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Thread started 25 Sep 2014 (Thursday) 03:21
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Does higher price mean better quality photo?

 
AndrewChristopher
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Sep 25, 2014 03:21 |  #1

Hello all,

I was wondering if a higher priced camera takes a sharper, clearer, and smoother photo than a less expensive one? For example, does shooting with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i compared to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III have a dramatic difference in quality or is it the lens that determines this?


Just a beginner learning the ways of model photography.

  
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Paulstw
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Sep 25, 2014 03:33 |  #2

Having started out with a 600D and moved up through various bits of bodies and lenses to get to where I am now, I'd say that you progress as a photographer before you get better kit. You realise that certain kit doesn't do what you need it to so you upgrade. When you upgrade you invariably find out that it was likely more about technique than the need for kit.

Don't get me wrong, to get certain effects, you probably need the kit, but I feel confident that I'd take much better photos with a 600D and kit lens than I did when I first owned it. I'd still have taken crappy pics with my current gear, had I bought that to begin with.




  
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Sep 25, 2014 03:52 |  #3

I started out with 500D and had it for almost three years before I upgraded to 70D. The difference I can tell is only the features of the much expensive camera that are missing from the entry levels. Better pictures depend on the skills of the photographer and not on the end of the camera. They only give you what you need in your photography and will not give you the skill in making better photos. An entry level camera can deliver good quality photo like 5d delivers (with the 5d set up to the limitations of the entry level of course). As what my mentor is telling me, practice, get the square eye and everything will follow. Hope I made sense. Cheers.




  
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Sep 25, 2014 04:03 |  #4

AndrewChristopher wrote in post #17176441 (external link)
Hello all,

I was wondering if a higher priced camera takes a sharper, clearer, and smoother photo than a less expensive one? For example, does shooting with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i compared to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III have a dramatic difference in quality or is it the lens that determines this?

Heya,

Gear helps get a shot. But it doesn't make a better photograph.

The simple answer to your question is: probably yes. But the level of significance is what you should really be asking about. As in, how much better.

And we have a few fun threads that show people's efforts with differing cameras.

Compare for yourself and see what you think:

1DX - $6.5k
6D - $1.5k
70D - $1k
60D - $450
650D - $400

Very best,


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Submariner
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Sep 25, 2014 05:43 |  #5

I wonder how many people have the guts to tell the truth! But as you are about to invest here is my honest take on it.

Of course a top of the range camera and a top of the range Lens can take a much better photo!

( watch them try and slaughter me! .... )

Much better photographers than me will definitely have a serous go - and you might be tempted to believe them. But before you do, Ask yourself if I am wrong; why do all the real top Pros, be they on the sidelines at the world cup or the latest Designer fashion shoot use amazing kit?

If one took say the lowest grade crop camera with a budget lens and say a Nikon D810 ( purely for that amazing sensor ) and the equivalent of the 70-200L F2.8. The image resolution even a learner could achieve would be radically different.

In the beginning would you be able to maximize the benefits of the top range stuff, probably not!
Would it make your images more artistic - no.
Could a brilliant photographer create fabulous photos with cheap gear - definitely yes.

I think you have to pre-think how much you want to do this - and balance the gradual learning curve, against the guranteed financial loss you will take upgrading equipment and of course an affordable budget.

For example I started with a sony SLT- A77 and a G lens - both are outstanding for the money. but I didn't like ergonomics or the build quality. And I hated the appalling Sony support!

So I jumped ship - loss number one! I then bought a 7D and a 70-300L. At the time I was doing more Sports stuff than portrait work. So a great match ( other than struggling with the AF complexities over say the Sony system ... Which are worth it BTW )

I then wanted FF resolution and my needs moved more towards studio work.

So I bought the 5D3 and the 70-200 L IS USM F2.8 ( better resolution, and access to F2.8 to utilise the hypersensitive AF points. )

As soon as Canon have a FF 5D4 or the rumoured 1DXS with 40 MPS, and Auto AF in Video, and maybe even 4K Video; I will upgrade. That will be loss no. 2!

Had such a beast like the 1DXS been available on day one. Financially I could have bought a 1DXS plus the 70-200L F2.8 II and the 85 L F1.2 IMkII ( all I would ever need ).
God it would have been a nightmare learning curve, with nso doubt some dreadful images ( pirely doen to lack of knowledge on my part) - but given my time again, I would have done that!

Peolple ( often those without the money ) confuse the issue. It is not a question of who takes the better picture a) a novice with fab kit or b) a truely skilled Pro Tog with budget equipment
There is a constant in this argument .. And that is YOU , at whatever learning level you are at.

If you are willing to learn, and there is so much great help available on POTN, and have the desire - you can master it, or at least in may case get by with complicated kit. And then your picture for YOUR LEVEL OF LEARNING will be infinitely better.
Will your photos be as good as a seasoned pro with the same kit , obviously not.
But my moto is, if you are enjoying it WTF not!

I personally find it frustrating coming up against a technical buffer, that requires a physical upgrade to overcome it, I would rather struggle with the right kit so when I have mastered it I can the results.

The only flaw in my argument is ... Until you hit a buffer, you often as a novice , dont really know what kit you really need or will want to overcome it.
Here is an example.
People say you dont need quality outer AF points if you do studio work. They say just focus and recompose. If I beleived that - I may have discounted the value of the 5D3s amazinglyly accurate outer Af points. I personally now disagree, purely on a technical point. Namely Basic trigonometry: i.e. the distance of a point straight ahead, is shorter than the distance of say the long side of a triangle. So if I attain focus on the shorter distance, and recompose to the longer one, then it will have focused effectively slightly infront of the new target. And as the quality of the kit gets better, the lens and the sensor is just about able to distinguish this difference - so your target is not in super perfect focus.

Another example is buying F2.8 rather than F4 lenses - the better light gathering attributes of the F2.8 will still help a novice get some additional low light images - simply as it will enable to lock on faster.

My main caviat to my advise, is that currently Canon lag behind dramatically in Sensor technology and auto AF in video, so buying the ultimate gear is not possible - quite yet!
But as the 7DII specs show Canon knows this, and realise they have to address it.

That is why I think at the moment sales of the 7D II should rocket. Its a very nice safe place to be. It will do nearly everything you need and pretty, well I suspect, and when you do upgrade to FF ( when a suitable 5D4 arrives ) the upgrade loss will be minimised as many will see it as a great sports camera for the reach, and also a useful backup that also has reach, and can do video!

I do hope sharing my experience, saves you some money, or at least avoids you having that horrible feeling of "if only I had bought the better one".

What I cant help you with is what type of photography you will eventually prefer, be it Landscapes, Portraits, or sports action..


Canon EOS 5DS R, Canon EF 70-200 F2.8 L Mk II IS USM, Canon EF 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS USM, EF 40mm F2.8 STM , RC6 Remote. Canon STE-3 Radio Flash Controller, Canon 600 EX RT x4 , YN 560 MkII x2 ; Bowens GM500PRO x4 , Bowens Remote Control. Bowens Pulsar TX, RX Radio Transmitter and Reciever Cards. Bowens Constant 530 Streamlights 600w x 4 Sold EOS 5D Mk III, 7D, EF 50mm F1.8, 430 EX Mk II, Bowens GM500Rs x4

  
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SkipD
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Sep 25, 2014 06:16 |  #6

If the photographer is TOTALLY dependent on camera automation to produce properly exposed and focused images, then it's possible that the results for that photographer might improve with more expensive (better quality) camera bodies. However, the results of work created by that photographer will very likely not be as good as the results of a photographer who actually learns about how to create quality images (and I'm still talking about the technical part here - not composition, etc.).

An experienced photographer could probably make far superior images with a cheaper camera than the neophyte (who doesn't work at learning the craft) using the best equipment available.


Skip Douglas
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cdmicha
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Sep 25, 2014 06:18 |  #7

More expensive camera= more advanced features, incremental upgrade in image quality.

To many people, those advanced features make all the difference in being able to capture the image. And obviously, when you compare a crop sensor to a FF sensor, there are image quality differences as well, as there are differences from generation to generation and manufacturer to manufacturer. With all this stated, depending on what type of photography you shoot, it might not make nearly as much of a difference as it will to someone else.

I think that with skill & knowledge of your gear, it's quite possible to make sharp, clear, smooth photographs with most any camera. It's just that some gear's boundaries are quite a bit further than others.


Chris
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Sep 25, 2014 06:23 |  #8

cdmicha wrote in post #17176565 (external link)
More expensive camera= more advanced features, incremental upgrade in image quality.

Leica just released a camera that is fully manual (M 60), no auto focus and doesn't have an LCD. Camera and lens approx 16K. Ya better know what you are doing when ya use that camera. But there is not a better 35mm lens made.




  
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Sep 25, 2014 06:58 |  #9

AndrewChristopher wrote in post #17176441 (external link)
Hello all,

I was wondering if a higher priced camera takes a sharper, clearer, and smoother photo than a less expensive one? For example, does shooting with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i compared to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III have a dramatic difference in quality or is it the lens that determines this?

The same question can be applied to golf clubs. The same answer applies as well. For those needing more features or that extra edge a higher end set gives them, they will shell out the extra money. Now whether they can utilize what that more expensive set of clubs give them, who knows? Experience with the game, knowledge of the course, technique in your swing, your stance, etc will play a larger part in your final score, in most situations.

I always try to buy something that I consider won't limit me for a few years. I want just enough equipment to do well know easily, but have something I can grow into later. It seems to be the best overall approach for my own needs.

That is why I own a cheap Dunlop set of clubs, because anything more just won't help my game. :D


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Sep 25, 2014 06:59 |  #10

Yes Always.


I come here for your expert opinion. Please do not hesitate to critique or edit.
70D, T3i, Tamron 28-75 2.8, Tamron 70-200 2.8 VC, Canon 50 1.4, Canon 100 2.8 Macro, Canon 85 1.8, Canon 10-18 4.5 STM

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Gregg.Siam
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Sep 25, 2014 07:49 |  #11

AndrewChristopher wrote in post #17176441 (external link)
Hello all,

I was wondering if a higher priced camera takes a sharper, clearer, and smoother photo than a less expensive one? For example, does shooting with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i compared to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III have a dramatic difference in quality or is it the lens that determines this?

yes and no, with maybe thrown in. :p

yes - Better cameras have better sensors, better AF, and faster FPS. In good light, any body can take the same image with the same glass. But, once you get into low light, or situations where you need good AF or fast FPS, the more expensive bodies will shine.

Think of it as a line of blue color (85%) with the edges (15%) as red. Most anything will shoot good in the blue area, but when you go into the red, the body with better low light capabilities, more accurate AF, faster FPS, will be quite evident. (I just pulled the numbers out my butt, but you get the idea)

no - I could put the images taken with a 24-105 L lens from either my 550D or 5D MKIII and you couldn't tell the difference. Again, decent light, etc...and they are pretty close to the same.

The difference between a really expensive camera and a entry model is not going to blow you away. It's a common misconception and some get a harsh wake up call when they take the same crappy shots with their new 1DX as they did before. However, get good glass, know what you are doing, and it will be significantly better. Not all lenses have to be L glass either.

The biggest factor is glass. Quality glass with good techniques will produce good shots. Get a body you can afford, learn as much as you can, and add glass.

airfrogusmc wrote in post #17176570 (external link)
Leica just released a camera that is fully manual (M 60), no auto focus and doesn't have an LCD. Camera and lens approx 16K. Ya better know what you are doing when ya use that camera. But there is not a better 35mm lens made.

It has the same sensor as the M240. The only reason it is so expensive is it was designed by Audi and a limited edition. It is far from the best 35mm camera ever made. Leica does make some good glass, but I don't think the lens it comes with is anything new.


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Sep 25, 2014 07:56 |  #12

AndrewChristopher wrote in post #17176441 (external link)
Hello all,

I was wondering if a higher priced camera takes a sharper, clearer, and smoother photo than a less expensive one? For example, does shooting with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i compared to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III have a dramatic difference in quality or is it the lens that determines this?

It's not that simple. Compare actual models of cameras instead of their price. An older 1 series will still fetch a higher price than a newer Rebel for many factors OTHER than image quality. But yeah a 5D III is going to blow a Rebel away in a lab test. If you suck at photography though you're still going to have crappy images that no one really wants to look at.


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Sep 25, 2014 08:07 |  #13

I think the responses have hit the asnwers you are looking for. Here is my one caveat to what was mentioend above. Are you 100% sure that photography is going to be a hobby you will continue? When I got back into photography a few years ago, I had/have other hobbies that occupy a lot of my time. I was not sure how much time I was going to be able to devote to taking photos and learning how to process digital images. So I got a nice kit (T3i and 18-55/55-250) and found I really enjoyed photography still. So over time, I got better glass first. That made the photos, even on the T3i much better. As I started figuring out what I really enjoyed taking photos of, I found things that the T3i could not really handle (low light being the biggest issue). So I researched and figured out what body would work for what I planned on shooting. I ended up with a Canon 6D. That is likely not the body I would have gotten had I gotten a better body first. So I figured out what I needed only after having a started body.
The other issue that I don't see mentioned above it money. I never advocate buying gear on credit or loans. If you only have $1000, figure out what you can get for that money, if that is not what you think you will want, keep saving until you get what you need. This is a hobby for most, and I unfortunately know many people that over extend themselves, even on hobbies and the nect thing you know, they hit a financial wall and have to sell of their hobby gear, often at a loss since they have a time constaint to get the money together. So make it easy on yourself and get what you can, but know that on bodies, you are gonna lose value quickly, but glass keeps its value much better.


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Sep 25, 2014 08:18 as a reply to  @ sirquack's post |  #14

Keep in mind when looking at everything from the 1DX thread to the 600D thread, that the majority of say the 1DX owners have more experience than the 600D owners. Not saying if you own a 600D you are a noob, just that on average, the guys and girls with the expensive bodies have more experience to go with it as well.


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Sep 25, 2014 08:23 |  #15

AndrewChristopher wrote in post #17176441 (external link)
Hello all,

I was wondering if a higher priced camera takes a sharper, clearer, and smoother photo than a less expensive one? For example, does shooting with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i compared to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III have a dramatic difference in quality or is it the lens that determines this?

"Quality" in photography comes from far more than technical detail. It comes from how the image makes the viewer feel (external link). The best pictures generate strong emotions from the viewer (external link). That's even evident on this forum in the picture sharing areas, where many comments come not on the technical details of the image, but the emotions they stir - a cute pet, a car that reminds the writer of something they wanted when they were younger, a scene that the viewer sees as inadvertently humorous.

How many forum users, after seeing a fashion image, have posted a message asking what sort of lens they need to take the same picture -- only to be disappointed to learn that the factors that created the image were the photographer's imagination, use of lighting and talent of makeup artist and post processing?

Ansel Adams is credited as saying "The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.” The "quality" of an image depends on the photographer's ability and a certain serendipity that comes from preparation and coincidence.

By the limited standards of this forum, which judges images mostly from what they call sharpness but is best referred to as actuance (external link), there may be minor differences that are revealed by photographing test charts. However, in general, differences between modern DSLR's are minor and come more from the way in which the cameras are used. If you want a major technical difference in digital cameras, you'll need to move to a very high resolution medium format camera (external link), something that involves extreme expense and experience to get top notch results.




  
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Does higher price mean better quality photo?
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