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Author Topic: 1 Feb, 2008 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?  (Read 32529 times)
Steven Draper
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« on: January 31, 2009, 04:00:53 PM »
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Well despite the economic climate and being on the same time zone as Toronto it's good that on Jan 31st I can see Tomorrows posting!!!!!

I think this will be an interesting series of essays and certainly very current. When I recently left my long term career I had the dream of earning a living from photography. I knew it would be tough as the market was already collapsing from the influx of people willing to provide photography for free.

I analysed the market for a year before formulating my business plan and ruled out fine art and creative photography as a centre piece, even though I will continue to work on my own projects.  So with a budget that I could have purchased a Hy6 system or Phase P65+ I actually spent my money on a non photographic piece of equipment, ie the means in which to achieve a different view point for my target clients cheaper than current options, faster than current options and to a better standard than current options. Whether I'm successful or not will be answered in the future, but I realized that I needed to be different and I need clear water and choice of camera wasn't going to achieve this. Method of operation, type of image could.  Ultimately the cost of the camera is a small percentage of the equation, I've spent more on software and  choices like Light room or Aperture, Capture NX or DxO, marketing strategy and operational efficiencies are where much of the difference is made because time is the most valuable factor in the equation if you wish to earn a living.

FWIW I use a D700 for the new business and I'm shooting with a 6008i for some personal projects, - I would swap for a high end data back if you gave one too me, but I'm not buying one just yet!!! .

Whatever camera one uses, whatever you shoot,  one thing is for sure the world is changing very fast and the rules will change too - there are opportunities for all, if your quick, brave and open minded.

Steven
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2009, 06:46:10 PM »
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Not to offend you, but have you actually done anything in the new business during the time from 1. Feb, 2008 to 31. Jan, 2009?

 
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2009, 07:48:29 PM »
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Quote from: Panopeeper
Not to offend you, but have you actually done anything in the new business during the time from 1. Feb, 2008 to 31. Jan, 2009?

 

Hi Panopeeper.

No problems. Your right that I do not have years of experience running a photography business and may well be very 'green' with certain aspects, but I have a lot of contacts within various markets that provide information about trends, thoughts and concerns to help me build a big picture. There are many articles on the web detailing the concern photographers have 'Guy/Girl With Camera' weddings, Send your pix to our media team so we can build up stock libraries for our use - instead of purchasing from stock sources, photo rights issues at sports events, even taking photos in public issues etc etc. So with the economy entering new and uncharted waters it will be very interesting to see what happens to the progress and development of cameras. I think Michael has identified a very interesting subject for which to spend some time providing some thoughts using his knowledge and understanding of photography.

For what it's worth a recent business seminar a friend of mine presented claimed that the 'money' for things like photography was not in taking the pictures anymore, but in assisting those who want to take pictures. Running web sites, forums, workshops, producing software etc. And for those selling personal work, be a celebrity or have a really good story! I'm sure there will be lots of thoughts on this!

Back to your question - Over the past year I moved to a completely new region in a country that I am also new too. Before diving in and spending money on everything I wanted to get to know the local market and make various assessments on a number of potential ideas.

I set myself up as a business because where I live I need to have a vendors permit in order to sell anything to the public - legally!  I knew for a while I would not have the time to be able to launch a full business product / service and needed to learn a lot more about certain aspects -  although I'm confident about the images I produce, although I always like to learn more and push boundaries further. My turnover for the period is not massive, in fact it is very small but I have laid a lot of foundations for the future. For example  I won an award for one my photographic prints at a reasonably highly acclaimed Juried art show in my region, not world news, Not a New York show,  but a good marker considering the number of highly established photographers and other artists that had work there. Because of this I have been accepted into a very successful Juried Studio Tour in my region (several thousand people attend the event) and also a local gallery for 2009. I learnt a lot about print making, framing and developing thoughts on presenting my work. How much I can generate from selling personal work is yet to be seen, but to me I do not want personal work to be driven by the need to feed the family!

Now for earning a living. I looked at the things I enjoyed with photography and with life and what people wanted and got excited about and also what no-body was doing in my area. Some ideas took a lot of time to work through and did not come to any thing. But  I have a personal project in mind that requires some very specific equipment and this equipment also lends itself to a wide range of commercial applications, as demonstrated in other regions and countries. Everyone I have spoken to during my market research has been very excited about it - including the bank manager and many local business people and I am currently working with a marketing company to put together a brand package. The equipment arrives in just under two weeks and I have some intensive testing and photography to do to do before launching in March. I'm very confident about my plan and it ties in very well with my personal projects.

So for the time being there is very little image work on my website while my business structure is put together from a keen photographer selling some work to earning a living from it. But one thing I've learnt about setting up a photography business is that there is a lot of other things other than photography that need to be done, especially at the beginning!!

ATB
Steven




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Ken Tanaka
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2009, 08:16:03 PM »
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Michael:  I enjoyed reading your thoughtful essay.  Indeed, we seem to have reached a real nexus in digital photo technology.  (I actually am very shocked by the high quality images I can get from my Canon XSi versus my 1Ds Mark III!)  

Skill, talent, vision, and purpose have always been, and will continue to be, the most significant elements in photography.  We no longer have plausible excuses for crappy images, regardless of our budgets.

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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2009, 08:55:02 PM »
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Thanks for the essay. I don't know how "typical" a reader I am.  I am a plain old amateur.  I have yet to venture into this level of equipment and work (obviously). I have thought a lot about where I am going with photography and the what camera purchase to make. My comment, or quetion rather, is that when Michael refers to his choices for his work, I am curious to what extent his pursuit as a professional landscape photgorapher informs this choice?  While I have read a bit elsewhere, I am wondering if his prefence of the Sony would be common with  those with other photographic specialties?

I agree about the value comment especially understanding that I will be one of those budget-minded folks who won't spend more then the A900 or the D700 would require.  I might not even end up there.

The article asked if frustration has set in.  Lets just say I thought about buying a table saw.
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2009, 09:08:06 PM »
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The price / DxOMark chart is one way of quantifying image quality vs. cost of the camera, and is relevant to us, the buyers.  Certain makers have taken criticism for the price they ask for their current peak of technology.  But, is the price actually a reliable basis for comparison?  This doesn't change which camera you choose to buy, based on your image quality desires and chequebook strength.  But it does question the fairness of the price / image quality comparison.

One company is mostly, or entirely, involved in the imaging business.  Their camera scores at the top of DxOMark chart.  It's also by far the most expensive.

Another company scores almost as high at about a third the price.  They may be a better value.  Is it really a better price/IQ camera?

Sony makes the sensor for their own A900 and apparently for the D3x.  There are undoubtedly differences in the spectral filtering on the R, G, B, cells and the colour information processing each company applies to them, and each company likely has different criteria on other characteristics of the sensor they buy off the fab line.  So yes, Nikon's D3x and Sony's A900 sensor might be the "same" sensor but they're certainly not just prior to being installed in the camera.  Anyway, I briefly digressed from my main point.

Nikon's revenue is based mostly on imaging products.  The D3x is $8K.

Sony has an enormous product range.  The A900 is $3K.  But Sony owns the image sensor fab, and also makes flat screen TVs, GPS units, alarm clocks, MP3 players, Playstations, owns some entertainment industries, etc.  The retail price of some of those products is supposedly less than their manufacturing cost; this can sometimes be due to a corporate strategic plan to get into a leadership position in an industry.  So if the A900 is 3K, is that the real cost of the camera, or is it subsidized by revenue from Bravia TVs, Playstations, and perhaps image sensor product lines?

Image quality vs. value is an absolutely great discussion and we can't really use anything except the retail price of the camera as the basis for our comparison, as buyers.  But it would be interesting to see a chart of DxOMark vs "real" cost of the camera.  We would then have two results; the IQ vs. true cost of the camera as the camera maker can achieve it, and the IQ vs. the market price of the camera.  Both figures of merit are of interest.

Andy
(shooting with an XTi)


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Ray
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2009, 11:06:54 PM »
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I get the impression that many camera purchases are made on the basis of performance specifications alone, rather than the usefulness of the camera for a particular task or style of shooting.

In his article, Michael makes reference to his comparison between the Canon G10 and a 39MP Phase back. Experienced photographers who were invited to view A3+ size prints were not able to identify which camera had been used, until they realised that the shallower DoF of certain prints was an indication that the print was probably from an MFDB.

It seems that the DoF differences were more noticeable than differences in dynamic range, signal-to-noise and tonal range. Why is this, I ask?

If we look at DXOMark's results for SNR, DR and Tonal Range in respect of the Sony A900 and Canon G10, we find that, at an 8x12" print size (at 300 ppi), the A900 is streets ahead of the G10 in all three categories.

When we consider that a Phase 39mp back has to be better than an A900 (in all 3 categories), and when we consider that differences at the larger print size of A3+ must favour the larger sensor, then the obvious questions is, "What the heck's going on?"

Perhaps we need some cognitive psychologists to weigh in here, as well as eminent physicists such as Emil Martinec.

Now, understand, I'm not trying to impugn the integrity of Michael and his invited guests. I'm not trying to say that they are clueless when comparing G10 A3+ prints with Phase 39mp prints.

I'm simply saying, there are a few unanswered questions here. There's an enigma, a discrepancy, a dissonance between DXO test results of a lesser sensor's performance (the A900) at 8x12" print size, and the viewed result at 13x19" from an MFDB, in Michael's comparison involving experienced photographers.

The graphs below show the huge differences between the A900 and the G10 on 3 fronts, SNR, DR and Tonal Range. These graphs relate not to pixel performance, but to what you might expect to see on an 8x12" print.

[attachment=11292:DR_8x12_print.jpg]  [attachment=11293:SNR_8x12_print.jpg]  [attachment=11294:Tonal_Ra...12_print.jpg]
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 11:09:45 PM by Ray » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2009, 11:43:17 PM »
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Hi,

Another excellent article by Michael Reichmann.

One of the factors which I felt was quite obvious with Michaels comparison of the G10 and the P45 was the role of depth of field. In practical shooting a smaller frame camera gives more depth of field. No doubt in my mind that the P45 is better than  than any DSLR regardless of formate, but it takes both knowledge and experience to make best use of the quality on a high class MFDB.

On the other hand, we have a lot of parameters affecting perceived image quality, depth of field is an important one but there are others. Resolution wihich is closely realted to "MPixels" is an obvious one. In small enlargement's we don't really see resolution but acutance. Acutance is heavily affected by sharpening.

I have compared my new Sony A900 to my somewhat older A700. When viewed in Photoshop in the "scientific way" the A900 has a tremendous advantage in sharpness, but very little remains of that advantage when I make A2 size prints. No doubt that the differences may be larger in larger prints or with different objects. Check the following pages:

Actualpixels: http://www.pbase.com/ekr/image/107619976/original
Scanned detail from A2-print: http://www.pbase.com/ekr/image/107823207/original

My conclusion this far is that when a certain resolution has been acomplished which is good enough for a certain print size additional resolution is of little benefit. The additional resolution certainly helps if we make larger prints, howver.

Some other factors like DR may be independent of enlargement.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: Ray
I get the impression that many camera purchases are made on the basis of performance specifications alone, rather than the usefulness of the camera for a particular task or style of shooting.

In his article, Michael makes reference to his comparison between the Canon G10 and a 39MP Phase back. Experienced photographers who were invited to view A3+ size prints were not able to identify which camera had been used, until they realised that the shallower DoF of certain prints was an indication that the print was probably from an MFDB.

It seems that the DoF differences were more noticeable than differences in dynamic range, signal-to-noise and tonal range. Why is this, I ask?

If we look at DXOMark's results for SNR, DR and Tonal Range in respect of the Sony A900 and Canon G10, we find that, at an 8x12" print size (at 300 ppi), the A900 is streets ahead of the G10 in all three categories.

When we consider that a Phase 39mp back has to be better than an A900 (in all 3 categories), and when we consider that differences at the larger print size of A3+ must favour the larger sensor, then the obvious questions is, "What the heck's going on?"

Perhaps we need some cognitive psychologists to weigh in here, as well as eminent physicists such as Emil Martinec.

Now, understand, I'm not trying to impugn the integrity of Michael and his invited guests. I'm not trying to say that they are clueless when comparing G10 A3+ prints with Phase 39mp prints.

I'm simply saying, there are a few unanswered questions here. There's an enigma, a discrepancy, a dissonance between DXO test results of a lesser sensor's performance (the A900) at 8x12" print size, and the viewed result at 13x19" from an MFDB, in Michael's comparison involving experienced photographers.

The graphs below show the huge differences between the A900 and the G10 on 3 fronts, SNR, DR and Tonal Range. These graphs relate not to pixel performance, but to what you might expect to see on an 8x12" print.

[attachment=11292:DR_8x12_print.jpg]  [attachment=11293:SNR_8x12_print.jpg]  [attachment=11294:Tonal_Ra...12_print.jpg]
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Ray
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2009, 03:55:41 AM »
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Quote from: ErikKaffehr
My conclusion this far is that when a certain resolution has been acomplished which is good enough for a certain print size additional resolution is of little benefit. The additional resolution certainly helps if we make larger prints, howver.

Some other factors like DR may be independent of enlargement.

Best regards
Erik

Erik,
Resolution is indeed relevant to the size of the print. We can go back to Michael's first review of a DSLR, the 3mp Canon D30, which was quite a contoversial review at the time because he claimed that prints from the D30 looked better than prints from 35mm scans (or at least as good) in all respects, but only up to a certain size. That size was approximately A4 to A3. Above that size, 35mm scans began to have a clear resolution edge. That's reasonable, but what was surprising was that a 3mp camera could hold its own against 35mm film up to A3 size.

This latest comparison from Michael, the G10 against the P45, continues in the same tradition and demonstrates that the 15mp of the G10 is sufficient for an A3+ size print and that the additional pixels of the very large and expensive P45 (and camera) serve little purpose at this size.

However, there is more to a photographic image than resolution. DXOMark shows clearly that there's a significant jump in DR, SNR and tonal range at the 8x12" print level (never mind the A3+ level) comparing the A900 with the G10. It is reasonable to presume that the gap would be even wider if DXO had compared the P45 with the G10.

What is puzzling to me is why these other attributes of image quality; dynamic range, noise and tonal range, did not stand out in the print from the P45 image to the extent that experienced photographers could recognise them. Such differences seem very significant on the DXOMark website even at the smaller print size of 8x12", and even when the G10 is compared with a lesser sensor than the P45, the A900. Got my point?
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2009, 04:14:44 AM »
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Quote from: Ray
What is puzzling to me is why these other attributes of image quality; dynamic range, noise and tonal range, did not stand out in the print from the P45 image to the extent that experienced photographers could recognise them. Such differences seem very significant on the DXOMark website even at the smaller print size of 8x12", and even when the G10 is compared with a lesser sensor than the P45, the A900. Got my point?

A very (very!) simple guess is that the DR and TR of the particular image didn't challenge the G10 - in other words, the P45 had more of both, but didn't need it.  Also, both images were post processed, so if there was a slight advantage it may have been mitigated in processing (again, simply because the G10 was adequate for the job at hand).

It's a bit like pixels and print sizes - more DR and TR is wonderful, but if the range of of the particular image is sufficiently captured on a given device, having more on another won't make the image better.

Regarding noise, again, the SNR might be better but if the original capture has sufficient information the prints may not benefit.

At the end of the day, you're limited by the output capability of the printer even if the camera captured more information, if it's not possible for the printer to reproduce it, then you may not see the advantage.
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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2009, 04:18:37 AM »
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I know some folks stand 3 inches away from a wall print and want it to look great..

Back in the real world, not many people do that ;-)
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Rob C
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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2009, 05:31:24 AM »
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Forgive me if Iīm going off at half-cock here, but I seem to find a confusion between two things: the OPīs post which strikes me as being about starting up in a photo business regardless of economic climate; references to an article by Michael about format size v. print size.

Perhaps the two subjects are connected but I have lost the reference: can anyone help? I do realise the title of this thread.

Anyway, be that as it may, I would return to Steve Draperīs post.

Starting up a pro photography business at ANY time is fraught with risk; starting up in a full-blown recession/depression - semantics be damned, it hurts either way - even more so. Further, I have a dreadful suspicion that you can do all the analysis you like, consult all the specialist career advisers that want to sell you their product and you will not really be any closer to any truth or shining pathway to economic paradise. IN PHOTOGRAPHY.

I say this because unlike many other things in life, unlike most, possibly, you are trying to sell a product that many believe is no better than their friend in the camera club can produce, probably for free because he feels flattered to be asked. Worse, when you are selling a service in photography, as in an assignment to go out and shoot something in exchange for the clientīs money, you are selling something that has to be sold on a basis of blind confidence in the photographerīs talent, selling a product that does not exist. Yes, this faith in one might well come later in life, based on past record, but even there there is much room for disaster for many reasons totally outwith the photographerīs control. So, basically, it is never easy, never the simple option but often the option you chose because nothing else in life would satisfy the yearning you might have felt within.

For my money, if you donīt already have that overwhelming need to be a photographer full-time, a need which would probably already have you working in the business, then I see little point in taking onboard the inevitable problems of a photographic business. Why on Earth not just enjoy it as a hobby, free to do whatever turns you on? This isnīt any put-down; this isnīt protectionism (Iīm retired and would hardly care) but mostly to do with suggesting anyone avoid embarking on one of the most difficult journeys imaginable that offers precious little reward except for some very few, well-connected talents.

Rob C
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Ray
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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2009, 06:07:23 AM »
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Quote from: Farmer
A very (very!) simple guess is that the DR and TR of the particular image didn't challenge the G10 - in other words, the P45 had more of both, but didn't need it.  Also, both images were post processed, so if there was a slight advantage it may have been mitigated in processing (again, simply because the G10 was adequate for the job at hand).

It's a bit like pixels and print sizes - more DR and TR is wonderful, but if the range of of the particular image is sufficiently captured on a given device, having more on another won't make the image better.

Regarding noise, again, the SNR might be better but if the original capture has sufficient information the prints may not benefit.

At the end of the day, you're limited by the output capability of the printer even if the camera captured more information, if it's not possible for the printer to reproduce it, then you may not see the advantage.

That could be the explanation and it certainly occurred to me, which is why I wrote earlier that I get the impression that many camera purchases are made on the basis of performance specifications only, rather than the usefulness of the tool for specific tasks and styles of shooting.

However, I find it surprising that modern inkjet printers might not be capable of reproducing the greater subtlety and smoothness of tonal variation that are suggested on those DXO charts.

Perhaps we are back to the analogy of the Porsche or Maserati. Those cars are clearly of higher performance than the average Mazda sedan, but they don't necessarily get you to your destination more quickly or more safely. However, just occasionally they might. You're stuck behind a slow lorry on a narrow winding road. Suddenly, on a steep hill there's an overtaking lane, a window of opportunity, but it's a short lane and there's a car in front of you that tries to overtake first. But the driver is not in a Porsche and by the time he's overtaken the lorry there's only 50 metres of overtaking lane left, so you slam down your foot and your Porsche almost takes off like a plane.

Do I buy an expensive, high-performance camera for such rare occasions?  
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Steven Draper
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2009, 06:50:57 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Forgive me if Iīm going off at half-cock here, but I seem to find a confusion between two things: the OPīs post which strikes me as being about starting up in a photo business regardless of economic climate; references to an article by Michael about format size v. print size.

Perhaps the two subjects are connected but I have lost the reference: can anyone help? I do realise the title of this thread.

Anyway, be that as it may, I would return to Steve Draperīs post.

Starting up a pro photography business at ANY time is fraught with risk; starting up in a full-blown recession/depression - semantics be damned, it hurts either way - even more so. Further, I have a dreadful suspicion that you can do all the analysis you like, consult all the specialist career advisers that want to sell you their product and you will not really be any closer to any truth or shining pathway to economic paradise. IN PHOTOGRAPHY.

I say this because unlike many other things in life, unlike most, possibly, you are trying to sell a product that many believe is no better than their friend in the camera club can produce, probably for free because he feels flattered to be asked. Worse, when you are selling a service in photography, as in an assignment to go out and shoot something in exchange for the clientīs money, you are selling something that has to be sold on a basis of blind confidence in the photographerīs talent, selling a product that does not exist. Yes, this faith in one might well come later in life, based on past record, but even there there is much room for disaster for many reasons totally outwith the photographerīs control. So, basically, it is never easy, never the simple option but often the option you chose because nothing else in life would satisfy the yearning you might have felt within.

For my money, if you donīt already have that overwhelming need to be a photographer full-time, a need which would probably already have you working in the business, then I see little point in taking onboard the inevitable problems of a photographic business. Why on Earth not just enjoy it as a hobby, free to do whatever turns you on? This isnīt any put-down; this isnīt protectionism (Iīm retired and would hardly care) but mostly to do with suggesting anyone avoid embarking on one of the most difficult journeys imaginable that offers precious little reward except for some very few, well-connected talents.

Rob C

Thanks Rob C - I guess I'm at some fault for generating some confusion. I wanted to make the point that within a business operation choices are critical, but the actual camera may be of less significance that many of the other choices one has to make.

However I value your thoughts and you identify a huge problem for many potential sellers of photography in that so many people do take and make very 'solid' images. In some ways photography is almost like trying to sell people air - why not just breath your own!   My thoughts in selling my own personal work are that it becomes the level of communication within these images that people enjoy - the technicalities of what camera, what lens, what processing or what printer are not so important to my clients.

And with 'my about to launch business service',  the images I will be able to take, virtue of the additional non photographic equipment I will be using, will not be able to be taken by others unless they own the same equipment, or hire similar solutions that are fairly expensive on a day to day rate. Many of my target clients require photography whether the world is in recession or not, yet when in recession the advantage I will be able to give is actually at its strongest because funds are least and competition is greatest.

For those that are interested I'll hopefully have more info soon, perhaps I should submit an essay to this site about detailing my plans to beat the recession!!!!!

Back to the cameras am the MR article.

There are sweet spots for photography too, and often I have found cameras to be very similar when operating in ideal conditions. It's when you start to push the limits in both actual capture conditions and then processing style where huge differences can start to occur, regardless of what size print you wish to make.

However knowing your own camera can mean that you can shoot to it's strengths and compensate for it's weaknesses. And some cameras are better in many circumstances. I have a touching collection of images made by my 3 year old son using a Canon IXUS - exciting because they identify how a 3 year old see's the world, not just in view point but in what is important to him!!! The actual pixel quality is somewhat irrelevant and they could never have been made with a D700 or a Hy6 due to there size!

atb
Steven

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michael
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2009, 07:18:33 AM »
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Ray,

Your point is right on the money, and in fact is the subject of my next essay, which will likely appear early on Feb 3.

The core issue is that their is often a disconnect between what we see and what we measure.

More soon.

Michael

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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2009, 07:24:25 AM »
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Quote from: Steven Draper
My thoughts in selling my own personal work are that it becomes the level of communication within these images that people enjoy - the technicalities of what camera, what lens, what processing or what printer are not so important to my clients.


Clients don't care what you are using, they simply want results, and nothing more.
These equipment discussions crop up frequently..the obvious answer is to use what you like (handling, ergonomics, personal taste, cost etc)

Whilst I only do some part time work, nobody has "ever" asked me what I use, what lens took a photo, etc etc. And they would not be impressed much if I told them ;-)
Saying that, there are obvious limitations to some cameras, nobody would out of choice take a fuji compact to a wedding, you could still get some decent shots, but you are making life hard.

I would go so far as to say, the only people who do ask about equipment, are photographers..most folks wouldn't have a clue about an L lens v a kit lens, or a cheap flashgun v a top end one.
You simply have a choice of makers, and equipment makes your life easier..there are 3 that have fairly complete systems, and other makers are worth a look too.
The same goes for landscape work, folks can talk mega pixels and res all day long, but it is the prints that tell the real story. The actual quality of the photo, not image quality. Technical flaws may not render an image sub standard, it can still be very good
It's even open to debate if you "need" a full frame camera, certainly for many jobs an APS one will be more than enough.

Just a note to Ray here, I shoot 6mp and 10mp alongside 35mm film. And I have questioned and being more specific, simply looked at the prints I have done. And I can say, without any hesitation, that neither of my digitals can "hold their own" up to a quality 35mm scan. So if people say 3mp does so well, I would have to strongly disagree, based on my own use of all of them. Not that I am unhappy with the digitals, simply I am satisfied with the output of good quality 35mm, some are not..some want larger formats..that is fine, choice as they say. But the reason I do use "some" film, is not for simply resolution, it is on a tonal and sometimes DR level, hence my gravitation to neg film, against the trends of most scenic shooters. I prefer to use digital for low light work, as it has a notable advantage over film. I really don't want to read any more of this "3mp near 35mm" it simply does not hold up.

If people want to talk about print sizes, my little comment above, had no impact. You cannot talk about that, unless you talk about viewing distances..from normal distances lower resolution prints will hold up just fine, only the print/pixel peepers will have a problem with them. There is nothing wrong with talking about res, to a point, but we hear so little about other areas, tonal variations, colour reproductions, hues, saturations, dynamic range..and various other ones.

You are either satisfied, or you are not (print wise)









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pegelli
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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2009, 08:16:56 AM »
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There's another parallel thread covering the same essay, but exploring different avenues vs. this one.

See Here
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pieter, aka pegelli
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« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2009, 08:28:23 AM »
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Consider a previous golden age that dawned with the advent of highly portable 35mm technology to record the passage of the latter half of the 20th century in countless newspapers, magazines and galleries. I used to look back on those dated photos with envy. I couldn't possibly afford the film and the processing that well-backed journalists and artists were provided or starved for. Now I can use their inspiration.

I have a couple of 8MP bodies, a bag of lenses, flashes and gizmos, and a couple of funky digicams. Unfortunately, my non-photography job keeps me busy; but I still find time to take pleasure in my version of artistry, defining or refining a vision perhaps only subtly different from so many others in my situation. The serenity of looking through viewfinders is palpable, then the ink jet chugs another 8x10 into view, yields the satisfaction of expressing oneself in a manner that our visual culture conspicuously reveres. No matter the distainful exhortations of certain well-healed professionals, that photographic art cannot exist outside of the parameters they define so precisely for themselves, there are now legions of us, the great untrained and underfunded, emitting a flood of images, many compelling, without sanction.

A few years ago, I figured that photography and computer technology would one day, maybe around 2015, reach the point where anyone could afford to experiment enough to learn enough to produce decent photographs. That point has passed already. The cost of "acceptable" technical quality flattened as the ante for optimal technical quality plateaued, making photography more accessible than it has ever been. My thanks to those pushing state-of-the-art technology with their money for their leavings.
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--
He was a linguist, after all, and it seemed entirely possible to him that religion and literature and art and music were all merely side effects of a brain structure that comes into the world ready to make language out of noise, sense out of chaos. Our capacity for imposing meaning, he thought, is programmed to unfold the way a butterfly's wings unfold when it escapes the chrysalis, ready to fly. We are biologically driven to create meaning.
Moynihan
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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2009, 08:40:47 AM »
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Quote from: barryfitzgerald
I know some folks stand 3 inches away from a wall print and want it to look great..

Didn't know anyone saw me doing that  
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Moynihan
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« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2009, 09:03:19 AM »
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A comment from an amateur. Have not photographed for money for years, but do love it.
Not having a related income stream, nor significant discretionary income, the Quality vs Value question is for me, a discussion of a hypothetical question, with little or no bearing on my life. But it is interesting non-the-less.

I used to use (in film only days) a little 8x10, some 4x5, and 120, 35mm.

The embedding of some basic elements of image quality into a fixed aspect of the camera body has set for me, due to cost (recession or not) a barrier that is new to the digital photography "age".

But preferring small prints (A4), it is not a serious negative (pardon the pun)for me. I will toddle along with my 10mp sensors, and some 120 B&W scans, inside a self imposed boundary condition of A4, with no up-rezing, etc.

But like an average car driver reading about formula one racing machines, i will find the series interesting.

   
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