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Author Topic: Do we still want better cameras?  (Read 8967 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« on: September 06, 2010, 06:48:37 PM »
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September is a rant season isn't it?

Being in the midst of investing in a new pair of speakers to replace my current, and already breathtakingly good, pair, I was struck by another disturbing question this morning: do we still want better cameras?

Assuming that big breakthoughs are behind us for most practical applications, I take it for granted that we don't need them anymore. Now, do we even still want them?

I anticipate some selfish value from my new speakers. More clarity in the highs, a wider soundstage that will enhance my listening pleasure when listing to the speakers from my dining table, awfully off centered from the core of the action. I know that the reflection of light on its polished oak side panels will make me feel good the moment I enter my living room in the morning. I don't need these speakers but I want them because I believe they will bring me some form of sensual value.

Now I am sorry to say... but I have stopped feeling the same for cameras. I know that whatever I buy from now on will deliver little additional pleasure. Perhaps this is due to my not actually touching my camera more than a few % of the time I use (it sits on a tripod all the time)... or... doctor... am I sick?

Cheers,
Bernard
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2010, 07:50:59 PM »
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Yes, I do.  I want better tiny cameras.  I want better tiny lenses.

APS-C and FF are fine.  m43 and the Sony Nex cameras have miles to go.

I also want better speakers.
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2010, 08:39:45 PM »
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I'd like to see greater dynamic range in DSLRs. That is the greatest weakness in current DSLR cameras.
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Kirk

Kirk Gittings
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HiltonP
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2010, 04:48:08 AM »
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I feel your pain Bernard!  Cry  . . . I for one would like to see some sanity return to the camera market, with new models only being released when there is a genuine and significant improvement in technology and not simply re-cobbled marketing spin. I realise that no-one is forcing me to buy a new camera, but the quickfire release of new models has rendered my still warm older bodies worthless in just a couple of years.

On a less money orientated note, I also cannot help but believe that a slowing down of new releases might lead to an increase in photo quality as photographers grow to know their cameras, as opposed to now, where the battery is barely used before the next model is being touted. I had my Canon A-1 for over ten years, during which time it did not age technologically at all. I was able to "bond" with it, learn its finer points and foibles, and develop a real understanding of its capabilities. Without sounding coy, one could develop a long term relationship with the camera . . . whereas these days it seems more like a one night stand . . . boom, bam, thank you ma'am, onto the next model . . .  Wink
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Josh-H
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2010, 06:07:33 AM »
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Quote
On a less money orientated note, I also cannot help but believe that a slowing down of new releases might lead to an increase in photo quality as photographers grow to know their cameras, as opposed to now, where the battery is barely used before the next model is being touted. I had my Canon A-1 for over ten years, during which time it did not age technologically at all. I was able to "bond" with it, learn its finer points and foibles, and develop a real understanding of its capabilities. Without sounding coy, one could develop a long term relationship with the camera . . . whereas these days it seems more like a one night stand . . . boom, bam, thank you ma'am, onto the next model . . .

AMEN.
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Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2010, 06:30:44 AM »
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¿Do we still want better pictures?

10 * 8 film cameras were/are high enough res for almost all people, and people who have changed from 10 * 8 sheet film to digital still stitch 60Mpx files for high res, so is it a reasonable assumption that standard single-shot digital cameras will never exceed 200 or 300 Mpx?

When can we get a 5 * 4 inch 6 micron sensor, and an Apo-Digitar 2,000mm?

¿When will an H4D-60 be low-res and old hat, and good enough for web work or as a back-up?

I never had any ambition to go beyond 5 * 4, so I hope and expect to remain happy with an H4D-60.
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Riaan van Wyk
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2010, 10:07:02 AM »
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[quote

 whereas these days it seems more like a one night stand . . . boom, bam, thank you ma'am, onto the next model . . .  Wink
[/quote]

So true Hilton. One of my cameras is about three years young.

I was asked by a chap ( whilst in a game viewing hide) shooting the same brand/ type but about seven upgrades ( or so it seems) later as to why I'm still shooting with such an "old" camera and that I really need to upgrade so I can take better pitures- the new model is just sooo much better than the previous.

I wished for his part that he had figured out the settings on his previous model though, as he was really battling to use it when a herd of elephants came to drink at the waterhole.       
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Rob C
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2010, 10:08:20 AM »
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I echo the wail of discomfort about devaluation. Was a time that one could keep cameras for years and still trade them in for either new of the same or a newer version, without a huge financial loss. That has gone.

Obviously the camera makers are delighted with the new paradigm: built-in obsolescence is a new avenue to milk, and it comes mated with the perfect excuses of development/new components. There is an unlimited number of little things that can be 'upgraded' and claimed as justification for price hikes.

But I wonder, do the figures bode well for the future of these same companies? Will the time come for each individual amateur buyer when he says enough!? I can see the pro being milked for far longer - has he any real choice? - but the way things seem to be going, how many of them will be left with the potential to buy the extreme machines? Even those need a reasonable turnover to exist.

I can't help thinking I'm seeing the dotcom bubble all over again.

Rob C
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michswiss
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2010, 10:42:12 AM »
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I'm not so sure this isn't looking at things through rose-coloured glasses.  I'm not an historian, but it seems to me bodies have always been subject to relatively short life cycles, especially with low- to mid-range kit.  Even in the halcyon days of just film.  Higher-end bodies don't seem to be on the once-a-year revision cycle.  It isn't the same equation when the film and the lens was all it was really about.  These days, the body is integrated with the "film."  There's going to be regular advancement in sensor technologies, at least for the next many years and we'll all want to benefit from it.

That said, longevity is and has always (rightly in my view) been with the lens.  Again, lots of churn at the consumer-end but the best lenses will hold value and remain superbly useful for many, many, many years.  And thankfully, manufacturers don't seem inclined to let feature-creep seep into that segment.
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k bennett
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2010, 11:59:50 AM »
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I used my 1D Mark II bodies for five years. Just replaced them with the new 1D Mark IV this spring. I am satisfied with the life I got from the old cameras, and blown away by the improved image quality of the new cameras. Three generations of digital development makes quite a difference.

I'm pretty well set for the next five years, I think.
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RSL
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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2010, 12:41:13 PM »
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Let's face it, we're going to get "better" cameras whether we want them or not. Here's an example: Canon's about ready with their in-camera HDR. There's a quick run-through on the process here http://gizmodo.com/5561208/canons-in+camera-hdr-patent-will-let-you-take-pictures-like-this. The unanaswered question is: who would want to take pictures like this?
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2010, 12:45:35 PM »
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Hi,

In the old times you switched to new film in an old camera. Now days the film is built into the camera and called sensor.

One of the areas where there has been much development was high ISO capability. The Nikon D3 seems to be quite outstanding in this respect, so competition needs to catch up.

On the other hand it's my impression that todays cameras are probably good enough, but we may see a lot of improvement in usability. Some features that would stand high on my list of priorities would be:

- Live view
- Optional contrast sensing autofocus
- Self calibrating autofocus
- Non mechanical shutter
- Vibration less design (No moving mirror and nonmechanical shutter)

Best regards
Erik

Best regards
Erik Kaffehr
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2010, 12:55:25 PM »
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Hi,

I see your point.

On the other hand, HDR seems to get more and more feasible. I recently shot some HDR's I actually like:

http://echophoto.smugmug.com/Special-methods/HDR/HDR/13306153_DcZHj#967152189_afKD9-A-LB
http://echophoto.smugmug.com/Special-methods/HDR/HDR/13306153_DcZHj#966794997_wt4h6-A-LB

Now, these may not be perfect, but they achieve much better separation of both highlight and shadow detail than would be possible with none HDR techniques. This is mostly due to tone mapping and not HDR. Still I'd suggest that better bracketing for HDR would be a worthwhile feature and so would be focus bracketing to extend depth of field.

Best regards
Erik
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Riaan van Wyk
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2010, 01:08:43 PM »
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http://gizmodo.com/5561208/canons-in+camera-hdr-patent-will-let-you-take-pictures-like-this. The unanaswered question is: who would want to take pictures like this?

Probably three quarters of the world Russ. It will create a new "in thing" on the net. HDR categories will have to add an "in camera" sub section, and the posters of such images will be proud of their "in camera" images. And people like me who blend images will be called idiots for not embracing new technology.

But darn, those haloes above the building does look cool...yeah right..
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2010, 04:51:23 PM »
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September is a rant season isn't it?
Being in the midst of investing in a new pair of speakers to replace my current, and already breathtakingly good, pair, I was struck by another disturbing question this morning: do we still want better cameras?

Bernard, to my mind, the problem with your question is the assumption that all of us still have a Nikon D3x like you. You might not care one whit about getting new DSLR now, and if I were in your boat I wouldn't either. However, some fella may be coming to the tail-end of usefulness with his Nikon D200 and may very well be in the market for a new camera ...




Assuming that big breakthoughs are behind us for most practical applications, I take it for granted that we don't need them anymore. Now, do we even still want them?

Yes, most definitely.

Again, not everyone has a Nikon D3x. Further, good as your camera is, there are features in it that can be improved upon. While such minor adjustments might not be enough to move "you" into a buying mode next year, they might well move the guy still sitting on his D200 to get up and get one.

Even better, the guy like me who at this point can't really swing the $8000 D3x "right now" can smile and buy a nice used one in 2 years when it becomes "yesterday's news" ... because it still will be a great camera.




I anticipate some selfish value from my new speakers. More clarity in the highs, a wider soundstage that will enhance my listening pleasure when listing to the speakers from my dining table, awfully off centered from the core of the action. I know that the reflection of light on its polished oak side panels will make me feel good the moment I enter my living room in the morning. I don't need these speakers but I want them because I believe they will bring me some form of sensual value.
Now I am sorry to say... but I have stopped feeling the same for cameras. I know that whatever I buy from now on will deliver little additional pleasure. Perhaps this is due to my not actually touching my camera more than a few % of the time I use (it sits on a tripod all the time)... or... doctor... am I sick?
Cheers,
Bernard

Well, then, at this point the need for YOU to buy a new camera with the next iteration of features just isn't there. But that doesn't mean other people won't be moved to buy the next iteration, as their own cameras are a bit lower down the evolutionary continuum than yours.

And again, even better, the guy like me who did NOT plop down $10K to buy the D3x when it first came out, will be able to have the same great camera for considerably less a few years down the road. Thus, again, the advent of new models is only "bad" based upon one's own current camera ... and what one spent to get it.

So, in the end, I don't think you're "sick"; you're just a guy who finished spending 10K on a helluva camera and you don't really need a new one. Further, you can't take advantage of the price drop of the D3x either. In point of fact, you're at the wrong end of it.

However, a person like myself will profit greatly when a newer and (slightly) better D4x comes out (D5?) ... because I can take advantage of this ever-developing trend from the other side of it ... and be able to buy a truly great camera in the Nikon D3x for a low price in a year or two. And, when I do, I will not be motivated to buy another camera until mine runs out of life ...

Jack




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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2010, 05:29:23 PM »
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Bernard, to my mind, the problem with your question is the assumption that all of us still have a Nikon D3x like you. You might not care one whit about getting new DSLR now, and if I were in your boat I wouldn't either. However, some fella may be coming to the tail-end of usefulness with his Nikon D200 and may very well be in the market for a new camera ...

So, in essence, you are saying that people, or at least you, buy new cameras because they need them, regardless of any consideration of want? Smiley

To be fair, I guess it is hard to completely separate them. The want must somehow result from a belief in a need, or at least it could.

Would I feel different if I were still using a D90? Maybe but probably not. My main satisfaction these days is to come back from a shoot and seeing that 99% of my images are tack sharp when looked at at 100% on screen with the right sharpening applied in C1. That is the result of more focus on the camera support and I believe that I would just as pleased if I achieved the same with a D90.

Again, this might not be a healthy practise.

One last point on waiting and buyng cheaper. I would stay that buying at the right place is a start. I paid 7600 US$ for m current camera almost 2 years ago, which appears to be still cheaper than the price you would have to pay today. But the main point really is all these images that I did capture in the mean time. That is at least how it looked before I reached my current state of Buddhism... Smiley

Cheers,
Bernard
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2010, 06:27:17 PM »
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So, in essence, you are saying that people, or at least you, buy new cameras because they need them, regardless of any consideration of want? Smiley

Hmmm, I am not sure one ever "needs" a camera (as, for instance, a person needs oxygen and water); so I would say when a newer camera has enough features I desire to warrant the purchase then, yes, I will get it.





To be fair, I guess it is hard to completely separate them. The want must somehow result from a belief in a need, or at least it could.

I understand. In the end, I agree, we must want it bad enough to justify the expense. Which was my point, actually. YOU may be in the position, features-wise, where the next iteration of Nikon might not interest you, but a fellow a couple of generations behind you might well feel much different.





Would I feel different if I were still using a D90? Maybe but probably not. My main satisfaction these days is to come back from a shoot and seeing that 99% of my images are tack sharp when looked at at 100% on screen with the right sharpening applied in C1. That is the result of more focus on the camera support and I believe that I would just as pleased if I achieved the same with a D90.

But you would not be able to produce the same-size print with the D90 as you would with a D3x.

Thus, in my own case, when I get to a level (and position of travel flexibility) to where it makes sense for me to get a FF camera and take landscapes more seriously, an elder D3x will probably be my choice.




Again, this might not be a healthy practise.

Are you feeling okay? You keep talking about being "sick" or "unhealthy" Smiley

In truth, you do what makes you happy, which is okay by me.

Your reasons for purchase (or not to purchase) are your own, same as mine are my own.




One last point on waiting and buyng cheaper. I would stay that buying at the right place is a start. I paid 7600 US$ for m current camera almost 2 years ago, which appears to be still cheaper than the price you would have to pay today. But the main point really is all these images that I did capture in the mean time. That is at least how it looked before I reached my current state of Buddhism... Smiley
Cheers,
Bernard

LOL, well, I am glad you got a good deal!

Myself, I wanted a really good crop camera, as macrophotography is my main thing. I bought the 7D which, at the time, was the best option I had available ... and it is still good enough that I will be happy with it for a long, long time. However, I do intend to get serious about landscapes eventually, and when I do I am going to get a FF camera ... and I believe even a 4 year old D3x will be a fantastic tool for the job ... and I will be very grateful for all the newer (and much more expensive) versions out there ... which will help me get this great camera for a fraction of what a new one cost Smiley

Cheers,

Jack




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« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 06:28:51 PM by John Koerner » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2010, 08:12:26 PM »
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But you would not be able to produce the same-size print with the D90 as you would with a D3x.

I happen to stitch a lot, so there would in fact be little difference in most cases, just a little bit more work on the field.

Cheers,
Bernard
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2010, 07:33:25 AM »
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Yes, I do.  I want better tiny cameras.  I want better tiny lenses.
I do too... but wait. My goodol'Rebel still works OK and gives me the quality I need.

is it a reasonable assumption that standard single-shot digital cameras will never exceed 200 or 300 Mpx?
Maybe...
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/02/why-80-megapixels-just-wont-be-enough.html
Roll Eyes

I echo the wail of discomfort about devaluation.
I won't, it makes 2nd hand cameras cheaper!
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2010, 08:22:01 AM »
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I do too... but wait. My goodol'Rebel still works OK and gives me the quality I need.

Not a tiny camera, tho.
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