people shoot under. I'm not referring to making 16x20
    fine art prints for a gallery.

    (However, you might be surprised at just how good a larger print from
    a good P&S actually looks.)

    If we're talking about taking available-light action shots indoors at
    a basketball game, then of course there is no comparison.

    smb, Dec 11, 2006
  4. aniramca

    smb Guest

    With all due respect, this is all just technical smoke and mirrors for
    people who like to measure their cameras. What you say may be true,
    but it's really no different from the pre-digital days when the
    "equipment measurbators" had to have lenses that tested to the highest
    lines of resolution or bodies that had the fastest shutter speeds. It
    doesn't really address the point that the camera doesn't make the
    image, but the photographer does.

    A better camera may give you a sharper, better exposed image under
    more conditions, but that doesn't mean that those images are worth
    looking at. (I'm not talking about your pictures, I haven't seen

    Exactly !!! I agree 100%.

    smb, Dec 11, 2006
  5. aniramca

    smb Guest

    Not a good example because a spoon is not a knife. Of course you
    should use the right tool for the job. I'd also object if my plumber
    wanted to fix my drain with a chainsaw.
    Nobody said that cameras aren't important. A painter can't create a
    painting without brush and canvas, either. The difference is that in
    photography there is that subset of enthusiasts who believe that the
    medium exists for the tools, not the other way around.

    The point is that having the latest and greatest tools is no guarantee
    that one's pictures will be better, and the lesser tools can perform
    quite well in the right hands.

    Again, look at this site:


    Absolutely remarkable images that captured the photographer's vision
    with a "lowly" 3 megapixel p&s.

    smb, Dec 11, 2006
  6. aniramca

    smb Guest

    LOL! I cringe when people tell me that!

    smb, Dec 11, 2006
  7. aniramca

    smb Guest

    Well, no.

    That's far from invariably the case. You're assuming that someone
    has to have the best gear possible to learn the art and craft of
    photography. Actually, the opposite is true more often than not. You
    learn the basics, and then the extra features and conveniences of the
    better gear make it easier to apply what you've learned.

    Why do you think that virtually all college-level photography courses
    require students to use a manual camera?

    Not quite exactly. That's like saying that without the automobile,
    driving wouldn't exist. Well, duh, tell us something else we don't
    already know.... You wouldn't take a Geo on a racetrack, but then
    again, driving an Indy car on a state highway is overkill. It's all
    about choosing the right tool for the job. It's just plain stupid to
    say that the most expensive tools are needed to do every job.

    smb, Dec 11, 2006
  8. aniramca

    smb Guest

    BINGO !!
    smb, Dec 11, 2006
  9. aniramca

    smb Guest

    All you are saying is that you want to choose the tool that is best
    suited for the job. Of course you wouldn't use a cheap P&S and expect
    it to give you good action photos in low light. That doesn't mean
    that the P&S can't do just as well under other conditions. Lots of
    people are doing excellent work with lesser cameras.

    One big advantage of a small P&S is that you can take it places you
    wouldn't dare take your big dslr rig. Having a picture is often
    better than not having one at all. :)

    smb, Dec 11, 2006
  10. aniramca

    Neil Ellwood Guest

    The best answer to people who say that if they are also artists of some
    form or another is to reply how much you like their work and what
    marvellous brushes (et al) they must use, it is surprising how quickly
    it quiets them down.
    Neil Ellwood, Dec 11, 2006
  11. aniramca

    jeremy Guest

    And you want us to believe that you have actually used that line on anyone?
    jeremy, Dec 11, 2006
  12. If you didn't even look at the pictures which demonstrate
    a huge difference in quality, then you have no leg to stand on.
    The graphs quantitatively show the difference and the images
    shown illustrate.
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Dec 11, 2006
  13. aniramca

    Aaron Guest

    This may be the only thing Ken Rockwell ever said that was mostly
    true, but those folks are what he calls "Equipment Measurbators." I
    know one or two of them. In any field of interest with specialized
    equipment, there will always be those whose chief concern is with the

    As an aside, I also have an Amateur Radio (HAM) license, and in my
    experience with those folk, almost all of them are chiefly concerned
    with the equipment, because hey, radio is *cool*. So are cameras!

    The real point of contention here is when people who are
    equipment-obsessed somehow transcend their pure technology fetish to
    deign themselves equal or superior to their peers in the production of
    photographic works purely on the basis of their more expensive

    The same thing happens in radio when a kid buys a brand new Mil-spec
    Yaesu handheld transmitter with dual tuners and has no clue in the
    world what that might be useful for. Not to mention the plethora of
    other features he couldn't possibly need or comprehend. Leaving room
    for growth is one thing, prancing around like you're the king of the
    world because your equipment was $200 more expensive than your
    friends' is another.
    Aaron, Dec 11, 2006
  14. Good.

    Can we be done, now?? Or, if this thread continues to grind out the
    obvious, how about some trimming??
    John McWilliams, Dec 11, 2006
  15. aniramca

    Neil Ellwood Guest

    Yes - quite a few times.
    Neil Ellwood, Dec 11, 2006
  16. aniramca

    Aaron Guest

    This reminds me of that photography joke, "How many photographers does
    it take to critique a photo?" Of course the answer is "100. One to
    give constructive criticism and 99 to say 'I could have done that.'"

    I've heard it told a few different ways, but photographers love to
    boast about how they could have taken all of these photos, although
    they did not.

    While the layman fails to understand the mechanics of photography and
    the balance between camera and photographer, even photographers
    misunderstand the value of being there in the right place at the right
    time with the right inspiration.

    To go even a step further, as one who was raised in the arts and
    considers himself an artistic person, I have cringed many times as
    someone looked upon a Jackson Pollock work and said (drumroll,
    please), "Anyone could do that!"

    Number one, it's harder than it looks. Nevertheless, I concede that
    with a bit of practice probably anyone could splatter paint on an
    entire canvas. The point is THEY DIDN'T DO IT. Pollock was the first,
    and therefore he gets the credit. This is true for ANY type of art,
    INCLUDING photography. Just because you COULD have taken that
    Steiglitz, or Adams, or Arbus, doesn't mean that you did.

    For the ADD kids: "Coulda, shoulda, woulda." Might I add, "didn't."

    There are always some specific realms in which the equipment matters,
    and I could use Edweard Muybridge as an example. His *cutting-edge*
    stills of a bullet going through an apple, or a galloping horse were
    on the fringes of what could be achieved with technology at that time.
    That makes him both a technological as well as artistic innovator, but
    he was also a man with intimate understanding of the equipment he was
    using and the ways it could be stretched to its limits.

    So, the street runs two ways. Being a great photographer does not
    necessarily mean you have top-of-the-line equipment, nor does having
    top-of-the-line equipment mean you are a great photographer.

    Being a great photographer means you have top-of-the-line
    *understanding* of how best to use what is in front of you, both
    equipment and subject, no matter what either may be.
    Aaron, Dec 11, 2006
  17. aniramca

    Aaron Guest

    That's true. People come into this group DAILY and say, "I want to
    take pictures of necklaces for eBay," or "I want to take pictures of
    my son's soccer games," or "I want to photograph birds in the woods,"
    or "I want to take awesome pictures of dung beetles" and this group
    suggests a wide array of possible equipment options for them.

    If having the best equipment was the only way to take fantastic
    pictures, all of the answers would be "Buy the most expensive camera
    you can afford and you'll need a telephoto zoom so buy the most
    expensive one of those, too." Or "you need a macrofocus lens so buy
    the most expensive one of those."

    But that is not the case. There is definitely a palpable difference
    between the right and wrong equipment for a job, but there are always
    options at all price points to fit all needs. It's a bull market out
    there; production and competition run high. There's something for
    Aaron, Dec 11, 2006
  18. aniramca

    Rich Guest

    Dynamic range. The ability to record ranges of light without losing
    detail at either end.
    Figure on a shot taken on sunny day. Things are in shadow, things are
    in full sun and have a high reflectivity. This could represent 11 or
    12 stops of difference. How well the camera can cope with this range
    is key what kind of image quality you will get.
    Rich, Dec 11, 2006
  19. Yes, yes, yes. This boils it down.

    Now that the horse is not only dead from the flogging, but all his flesh
    is gone, can we get on to something else??
    John McWilliams, Dec 12, 2006
  20. aniramca

    Bill Funk Guest

    You evidently didn't read the "under many conditions" part.
    It's not strange at all to think that many people take photos under
    very good light conditions with no intentions of printing larger than
    4x6" or to post to the web or send in email.
    This does not constitute a strange cut-off point at all.
    Bill Funk, Dec 12, 2006
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