The Best DSLR for Everyone


McGregNi

Link Posted 17/03/2014 - 01:39
Without wanting to make any assumptions about individuals, I have been pondering what aspects of a camera may be more likely to appeal to different photographers. It can't all just come down to price alone - manufacturers must surely consider different types of user in desiging their range and deciding what to include or not on each model.

The K7 for me is my first DSLR - but I had a few years experience with a much simpler film SLR (another brand), which was very much in the 'consumer / budget' category. Operationally it offered less user control, very little customisation or options for things like metering, bracketing, film transport speeds and autofocus. And it was very reasonably priced.

Why did I choose it? Maybe for the same reasons that many 'newbies' might choose similar types - I was not aware specifically about many of the advanced features it lacked, or what I might use them for, and I was not inclined to fork out a huge amount for a new hobby when I didn't know the extent to which I would get involved with.

The K7 was a huge step up from this earlier camera in its operational sophistications. But this time I immediately appreciated the high value of what it offered to me, because the basic knowledge was there and I was aware of what help the extra options could be to my picture taking. I didn't know that the first time around, and as the hobby had become ingrained and more important in my life I was prepared to spend more money and look at it as a longer-term investment in a whole system.

So that explains the price aspect .... I still think though this is not always the prime deciding factor, as surely manufacturers must realise now. Here's a little scene that I've been imagining ... for your entertainment if you'll stay with me ....



(Man enters quality camera shop. Shop assistant comes over.)

Ass : 'Hello Sir, can I offer you any help?'

Man : 'Ok Yes, I'm looking for a camera. My friend who's a photographer says I should try and get a DS...D ..'

Ass : ' A DSLR Sir? That would be a great choice, and we have a good range here'. What would be your price limitation?'

Man : 'Well, ah, I struck it a bit lucky a few months ago, so now I always just try and get the best money can buy. What would you recommend?'

Ass : (Looks very happy) 'No problem, we have a top of the line camera, its called a K3' (Gets a K3 out)

Man : 'That looks great. What can you tell about it?'

Ass : 'Well, its packed with the latest technology and it has some very advanced features - the most notable new one is the addition of a high pass filter simulator thats works with the sensor shake system'

Man : (Looks concerned) 'Ah, thats sounds good - how would I use that?'

Ass : 'It works in place of a traditional aa filter over the sensor to eliminate moire effects on some types of subject - you can switch it on when needed ... with other cameras you don't need to do that, its automatic.'

Man : 'Well, OK, I don't know much about that sort of thing ... um, what about that automatic camera you mentioned? - whats the best one like that?'

Ass : 'That would be this one' ... (he gets out a K5II)

Man : 'That looks very nice as well' (looks happy - fiddles with the mode dial) .. 'how do these controls work?'

Ass : 'that sets the shooting mode - you've got green square, thats basic, or P with more control, or you use Av, Tv or Tav ... or Sv depending on what you're shooting.'

Man : 'So, what if I wanted to shoot some hockey'?

Ass : (Fiddles with dial) ..'Then I'd set Tv, then you can get a fast speed for the action ... actually, there's lots of different ways you could do it.'

Man : (Looks a bit worried) 'I was looking at those ones over there and they seemed to have a some pictures on the dial - one looked like a runner - would that work for Hockey?'

Ass : 'Yes Sir, thats a sports mode'

Man : 'Well, I would probably use a lot of that - whats the best camera with sports mode?'

Ass : 'This may be what you saw ..' (gets out a K50)

Man : 'Great - it looks OK, I mean that's not the main thing is it, the main thing is it does just what I need?' (laughs - then tries a few shots) ... 'What are those little red squares lighting up all the time - seem to be jumping all around?'

Ass : 'Thats the focus point indicators Sir - they show you where the picture is in focus - you can control that from the menu here ... (presses lots of buttons and fiddles with the menus) .. 'this would help you get the precise point of focus for where you expect the action to be' ...(trys a few shots but can't really get what he want's in focus)

Man : (looks dissapointed) 'I did find it a bit distracting - what if I didn't want to bother with all that and just had things in the middle?'

Ass : 'Well Sir, you can set centre focus point and de-activate the indicators - we'd have to check the manual to see about doing that ....

Man : (looks distracted now) 'Um, oh well, I'm not sure now - let me have a think ...'

Ass : (looks panicked) 'Um, tell you what, you could get one that doesn't have all those lights ...'

Man : 'OK (looks happier) whats the best camera without all those lights flashing?'

Ass : (Produces a K500) 'Its got the pictures on the dial, and no lights where you look through ... takes great shots!'

Man : (Looks relieved) 'Thats great, perfect, I'll take it - I know I'm getting the best camera now!'

Ass : 'I think that's absolutely the best camera now Sir!'

Man : 'Great ... now, show me the best lens to put on it!'
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 17/03/2014 - 01:42

SteveLedger

Link Posted 17/03/2014 - 01:57
I too have met shop staff who are an 'Ass'..

Deciding what the best camera for *everyone* is, is just impossible.
We're all different. Some like lots of knobs a dials and are prepared to spend the time learning about them, others want simplicity. We all have differing levels of capacity to learn.

I chose a K-7 because I wanted a mag alloy body, top LCD and I had cut my teeth on the *istDS.
Now I use a K-01 more than the K-7 - go figure
Last Edited by SteveLedger on 17/03/2014 - 01:58

Smeggypants

Link Posted 17/03/2014 - 07:48
McGregNi wrote:
Without wanting to make any assumptions about individuals, I have been pondering what aspects of a camera may be more likely to appeal to different photographers. It can't all just come down to price alone

No of course it can't but that was my whole point when I responded to your assumptions about noobies

Everyone is different so while IMO there's nothing wrong in recommending various gear, my only issue was prejudging the capabilities of an individual noobie.

After all some people who never taken a shot before might take to a nkon D4 like duck to water while some others night need to start of with a point and shoot which ha s big letters printed on it showing how to turn it on.

I have tokens which I can redeem for these comments btw

I do like your clever use of the abbreviation "Ass" - officially it stands of "Assistant" of course but we all know the unofficial under the radar of the PC police meaning

Quote:
It can't all just come down to price alone

Not totally, but I have had more than one chapter in my life selling stuff and one of the first things I was taught was that it's important to get a feel of how much a customer is comfortable spending. You can't assume, you have to ask.

It's not good sales practice to leap straight for the entry level DSLR at 400 if the customer has a decent disposable income and hasn't a problem shelling out a grand and thus you could get a sale of a K-3 instead.

Instead of dumbing down you can always sell up by convincing the customer that all those pro features are something they could grow into without having to buy another camera.

{quote]I was not inclined to fork out a huge amount for a new hobby when I didn't know the extent to which I would get involved with. [/quote]

The clever salesman will overcome those reservations by
exciting the customer what they can achieve with those extra features and pointing out that it's better value to buy them all now than buying something lesser and upgrading later.

Sales people don't have your best interests at heart they are driven by their commission.

Sales is all a mind game. It's all about selling a dream. Even though it's irrational from a practical POV, many people dream of unlimited detail and sharpness and thus more Megapixels and super sharp lenses command premium prices as the lemmings delude;y chase their irrational dreams of being able to see individual atomic particles in their shots. Even if they only view them at 1600px wide on a computer monitor

None of this stuff makes any difference to the artistic quality of their snaps of course, but that doesn't matter as when it comes to buying gear it's all in 'the dream' and the good salesman knows this.
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

dpm

Link Posted 17/03/2014 - 07:58
Presuming that one needs a DSLR to be a "photographer" isn't a good start IMHO. Not everyone needs to faff around changing lenses, and you can get all the creativity, quality, and manual modes you'd ever want in compact and bridge-style cameras nowadays.
Personally, If I didn't have so much invested in the kit I have now, I'd probably have an X-5 or similar...

Smeggypants

Link Posted 17/03/2014 - 08:35
dpm wrote:
Presuming that one needs a DSLR to be a "photographer" isn't a good start IMHO. Not everyone needs to faff around changing lenses, and you can get all the creativity, quality, and manual modes you'd ever want in compact and bridge-style cameras nowadays.
Personally, If I didn't have so much invested in the kit I have now, I'd probably have an X-5 or similar...

Agreed. Mobile phones even have enough capabilities these days. higher specced gear does give a persona more options though, although it won't make them a better snapper
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

richandfleur

Link Posted 17/03/2014 - 10:09
One common thread I hear a bit is the concept of "I have to get better before I jump to a more capable model". As Smeggy mentions above, anyone can pick up a top of the line model and start using it. And if it focuses better, or can safely run to higher ISO's etc then you're likely to get more keepers of action in low light situations etc. There's this 'right of passage' or 'having to do your time' with an inferior model before you're 'allowed' to own something better that I find quite strange.

You can take bad photos on brand new top of the line gear, and good photos on older less technically capable models, but the needs of each user are different, as are their available budgets and choice of subject matter etc.

Right now Pentax has a pretty good spread of cameras across the APS-C DSLR market. They're lacking an innovative mirrorless option, either at FF, APS-C or high end compact level, given the FF doesn't exist, and the K-01 and MX-1 are now both discontinued.
Last Edited by richandfleur on 17/03/2014 - 10:10

Simonmac

Link Posted 17/03/2014 - 10:57
I think that the only thing of note is the demand of the customer....and as pointed out any commercial outlet will go for the top line! That is natural-- I would do the same if I worked in SRJessFfCamworld!

I was lucky in that I have used over half a dozen film SLR's ( I'm a bab of 46) so aperture and shutter speed were not alien and the foundation of the use of any camera.

I would, however, find it totally bamboozling to be a newcomer to photography- I have learnt with DSLRs to ignore the floss......

Great post!

Mac
macmccreery.com
www.flickr.com/photos/simac/
www.500px.com/simac
Last Edited by Simonmac on 17/03/2014 - 10:58

RussV

Link Posted 17/03/2014 - 11:06
richandfleur wrote:
One common thread I hear a bit is the concept of "I have to get better before I jump to a more capable model". As Smeggy mentions above, anyone can pick up a top of the line model and start using it.

They can but if a person knows their photographic abilities are somewhat under-awing it can seem a bit extravagant to spend over 1000 on a K3.
www.russv.me.uk

CMW

Link Posted 17/03/2014 - 14:12
RussV wrote:
it can seem a bit extravagant to spend over 1000 on a K3.

No need to go overboard like that: a K3 body can be had in the UK for less than 1,000 (just!)
Regards, Christopher

ChristopherWheelerPhotography
Last Edited by CMW on 17/03/2014 - 14:12

McGregNi

Link Posted 17/03/2014 - 15:14
Smeggypants wrote:
..... I do like your clever use of the abbreviation "Ass" - officially it stands of "Assistant" of course

Ah, well, lets not read too much into it Its just an abbreviation - but in any case, would the description be fair on the assistant? He has after all just been offering what the customer wanted - he started out with the best, as money was no object, but when the customer showed concerns our shop assistant responded exactly to his needs and was able to show a camera that met them more closely 'out the box' .

And he still got the sale, even only the cheapest model, but with plenty of potential for some expensive glass to come. He didn't bog the man down in excessive explanations - I mean a shopfloor isn't the place for taking short courses in photography. And he adapted his language to the customer as well, starting out with plenty of technical terms, but he ended up 'its got the pictures on the dial, and not lights where you look through'. Very responsive to the customer.

So surely with such good service our man ended up with what was right for him?
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

Smeggypants

Link Posted 17/03/2014 - 20:25
RussV wrote:
richandfleur wrote:
One common thread I hear a bit is the concept of "I have to get better before I jump to a more capable model". As Smeggy mentions above, anyone can pick up a top of the line model and start using it.

They can but if a person knows their photographic abilities are somewhat under-awing it can seem a bit extravagant to spend over 1000 on a K3.[/b]

But my point has been that what's extravagant for one person might not be for another. If Bill Gates joined the forum and said he had no photography experience would we tell him spending 1,000 on a K-3 was extravagant?
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

McGregNi

Link Posted 18/03/2014 - 01:25
Not extravagent for him personally - but thats different to it being ideal, assuming the aim is to quicky be able to take great shots and get plenty of enjoyment out of doing that.

Maybe our assistant was too quick to make assumptions about our mans capacity - or maybe his capacity is not relevent? He could just ignore the bits on the camera he doesn't understand, and hopefully learn more over time, sort of 'grow into it'.

The alternative I suppose would have been to try and convince the customer that all the features he didn't understand were actually a good thing for him personally - like they'd help him get better pictures when he did understand it all, so better to buy the expensive one and then he won't have to upgrade so soon.

I mean, should the aa filter simulator have been the rejecting factor for the K3? Is it really just one extra exotic feature that is not good for a 'noobie' ?
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

Smeggypants

Link Posted 18/03/2014 - 07:21
McGregNi wrote:
Not extravagent for him personally - but thats different to it being ideal, assuming the aim is to quicky be able to take great shots and get plenty of enjoyment out of doing that.

Maybe our assistant was too quick to make assumptions about our mans capacity - or maybe his capacity is not relevent? He could just ignore the bits on the camera he doesn't understand, and hopefully learn more over time, sort of 'grow into it'.

The alternative I suppose would have been to try and convince the customer that all the features he didn't understand were actually a good thing for him personally - like they'd help him get better pictures when he did understand it all, so better to buy the expensive one and then he won't have to upgrade so soon.

I mean, should the aa filter simulator have been the rejecting factor for the K3? Is it really just one extra exotic feature that is not good for a 'noobie' ?

I think you're answering the question in that there is no such thing as a specific camera suitable for a noobie. In fact that same applies to a more experienced photographers or even a Pros. Everyone's different and we wouldn't make assumptions on their needs so why are assumptions often made for noobies.


[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

johnriley

Link Posted 18/03/2014 - 07:52
Because they ask for help and we give them help, based upon our own experiences. As there are many of us, we give them a selection of choices.

The alternative would be that nobody offered any advice as it was making assumptions, and that's ridiculous.
Best regards, John

Smeggypants

Link Posted 18/03/2014 - 08:05
johnriley wrote:
Because they ask for help and we give them help, based upon our own experiences. As there are many of us, we give them a selection of choices.

The alternative would be that nobody offered any advice as it was making assumptions, and that's ridiculous.

Indeed, and no one is saying don't give any advice becuase it's making assumptions. You're right that would be ridiculous.

That wasn't the point at all. The point was not prejudicially dumbing down someone's capabilities or their spending power simply because they are a "noob".

And also giving advice isn't automatically making assumptions. Advice can be give following some questioning or becuase the "noob" has already stated some specific requirements.
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283
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