Some views on a camera technical limitations


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Dennis

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#1
I had always wanted to know...
Do people with more experience and understanding in photography tolerate a camera's technical limitation more than an amateur ?. If so why ?. Other than the basic photography function on a camera body the rest are basically to help and assist in your endeavour to get the perfect photo and can always have some form of work around, do you agree ?. Lets have some friendly thoughts :)
 

Jed

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#2
I think different people's tolerance of a camera's technical limitations depends on many factors. The individual photographer and the subject he or she is shooting are both very important, and the photographer variable makes a big difference. Some people are more technically inclined. Some people are experienced enough to have manual workarounds when electronics are not available. All these will influence the answer to your question.
 

ST1100

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#3
The discussion is meaningless unless you go into specifics on what limitations and what shooting conditions.

Stuff like inaccurate metering, slow AF, most folks with experience can work around them, although an experienced photog will most likely 1) try not to end up with the wrong equipment at the wrong circumstance, eg manual focus camera shooting sports and 2) have gear that matches his type of shooting so that he can minimise on technical limitations.

It is true that an experienced photog with a good grasp of the basic principles can work around to get that 'perfect picture'. From experience and observation though, most experienced photogs eventually build up their gear to higher end stuff as they progress.
 

Ian

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#4
ST1100 said:
The discussion is meaningless unless you go into specifics on what limitations and what shooting conditions.
I don't agree entirely with this proposition, it's just too sweeping (see my post below).

ST1100 said:
Stuff like inaccurate metering, slow AF, most folks with experience can work around them, although an experienced photog will most likely 1) try not to end up with the wrong equipment at the wrong circumstance, eg manual focus camera shooting sports and 2) have gear that matches his type of shooting so that he can minimise on technical limitations.
Sports is not an example I'd quote as an example of wrong equipment to choose. There are still quite a number of professionals using manual lenses to shoot sports professionally, which after all is how sports was shot for 85 or so of the last 100 or so years.

ST1100 said:
It is true that an experienced photog with a good grasp of the basic principles can work around to get that 'perfect picture'. From experience and observation though, most experienced photogs eventually build up their gear to higher end stuff as they progress.
Higher end kit won't help you make the perfect shot in many cases, as there are many times where technology simply can't solve a particular problem, eg: colour cast with very mixed light sources (3-4 or more colour temperature light sources, having to shoot in very harsh lighting conditions etc)
 

bonfire

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Your question have triggered me to wonder why equipment geeks has this exquisite refutation of the idea that your photography will improve if only you spent another couple of thousand on the latest hyper-automated camera to overcome the technical limitations ... rather than concentrating on what's really important in a picture. :think:
 

whoelse

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Bonfire,
Well done, well said! :thumbsup:
 

sequitur

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#7
well

in a way, one of the technical limitations to SLR would be limited film. if you read the sports illustrated thing, they shot about 16000 images from 11 photographers at the superbowl. imagine 16000 images on film.. quite bad. so DSLR comes along. and that's an equipment work-around.

then we look at the older prosumers.. slow AF, low ISO, blah blah.. stuff you can't use to shoot sports. or rather, yeah you can, but the time it takes to focus on the image may just fustrate you. night shots.. all blur, coz iso's low. well.. some stuff have no work-around i think.

in a way, yes, the equipment helps us to get the so-called perfect photo, but it will limit us sometimes to a certain extent. and sometime's there's no work-around.
 

zekai

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#8
I would think that sports was shot with manul for 85/100 years because they did not have AF back then. not that manual focusing is any bad but using empirical evidence of the last 100 yrs is not accurate... as there is no basis for comparison. they did not have AF then.

Ian said:
Sports is not an example I'd quote as an example of wrong equipment to choose. There are still quite a number of professionals using manual lenses to shoot sports professionally, which after all is how sports was shot for 85 or so of the last 100 or so years.
 

Ian

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#9
zekai said:
I would think that sports was shot with manul for 85/100 years because they did not have AF back then. not that manual focusing is any bad but using empirical evidence of the last 100 yrs is not accurate... as there is no basis for comparison. they did not have AF then.
I hate to burst your bubble here Zekia but the emperical evidence can be found in any newspaper archive or sports annual.

Manual focusing Lenses with sports during the period from the late 50s to mid 80s (when long lenses were available in 35mm) resulted in almost identical shots taken as today. (daylight sports) The main difference was that the photographers were highly skilled practitioners in the art of anticipation and fast focusing. Back in the times of big lenses on Graflex 4x5 press cameras you got one shot at making a good shot every 10-20 seconds and those guys did work that is as good as found today. Go have a look sometime. What it came down to was skill, timing and more skill. In terms of shots used per match, most film shooters used less than their modern counterparts, with around 20-25 rolls per match being the norm.
 

Ian

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#10
Dennis said:
I had always wanted to know...
Do people with more experience and understanding in photography tolerate a camera's technical limitation more than an amateur ?. If so why ?.
I think overall that as you become more experienced you learn that technology is useful but not a panacea for all situations in photography. Also as a photographer advances in ability most will attempt more complex shots and technical limitations in the camera system become more evident and the photographer learns to live with the limitations.

As to why this occurs, there's no single answer methinks. Part of the 'why' answer is that novices and less experienced photographers often don't understand that a print is at best an approximation of a given subject. The technical limitations are placed along the entire photographic process, from limits in the camera, lens, developing, film and printing process. All of these combine in a holistic manner to give less than optimum results in one way or another.

The second part of the answer is more to do with marketing of cameras and end user expectations. Many cameras are sold as being the solution to all the problems a photographer faces and surprising as it is, many folks fall for this marketing hype.

Dennis said:
Other than the basic photography function on a camera body the rest are basically to help and assist in your endeavour to get the perfect photo and can always have some form of work around, do you agree ?. Lets have some friendly thoughts :)
Actually I consider it the other way around, most of the improvments in technology (TTL, rear synch, red eye reduction, various priority modes etc) are developed as work arounds for common situations that cause photographers trouble in the real world. With a few notable exceptions such as high speed flash synch, and AF related control almost everything else is a duplicate of manual camera control techniques that have been around for a long time.

In the end improved technology is a great adjunct for the average phtographer as it has certainly increased the chances for a new photographer of getting a good shot and for experienced photographers it allows certain freedoms to be more creative. However no technology is infallable.
 

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