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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 04 Feb 2015 (Wednesday) 20:10
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Is it just me? "Thoughts from a newb"

 
FarmerTed1971
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Feb 05, 2015 09:07 |  #16

Composition, lighting and focus will trump a good lens. An iPhone shot could look better than something through an Otus if done correctly. It's about skill, not gear. Gear surely helps though. Now go shoot.


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itsallart
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Feb 05, 2015 09:23 |  #17

Bonecollector wrote in post #17416327 (external link)
https://photography-on-the.net …hp?p=16430250&i​=i28475774

https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=16660268&i=​i160561427

https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=17145490&i=​i211936614

These are the shots that got me to ask that question... especially these 3

https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=17148447&i=​i121005762

I feel like I couldn't take any of those with my little Nikon Coolpix L120

Am I still wrong? Is lots of these pictures post editing?
Thank you,
BC

when you click on the links you will see that there is a discussion on editing. I imagine most of them are minimally edited, maybe tweaking the levels etc. One with water was probably taken with a ND filter and long exposure to get the water surface smooth.
Don't feel intimidated by the size or looks of someone's camera. I am not a pro but have seen people with magnificent gear taking horrible shots shot in auto and I mean like one of those green rectangles on the dial, I assume. Their photos were small jpeg, water flowing out of the picture...my description for terribly crooked horizon lines...I've seen shots where everything was blown out, shots out of focus etc.

If you have a decent understanding of the triangle of exposure, composition etc then you can deliver beautiful pictures with a small, simple camera.


Renata
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Aswald
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Feb 05, 2015 10:06 |  #18

Bonecollector wrote in post #17416327 (external link)
https://photography-on-the.net …hp?p=16430250&i​=i28475774

https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=16660268&i=​i160561427

https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=17145490&i=​i211936614

These are the shots that got me to ask that question... especially these 3

https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=17148447&i=​i121005762

I feel like I couldn't take any of those with my little Nikon Coolpix L120

Am I still wrong? Is lots of these pictures post editing?
Thank you,
BC

If your compact camera has enough controls for a good photographer, you can get images similar to these. It may not have quite the dynamic range of the DSLR but you'd still get quite beautiful.

All the samples you've included probably isn't a see, point, shoot scenario. I'd imagine, careful composition, a good tripod and of course, the right timing/lighting. And I suspect that if any of those photographers were to be given a humble and aging G9, they'd still be able to create photos that go...wow...




  
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Phoenixkh
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Feb 05, 2015 10:25 |  #19

Is it possible that this question isn't as black and white as some people are suggesting? Of course, if you can't take a decent photography for lack of knowledge, it's unlikely your equipment will matter much. That almost goes without saying.

The other side of the coin might be the subject someone is trying to photograph. I was doing quite well with my little G12 as I taught myself the basics of photography. I purchased a DSLR after I'd been shooting with the G12 for almost 2 years, if I recall the timing correctly. This had been part of the plan from the beginning.

I made the mistake of falling in love with the wading birds here in Florida. That's where the equipment started to matter...... a lot. I had a 60D and 70-300L when this happened. I got some very nice photographs of beautiful birds but in a very restricted environment, i.e. The Alligator Farm in St. Augustine. The birds there are wild but nest in the trees along a boardwalk in early Spring, when the Farm becomes a rookery for 6 or 7 species of large wading birds.

Since then, I've upgraded my equipment to enable me to capture these birds in more wide open spaces. The equipment really does matter for me.


Kim (the male variety) Canon 1DX2 | 1D IV | 16-35 f/4 IS | 24-105 f/4 IS | 100L IS macro | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II | 100-400Lii | 50 f/1.8 STM | Canon 1.4X III
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Qlayer2
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Feb 05, 2015 11:15 |  #20

Phoenixkh wrote in post #17416553 (external link)
Is it possible that this question isn't as black and white as some people are suggesting? Of course, if you can't take a decent photography for lack of knowledge, it's unlikely your equipment will matter much. That almost goes without saying.

The other side of the coin might be the subject someone is trying to photograph. I was doing quite well with my little G12 as I taught myself the basics of photography. I purchased a DSLR after I'd been shooting with the G12 for almost 2 years, if I recall the timing correctly. This had been part of the plan from the beginning.

I made the mistake of falling in love with the wading birds here in Florida. That's where the equipment started to matter...... a lot. I had a 60D and 70-300L when this happened. I got some very nice photographs of beautiful birds but in a very restricted environment, i.e. The Alligator Farm in St. Augustine. The birds there are wild but nest in the trees along a boardwalk in early Spring, when the Farm becomes a rookery for 6 or 7 species of large wading birds.

Since then, I've upgraded my equipment to enable me to capture these birds in more wide open spaces. The equipment really does matter for me.


Equipment exists to reduce the limitations on how difficult it is to make the image you want to create. You found the limitation/difficulty in taking images of large wading birds too difficult or time consuming to overcome, so you upgraded equipment to remove some of those limitations, and make the image you wanted to capture more plausible.

You certainly could take a photo of a large wading bird with a disposable 35mm film camera, however the time and difficulty it would require to wait for the proper light, get the appropriate distance to the subject for framing, etc. aren't worth it to most people.

The OP's question was does having the better camera/lens taking a picture next to someone with a less expensive or less feature packed camera/lens always come out better. The answer to that question is going to be no, not always.




  
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Phoenixkh
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Feb 05, 2015 11:32 as a reply to  @ Qlayer2's post |  #21

You said it much better than I did.... thank you.


Kim (the male variety) Canon 1DX2 | 1D IV | 16-35 f/4 IS | 24-105 f/4 IS | 100L IS macro | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II | 100-400Lii | 50 f/1.8 STM | Canon 1.4X III
RRS tripod and monopod | 580EXII | Cinch 1 & Loop 3 Special Edition | Editing Encouraged

  
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sandpiper
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Post edited over 4 years ago by sandpiper. (2 edits in all)
     
Feb 05, 2015 13:10 |  #22

Here's my thoughts on this.

No camera will automatically take a great picture. It may take a technically competent one, in focus, correctly exposed etc., but has no input into the lighting, composition, timing and so on, nor does it choose appropriate apertures or shutter speeds to give a certain degree of DOF, or motion blur to show speed. These are the building blocks of a great image, and they come from the photographer and not the gear.

The question in the opening post cannot be answered as we do not know the skills of the photographers. If the DSLR user is letting the camera make all the decisions, but the compact user is deciding on the best aperture for subject separation, being careful with the composition and waiting for the right moment, my money is on the compact getting the better image. This assumes that we are comparing like for like with focal length etc. If you can't take a great image with a compact, you are unlikely to take one with even the fanciest gear.

Of course gear makes a difference, cheap cameras have limits. However, used within those limits, somebody who knows what they are doing can create great pictures with them. At my camera clubs competitions it is the same few people who generally take the top spots, some of those with entry level gear have said that they don't stand a chance because we use expensive cameras and lenses. However one of the usually winning members then entered a shot taken on a mobile phone, which did very well, and I used an image taken well over a decade ago on a 6mp Fuji bridge camera, it won the club comp and they put it forward as part of the clubs entry into the North Wales inter club battle, where 20 clubs put forward their best shots for judging. Mine was one of only 3 to get a maximum 20 points awarded by the judge, it wasn't chosen as "best image" but hey, I was happy with being in the top 3. So that camera took a shot that beat a lot of images taken on high end DSLRs.

However, the fact is that Fuji camera had limits, a lot of them. It was frustratingly slow to use, the fixed zoom lens wouldn't go wide enough or long enough (it was before the days of 18x or more superzoom compacts, it was just a 6x zoom) and whilst it could churn out great images in good conditions (as could the 1.3mp compact I had before it) used in poor light, or otherwise outside its comfort zone, it struggled and the IQ was lacking. So ten years ago I went over to DSLRs, which opened up a whole new world of picture taking opportunities where the Fuji was out of its depth. This never made me a better photographer however, and there are many photographers on here who could beat me hollow if given the fuji (and I were using my 5D3 with L lenses) and both of us tasked to go out and create some great images. Of course, that situation would be more in my favour if we were told to get some specific shots that would be outside the Fuji's comfort zone.

With an open brief to create great shots though, it is all down to the vision and skill of the photographer, not the gear. Better gear makes more shots possible, or at least easier to get, but without the photographers skill and vision it won't make those, or any other, shots great.

The photographer is the most important factor, gear is just a tool and whilst better tools help (and are sometimes necessary) you still have to use them properly. You could give me a block of wood and the best set of carving tools in the world, but a guy with talent and a chainsaw would still create a great sculpture whilst I ended up with a hacked up block of wood. Of course, should fine and intricate work be needed, then the talented guy would need the proper carving tools.




  
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texkam
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Feb 05, 2015 14:02 |  #23

All other things being equal, .... yes.


All other things being equal, you can also expect a formula1 race car to give you a different result than a KIA Rio. It is pretty obvious that equipment matters. What's your point?




  
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itsallart
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Feb 05, 2015 14:24 |  #24

texkam wrote in post #17416892 (external link)
All other things being equal, .... yes.


All other things being equal, you can also expect a formula1 race car to give you a different result than a KIA Rio. It is pretty obvious that equipment matters. What's your point?

I understand your point but I do disagree. There is another factor that comes into play: while the race car is faster etc, the driver behind the wheel makes a difference too. So, while a fantastic camera may render an image at a higher resolution and an expensive lens may deliver a crisper image, even with the fastest and sharpest gear a photo could be pretty bad if the person behind the camera doesn't see the picture/composition or doesn't have the skill set to operate the greatest gear on this planet :)


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Phoenixkh
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Feb 05, 2015 14:43 |  #25

I'm still developing my skills as a photographer. I've been serious about it since I bought my G12 in a little over 4 years ago now (I had to look that up... I thought I had shot if for two years before I got my 60D but it's actually closer to a year and a half).

We are all different. I find that when I have better tools, it's easier to motivate myself so I end up learning more quickly. I have found this when doing carpentry work, playing guitar and now, photography. I don't find the challenge of using poor tools engaging. My chisels are sharp as are my plane blades. I don't try to use a flat screwdriver to cut out the mortise slots for the hinges when hanging a door. I probably could but it would be such a pain, why bother?

That being said, most of us have a budget and can't just buy anything we want. I know this is the case for me. So I budget so much for photography gear per yer.


Kim (the male variety) Canon 1DX2 | 1D IV | 16-35 f/4 IS | 24-105 f/4 IS | 100L IS macro | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II | 100-400Lii | 50 f/1.8 STM | Canon 1.4X III
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freestylee30
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Feb 05, 2015 14:50 |  #26

Bonecollector wrote in post #17416327 (external link)
https://photography-on-the.net …hp?p=16430250&i​=i28475774

https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=16660268&i=​i160561427

https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=17145490&i=​i211936614

These are the shots that got me to ask that question... especially these 3

https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=17148447&i=​i121005762

I feel like I couldn't take any of those with my little Nikon Coolpix L120

Am I still wrong? Is lots of these pictures post editing?
Thank you,
BC

HEY, some of those shots are mine!!! :oops: :-) Thanks!

This is a good discussion and I just want to quickly add my opinion.

I believe that someone really experienced in photography, light, etc. and plans ahead could get similar results with 'lesser' cameras. I have no doubts about that. But for me, I don't know. I feel like like the better the tool the more enabled I am to be more creative and get better results.

Maybe that's not true for everyone, but that's the way I see it.

Also, I want to point out that I am NOT an experienced photographer. I've been registered here a long time, but I haven't taken this hobby seriously until much more recently. Those shots you linked of mine were a lot about being lucky in my opinion - the right place, the right time. Sure some knowledge helped and I believe the equipment helped, but I still feel lucky to have got them and could have probably done things a little better. However, they are my most favorite photos I've taken while enjoying this expensive hobby.


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number ­ six
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Feb 05, 2015 15:16 |  #27

Last fall I was talking to my brother-in-law and he asked me why I carried such a big camera when his phone camera took such good pictures.

We were sitting in his living room - a rather dark living room. I cranked my 50D's ISO up to 3200 and shot his picture without flash. "Can your phone do this?"

Then I switched to the custom function I use for action shots and blasted off a dozen shots in two seconds.

Then I switched to my HDR custom function, pointed towards the window and took three bracketed shots in 1/2 second, explaining with a little simple editing I could combine them so we could see the outdoors and the indoors properly exposed in one image.

So yes, sometimes equipment does matter.

-js


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Feb 05, 2015 16:56 |  #28

If my wife had a Kia Rio and I had a formula 1, she would drive circles around me. I probably couldn't even start the damn thing.


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Feb 05, 2015 17:12 as a reply to  @ texkam's post |  #29

Equipment matters only up to the point of the photographer’s needs or desires. Even with all else being equal, technical perfection is not always a positive determinant of overall quality; it might not even be desirable, or in many cases, not relevant since other elements might exists that a far more pertinent to the viewer’s subjective expectations or demands.


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Jon
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Feb 05, 2015 20:27 |  #30

What? Nobody's said it?

"That was a great meal. You must have really good pans."

Photography, like invention, is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. To the extent that my camera does something yours doesn't (or vice versa), and that something is relevant to what we're trying to photograph, the gear will make a difference. But if you're outdoors, using a lens in the "normal zoom" range of focal lengths, you'd have to pixel-peep to tell whether photographer A used a $90 P&S or a $9000 Leica. Of course if you're in the super-tele range, the guy who's cropped in tighter on the subject SOOC was using the P&S (SX50, etc.), or he has a Titanium VISA.


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Is it just me? "Thoughts from a newb"
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