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A question of choice


PRC 6 300 United Kingdom
12 Feb 2021 11:52AM
A hypothetical (at the moment) question; I'm just having a ponder.

If you were starting out again, as a keen amateur, definitely not a professional, how would you select which manufacturer would get your hard-earned cash? Imagine you're someone who wants to move up to full frame (either DSLR or mirrorless) but may find themselves in a position to start again with a new brand, without any brand loyalty or legacy equipment.

Would you prioritise the stability and projected longevity of the manufacturer?
Would you home in on a particular model of camera that suits exactly what you need - which may apply for a specialist, rather than generalist, hobbyist?
Would you be put off by a limited dealer network, so you have to go halfway across the country to physically see and hold equipment?
Would you be put off by the wide choice of models, like (it seems to me) Sony, thinking that individual models are aimed at specialists and not generalists?
On the other hand would you be put off if a manufacturer has an extremely limited range - like Pentax?
Would you prioritise the range of lenses available?
Would you take into consideration the availability of third party lenses, accessories, etc?

Any thoughts?

Philip

Jestertheclown 12 8.4k 253 England
12 Feb 2021 12:09PM
I moved to Full Frame last summer after years of using Nikon DI'd decided DSLRs; I've still got a few.
I'd decided upon mirrorless and my first choice was to stick with Nikon and get one of the "Zs" but after much research, I decided to go with a Sony, mostly because of the number of lenses that are available for them and because the A7RIII ticked all the right boxes.
As it turned out, about a week before I made the purchase, it became apparent that some A7RIIIs had been found to have fractured components in their IBIS; effectively the sensor mount, so that idea went straight out the window and I bought a Z7.
Had it not been for that fault, I'd have had no qualms about switching to another make.
pablophotographer 9 1.9k 405
13 Feb 2021 1:13AM
Hi.
I had a very quick look in your profile and noticed that the amount of frames with static subjects were more than the ones with moving ones. I also noticed you do have a camera and lens and supposed that you could exchange the camera and use the existing lens(-es). So I would say stuck with the existing manufacturer. Pentax may reduce the price of K-1ii when the new K-1iii comes out later this year. Check this article too titled:
The Pentax K1 III might be close
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors.
I think it has the specifications of the new model too.
Best of luck

PRC 6 300 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2021 11:58AM
Thanks for the comments.

Pablo, yes the majority of my portfolio is static subjects but that probably reflects that those are the images I'm happiest with. I would like to be better at a wider range of subjects.

I'm very aware that the equipment I use isn't the limiting factor in my photography but I'd like a longer lens and perhaps a move to full frame. So I'm at a point where I need to decide whether to stay with Pentax or switch to another system. Keeping to Pentax worries me a little now that third party suppliers are reducing/stopping their support for Pentax. There are no physical retailers of Pentax in the area (even in the whole county with nearly 1.4 million population). The Pentax K1ii specs are a little behind the curve now and they've implied they have no intention of producing a mirrorless system. Personally, I'm not sure of a medium to long term future for Pentax. Changing would be a big, expensive move but may be less restrictive in the long term. My original post was really see if anyone had any views on how to decide on a new, whole system. I chose Pentax for my first DSLR because I had a Pentax film camera and the lenses were transferable. If I was starting out now, I'm not sure I would choose Pentax.
ChrisV Plus
14 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
14 Feb 2021 9:07AM
Itís a difficult conundrum. Discounting Pentax (and I would probably for similar reasons to yourself), that leaves the big three plus Panasonic. While Iím a big fan of the latterís cameras, thereís the consideration that while DfD is now pretty good it still lags behind PD for subject tracking, including in video. Add to that an incompatible lens mount between the G (MfT) and S (FF) mounts and the fact the larger format lenses are still relatively thin on the ground and very expensive even though thereís an allianceÖ at the moment not that strong a bet, although shorter odds have come in.

In spite of their pedigree in the field (and again I like their ergonomics), Nikonís future at present is looking a little precarious. Without substantial prior investment in their system I think Iíd be cautious about betting on their prospects longer term. I hope they weather the storm, but itís going to be a challenge.

Canon have recently staged a bit of a resurgence, technically. After a few years of their sensors being a bit behind the curve, they seem to be once again competitive. They are of course the number one for Pros and theyíll fight hard to maintain that space.

Sony are the obvious giant of the bunch and so long as the parent company remains committed to an imaging division, their future seems most secure. Mirrorless is going to be the only game in town pretty soon and they have a fair lead, which means a more extensive range of lenses, including some more affordable options. On the downside, while technically advanced, their ergonomics let them down a little bit - but the gap is narrowing.

Iíd say Sony is currently the most sensible bet. But the emphasis is on Ďbetí. No-one has a crystal ball and all these manufacturers make very good cameras.

Iím buying an Alice - thereís a real punt for you, but itís a smallish stake among the rest.
thewilliam2 4 1.5k United Kingdom
16 Feb 2021 11:53PM
I'd suggest that the best way to choose is to shortlist a few good performers and then buy the camera that feels good in our hands. If we enjoy using the camera and really get to know it, it won't matter so much when another maker offers a slightly higher performance.

Maybe I'm just a sad character who hates changing cameras!
JJGEE 16 7.9k 18 England
17 Feb 2021 8:35AM

Quote:I'd suggest that the best way to choose is to shortlist a few good performers and then buy the camera that feels good in our hands. If we enjoy using the camera and really get to know it, it won't matter so much when another maker offers a slightly higher performance.

Maybe I'm just a sad character who hates changing cameras!



But, even without the current situation, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a retailer where one can go and handle the camera to get that feel of it.
saltireblue Plus
10 11.8k 75 Norway
17 Feb 2021 8:59AM
Thank you to thewilliam2 and JJGEE for bringing the thread back on subject.Smile

(Several totally unnecessary, off-topic and partially personal comments have been removed)
PRC 6 300 United Kingdom
17 Feb 2021 5:17PM

Quote:even without the current situation, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a retailer where one can go and handle the camera to get that feel of it.
I certainly wouldn't do anything before I can go and handle a camera - so that probably rules out Pentax as, even though I live within less than 30 miles of 4 cities, there are no Pentax dealers within those cities.

I guess I can spend the remainder of lockdown researching!
17 Feb 2021 5:39PM
I switched from Canon to Nikon nearly 2 years ago. To be fair, any system would have been fine for me as I didn't have anything of value already in my kit (only cheaper, entry-level stuff) so I was going to have to start from scratch whichever way I turned. Expensive any way up, so I took the long term view that you always lose money on these things anyway and just decided how much my hobby (and mental health) was worth to me and spent within that 'budget'.

I chose Nikon in the end because I liked the feel in my hands, the ease of access to all 3 of the settings for the exposure triangle and the ability to use older and (some) 3rd party lenses with the adapter.

I was torn between the Z6 and Z7. Hubby went for the Z7 bc he does landscape almost exclusively. I went Z6 bc of slightly reduced data storage demands. But also bc it's more suited to a wider variety of genres (as I understand...I'm not technical enough to argue the point tbf).

If you have a relative or photo buddy who uses a particular brand, you may want to think about whether you could/would want to swap lenses occasionally (e.g. long lens for an occasional bit of wildlife photography) to save investing in expensive lenses you'll rarely use.

Also consider your editing software. I use an older version of PS elements which won't read the new format files so I have to convert to dng first. Free software, but an added task that takes time.

Maybe some food for thought in there for you somewhere?

Hope you find the one that's right for you and makes you happy bc, at the end of the day, that's what it's all about really. 😊

17 Feb 2021 8:53PM
So much depends on what you want to do with it. Personally I shoot a wide variety of subjects and styles, so a good choice of lenses is important for me. As for the camera body - I am sure any one of the big makers could provide me with a body that will do all I need and longevity is unlikely to be an issue for me - the technology moves on, but I'm not one to worry about having that latest gadget, so once well equipped I happily stay with the original gear for a long time.
In the end it believe you should try to as many different options as possible before making a choice, and once having made a choice be prepared to stick with it - the camera is probably better than the photographer in most cases anyway.
thewilliam2 4 1.5k United Kingdom
17 Feb 2021 9:31PM

Quote:
Quote:even without the current situation, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a retailer where one can go and handle the camera to get that feel of it.
I certainly wouldn't do anything before I can go and handle a camera - so that probably rules out Pentax as, even though I live within less than 30 miles of 4 cities, there are no Pentax dealers within those cities.

This is one advantage of a camera club or professional association.

When my wife started professional wedding photography, she used the firm's kit and hated it, although the Kodak DCS760 was about the best available at the time. Over the following months, she went to the MPA practical sessions and had a good play with other people's kit. She soon knew exactly what she wanted and, 15 years later, still uses the camera bodies in the studio. Her set of lenses still do their job and haven't been replaced.

Constant upgrading is a great way to waste money!

Philh04 Plus
15 2.3k United Kingdom
18 Feb 2021 7:29AM

Quote:Over the following months, she went to the MPA practical sessions and had a good play with other people's kit

Difficult over Zoom Tongue I am not sure how one would get to handle kit these days, getting a feel for the camera etc is so very important, maybe a good returns policy...
LenShepherd 13 4.3k United Kingdom
5 Mar 2021 8:04PM

Quote:
Quote:Over the following months, she went to the MPA practical sessions and had a good play with other people's kit

Difficult over Zoom Tongue I am not sure how one would get to handle kit these days, getting a feel for the camera etc is so very important, maybe a good returns policy...


Some companies - including Fuji - allow 2 days free trial - equipment shipped both ways by courier - though naturally they take a significant deposit during the loan period.
kodachrome 9 730
6 Mar 2021 8:55AM
If I was starting out as a complete amateur photographer , which I still am, I would opt for small and light system. This would be purchased after thorough market research on the various brands. However, I have been using a bridge camera ( Panasonic DMC FZ 330 ) for a couple of years and it really does everything I need and now I'm reluctant to return to my other interchangeable lens cameras,

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