Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Banner
Welcome to our forums

What still-image camera do you use, and why?

It is very true that the best camera is the one you have with you when you want to take a photo.But this IMO is closely followed by knowing the camera you use inside out so that you know all of its features and how to use them.
It’s like flying really.

France

gallois wrote:

It is very true that the best camera is the one you have with you when you want to take a photo.But this IMO is closely followed by knowing the camera you use inside out so that you know all of its features and how to use them.
It’s like flying really.

Yeah, couldn’t agree more. 90% is all about knowing how to use it. I have been toying with photography for many years and want to take this to the “next level” so to speak.

The Fuji X-T3 is at a very good price on Amazon these days! But it’s got no IBIS. The Fuji X-T4 with the XF16-80 lens is there for around 1,800 GBP.

United Kingdom

I can confidently predict that if you get a “big camera” as your only high quality camera, you will end up using it so little it won’t be worth keeping. The X-T3/T4 is a full size SLR… and yes at 1.5k+ it will be very good. To me, the ergonomics look poor, like the Sonys which are all “retro style”, sharp edges… OTOH Sony have good movie performance, and lots of “media people” use them for that, with a separate sound recording setup of course. A good SLR can be carried on 2 fingers, effortlessly, with them hooked around the grip

I will keep my K1 “for ever”, not least due to the £2.5k 18mm Zeiss lens investment, but I have accepted I will bring it only to special locations. With the prime lens it is actually not too big or heavy and fits nicely into a small waist pack.

But a “compact” can be carried everywhere. No doubt lots of people have concluded the same because this sector of the market refuses to die.

Of course Joe Public disagrees, because a phone is good enough for 99.9% of social media stuff, but that’s not the question being discussed here

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

I can confidently predict that if you get a “big camera” as your only high quality camera, you will end up using it so little it won’t be worth keeping.

I think there is a huge difference between “doing something and taking some pictures along the way” and “going out to take pictures”. I only take my big cameras with me if I’m doing the latter. I would never take them along just for flying, hiking or mountain biking. Big camera is when the photography is the main event.

Peter wrote:

Of course Joe Public disagrees, because a phone is good enough for 99.9% of social media stuff, but that’s not the question being discussed here

I guess this is a little unfair: Truth is, that technically (in terms of resolution, dynamic range, color range and accuracy, etc.) a modern iPhone shoots better pictures than you could have ever dreamt of with your Kodak Elite or Fuji Sensia in the A1,AE,F,FA,F4,RTS, AX, … or however your favorite tools was named these days. Yes, there is a DoF difference due to the very short focal distances (due to the small sensors) but that is not as relevant in “documentary” type of photography like in flight.
An iPhone (or any other modern mobile) photo if does right can easily fulfill NatGeo Standards of the 90ies and is not very far from todays NatGeo standards…

It is another story that due to no marginal cost of individual shots and a very high usability the vast majority of mobile cam photos are badly composed, horribly lighted and not carefully timed – but that is not really the cameras fault.

Last Edited by Malibuflyer at 24 Feb 16:07
Germany

“It is another story that due to no marginal cost of individual shots and a very high usability the vast majority of mobile cam photos are badly composed, horribly lighted and not carefully timed – but that is not really the cameras fault.”
This is so true.
But today I have been cleaning up some of my camera equipment. I could get rid of much of it as I no longer use it since I retired and the smartphone is just so much more convenient. Its just that I cannot bear to. The Brownie 127 would under certain circumstances still be used take as good a photograph as any Smartphone if you know what you’re doing. The Nikon F2, F3 as good as any digital camera as would the Minolta or Pentax. The Cook triplet lens on my quarter plate camera will resolve as high a resolution as the lens on my Hasselblad C . I wouldn’t pay £30,000 for the digital Hasselblad its a lot of money pay when a roll of film would provide as good if not better quality.
My Bolex lenses I have are as good as any lens under £10,000 even those made by Zeiss.. So yes it all depends on what sort of photography you wish to do, but the modern iphone, will not necessarily shoot better pictures than you could ever have dreamt in the list mentioned by @Malibuflyer. But they are excellent at what they are meant to do.

France

I confess the usual answer is my iPhone, because it’s in my pocket. I have a Lumix ZS80 with 30:1 optical zoom which I take when I expect to have some serious photogenic opportunities – and when I remember, which is getting rarer.

Tucked away somewhere I have a DSLR, but it’s so long since I’ve used it that I can’t remember what make/model it is. It’s heavy, enormous, and has absolutely no advantages over the Lumix.

The only problem with the Lumix is longevity – I’m on my third or fourth one. They last 2-3 years before grit gets in somewhere it shouldn’t, or in the case of the last one a 5 cent switch failed and it wasn’t worth trying to repair. But they are relatively inexpensive and you end up with a newer model with more fancy features that you don’t need but get in the way anyway :-(.

The picture quality is truly excellent. Put beside pictures from my film SLR, there is just no comparison.

KPAO, United States

The best camera is always the one you have, but I think what we experience is that we either set out with the aim of “doing photography” or happenchance on great events. When we set out to do photography the actual photography on a sliding scale will be way better with the right equipment, if the subject material may be less good because there is no guarantee of that golden opportunity. In some ways I think this is the difference between attempting a professional shoot, and not. The professional shoot well always look, well professional, and the spontaneous well, amateur. So we may ooo and ah at the content of the spontaneous, but we will not admire the photography.

I have involvement with a number of professional photgraphers and film makers and their work is truly stunning. I find it intimidating that 4K has become the basic standard and they now shoot a lot at yet higher resolutions. The demand this places on editing software and storage is truly incredible (I find) and I neve quite understand why this is the trend as so few people have the ability to appreciate these higher resolutions but perhaps it also future proofs the material to a better extent.

The best camera is obviously the one you have with you, but why does it have to be a phone? The point I was making is that a high quality compact (not €200) can be “with you” more or less the whole time you are not walking about with just your pockets. If you are driving somewhere, flying somewhere, you can take the compact. And the pics are way better than any phone.

Sure phones can do very nice pics – other thread. But only if you use them full size i.e. not look too closely. The recent advances in phone cameras, particular by Apple, are in the area of “computational photography”, which produces useful results but not if you look closely. A big chunk of photography is zooming-in (cropping). In flying especially, one usually has to crop a piece of the wing out. Or a reflection from something in the cockpit. Cropping a reflection off is many times quicker than photoshopping it out which takes a great deal of skill to do well.

And a big chunk of getting decent pics is shooting in RAW and improving things afterwards e.g. bringing up shadows. You can’t really do that with ex-phone jpegs because they have already been enhanced as far as they can be.

And a compact will give you great ready to use jpegs, too, if you don’t want to do anything. They have good optical zoom so you can crop when you shoot.

Re 4K video, see here and here. Years after we discussed this, basically nothing has changed when it comes to (a) hosting 4K material and (b) enabling people to view it over ADSL at a decent bandwidth (4K needs ~100mbps).

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Re 4K video, see here and here. Years after we discussed this, basically nothing has changed when it comes to (a) hosting 4K material and (b) enabling people to view it over ADSL at a decent bandwidth (4K needs ~100mbps).

I agree. I try and do some of the filming I do in 4K but it is a pain to work with and still is. I have the fastest Mac Book Pro on the market with the biggest drive and most memory and it works fine, but you can tell its at the point of struggling.

However, the professional film makers who I know pretty much all use these standards because they have to – they find it as much as a pain, and you are quite right their equipment bin now comprises some very costly equipment.

I recall even reading and being told recently there is a drift to lower definitions when it comes to rolling out the material because it is thought some people find these super high definitions less attractive to watch.

Fuji_Abound wrote:

When we set out to do photography the actual photography on a sliding scale will be way better with the right equipment,

At “the right equipment” I tend to agree – but “the right” is in most cases less than what you expect. I had the opportunity 2 years ago to do some wildlife photography in Alaska with a professional photographer next to me. And she made the great comment “The only reason I got myself a (Nikon) D5 is that after that I can never again blame the equipment for my own mistakes.” In comparison, I was only able to shot some amateurish shots like these with my amateur equipment:

Last Edited by Malibuflyer at 24 Feb 20:43
Germany
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top