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Better Cameras DO Take Better Photographs

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User_Removed
21 May 2012 - 6:00 AM

Sitting here in my Monteray hotel using their free WiFi and enjoying a beer or three which always make me contemplative.

Thinking about some of the cliches that appear regularly on the Forum, to which I have from time to time agreed.

You know the sort of thing:

It is the photographer, not the camera that makes a good photograph.

A more modern camera will not make you a better photographer.

etc.

etc.

etc.

WHAT UTTER GARBAGE!

Yes, I know I have subscribed to such idiocy in the past, more often than I care to admit.

But think about it cooly and rationally.

Over the past 10 years or so, as digital cameras have evolved, each major model from each major manufacturer has produced a new generation every 2 - 3 years.

In that time (as a late convert from film to digital) I have had a Nikon D80, D300, D3s and D800. Each one very significantly better than the last.

The fact is that each generation gives us many, many techological advances, e.g.

Better sensors

Better processing engines

More accurate AE systems

Faster and more accurate AF systems

Much less noise at much higher ISO

Better graduated tonal range over an increased dynamic range

to name but a very few.

How can a camera that calculates more accurate exposures, guarantees (almost) better focus, produces a sharper, better toned image and copes readily with more difficult lighting and subject conditions NOT help the user to produce better photographs?

What they may not (yet) do is help with subject selection and composition but watch this space.

What does strike me is that it is the beginning photographer who stands to gain most from all the technological advances we have seen and have yet to see. Perversely, it is probably those of us (like me) with 50+ years of experience under our belts who are most likely to spout out the cliches I began the post with.

Time for another Sierra Nevada Pale Ale!

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21 May 2012 - 6:00 AM

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Umberto_Vanni
Umberto_Vanni e2 Member 9372 forum postsUmberto_Vanni vcard Scotland
21 May 2012 - 6:12 AM

Better cameras do help to produce sharper, clearer images, but they won't make you into a good photographer. I've been into photography since 1996 and i'm still learning. I didn't have Photoshop back in those days and that is a learning curve in itself. From cutting my teeth on film and talking lots of "iffy" photos, i gradually learnt about exposure and subject and IMO i'm taking better pictures today. Still get bum shots now and again but digital is great for the beginner IMO because they can practice without fear of spending a fortune on film. For the enthusiast, digital is a great medium as it allows you to fine tune your skills.

joolsb
joolsb  1027115 forum posts Switzerland38 Constructive Critique Points
21 May 2012 - 6:39 AM

Ho-hum. Better cameras can produce technically better images but you still have to practice hard if you want to move beyond seeing the obvious shots. Actually, I'm sure the next big 'advance' will be a geotagged in-camera database of shooting information, along the lines of "You appear to be on Rannoch Moor. That pretty mountain in front of you will make a nice shot, especially if you include the river as foreground interest. I suggest moving three paces to the left and two forwards. 1" at f16 will blur the water nicely and don't forget to use a tripod".

Don't laugh. It's all perfectly feasible.

Last Modified By joolsb at 21 May 2012 - 8:02 AM
User_Removed
21 May 2012 - 7:25 AM


Quote: It is the photographer, not the camera that makes a good photograph.


Quote: WHAT UTTER GARBAGE!

You're entitled to your opinion even though, in my opinion, you are completely wrong.

If I gave my work collegue(Who has no knowledge of photography what so ever.)my Canon 1D mkII and said come back tomorrow with one good quality portrait, landscape, macro and street life shots, he wouldn't have the first clue where to start but the Canon 1D still remains a good quality camera?

It helps to get a better quality image with better quality camera gear but first you have to understand photography, including subjects like light, exposure, aperture, depth of field, blah blah blah..................

Once you blend , knowledge, experience and knowhow with a decent quality camera, you should stand a chance of getting a reasonable and sometimes, better than average image.

Now, I'm sorry to say that I can see this one turning nasty in a few days so I'm going to bail out at this point for reasons I don't want to go into but I'll be watching with interest.

Last Modified By User_Removed at 21 May 2012 - 7:30 AM
Ewanneil
Ewanneil  41118 forum posts Scotland2 Constructive Critique Points
21 May 2012 - 7:30 AM

We have been here before, quite recently, and a rather bizarre and occasionally bad-tempered thread emerged. Keep the heid, folks.


Quote: Ho-hum. Better cameras can produce technically better images but you still have to practice hard if you want to move beyond seeing the obvious shots. Actually, I'm sure the next big 'advance' will be a geotagged in-camera database of shooting information, along the lines of "You appear to be on Rannoch Moor. That pretty mountain in front of you will make a nice shot, especially if you include the river as foreground interest. I suggest moving three paces to the left and two forwards. 1" at f16 will blur the water nicely and don't forget to use a tripod".

Don't laugh. It's all perfectly feasible.

Absolutely, but how long before our cameras start displaying message like..

"Oh! and by the way your going to need some wet weather gear because the forecast for this evening is heavy rain. So why not pop into The Outdoor Shop just 1500 meters from where you are now for the finest selection of foul weather clothing. And after your photo shoot have a pint in the convivial surroundings of ........" You get the idea.

franken
franken e2 Member 123182 forum postsfranken vcard Wales4 Constructive Critique Points
21 May 2012 - 8:04 AM

The same old, same old repeated threads that do nothing!

Ken

Big Bri
Big Bri  1315605 forum posts United Kingdom
21 May 2012 - 8:08 AM

Gerry, I don't think he's saying a 1Dx will always produce a better picture than an on D30, regardless of the photographer. He's saying that give the same photographer both cameras, and one will produce a technically better photograph, which I agree with 100%. I recently used my old 10D, which I used to be happy with (despite not knowing where the self timer was (in-joke)) and I could take exactly the same photo with that and my 5D and the difference is immense.

Other things as well - we hear a lot about cameras on phones, but the lack of the ability to stick it on a tripod and make careful adjustments to your composition before taking the shot, still swings it for "proper" cameras.

Taking photos of birds in flight - something I struggle with, to keep the focus locked on, even though I am pretty good at panning them. I know that with a more expensive camera and faster glass, the focus would lock on better. The new raft of cameras with higher usable ISO would allow me a faster shutter speed as well.

So, I agree that given the same camera, the ability of the photographer shines through, but give the same photographer two vastly different cameras, and that will as well.

franken
franken e2 Member 123182 forum postsfranken vcard Wales4 Constructive Critique Points
21 May 2012 - 8:24 AM

36 pages on the same subject.

http://www.ephotozine.com/forums/topic/what-takes-the-best-photo---camera-or-pho...

puertouk
puertouk  31081 forum posts United Kingdom17 Constructive Critique Points
21 May 2012 - 8:24 AM

I think our friend who put this on the forum was sat on his bed in his hotel room, bored, with a good amount of the local ale inside him, if you can call it that! Missing his friends back home. He needed someone to chat to, so who better than his E photozine pals. Why not dig up an old tired thread and get us going again, except for Franken, that is, as he saw through his charade straight away, as did I. I will put up a thread now, which I'm sure that is close to all our hearts. So, go to my thread.
Stephen

keith selmes
21 May 2012 - 8:48 AM


Quote: It is the photographer, not the camera that makes a good photograph.

I always feel that one is overdone, a photographer without a camera doesn't make any photographs at all, and no photographer can do more than the camera can.


Quote: A more modern camera will not make you a better photographer.

In some respects it makes life easier, but it certainly doen't guarantee better pictures.


Quote: How can a camera that calculates more accurate exposures, guarantees (almost) better focus, produces a sharper, better toned image and copes readily with more difficult lighting and subject conditions NOT help the user to produce better photographs?

Put a crap lens on the front and a crap photographer on the back and see what you get

Actually,old cameras with black and white film are in some respects less demanding than modern digital cameras, and technically simpler to operate.
Very much depending on circumstances though.

There is something in the idea that modern cameras can enable a person with an eye for a picture to produce good work with less technical camera knowledge, though there's a good chance they make up for it with more computer knowledge.

User_Removed
21 May 2012 - 9:22 AM


Quote: Gerry, I don't think he's saying a 1Dx will always produce a better picture than an on D30...........

Hi Big Bri. In that case, maybe I got the wrong end of the stick and if that's the case, my apologies. Smile

strawman
strawman  1022010 forum posts United Kingdom16 Constructive Critique Points
21 May 2012 - 9:39 AM

New cameras are better than those in the past but


Quote: It is the photographer, not the camera that makes a good photograph.

True but never forget luck


Quote: A more modern camera will not make you a better photographer.

Pretty well true just as true that using an old camera will not make you a better photographer.

Is the correct answer the best require a mix of artistic and technical attributes.

Overread
Overread  63806 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
21 May 2012 - 10:23 AM

Ohhh this again Grin



Honestly I never understand anyone that tries to make any skill area into a situation (Battle/warzone) between the user and the equipment. It always ends up with very silly polarized arguments (beginners running around with 1DX's and top level photographers running around with pinhole cameras).

In short, in ANY area of activity where there are tools used to create the final product an improvement in the quality and performance of the tool itself will generally result in an easier/better end result for a person using those tools. In short improved tools reduces the technical limitations imposed upon the user by those tools.

Similarly an improvement in the base material (in the case of photography this would be light and subject) also results in reduced limitations and an improvement in the possible final result.

And finally, improvement in the user of the tools and the chooser of the material to work with (ie the photographer in this case) will similarly result in an improved final product.


Generally speaking its the user (ie the final part) which critically pulls the first two parts together to get the final result. As such the user is often one of the most important parts - their understanding, experience and ability to work within the limitations present is key to producing the final product.
However that important fact does not mean that the other components are suddenly unimportant - far from it they are still just as important.

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139544 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
21 May 2012 - 11:26 AM


Quote: enjoying a beer or three which always make me contemplative.

It'll seem different tomorrow. Tongue Hope you are enjoying your holiday.



Quote: I think our friend who put this on the forum was sat on his bed in his hotel room, bored, with a good amount of the local ale inside him, if you can call it that! Missing his friends back home. He needed someone to chat to, so who better than his E photozine pals. Why not dig up an old tired thread and get us going again,

....... do hurry back LF, we're missing you! Wink

MrGoatsmilk
21 May 2012 - 11:57 AM

I also read the OP's thread as same photographer different cameras same glass, my 5DMKII is better than my 40D and they are both better than my 300D, the same picture same conditions taken by me will be better on the 5D then the 40D and lastly the 300D, if it wasn't I would use my 300D at weddings and not have bothered upgrading.

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