Optimal Equipment for Photography

I’m seeing that the images from my point-n-shoot are not as pleasing as the images from my Nikon D300
Upon close examination I can see the pixel stair-stepping squares more easily from the point-n-shoot. The larger image from the D300 produces an image with more color variations (dynamic range?) and smoother images. It also takes a lot longer to process the images from the D300

I’d like to upgrade to a new full frame camera but the added pixels will require more time to process.
But doing so will require more processing time and possibly a new faster graphics capable computer.
Perhaps I could reduce the original image size and perform experiments on it to find the “best” result, and then go back to the full size image and processes it - maybe save myself the cost of upgrading the computer hardware.

Example has a couple of filters from Topaz Simplify and some pixel airbrushing in Paint Shop Pro

From this statement, I infer the point-n-shoot has fewer pixels than the 12 megapixels of the D300? OR, you’re processing JPEGs from the point-n-shoot and RAW images from the D300?

You certainly should expect images with fewer pixels to break down sooner as you increase the number processing steps. Digital post-processing has the same limitations as printing. Images with fewer pixels can’t be printed as large as those with more pixels. When processing images with fewer pixels, you can’t be as heavyhanded with any of the adjustments as you can on larger images. You also can’t push those sliders around as much on JPEGs as you can on RAW images.

What full frame camera might you get? If you get something with 24 or 36 megapixels, do you have the lenses to take advantage of such a pixel count and image quality on such a full frame body? If not, upgrading lenses will/could cost WAY more than any computer upgrades needed for larger image file processing.

Note too that a used Nikon D700 is 12 megapixels and so wouldn’t take any more processing time than your D300. It would have less noise than your D300, but I don’t know that there’d be any other advantages.

Best regards

I have two lenses that are designed for the full frame Nikon. I’m looking at their D810 or D850 - both are 36 megapixel machines. And I would like to add another couple of lenses such as the Zeiss or Schnieder makes. The results from my current Sigma 70-300 APO lens always produce slightly superior images than any lens from Nikon.

To the point about “downsizing” to phone or P&S, I have to say that my next “must buy” camera is the new iPhone. Why? Augmented Reality and 3D. Who else is putting 3D photography in the hands of consumers, and at that price point? Have you seen how you can take a pic of a space, and then “drop” objects into the picture? A whole new way to buy furniture! Or the app you can add onto an iOS 11 phone that lets you measure objects, and the distance between points? How helpful will that be to first responders, realtors, tradespeople and decorators?

And over the long term, is there any real reason to design and make SLR cameras? Why not just move the tech to mirrorless? I’m still shopping for a camera that does some of what the iPhone does without me even thinking about it, HDR, low light shooting with image stabilization, along with quality lenses that don’t distort shapes. (my biggest gripe with my current iPhone, which I still prefer to my 6 year old lower-end Canon Rebel.)Sure there are a few camera options that will be great tech for a year. Not sure what camera is worth investing in long term.

It is simply the quality of the lenses you use with any camera as opposed to a phone … therefore giving you great quality pics especially if you want to print.

If you are just posting on the web it doesn’t matter as, for example Facebook, the image resolution is changed when uploaded.

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The phone makers have done amazing things, but at the end of the day, most phones have one wide-angle, fixed focal length lens with digital enlargement marketed as zoom…

True, just wish I could put a beautiful glass lens on that new phone! Any camera suggestions, for low light, image stability, HDR, and good lens quality?

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Like the author, Jason Row, I had been a dyed in the wool Nikon user clear back to the days of film. When I migrated to digital I toyed with staying with Nikon but I found that they were heavy and my once steady pulse was not willing to support the Nikon with anything but its short prime lenses.

I found the Panasonic Lumix G6 ideal and well within the price point I was willing to invest. Today, that G6 is accompanied by GX8 and an array of glass from Lumix, Olympus and Rokinon. Soon some Lensbaby glass will join the arsenal. When I am out on a shoot the bodies and specific lenses come with me.

Lima is a city of 10 million plus with the attendant risks that a metropolis of this kind has. Unfortunately, security, in particular petty theft, is a concern. When I am out of the city I am comfortable with carrying my expensive gear. But, in town, unless I am accompanied by a body guard, my walk around camera is a Point and Shoot Lumix ZS50 which has a modicum of possible adjustments and a lens with an electronic zoom to the equivalent of 720mm. It is unobtrusive and the images are quite respectable. I don’t leave home without it.

I do a fair amount of I-Phone photography and have gotten some excellent results; but, I am in accord that they have their limitations…though the software side of the equation is able to create some amazing results. I am looking forward to using the new 8S when it becomes available in this market. From what I have read, the optics are slightly improved however the software produces some fine images from the limitations of the optics.

Phones and their use as cameras have become so ubiquitous that I have been in several situations where I have recorded scenes or events without calling the least bit of attention. Had I pulled out even my Lumix ZS50 I would have encountered resistance or created a scene. So, on the street, depending on where, the phone may get the nod.

We are definitely living in a rapidly evolving photographic environment.


Time for basic physics-----
To prevent the camera or cellphone bouncing up/down at the time of exposure requires a turning force applied from your back muscles through the pivot of your shoulder
The cellphone is normally held at about 450mm from the turning point and a DSLR/CSC held at the eye is about 150mm from the turning point.
A cellphone has mass of about 150g so any DSLR/CSC of about 450g or less will need less turning force.
The movement in the camera must be less than 0.1mm as an equivalent at the printing stage otherwise the blur will exceed the circle of confusion and be noticeable. For a cellphone at arms length this probable is 0.1mm because the arm acts like a distance multiplier as a lever but for a DSLR/CSC the distance in the lever is much smaller and the movement is not so amplified.
Say what you like about any cellphone working in JPG mode — you are at the mercy of the on-board software and reliant on that software to iron out the anomalies in the cast resin lens - in RAW you can create your own profiles but then it’s down to your skill level. Cellphone images are ephemeral and transient because most are for web display as self promotion. At 72 to 96 ppi they are not exactly demanding of the camera or the software. Even the coarsest lens will not be poor at this resolution. Printing needs 250 to 300 ppi and a poor lens cannot hide here.
I know that camera and cellphone technology is converging but I don’t see the day when even the best cellphone will surpass the best DSLR. They are designed for different tasks


Stephen, I learned a lot from your post. It is true that you have some nice lenses to choose from. Also, I think image stabilization technology is actually a very elegant solution, and certainly less cumbersome than carrying around a tripod. I do a lot of interior shots, and then have other family activities like low lit stage performances and indoor volleyball games. So that I can shoot in fairly low light, I think I’ll be purchasing the Sony Alpha a7 II Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera with 28-70mm Lens this week. (Of course I will be also picking up the iPhone X eventually, but can run the new ios 11 on my current phone.) The Sony seems like a nice balance between current technology, lens quality, and access to traditional camera features. For about $1,700 US, it seems like a reasonable value. It has 5 axis image stabilization, and good sensitivity in low light. Any other camera recommendations, given the kind of shooting described?


Denise, I think your choice of camera is superb. If I were to start over or have an unlimited budget I would go for the Sony world. All the work I have seen produced with those cameras is phenomenal and I think your choice of 28-70mm for the kind of image creation you plan to do will yield fine results. Look forward to seeing some of your work here.

While the I-Pbone X sounds like a fine “camera” I am afraid by the time it gets to Peru the price even on a carrier subsidized plan is going to be more than what I am willing to commit. I do plan however to upgrade from the 6S to 8S.

Have fun with your new camera.

Not wishing to be negative … since I have Sony DSLRs … but my brother-in-law (like myself a member of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, et ergo not a total beginner) bought one and hated it - selling it shortly after purchase. You get more “bang for your bucks” with Sony (hence my 2 x DSLRs – one top of range — one mid range) but I think the quality of the Fujifilm CSC is superior (I have one of the mid range)
I’d check out other fullframe kit before I splashed that amount of cash.

I have to agree on that, I switched from Sony to FujiFilm for mirrorless …

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Do you have more dust on the sensor issues with mirrorless than a DSLR[?

Dust is dust!
I live now in a more dusty village than previously, now being on the leeward side of UK’s #3 city and my CSC was purchased since I came here and it has interchangeable lenses and I get dust spots so I take that into account when changing lenses and the camera has a “clean routine” and in my workflow - it’s part of the routine

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A post was split to a new topic: Images from my New Camera

My feeling is that photography, being an art, is not dependent on the tools, but the artist. I’ve seen some woneerful work coming from small cameras and cell phones. That being said, I prefer a DSLR that produces a high quality, sharp full toned images because when I take a photo I am never quite sure what I will do with the final image. The internet has different requirements than printing, especially large printing

@XiaoLin you are so right in what you say … “not dependent on the tools, but the artist.” And as for equipment – I go back to what I said earlier…

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One of the most important things for me is seeing the same thing in my camera as with my eyes. I’ve yet to see a screen - inside or outside a camera - that comes close to matching the viewfinder in a DSLR.



And I doubt whether that can be achieved easily

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