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New equipment hype

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Bazarchie, May 26, 2020.

  1. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    I have probably said this before, but what is is about equipment releases that makes some people rush out and buy the latest model and then post how much better it is than the previous model? I have been reading a thread on another forum for the Fuji XT4 and why it blows the XT3 and XT3 out of the water. Some have apparently owned every XT model.

    I have steadily upgraded my Canon cameras over the years and only one is in the current range, and that is 6 years old. I started to process some of my images taken on a 40D ten years ago at the weekend using the latest software and I was pleasantly surprised how good they were. Yes my newer models have more dynamic range, better AF and low light performance, but in decent conditions the difference is not great, at least not to me. Perhaps if I was any good.

    In 10 years time, how will the current crop of cameras be rated?

    We have a picture in our local office of one of the students who participated in the 2008 Olympics. Probably taken on a Canon 1D ... but it still looks great to me.
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Some people will always buy the newest release. The XT series did improve a lot in a short time, the differences were not just cosmetic, so there has been the justification for those that can afford it. When the XT-2 came out the s/h market for the XT-1 was flooded so I expect many were trading them in. I think there was a choice of 15 XT-1s in the windows of the 2 camera shops in Chester at one time. The LCE on-line XT-3 promotions over lock-down have been quite aggressive on price reduction so I'd expect a fair few XT-2's to turn up when lock down ends, and XT-3 s too if the XT-4 catches on and the supply chain settles back. I'm sticking with my XH-1 for the foreseeable future.
  3. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    My first camera Nikkormat FTn, changed for an F Photomic FTn a year later which I used for 20 years, I have only had four DSLRs EOS10D, 60D and now D4s, D810 which I have NO intention of changing.

    I don't read camera magazines, sorry, no interest in them, therefore I do not fall for garbage like "you must have the latest 80Mp it is the best ever"

    Remember when the latest washing powder washed whiter than the last, and that was whiter than the previous one which was whiter than the one before it, just how white can white be ?

    Oh................ and I am still using a Nikkormat FT2 today, why use a DSLR for Mono when you can have the real thing :) :) :)

    Bazarchie likes this.
  4. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    I suspect we all suffer to an extent from "My pictures would be so much better if only I had a ..." syndrome.

    Just some of us manage to hide/control it better than others... ;)
    Bazarchie likes this.
  5. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I've owned and used at least 150 cameras over the years and more lenses although I've bought less than a dozen new. I enjoy trying out new things and some of them stick with me for several years while others leave within months. If you add up what I've spent and subtract the part exchanges / direct sales then my outlay has been (I guess) much less over the last 50 years than most people spend on their hobbies. What's more, for fifteen years I made a very nice extra income from photo sales.

    It's all personal choice so do what gives you pleasure, provided it doesn't harm others.

    Hadley with contents.jpg
  6. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    I re bought my Nikon F Photomic FTn APOLLO last year
  7. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I was recently asked to come up with a compilation of photographs, I decided to use some older images from my archives. I was surprised at just how sharp some of the older images were despite the low resolution of 4MP from a Nikon D2H. In the same folder were some images from a D1X and they were equally good. They probably wouldn't stand being printed A0 but I was still very happy with them on screen. In the intervening 13 years I have changed the 70-200 f2.8 lens I used for some of them but I still have the same 300 f4.

    Just because a new, more capable camera is introduced doesn't mean the older model is any less capable than when it was launched. Should anyone consider that moving forward isn't ever necessary, a few years ago I was asked to check a Pentax ME Super to see if it was working well enough to sell. I ran a film through it and took comparison shots using a Nikon F5. The F5 was the top of the range SLR in 2006 but by comparison to the D3 (my newest camera at the time) the F5's AF is s l o w and at that time the D3 was four models behind the curve.

    New equipment really does add something but to my mind much of the latest camera kit adds things I really don't want and certainly don't need (like video capability) but I won't say never to any of it. Times change and I will need to change with them, but for now, a longer lens may be?
  8. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    I happily printed A3 from an EOS10D
  9. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    On the Gadget Show, many years ago, they a comparison of film and digital (Pro 6MP Canon, I think) and projected the results to a ridiculous size, on the side of a block of flats or a wharehouse or somesuch. They claimed that the digital looked better, from a sensible distance.

    I was a bit dubious, meself. Not sure it would have worked with prints that size.
  10. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I'll happily project a 4MP image on a 5 metre screen viewed from 10 metres but that only works because the projector resolution isn't even that high.
  11. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I'm not surprised. I've seen 4 foot wide prints out of a 10D and they were very nice.
  12. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    This thread comes across as those who are poo pooing the fact that things move on. I admit that the new R5 along with a full set of R lenses would be my first extravagance should my numbers come up. BUT as someone who has a whole storage box full to the brim of camera brochures from my 20’s (30yrs ago) it is almost laughable and truly ironic that each and everyone of those glossy brochures portrays images that YOU too will be able to achieve when you buy this latest Canon/Nikon/Olympus etc etc

    And it’s exactly the same today...30yrs later. Companies pay millions to marketing strategists to invoke a feeling of doubt and distrust in things we already own and make us yearn for the newer product. But will the average joe public know that the image was taken on a £10k set up or a used eBay bargain of £100 quid!! I don’t believe they would.

    Rise above it. I’m hardly a ambassador to preach this, god knows I love buying/trying..it’s a whole hobby in itself!!



    wise words indeed.
  13. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    No one is against modernising but for reality not hype

    I change my cameras when I want to not when CanNik think I should, and I can honestly say I have NEVER bought anything in my life based on an advert.
  14. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    If I can just add this story...
    After leaving college in 97 I turned my back on photography from 91-97 I had studied and taken exams at various levels. The old college 35mm Pentax’s, Mamiya’s and 5x4 cameras along with seemingly never ending lectures on senisitometery, scheimpflugs principle had left me wanting a simpler life.
    I didn’t touch any camera for years afterwards, sold most of my gear and settled down with my partner. A holiday was booked in 2005 and the need of a simple camera resulted in me buying my first digital camera - Sony cybershot T30 compact. It was a breath of fresh air...point and press and lovely sharp pictures. My son was.born the following year, Sony saw lots of use as mom/dad took countless snaps.....
    My old college friend who had studied with me through 91-97 dropped by. He too was burnt out and had lost the photo bug. I showed him the little Sony T30 then in a moment of long lost enthusiasm I hooked the little camera to the big ( at the time) tv.
    We both couldn’t believe the clarity. We zoomed in to a picture of my son. Kept zooming until his eye filled the 36” tv screen. We reckoned the full size image would be roughly the size of the living room wall!! It was sharp, my god was it sharp!! Every eye lash clearly defined, minute fine hairs on my sons face so clear you could count each on!! We were both used to 5x4 output from 5x4 devere enlargers yet we were both dumbstruck. That was a major turning point for me. still have the Sony T30 7.2mp. Took a grab shot of a owl flying towards me at a bird sanctuary. I had prefocused and knew the shutter lag intimately- the pic is razor sharp. I tried a few weekends ago using 80d with big zoom. Couldn't get a sharp BIF all weekend.
    I think that says more about me than the gear.
  15. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I have been saying for some time that we need to get away from the "New car every three years" mindset but it obviously doesn't just apply to cars. Many people have a new phone every year and just keep the old one, Apple even offer a scheme to enable customers to upgrade to the newest iPhone as soon as a new model is introduced. I think the current iPhone is the 11, mine is a 6 by the way.

    Old technology is rarely worn out when it becomes obsolete but often there is pressure to upgrade; Boeing 747s are being retired at 100,000 hours but the ultimate life is 200,000 hours, there is pressure from various quarters to replace them with more fuel efficient types. Do the reduced emissions from, say, a 777-300 coupled with those resulting from building it really come to less than those of operating the 747 for another 50,000 hours*? Certainly the argument can be made that running an older car is better for the environment than buying a new one.

    If you really want a shock, visit your local recycling centre and see how many perfectly usable electronic devices are being thrown away. I have occasionally seen item that, in years gone by, I might have wanted to buy. I may be unusual but I really enjoy returning broken things to service, much more satisfying than just going to a shop and buying a new one.

    *Leaving aside the maintenance costs etc.
  16. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    I accept that technology moves on. If I compare my 15 year old DSLR with a more current model, the differences in AF, low light performance, viewfinder, live view are noticeable and appreciated. I will upgrade if a new feature is likely to be useful to me and after noticeable step changes. It is the need to upgrade as soon as a new model is released that I find surprising.

    If others want to always have the latest model, it is their choose and money and helps to keep the new and the used market moving.
  17. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    I’m sure you’re right about cars, but jet airliners use vast amounts of fuel, and only take a few weeks to cover the mileage a typical car does in its lifetime. Admittedly producing aluminium is very energy-intensive, but for that reason much of it is made where there is plentiful cheap electricity from renewable sources. Anyway, I assume aluminium from scrapped planes is recycled efficiently. (I guess you have a better handle on that than I do anyway, Geoff!) So I’m sure replacing planes with newer, more efficient models is good for the environment overall. But airlines don’t pay the high taxes that we in Europe pay on or hydrocarbon fuels for cars, so there is deplorably little incentive for airlines to switch to more efficient planes.

    Also I guess it would have been better for the environment if we’d replaced our old gas boiler and fridge sooner than we did. That probably also applies to our freezer, although it was one of the most efficient available when we bought it, less than forty years ago!

    Coming back to photography, while I used my Pentax Super A for 26 years, Kodak would introduce a new, better film every several years. So my potential image quality kept improving slightly. To achieve that with digital, I need to buy a new body or lens. They are still achieving genuine improvements, although not on the scale it happened in the early days of digital photography. Of course it could be argued that what I already have is plenty good enough for most circumstances.

    With digital I’m taking far more shots than I would have been prepared to pay for with film, and not causing the consumption of all that plastic and developing chemical. On the other hand I spend hours on this computer most days, burning electricity; I’m not sure where the balance lies there.

  18. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    That was rather the point, will flying a 747 for 50,000 hours really cause more emissions than building a 777-300 and its engines? I don't know. There are also the emissions associated with the recycling process. I remain unconvinced that anyone has done a full life cycle energy/emissions audit to find out, my inclination is that keeping something old running is better for the environment than building new (Cars, aeroplanes, ships whatever). I think we know that the majority of a car's lifetime emissions come from building it in the first place.

    The switch to virtual meetings is another interesting issue, the internet has a huge carbon footprint, that we rarely consider. Data centres use considerable energy and each home or office computer adds to that. A virtual meeting almost certainly uses less energy than would a flight to Seattle but a drive to Cardiff, again I don't know. There is far too much we don't know that prevents us from making a really environmentally friendly decision. We are fed opinions by those who claim to be knowledgeable environmental activists but where is the research to let us determine the best course of action?

    What I do know is that we need to keep our technology for far longer and repair rather than replace where ever possible. We also need more data, lots more data.
  19. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    ...which will require more storage and faster processing. That in turn implies a great deal of new manufacturing and new programming, both of which use power. Everything has some kind of cost.
  20. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Agreed but without accurate data on the environmental costs of, for example, running old versus buying new we can't make good decisions. The cost of getting it wrong may well exceed the cost of getting the data.

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