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"Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Oct 13 2010 10:12 pm
by paulhubbard
Just got my Nikon D3100 and without even reading the instructions I snapped a photo of Red Mountain to compare it to the same photo taken with my Coolpix camera. Coolpix is "doctored" with Paintshop Pro, the D3100 is untouced.

Coolpix:
Image

D3100:
Image

Bottom line? Get a good camera!!! I'm going to have WAY too much fun with this!!

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Oct 14 2010 4:31 am
by imike
A great camera is something... and there are so many factors. For me, it is as much small size, able to slip it into a pocket easily, and have it not get smashed up as I climb up some ledge. I don't enjoy the editing/adjusting phase, but it seems necessary to have the picture represent what my minds eye recalls of the moment. Not sure about the issue of taking the picture past what was in the moment... but adjustments to bring it into what I wanted to capture seems a good thing

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Nov 02 2010 7:18 pm
by te_wa
i have a panasonic g1 on the way. a micro four thirds -(think of it as an "slr" without the mirrors.) and the stock lens is supposed to be great. i also have the 45-200mm on the way. i should be having some fun this weekend!
but fwiw, there are plenty of ppl who shoot excellent pics with crappy cameras. depends on what "look" you want

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Nov 02 2010 8:00 pm
by hippiepunkpirate
te-wa wrote:there are plenty of ppl who shoot excellent pics with crappy cameras
This is true also. It works both ways.

You can have an expensive camera, but if you don't know how to use, you might as well have a $100 point and shoot. Especially in case for photos that will only be posted on the web (that will generally be viewed compressed in sRGB anyway), if you know how to compose well and properly expose on your $100 point and shoot, you can definitely create better photos than someone with a dSLR that has no clue what they are doing.

Where the expensive equipment really comes into play is when you are trying to achieve "fine art" quality prints. As Paul illustrated above, the same scene shot at the same time by the same photographer will turn out better on a dSLR, but not light years better. I do wish Paul would have left his point and shoot version above untouched to really see difference in the photos. You can print the point and shoot photo and probably get a decent print, but the dSLR print will undoubtedly print better, and given a higher resolution (your cameras megapixel count), could be printed at a larger size. dSLR cameras or even high end point and shoots also have better capabilities than low end point and shoots. For example, most point and shoots cannot shoot an aperture narrower than f/8, which drastically narrows their capability to focus a wide field of view or shoot the longer exposures common in landscape and nature photography. Almost every feature on a dSLR is drastically better than on a point and shoot, but if you don't know how to utilize it, it does not matter that it is there.

So the fact of the matter is: buying a nicer camera will not instantly make you a better photographer. It can be a means to creating better photographs, but better photographs do not come instantly with a better camera. We often feel limited by our equipment, which is sometimes the case, but more often we limit our photography by not learning or utilizing the important stuff: exposure, light, composition, creativity, ect.

Also, if you strive to create beautiful images such as those in Arizona Highways or in your local fine art photo gallery, you have to realize that almost all your favorite photographers, whether they shoot digital or film, will manipulate their images in some way, be it Photoshop or some other computer program, or filters in front of the lens, or techniques in the darkroom.

For years I believed I could take pictures straight out of the camera and somehow I could create the most beautiful images. Every hike, regardless of time of day I took pictures, I was certain that was the day I was coming home with a masterpiece! It never happened. Well, it did, I just didn't realize it. At the time I had no idea that to create the images I envisioned, I would require the use of photo processing software. When I bought my dSLR and started actually reading and learning about photography beyond my own experiments, I hit the epiphany. I have since gone back and processed many of my old point and shoot images, and have been able to create, at the time that I shot them, what I would have considered "masterpieces". At the current point in my photography, I will not now use those images because I have better techniques and capabilities with my dSLR, but I still have an archive of point and shoot images that I could print and feel like they make acceptable pieces to hang on the wall and be proud of as a artist.

Now this officially a long and drawn out post. The gist is: in you want to become a better photographer, buy books, read online, ask questions on HAZ (PM me ;) ) or do whatever else you can to EDUCATE yourself about photography. A $1000 camera is worth much less to you if you do not know what to do with it.

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Nov 02 2010 8:01 pm
by Al_HikesAZ
Ansel Adams' camera would be laughed at today. And how in the sam hill could Hemingway and Melville write so dang well without an IPad?

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Jun 29 2014 9:29 am
by RowdyandMe
Well I am looking to get a new camera.
What I am looking for is a point and shoot camera that takes great pictures in low light. Of course I am also looking for a 20+ optical zoom.
Anyone have suggestions?

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Jun 30 2014 6:37 am
by gummo
Widowmaker wrote:Well I am looking to get a new camera.
What I am looking for is a point and shoot camera that takes great pictures in low light. Of course I am also looking for a 20+ optical zoom.
Me too.

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Jun 30 2014 7:49 am
by azbackpackr
I really have a lot of respect for some of our pals on HAZ, too many to mention, who spend the time to make gorgeous photos. I enjoy seeing the photos but don't want to take the time to learn that skill, or carry that much gear. I have a Fujifilm waterproof camera that slips into my pocket, works fine. Previously I had a Sony Cybershot, also was okay. I have no illusions that they are great cameras, but with the right angles, (especially if you put something in foreground) you can create more depth. Cheaper cameras don't seem to do depth very well.

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Jun 30 2014 8:03 am
by KwaiChang
gummo wrote:
Widowmaker wrote:Well I am looking to get a new camera.
What I am looking for is a point and shoot camera that takes great pictures in low light. Of course I am also looking for a 20+ optical zoom.
Me too.
I say see Al's comment above, and read up on what HPP says about manipulation. My hiking bud and I have these conversations all the time. He swears that the newer cell phone cameras are JUST as good as many dSLR's. All about the manipulation.......he has the Samsung 4 I think - WOW o WOW do the images he took n our latest adventure look DANG good.......hence his name is now Ansel as far as I am concerned......now to get him to allow me to post those images....whole nuther battle. :scared:

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Jun 30 2014 10:29 am
by New2hyk
gummo wrote:Widowmaker wrote:
Well I am looking to get a new camera.
What I am looking for is a point and shoot camera that takes great pictures in low light. Of course I am also looking for a 20+ optical zoom.

Me too.
Me three :)

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Jun 30 2014 10:38 am
by joebartels
Kwai Chang wrote:He swears that the newer cell phone cameras are JUST as good as many dSLR's.
or old ones

CHUMS has been taking killer pano shots with his 4S for years. I'm not a fan of pano shots but they are so clean they stand out.

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Jun 30 2014 11:35 am
by paulhubbard
Since my original posting I've upgraded again, this time to a Sony a99 full-frame (a true 35mm DSLR). The clarity is beyond outstanding, my D3100 can't come close, even with the most careful manual focusing. The drawback is it's HEAVY. I love Sony products, but for PnS, I don't think you can be the Nikon Coolpix series.

I'll take the same photo again, with all three cameras, and this time I won't retouch anything. I'll post them here.

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Jun 30 2014 11:46 am
by Grimey
Al_HikesAZ wrote:Ansel Adams' camera would be laughed at today.
http://www.popphoto.com/gear/2014/06/ar ... ms-auction

"Revival Auction Company has Adams' Arca-Swiss 4x5 View Camera that he used from 1965-1968, and they're estimating it could go for up to $300,000—though we wouldn't be surprised if it went for much, much more."

Laughing all the way to the bank, maybe. :)

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Jun 30 2014 11:51 am
by Sun_Ray
I use a Canon PowerShot SX260HS with 20x. It's a few years old so there maybe a newer model. Have a friend who is really into photography. He did all the research so when he got his....I bought one too. I've been happy with it.

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Jun 30 2014 11:51 am
by Grimey
“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson

With digital, it is more like - your first 100,000.

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Jun 30 2014 12:07 pm
by paulhubbard
Grimey wrote:“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
Not too sure about that... Sometime your first few are the best - Then you start thinking you're a hotshot photographer that Nat Geo should swoop up, and you start over-analyzing the shot instead of just clicking. In doing so you miss some of the best scenes.

(Substitute "I" for every "you" above) ;)

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Jun 30 2014 1:45 pm
by Bradshaws
Is anyone out there using or looked into the Fujifilm FinePix S1? :-k I want a high zoom, point and shot that can handle the elements and this one has piqued my interest. I've heard very little about Fujifilm point and shot cameras but this one seems to have everything I'm looking for.

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Jun 30 2014 3:47 pm
by RedRoxx44
Fujifilm has done pretty well with the X series, I don't know about the one you are talking about. The Nikon p520 ( a newer edition of the 510 Pam--Outdoor Lover uses) gets some good PR and is about the same cost as the Fuji, zoom is a little shorter.

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Jun 30 2014 3:49 pm
by outdoor_lover
Widowmaker wrote:What I am looking for is a point and shoot camera that takes great pictures in low light.
Me too...Let me know when you find one...I think they are pretty rare...Some people can get by if they have Noise Reduction Software in their Post Processing...I do not and it's frustrating....A lot of DSLR's don't even do that well in Low Light...Many times you have to bump up your ISO and that increases Noise...The more expensive DSLRs have managed to minimize this....
Widowmaker wrote:20+ optical zoom.
Just remember that the further out you Zoom, the more Distortion you will get, especially with Point and Shoots and it becomes even more compounded with Low Light....

Ultimately, we all want to get the Shots the Pros get...but sometimes, it really can be about the Equipment and a lot of times that also translates into more Money....

I'm not trying to discourage you by any means...I hope you find something...But even if a Point and Shoot with Good Zoom Capabilities advertises that it's great in Low LIght, companies are not going to put that kind of Money and Technology into a Camera that costs 400.00...You may be disappointed....But, with all of that being said, it's been 1 1/2 Years since my last Purchase...maybe they've gotten better in the Point and Shoot Department.... :)

Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Posted: Jun 30 2014 3:54 pm
by outdoor_lover
@RedRoxx44
They now have the P530 out which is the upgrade from the P520 which was the Upgrade of mine...The Optical Zoom has not changed since mine, but they've done something to enhance the Digital Zoom I guess...And there's a lot more Bells and Whistles as far as the WIFI and GPS stuff goes which I don't really care about anyway...They have also come out with the P600 this year which is almost a Clone of the P500 Series, but it's an 60X Optical Zoom.... :o When I have to replace mine, that Model may enter the Decision Mix.... :o :y: