Digital SLR's - expensive hobby

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Beck, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. Beck

    Beck Guest

    I have never owned an SLR, always seemed to much of a camera for my skills
    (and too pricey). But I am wondering about the thoughts on digital
    technology from those who do have them.

    Someone could own a film SLR for 10, 20 years and just upgrade the lenses as
    and when necessary. They would be good workhorses and never need the body
    to be upgraded.

    Now I see a financial problem with digital in that because the megapixel
    rate is forever increasing, SLR owners are more like to change the camera
    body every couple of years to keep up with the current technology. We have
    seen cameras go from measly 1megapixel up to 16 megapixel in a rate of
    what...5-7 years? is that all? Probably be only a year before we see 32
    megapixel cameras and people will want to upgrade again.

    What do you all think about the quickly changing technology in digital
    photography? Are you concerned that financially for you it is moving too
    quickly?
     
    Beck, Aug 19, 2005
    #1
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  2. Beck

    Mark² Guest

    We're already pushing the limits of existing 35mm lens technology (the glass
    can only resolve so much detail until they become the barrier to resolution,
    rather than pixel count), so going much higher than 16MP is going to being
    increasingly problematic. I think we're actually nearing the *beginning of
    the end* of MP wars for the small-ish 35mm DSLR format (at 16.7MP).

    To go much higher and have it pay off, they'll soon have to come up with
    better lens solutions.

    Mark
     
    Mark², Aug 19, 2005
    #2
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  3. Beck

    Beck Guest

    Oh right I did not know that. I thought it would be like memory where it
    would become never ending. I suppose that is good news it means people can
    finally settle down to a level and not be bothered by what is round the
    corner.
    I am sure not many people need that many pixels anyway. The average home
    user is only going to want to print off maximum 8x6 prints anyway and not
    poster size or more.
     
    Beck, Aug 19, 2005
    #3
  4. Beck

    Mark² Guest

    I should add...
    ....More MPs DO mean you can crop images and still have enough resolution to
    do larger prints.
    Also... In spite of the lens resolution limitations, don't think the
    technology will stay stagnant.
    :) Canon, Nikon, and the rest have other ways of making things
    attractive...like noise levels, sensitivity (ISO), frame-rate, and on and
    on.

    Your basic question, though, I think DOES have a fairly happy answer, in
    that DSLRs are reaching a point where they remain worthy for long
    periods--so long as the user can resist the upgrade itch.
    A 4x6 print originally shot on the 16.7MP 1Ds Mark II isn't going to look
    any better than the same shot taken with a Canon Digital Rebel. Once you
    get into HUGE prints, though, the high-dollar units start to show their
    stuff...
     
    Mark², Aug 19, 2005
    #4
  5. Beck

    Mike Warren Guest

    I suspect we will see the megapixel race go quite a bit further
    before it settles. It's pretty much gone too far already on the
    P&S models. Very few people will ever blow up their P&S
    above 8x12 and a lot won't even go past 6x4. The problem
    manufacturers face is what *single* thing differentiates the better
    camera. Consumers know to look for that 1 magical number
    which reveals all. ;-)

    We are seeing it happen with processor speeds now.
    Manufacturers are having to come up with a new "feature" that
    allows lazy consumers to judge which is the best.

    -Mike
     
    Mike Warren, Aug 19, 2005
    #5
  6. Beck

    Beck Guest

    I think it is good to know they will eventually level out though. We are
    only just seeing the release of 16megapixel cameras. In fact I think there
    is only one model at the moment?
    If 16 megapixel is the peak, then people can start to settle down and not
    continue to upgrade their bodies.
     
    Beck, Aug 19, 2005
    #6
  7. Beck

    Beck Guest

    But its not the megapixel count which is most important is it? I would say
    the lens is most important. There is no point in having say an 8mp camera
    that has a shitty lens as you might as well have a 2mp one.
     
    Beck, Aug 19, 2005
    #7
  8. Beck

    Justin Thyme Guest

    On the one hand, if today's 6MP DSLR's are taking a good enough photo for
    you today, why does it suddenly become obsolete because an 8MP or higher is
    released? On the other hand, I doubt todays DSLR's are built with anything
    like the longevity of some of the older film cameras. There are plenty of
    40yo or older film cameras still in everyday service - I doubt many 300D's
    will still be going in 5 years.
    Another big difference is that those 40yo film cameras are taking far better
    photos today than they did 40 years ago, due to advances in film technology.
    When recording technologies advanced, all that was required was to load the
    camera with the new film. In the digital world, to take advantage of
    improvements in recording technology requires replacing the entire camera.
     
    Justin Thyme, Aug 19, 2005
    #8
  9. Beck

    Beck Guest

    It doesn't for me. MP numbers to me are not that important.

    On the other hand, I doubt todays DSLR's are
    Is this build quality of todays cameras really that bad?
     
    Beck, Aug 19, 2005
    #9
  10. Beck

    Mike Warren Guest

    Sorry. Should have enclosed that in <sarcasm> tags :)

    My point is that most consumers don't want to spend time
    researching their potential purchase and would rather have
    one feature that tells them which is best.

    -Mike
     
    Mike Warren, Aug 19, 2005
    #10
  11. Beck

    Beck Guest

    And the average person probably goes for the pixel count and not the other
    features ;-)
     
    Beck, Aug 19, 2005
    #11
  12. Beck

    Mike Warren Guest

    They are actually built better. However, they are unlikely to last
    anywhere near as long. There are two reasons for this:

    Firstly, manufacturers are able to better predict the life of individual
    components compared to 40 years ago. This means there are less
    product failures in the short term but they wear out quicker.

    The other thing with dSLRs compared to film SLRs is that because
    the "film" is so cheap, people take *many* more pictures. This causes
    mechanical parts to wear out in a shorter time.

    -Mike
     
    Mike Warren, Aug 19, 2005
    #12
  13. Beck

    Roger Moss Guest


    Don't catch Upgrade Disease! That's the really expensive bit.

    In the years to come whatever you buy now will continue to produce the
    results you're (presumably) perfectly happy with - whatever else develops
    in the meantime.

    So relax and enjoy...

    RM
     
    Roger Moss, Aug 19, 2005
    #13
  14. Beck

    Celcius Guest

    Mind you, Mark, that existing CMOS might change also...
    Marcel
     
    Celcius, Aug 19, 2005
    #14
  15. Beck

    Neil Ellwood Guest

    Dust has always been a problem.
    In the camera it could be the cause of tramlines and spots on the
    negatives/transparencies.
    On prints it could cause myriads of white spots especially on large prints
    - could cause a great deal of time to be spent 'spotting'.
     
    Neil Ellwood, Aug 19, 2005
    #15
  16. There's yet another way to consider this. If the camera and accessories
    that you own suit your needs and produce photographs that please you, then
    that should be the criterion for staying with what you have. Excellent
    photographs are made every day using equipment that has long-since been
    outmoded. The urge to replace what you already have with something more
    recent can quickly become competitive as you see another photographer's
    equipment and get that sudden flush to keep yourself current.

    Remember too that camera manufacturers are in business to sell you cameras,
    lenses and accessories. Their advertising campaigns constantly highlight
    the "superior" qualities of the latest equipment hoping to instill in you
    the idea that what you currently own is now inferior. It's up to you to
    decide how pleased you are with what you have.
     
    Bernard Saper, Aug 19, 2005
    #16
  17. Beck

    Don Stauffer Guest

    When film SLRs first came out they were pretty pricey too. I can
    remember watching prices drop until we finally could afford one. We
    used what was the equivalent then of a point and shoot and my cheapo
    double lens reflex (spartaflex) until we could afford our first SLR.
     
    Don Stauffer, Aug 19, 2005
    #17
  18. Beck

    Don Stauffer Guest

    There are some really good lenses out there now, if you are willing to
    foregoe infinite zoom ratio and f/0.5 speed :)
     
    Don Stauffer, Aug 19, 2005
    #18
  19. Beck

    Don Stauffer Guest

    Bernard Saper wrote:
    Excellent
    The first photography course my wife took, at a junior college, the
    instructor required all students to be a real cheap, plastic 120 format
    box camera, and shoot, process, and print 10 roles of film per week.
    Some really nice stuff came from that class.
     
    Don Stauffer, Aug 19, 2005
    #19
  20. Beck

    David Keller Guest

    The real issue is that we don't actually know if the componentry of today's
    digital bodies is the equal or better than that of the current generation of
    film bodies.

    Essentially we are the Beta group for the these cameras. No one will really
    know anything about the effective duration of these bodies until a large
    group of users has had them in hand and been using them for 15 to 20 years.
    In that sense even cameras like the F5 are still being "field tested" for
    reliable longevity.

    My suspicion is that we will not see digital bodies with active 20 year
    lifespans. I think the processing and computing component requirements will
    fail long before dslr's reach the level of reliability previous film cameras
    have proven to provide. They still can't, or won't, build a laptop that will
    last 15 years over a wide group of users and within that realm they have
    more room and more ability to manage heat and surge and other things that
    slowly damage processors and boards.
     
    David Keller, Aug 19, 2005
    #20
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