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The War of the Systems and Some Ruminations Thereof

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jloden, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Preface
    Sorry in advance for the long post!

    I've been debating posting this for a while, and I still have some misgivings as I don't want this to be misinterpreted. I want to be abundantly clear that my purpose in posting this is to at least *try* and foster more togetherness and less divisive attitudes, and not to further exacerbate the "system wars". It's not directed at anyone in particular, just hoping for some more positivity on the board :smile:

    My Experience
    So you all know where I'm coming from:

    I started with m4/3 as my first serious camera purchase a few years ago (a GF2) and have since cycled through a number of m4/3 bodies. At one time or another I've probably tried or owned the majority of native lenses. I love the system, and I have a very clear understanding of it's strengths, but also its weaknesses. For the past 12 months, I have regularly used m4/3, APS-C, and Full Frame cameras. I have consistently shot all 3 systems, often times in the same/similar environments, or even directly side by side in some cases. I assist and work with other photographers shooting Canon FF and APS-C gear also.

    In short, I've seen and processed files from lots of different cameras and sensors and also owned & and shot with a bunch of different gear that spans a wide range of quality and featuresets.

    Acknowledging Differences
    Accuracy is important to me, and as such I think it's only fair to accept there ARE differences. Every camera and sensor type I've used has its own quirks, benefits, and drawbacks. Provided you're comparing similar generation sensors, smaller sensors behave differently than large sensors. Firmware and hardware come with utterly different featuresets and priorities. Gear comes in many different sizes, shapes, and even colors :tongue:

    There is no technlogical "right" answer for everyone. Shallow DoF might be your bread and butter, or you might find it a hindrance trying to keep enough in focus. If you need to print large prints with higher detail than a DSLR or medium format may be more appropriate for you. Maybe you need to carry a tiny kit that fits in a small bag and a m4/3 body and 2 or 3 small primes is perfect for you. Maybe you hate changing lenses and you like a 14-140mm zoom instead. Maybe you can't imagine carrying a heavy, bulky camera and m4/3 is a godsend to you with it's tiny lenses and light weight. Or, maybe you don't really mind the weight and the ergonomics or final image quality is more important to you.

    The point is, there is nothing intrinscally problematic about there being differences between systems, and people will always have their own ideals based on what's a priority to them. That doesn't make any of us more "right" or more "wrong", just different.

    It's ALL Good!
    But here's the thing I've learned from the past 12 months: all of it is good! No camera I've shot with has been incapable of taking great pictures, and I have favorite pictures taken by everything from a G3 to a D800. There are detectable differences in quality and capabilities sure, but the bottom line is: none of it serves to prevent me from being a successful amateur photographer.

    This means two things to me:

    1) We don't need to be defensive about our gear!

    Whether it's m4/3, a compact, or an APS-C DSLR, it's hard to argue that excellent work has been and can be done with all of the above. We have capable, quality gear at our disposal and we should all be pleased at the positive benefits it offers us without feeling the need to defend against gear snobbery.

    2) We don't need to be offensive about our gear!

    For the same reasons, we don't need a chip on our shoulder. Everyone doesn't need to shoot or prefer m4/3 gear, just like everyone does not need to shoot FF cameras to achieve their photographic ideal. My hope is that we can acknowledge the differences, without getting either offensive or defensive about our chosen systems.

    Many of us found our way here because mu-43.com offered a safe haven from condescension toward our smaller sensored camera systems. It only seems fair enough in my mind to offer the same courtesy to the members and visitors here who comment on, use, or prefer other systems. In short, let's not make everything an "Us vs. Them" and stick to what makes for the common ground that makes for "Us" wherever possible! :2thumbs:
     
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  2. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    You mean ipad's can take great photo's? :wink: Ahh Jay - its people like you that makes forums boring.

    Just kidding :biggrin:

    The wearing of team colours is oh so human. Probably instinctive unfortunately.
     
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  3. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    In summary...

    There's no perfect system.

    Accept it and understand that we are in a great period of time in which technology has expanded the options we have to explore.
     
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  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    No, iPads don't count :biggrin:

    Yeah, it's instinctive and I'm under no allusions as to the likely impact (or lack thereof) but I figured hey, at least I could say what I had on my mind!

    Yep, exactly - and hopefully leave the antagonism off to one side while we're at it! :thumbup:
     
  5. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I would add that we don't need to second guess when other people are being defensive or offensive about their gear. For example, if someone posts about why they prefer Micro 4/3 to full frame, that does not equal defensiveness or offensiveness. Few things are more inflammatory in forums than when we play psychologist.

    Just to make a related point here, accuracy and precision aren't important or even achievable goals for everyone, and sometimes the most unpleasant forum spats happen when an accuracy-minded person is trying to beat truth into someone who is just not willing to be accurate. That's one of the reasons that our forum rules specifically disallow repetitive argumentation without respect to whether the argument that is being offered repetitively is correct.
     
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  6. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Thanks Amin, both good points :smile:
     
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  7. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    In hindsight, I think I could have probably summed my entire post up with just: "Everybody be cool, and let's not make every comparative post a format holy war." :biggrin:
     
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  8. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    Way too many shutterbugs get offended when anyone questions their OPINION. As a kid I used to think it was silly that people were punished/jailed/beheaded for challenging the status quo. After being on quite a few photography forums, I've come to understand that people just can't deal with being questioned about their gear choices. What they chose is PERFECT.
     
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  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Before I make one last point, Jay disclosed where he's coming from gear-wise, so I'll do the same. My New Year's resolution for 2013 was to buy no new cameras. In 2013, I ended up buying an NEX-5N, X-E1, X100S, DP-2M, D600, E-M5, E-M1, E-PM2 (2), GX7, XF1, M6, M8, M9, and was gifted a 5D II. Pretty sure I'm forgetting a couple in there :rolleyes:. Pretty much the worst resolution fail I have ever had and it's still November. But the bottom line is that I have no personal allegiance to any company or system.

    Last thing I have to say here: It is human nature to invest ego in decisions, including gear decisions. While I like the idea of aspiring to avoid defensiveness and offensiveness and agree that we can and should all make efforts in this regard, we cannot expect everyone to reach enlightenment as a prerequisite for participating in the forums. There will be defensiveness and offensiveness, and given that this is a Micro 4/3 commmunity, I think we ought to have greater tolerance for pro-Micro 4/3 defensiveness and offensiveness than we do for the rest. Just keeping it real!
     
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  10. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    LOL. I almost forgot about that New Year's resolution Amin. Almost. :biggrin:

    And wholeheartedly agree on the rest of what you said too. I am, if nothing else, a realist at heart!
     
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  11. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    So you might as well end the year with a bang and squeeze in the Sony A7R.

    I came close.... Sony WX300. (Not counting the XF1 for my wife). I did buy a few lenses (one particularly pricey one) and stuff... for the most part I'm into a system that fits me for a while. Probably longer than most people these days. Heck I still shoot with my Leica M8 circa 2006 purchased new and (since this is MFT forum) an E-PL1 purchased new in 2010.


    But. yeh... everything else is bang on.
     
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  12. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    And surely a GM1...

    I don't feel so bad with my lens collection now Amin... cheers for that :biggrin:
     
  13. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    Very well said! I suspect that most of the folks here have good reasons for the choices that they've made. Most could explain those reasons if asked, but shouldn't have to defend them. Personal choice is just that, personal. My reasons may not be valid for someone else, but they work for me. So long as we respect one another's choices this will continue to be an outstanding and friendly forum.
     
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  14. Everhandy

    Everhandy Guest

    Since I'm just waiting for the wifey to get home from work so we can hit the pubs (XF1 in pocket), I thought I may chime in a bit to kill some time.

    I've been kicked off at least two photography forums for abusive behavior and in both instances, the punishment was unwarranted and unjust. True, I did act like an ass but, I never threw the first punch. That being said, I feel this forum is more civil than others I have seen, that's why I'm still here. There's no shortage of token platitudes thrown about by the veterans here but, that's to be expected. It seems to be a sensible bunch. That does not mean however, that people don't get all worked up about minutia. That's the problem. I'm not immune to it. Many of us here are OCD techno-weenies (geeks) that are obsessed with image quality and we're always trying to obtain the unobtainable. That would be OK except for the fact that a great many people, much more sane than we but gullible, get sucked into our black hole, thinking that we are the guru's of a complex technology or what we like to sometimes call, art. The truth is, most of our gear is light years ahead of our skills. I'll bet a pile of quid that most so-called photographers don't use 20% of the functions in any of their cameras. In fact, I've seen massive conversation threads discussing disputes of aperture equivalencies. Threads that went on for weeks! Who cares!

    I'm a big fan of Ken Rockwell who's sentiment is that you don't need a lot of expensive gear to make good pictures. I do like u4/3 cameras but, sometimes I wonder if there is not better out there (for me anyway). Just to be clear, I've been in u4/3rd from the start with the E-PL1 and have had several u4/3rd cameras, the list is long. I stop short at spending tons of money on the system as there are other pursuits more worthy of my capital than photography.

    I just want to say that, if I kick the tires and point out the rust spots, that doesn't mean I ain't gonna buy the car.

    Here's an example. I spent weeks in heated discussions on the DPR forum regarding super-zoom cameras. Chiefly, I was a huge critic of the Canon SX50-HS. In my ignorance I offended a few fan boys and after knocking the camera severely for it's poor image quality, I decided to give it a try. Well, guess what I shoot with now almost all the time? That's right, the SX50. Why? Because no other camera in the world can take this shot from where I was standing. Please note, this shot was taken handheld in not the brightest light of a moving subject from some 50 yards or so away at a ff equivalent focal length of 1200mm, tha's right, not a misprint...1200mm!

    The reason I share this story is that I am proof that a basher can become a booster. Some of us have questions that may seem offensive, only if you allow yourself to be defensive.
    Anyway, the wife just showed up, time for a Jameson. Cheers!

    <a href=http://year77.com/images/Exports/IMG_0342.jpg>[​IMG]
     
  15. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    That's it! Ban him! NOW! LOL.. (I'm joking....... kinda.).
     
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  16. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    I was gonna ban him for using the phrase "fan boy", but hey, it's Thanksgiving. (Sorry, I couldn't resist!) :118: :rofl:
     
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  17. Photorebel

    Photorebel Mu-43 Regular

    114
    Nov 14, 2013
    Jeff Mims
    But it was an insightful and interesting post. I enjoyed reading it.
    My thought is…why not use whatever system one enjoys using in the pursuit of photography? I tried the OM E1…I like it, I enjoy it. That's all that matters. If someone else prefers a Canon 1Dx…great. I bear them no ill will, or think I'm better or a lesser photographer than they are.
     
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  18. Photorebel

    Photorebel Mu-43 Regular

    114
    Nov 14, 2013
    Jeff Mims
    That's one place I definitely agree with Ken Rockwell. The local family owned studio, never uses pro level bodies. They use Canon 60D, and a Canon 7D (well..it's not the top of the line pro) but they manage a very successful business.
    I know of a female photographer who uses only Canon Rebel bodies, and consumer lenses. She is in constant demand, and has even been asked to teach classes in portrait photography.

    I just believe while gear…does indeed help (higher ISO..lower noise capability) ultimately, it's the photographer that makes the difference.
     
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  19. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    I find it interesting, that whenever I see those threads, people just assume the person claiming that his choice of system is 'better" - is actually good at taking pictures. It is possible that I don't look at enough pictures to get a better idea, but so far I see this on a number of different forums:

    1 - Terrible shots with FF cameras, terrible shots with APS-C, terrible shots with M4/3, terrible shots with P&S

    2 - Amazing shots with FF (nothing can touch those for landscape IMHO), amazing shots with APS-C, amazing shots with M4/3, amazing shots with P&S

    I guess spending more time with the gear, which ever system one uses, would be more beneficial for most people, instead of dragging their EGOs into forums to have a pissing contest.

    Would be cool, if providing your own 'proof" with pictures was mandatory!!!
     
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  20. darosk

    darosk Mu-43 Top Veteran

    705
    Apr 17, 2013
    Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
    Daros
    I have fun with my E-M5, and I've found that when I'm having fun shooting, I make some of my best images. For whatever reason, my old 5DII and III never resonated with me in the same way. I liked the images that came out of the camera, but I never found the camera's themselves to be inspiring. That's just how I'm wired, I guess. It's so funny to me that a (relatively) tiny camera with a plastic-ky lens (I heart my 45!) has reinvigorated my enjoyment of photography in such a strong way.
     
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