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Hm...which DSLR?
#26
matthew robertson Wrote:When it comes to deciding which camera to keep in your hand, I would suggest that you put image quality at the BOTTOM of your list.

I would suggest that's a horrible idea. Now, if you'd said "put megapixels at the bottom of your list" I could agree to some extent. But picture quality is the NUMBER ONE reason I want a camera and the number one determining factor of which camera I want.
Canon 5D, Canon 17-40 F4L, Sigma 24-70 f2.8 Macro, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 70-200 f2.8L, Canon 400mm f5.6L, 580EX Flash.
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#27
RikWriter Wrote:But picture quality is the NUMBER ONE reason I want a camera and the number one determining factor of which camera I want.

Then why are you using a Canon 5D? There are cameras with better image quality readily available.

This isn't a troll or a rhetorical question. There's (almost) always a camera that will produce a higher quality image. Better Light makes a scanning back for a 4x5 camera that captures 85 million pixels. Makes a mere 22MP mf back seem chintzy, doesn't it? I can't even begin to imagine the prints that it must make.

There's a reason why neither of us is using it, a point at which picture quality is not the number one determining factor in our camera choices. I've mentioned mine already. What are yours?
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
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#28
matthew robertson Wrote:
RikWriter Wrote:But picture quality is the NUMBER ONE reason I want a camera and the number one determining factor of which camera I want.

Then why are you using a Canon 5D? There are cameras with better image quality readily available.

Not that I can afford. This camera, according to all reviews, has an image quality that is within a hair's breadth of the 1DMKII. The only thing better would be a medium format digital back or something of the sort and I can't afford them.
Canon 5D, Canon 17-40 F4L, Sigma 24-70 f2.8 Macro, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 70-200 f2.8L, Canon 400mm f5.6L, 580EX Flash.
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#29
RikWriter Wrote:Not that I can afford. This camera, according to all reviews, has an image quality that is [...] The only thing better would be [...] and I can't afford them.

So, respectfully, I would say that image quality is your second determining factor in deciding which camera you bought. Affordability is a common restriction, but a real one that should still be considered. It was on my list too, but further down.

These may be rhetorical: would you still have chosen the 5D over all others if it had a 1FPS burst rate? A three-image buffer? Only one AF point, which performed poorly in low light? Weighed four kilograms? Ate batteries for breakfast? Had a shutter slap that sounds like a concussion grenade? Had only a handful of lenses available? A grip that just couldn't be held comfortably?

These are extreme and unrealistic exaggerations, but maybe image quality doesn't come second?

For entry-level dSLRs the market is more varied in terms of features and drawbacks, but at any price there are very few cameras that have bad image quality. I still believe that most people can consider this problem safely solved, and look at other issues first.
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
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#30
matthew robertson Wrote:
RikWriter Wrote:Not that I can afford. This camera, according to all reviews, has an image quality that is [...] The only thing better would be [...] and I can't afford them.

So, respectfully, I would say that image quality is your second determining factor in deciding which camera you bought. Affordability is a common restriction, but a real one that should still be considered. It was on my list too, but further down.

These may be rhetorical: would you still have chosen the 5D over all others if it had a 1FPS burst rate? A three-image buffer? Only one AF point, which performed poorly in low light? Weighed four kilograms? Ate batteries for breakfast? Had a shutter slap that sounds like a concussion grenade? Had only a handful of lenses available? A grip that just couldn't be held comfortably?

These are extreme and unrealistic exaggerations, but maybe image quality doesn't come second?

For entry-level dSLRs the market is more varied in terms of features and drawbacks, but at any price there are very few cameras that have bad image quality. I still believe that most people can consider this problem safely solved, and look at other issues first.

Sorry, but your argument simply doesn't hold water. Just because there are other considerations as well doesn't mean image quality isn't the PRIMARY consideration.
To use your own logic, almost all semi-pro/prosumer DSLRs will have reasonable frame rates and good AF points and a reasonable rate. At that price point, they will all have reasonably large buffers and perform reasonably well in low light as well.
So that leaves the PRIMARY consideration: image quality.
Canon 5D, Canon 17-40 F4L, Sigma 24-70 f2.8 Macro, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 70-200 f2.8L, Canon 400mm f5.6L, 580EX Flash.
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#31
RikWriter Wrote:Sorry, but your argument simply doesn't hold water. Just because there are other considerations as well doesn't mean image quality isn't the PRIMARY consideration.

For you. (Except that we've agreed that it was your second consideration.) Not for me. We're different people, that's not unusual. If you've found exactly what you want, that's fantastic. So have I. Mine happens to be a two-year-old 5MP camera with three AF points.

RikWriter Wrote:To use your own logic, almost all semi-pro/prosumer DSLRs will have reasonable frame rates and good AF points and a reasonable rate. At that price point, they will all have reasonably large buffers and perform reasonably well in low light as well. So that leaves the PRIMARY consideration: image quality.

Now you're the one setting up a straw man argument. I use words carefully, and I don't argue against my own point of view. From an earlier message in this thread:

RikWriter Wrote:It could be that all the features you need are in the 10D, or you might be a pro who needs a 1DMKII. Either way, features are important. You can take good photos with anything, but some cameras make it easier to take the picture just the way you want once you find it.

I couldn't agree more.

If you had to recommend either a Canon 300D or a Nikon D70 to someone who's buying their first entry-level dSLR, and their primary use is outdoor sports photography, which camera would you tell them to buy, and why?
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
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#32
matthew robertson Wrote:
RikWriter Wrote:Sorry, but your argument simply doesn't hold water. Just because there are other considerations as well doesn't mean image quality isn't the PRIMARY consideration.

For you. (Except that we've agreed that it was your second consideration.)

No, we haven't. Don't put your words in my mouth, please.

Quote:Now you're the one setting up a straw man argument.

It's your argument, your straw man. I was just using it back to you.

Quote:If you had to recommend either a Canon 300D or a Nikon D70 to someone who's buying their first entry-level dSLR, and their primary use is outdoor sports photography, which camera would you tell them to buy, and why?

The Nikon, because it has a higher frame rate. But I am not a sports photographer.
Canon 5D, Canon 17-40 F4L, Sigma 24-70 f2.8 Macro, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 70-200 f2.8L, Canon 400mm f5.6L, 580EX Flash.
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#33
RikWriter Wrote:No, we haven't. Don't put your words in my mouth, please.

You're right, I apologize for that. You did say that MF has higher image quality than your camera, you don't use a MF camera because of cost, and that Image quality is your primary requirement when choosing a camera.

My argument is that digital cameras in each price point / marketing niche all have acceptable image quality, so that's the last thing that should be considered in the purchasing decision. Every camera manufacturer is trying for the best possible image quality. They're not all making the same design and marketing decisions about features, engineering tradeoffs, and how they expect their products to be used.

Based on your discussion with Toad, I don't really think we're far off on this. We're both agreeing that features are important, but maybe I'm not making sense in my description. I'm not suggesting that image quality is irrelevant or unimportant.

Bear with me: when I was deciding on my dslr, I considered reliability, usability, affordability before image quality. "Reliability" to me means that I can use it any time, including monstrous rain and snow storms. That removed most of the market, but this was a must-have feature. I'm now looking at only a few cameras: Canon 1D series, Nikon D1/D2 series, Olympus E-1. For usability, this includes the whole 'feel' of the camera and controls -- they Oly passed the test, and I didn't bother trying the others on my list because of my factor #3, affordability. If life was different, and there were two affordable, usable, rain-proof cameras, then it comes down to which camera has the higher image quality. If image quality was my second requirement (after affordability) I would probably be using a 20D or a SD10, and I wouldn't have been outside enjoying the rain today.

It's like the sports shooter we discussed earlier. Clearly the D70 has advantages over the 300D in this application: higher frame rate and a selectable continuous AF mode. I wouldn't bother agonizing over individual pixels to decide which one is better, and I certainly wouldn't pick the 300D based on such scrutiny. If the D70 was obviously bad that's another thing -- but how many cameras have you seen in the last two years that are bad?
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
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#34
Actually just to add to the discussion - I have a Fuji S5000 which the manufacturer ( most likely deliberately ) crippled in the image quality department because they didn't want their entry level camera to compete with the sales of their prosumer level offerings at the time.

I purchased the camera based on usability and features and thought to myself - hey I'm sure I'll be able to live with poor detail and high noise - the colour rendition and other features will make up for it.

It was cool at first, but I think I now regret the decision - the low quality output doesn't exactly inspire me to take more photos.

Next time round (and this is my personal opinion - so other people may disagree) image quality will be at the top of my list..
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#35
matthew robertson Wrote:My argument is that digital cameras in each price point / marketing niche all have acceptable image quality, so that's the last thing that should be considered in the purchasing decision.


But your definition of "acceptable image quality" is likely not the same as mine. For me, I want image quality that allows the production of large, wall-hanger prints, not just 8x10s. If I were only concerned with 8x10s I would have kept my Digital Rebel.
Canon 5D, Canon 17-40 F4L, Sigma 24-70 f2.8 Macro, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 70-200 f2.8L, Canon 400mm f5.6L, 580EX Flash.
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#36
I have had prints as large as 20*30 printed from digital images from my 6mp rebel.

6mp is capable of far larger prints than 8 x 10. I regularly print to 19x13 from 70-80% crops of rebel shots. These images are used in compeitions against professional photo lab produced prints and hold up equally well.
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#37
EnglishBob Wrote:I have had prints as large as 20*30 printed from digital images from my 6mp rebel.
.

I've had 16x20s printed from my Rebel and 10D, but from examining them I was pretty well convinced that this was the limit size-wise. Maybe you're better at Photoshop than me, but I couldn't get them any larger without some serious degradation.
Canon 5D, Canon 17-40 F4L, Sigma 24-70 f2.8 Macro, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 70-200 f2.8L, Canon 400mm f5.6L, 580EX Flash.
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#38
RikWriter Wrote:But your definition of "acceptable image quality" is likely not the same as mine. For me, I want image quality that allows the production of large, wall-hanger prints, not just 8x10s.

Absolutely. "Acceptable" is the level at which a person is satisfied, and it'll depend on the individual and will change from use to use. Additionally, I added the qualifier that it's generally comparable at each price point. I'm under no illusion that what is acceptable to someone looking at a 16mp 1Ds mk2 will be equally served by a 6mp Dribble: a 12mp D2X, maybe, but those aren't really the same price bracket, either.

RikWriter Wrote:If I were only concerned with 8x10s I would have kept my Digital Rebel.

I'll let other people defend the 6mp group... I'm only at five, so what do I know? But the image quality spectrum also goes the other way...

I was recently at a marathon where I was shooting alongside someone using a D2X. His largest output was going to be an 8x10 -- he was a pro and was going to make a lot of money that day -- so there was no difference between our image quality needs. I guarantee that my camera wouldn't have met his performance requirements. (I shot under 1GB that day. He was carrying 40GB of cards, and was worried about running out.)
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
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#39
Pentax is the only one with a full line of P&S ,35mm SLR,D SLR, 645 and 6x7 MF cameras.

Joe
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#40
Matthew - I think you have some good points. Perhaps it was the suggestion that you made when you said that image quality should be put bottom of your list that I might disagree with.

Choosing a camera is a combination of many different factors and I think while most DSLR's will have similar image quality - others will have better image quality in certain circumstances and this can be the key difference and why image quality is perhaps not bottom of the list.

For instance as a Wedding Photographer image quality in low light would be one of the most important characteritics for me - hence I own a 5D and a 20D. Two of the best low light DSLR cameras on the market. IMHO the reason why Canon is the number one seller of DSLR cameras is because of its image quality in low light/high ISO situations.

Other's will have different oppinions of course.

I think the wole debate between brands is a bit silly - all have made duds and all have made great cameras in their time.

All that said I would still recommend the Canon 20D as one of the best all round value/quality for money cameras on the market

Smile
Canon stuff.
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#41
..remember that this thread started discussing someone buying their first dSLR, with no legacy lenses to protect, and just getting started in photography. This is my 'elevator advice' -- a quick way to set priorities for a new purchaser -- and experienced photographers wouldn't be asking my opinion, anyway.

Wedding Shooter Wrote:Matthew - I think you have some good points. Perhaps it was the suggestion that you made when you said that image quality should be put bottom of your list that I might disagree with.

What are the criteria you look for before buying a new camera, and what would you tell beginners? I'm more interested in other's experiences than continuing to type out my own.


Quote:All that said I would still recommend the Canon 20D as one of the best all round value/quality for money cameras on the market.

The 20D's a great camera. I see none of them when I'm out shooting in the rain, but other times, they're great. :D
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
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#42
My advice, as posted on the first page of this topic, would be to check out what features are important to them (I think we are saying the same thing here) as all manufacturers offer good models.

The place where image quality (between manufacturers) really differs is at high ISO shooting - that is why my original point was that a second hand 20D would be the best value investment for a first timer into the world of DSLR.

As for shooting in the rain - a bit of light drizzle on any DSLR will be fine - a plastic bag with an elastic band will take care of anything more serious than that Wink
Canon stuff.
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#43
It's been a while since I've seen the first page of this thread, but you're right, I think we are basically in agreement.

When you bought your camera, what were the qualities you were looking for? I know that lenses pretty much set the brand, and price bracket pretty much decides the rest of it, but if it weren't for those two things...? I'm not looking for someone to be Right or Wrong, I'm interested in how different people set priorities.

Wedding Shooter Wrote:As for shooting in the rain - a bit of light drizzle on any DSLR will be fine - a plastic bag with an elastic band will take care of anything more serious than that ;)

I have a pair of dogs.... let me tell you what those little plastic bags are for. ;)
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
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