Camera Recommendations and Sensor Size

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by 13thFloorPhotography, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. 13thFloorPhotography

    13thFloorPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2013
    Los Angeles
    I tend to be quiet about the topic of sensor size. But I've decided to break my silence about it ever since I heard someone recommend a $3k+ (Canon 5d mark III) camera to a friend who wanted to do an occasional vlog and some snapshots. I was recently asked "What camera should I buy?" and detailed, in my rant about sensor size, how came about recommending the OMD to my friend. Would you have done the same, given his response to my questions?
    • Like Like x 1
  2. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    I would never recommend a 5Dx or D800 etc to someone asking about a camera, I would take into account what they want it for etc and advise accordingly, I would only recommend a DSLR to someone with little experience if they were wanting to shoot fast moving sports. Most of the time I recommend a decent compact its all people need or want on a complexity level.
  3. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    My first question is how big of a camera do you want to carry followed by how much do you want to spend.
  4. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    I agree with a lot of those points. Especially price. It about what best can be done with a budget. Although if I could buy all the toys... I'd buy all the toys.
  5. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    My first question would be: may I see what is your current gear and what did you shoot with it?
    If this would be first camera (besides smartphone), then I would recommend advanced compact - to make the person to focus more on subjects and composition, rather than on gear acquisition and camera's menus.
    If person has camera already and makes decent pictures with it, then I would ask similar question that OP posted. But if pictures suck, then I would try to pretend I have nothing in my mind and recommend nothing.
  6. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    I usually avoid answering these questions (unless I am directly asked) especially if I know that there are DSLR junkies within hearing distance. Even if I realize from his (yes, the junkie is usually is a guy, for some reason) babbling that I know more about photography in general. I just avoid the trap.

    Pardon me for the long~ish rant, but to illustrate the point:

    I remember distinctly we were on a birthday party, I brought my tiny E-PL3 with the P20 to get pics of my kids - we were guests - and our host was saying she wanted to get good pictures of her kid. It was obvious she wanted to graduate from iPhone shots. So this guy swooped in with his 5D Mark III with his 17-55 f/2.8 (or whatever the hell it was), detailed all the benefits, introduced his 50mm prime and his 85mm prime. He didn't make any false claims - in fact most of what he said were generally true. But he didn't consider his audience - a mom just wanted to take better photos of her kid. Eventually the mom asked me since I post lots of pics on facebook, and I told her without going much into details (avoiding the trap, the guy was listening) that the DSLR might be too powerful for her needs, and she might want to consider a decent point and shoot, say the Sony RX100, or the m43 line. I showed her my camera and its results. I told her all my facebook pics were with the m43. But DLSR guy of course aired his opinion about how you'd eventually move on anyway, razor-thin bokeh, cleaner files, etc. I shrugged. I thought I already said my piece.

    Fast forward one year for the next bday party, and they have a -- ta-daa! -- Nikon DSLR with the kit lens. Mom can't use it much (too big to be bothered with), Dad was snapping away on Auto (yes, I was able to eventually confirm), mini-flash firing. I'm not saying that built-in flash is bad - in fact I find them helpful - but the camera was just too advanced in a novice's hand. I know, I've been down that road. So minutes into it, Dad gave me the DSLR and asked me if I can take photos of the party, knowing I "really had very nice pictures" in my Facebook. (And noting with a somewhat curious look the "old" camera I am using - an X100s.) The camera was really good even with the kit lens, but I knew what setting to look for and made adjustments as needed. Hopefully they were happy with the results.

    ** End of blabbering **
    • Like Like x 4
  7. 13thFloorPhotography

    13thFloorPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Hyubie, I really appreciate your story and I find helping people get the right camera for their needs is extremely important. It's so easy to push my love for m43 to others, but I really do think it's the perfect camera for newer photographers, especially those who are not sure if they want to take their photography to the next level. In your particular situation, I would agree that a high-end compact or a m43 would have been perfect for the couples' needs. It's a shame follow up questions are not asked regarding needs, conditions of use, budget and so forth. Thanks again for sharing your story
  8. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    Recommending someone a camera with the sensor size being priority #1 over all other things is just flat out DUMB. Many other things to consider first. Honestly I think were living in FF crazed times. I say this one often on forums and in person... if Hollywood could make do with a super 16mm sensor (read: some of the most brilliant films have been made with a super 16mm camera) for the better part of a millennium (some show's are still filming with super 16 camera's!) then Im pretty sure you and I can too. :) Of course most people look at you puzzled wondering what's a super 16mm camera.....
  9. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    I get the feeling that the FF craze is mostly made by people insecure about their gear. It's like they want to defend the higher investment they made. "I spent more, so your images will never be on par with my images." Pfft.

    Not trying to fan the flame here, I'm saying that's how I feel. And let's face it, FF generally does produce better-quality image - it's just plain logic. I think what gets lost is there are a lot of options out there that are more than good enough for the everyday Tom, Dick, Harry or Sally.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    People are generally right about needing to get something with a larger sensor than the typical point and shoot, but the point is that they only need to go a little bigger to get good image quality (not too much NR smoothing or artifacting, decent dynamic range). "Bokeh" is what everyone claims to be after but they don't know what bokeh means, they just want a maximum possible amount of background blur. I wonder how many moms wonder why they can't get their FF cameras not to look fuzzy, because they're only getting a small bit of their kid's face into focus.

    It's irritating...
  11. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Your questions led inevitably to an E-M5 (or the weathersealed Pentax DSLRs), that's cheating.
    For example : when asking if he wanted weathersealing you omitted to mention it was a rare spec and would severely limit his brand and model choices.
    Secondly : he wants an interchangeable lens camera, but no explanation is given.

    Thirdly : I now know 500% more than I used to about paintballing!
    Thanks Floor.
  12. 13thFloorPhotography

    13thFloorPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Hahah Ulfric, glad I could inform you more about paintball.

    Just curious, how would you pose the follow up questions? I only ask because I want to make a standard questionnaire that's not seemingly biased or leading to something. From my perspective I don't see the weather sealing question as a cheat because it is most definitely an option when someone purchases a camera (I know my friend travels a lot and might encounter adverse weather conditions). The same can be said about the WIFI/NFC question. Had he said yes to NFC, for example, it would seemingly lead to the G6 or one of the Sony options.

    To address your second point, his response or lack thereof is not a failure on my part (well, maybe a failure on my part to follow-up why he wants it)

    Any way to improve my questioning is greatly appreciated.
  13. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    One question I would add is how they think they may want to control the camera? If their response is I only need the shutter, then a P&s would be best. Touchscreen vs buttons vs dials will lead to different responses.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app
  14. Neftun

    Neftun Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 15, 2012
    Patrick Kristiansen
    Interesting to see all these questions for recommending gear. I sell among other things photogear for a living, and ask these questions every day.

    I'll take note of yours. Some differ from mine, and mine differ from the ones taught from the corporate office.
  15. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    It's tough to know in advance just how much someone wants to get into the techniques of photography. I remember when I got my first camera back in the 70s as a teenager. I knew I wanted to get into it big time but my parents talked me out of a nice used Voightlander rangefinder I'd spotted in the local camera store and got me a Princematic (or such like) which I hated from the start!

    Having said that, I think buying a 5d as a first camera is dumb too. Any of the APSC DSLRs will deliver fantastic results with a comparatively low entry price. By comparison, u43 is expensive and niche. I love u43 though, but it's definitely better suited to someone who been on the DSLR path (been there and got the t-shirt) and graduated to something that delivers the required IQ and performance in a small and light package.
  16. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    I like sports cars, and I prefer all of my cars to have manual transmission. But when someone asks for advice on what car they should consider, I always turn them towards a Toyota Camry or Corolla. They all come with automatic transmission, are comfortable safe and reliable, and practically maintenance free.

    Same with cameras. If a person asks for advice, they are usually just getting started with photography. The last thing I want to do is to get them frustrated and discouraged with the images they take and give up on photography. It's why I usually recommend a p&s or something like the Nikon V1 which can capture images of kids/dogs running about without much effort.
  17. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    If folks are really concerned about camera & lens size & only going to use 2 or 3 kit lenses, my 1st recommendation would be the Nikon 1 system...
  18. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    Almost got my wife a Nikon 1 :)
    Got her a small m4/3 panny instead
    But kinda want a new camera for her sony rx100 in serious contention :)

    Nikon 1 gets overlooked by many sadly

    Looking at the new AW1 could be a good camping kayak water park day etc... camera
    Reading it's canceled :( sad cause would have been nice hope it's a wrong rumor :)
    Also looking at the Oly tough cameras

    Love having a small but nice camera at times
    Again lots of pros use rx100 as there P&S

    1 inch sensors are not bad way to go for cheap entry level above a phone capture

  19. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Lol! Next time someone asks me I'm going to recommend they rent an Arri Alexa to film home movies of their kids... ;-)
    • Like Like x 2
  20. will_f

    will_f Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 2, 2013
    Wait, what? I bought an M43 for its sensor size. It's way bigger than the one in my iPhone.