Concerning Purchasing A New Model Camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by macro, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. macro macrumors member

    Dec 15, 2007
    In 1969 I bought my first SLR, a Nikon FTn. I still have it and use it. Not as much as I used to, but, it is a great camera. Pro construction all the way or it wouldn't have lasted this long. If you can afford Pro equipment, buy it.

    Most can't afford Pro equipment, or, if they can, they will never fully utilize its intricacies.

    A few years ago I purchased a Nikon D70s. Its inner workings are absolutely fantastic and the photos it takes are professional grade; if set correctly the camera will do more than you can imagine.

    What I am trying to say here is that is is not the camera, it is the lens and education, self-taught or formal, that makes the photograph. Important to remember is that the camera is only a light tight box; not the end all of great photography.

    9 years ago I sold my old TLR and bought a Mamiya RB67 Pro SD. I mention this as the RB is fully mechanical with no meter and no electronics. Gears, levers and eccentrics. It is still the best camera, in my opinion, that has ever been made. It's a tank, very heavy. the lenses from the Seiko C lenses to the K/L lenses are wonderful. However, you have to know what you are doing with this camera or it may as well be a door stop. It is not a thinking camera. The photographer has to do the thinking.

    My point is: it is the lens, not the camera. It is the photographer, not the camera or lens. It is the stuff learned and stored upstairs that will allow one to create a great photo. All the computer and camera technology in existence, now and in the future, will not make a great photo. Only the photographers mind, learning and experience will create a great photo.

    So many times people think that a newer camera is going to make a great difference and they are forever disappointed. Digitals set on full auto give them their best chance. When the light changes to extreme values of shadow and highlights, the camera cannot follow. Understanding metering and light values is the only way to expose a properly rendered photo.

    It is important to realize that one has to educate oneself before any camera or lens will do what they want it to do. Just buying the newest digital is confining oneself to old limitations.
  2. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    That used to be VERY true back in the days of film. Now, the quality of the camera's sensor plays a huge role in the quality of the image. Probably more important than the lens, although admittedly not more important than the photographer.

    HOwever, the electronics of today's cameras can offset a certain amount of lack of photographic skill - they can allow a mediocre photographer to get some technically excellent shots.
  3. macro thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 15, 2007
    That's what I am saying and you got it. One still has to understand the marriage of the camera and the lens for exposure. The new computers have thousands of images stored which they refer to to arrive at an average for the digital photographer. What if the photographer doesn't want an average? What if the value is from zone 3 to zone 8? Something has to give and what should it be? The highlight or the shadow? The computer cannot tell you that. It is knowledge learned by school or practice and note taking in many photographic situations.

    This is just for conversation and interest.
  4. valdore macrumors 65816


    Jan 9, 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
    All I have to contribute is...

    the quality of my photos took a pronounced jump up when I moved from a diminutive Kodak 4 megapixel point-and-shoot to a Rebel XT, which was my first SLR. When I transitioned from the Rebel XT to the 5D, of course, there wasn't such a huge noticeable difference. I can get away with more such as high ISO in low light and whatnot with the 5D, but certainly just trading up to a more costly SLR won't necessarily solve all of one's problems.

    This big bad 5D still has a lot of bells and whistles that I haven't really mastered yet, but I'm glad they are there for when I do learn what I have left to learn.

    Really I think the orders of importance in photography are...

    1) Eye for composition and artistic sensibility
    2) Determination to learn and experiment
    3) Capable SLR body with lenses to match, and knowing how and when to use them - I believe this is TIED with having good digital editing software, and knowing how to use it.

  5. macro thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 15, 2007
    Valdore, the 5D is a great camera. I have been shooting professionally for many years. Though I shoot Nikon I have shot many variances of cameras. I could not care less what one shoots. I think you have hit it on the head. You know your limitations and you are willing to learn. That will take you as far as you want to go. Digital is a great equalizer in many ways. Until you come up against light values and indexes. In this case, the computer will not take up the slack if you haven't learned f stop vs and plus shutter speed. Zone of focus vs hyperfocal distance. The good news is, it is a great experience and the learning is the doing and you are outdoors or indoors at your favorite places.

    EDit- Love the bird. I just took ours off my shoulder and put her back in her cage.
  6. Crawn2003 macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2005
    Santa Rosa, California
    Have you considered a Fuji S5 with a MB-D200 grip??

    I use it for all my clients whenever I shoot, that is, whenever I don't drag out my 4x5 and Leaf back.

    Works great for landscapes, architecture, product shots, etc. Then I correct for verticals in photoshop.


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