Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?

Started Apr 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
Teila Day
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,241
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Your presupposing what novices want
In reply to Kabe Luna, Apr 17, 2012

Kabe Luna wrote:

1) Pricey. No novice is going to plunk down $3500 on a first camera body.

Sure? Because a significant number of people buying the D800, D4, and even medium format film cameras 30 years ago are and were novice photographers. There are scores of non professionals that have teethed on the Nikon D700, D3, Canon 1d3s and 5d2. Look on Pbase, Flicker and other photo related sites, and you'll see a noticeable number of non working photographers using professional cameras and lenses for their personal use.

Your initial statement is like saying: "No Novice driver is going to plunk down nearly $300,000 for a Ferrari..." When in fact novice drivers make up most of the demographic purchasing Ferrari and Porsche motorcars.

2) Bulky. No novice is going to want to carry around a relatively large and heavy camera body.

We're talking picking the camera up to take photographs, not climb Everest. Women for over 50 years have been walking around with purses weighing more than a 5d2 + prime lens, but now it's all the sudden too critical for a "novice" photographer to be able to handle a camera that weighs about 30 ounces? (chuckle). The whole weight issue has long been taken to extremes. A healthy adult should be able to manipulate the weight of a pro body + lens for a reasonable amount of time... let alone a small relatively light body like the 5D series.

3) Complicated. Sure, the 5DIII AF is pretty capable, but gosh is making the right choices from the many options complicated. Customizable controls? Multiple metering patterns? Pages and pages of menus? Novices are more inclined to want to point and shoot, which is why even if the price differential were narrower, Rebels would still outsell enthusiast cameras by a comfortable margin: they are cheaper, smaller and simpler to use.

There is hardly anything "complicated" about operating a camera. Anyone with a normal IQ can quickly learn how to operate a camera- composition, lighting, etc., takes most people longer to master, but the basic operations of a camera is something a 12 year old can figure out w/out much assistance.

Rebels outsell the more expensive models for one main reason. They're cheaper. Period.

4) Lenses. Full frame lenses are bulkier and more expensive at every single performance level, and novices–not even sure how best to utilize a heavy bag full of several lenses, are likely to leave them behind. And if we're outfitting out perfect novice camera with a super-zoom, the technical IQ advantage has just disappeared. Not to mention it's still larger and heavier a set-up than a rebel with an equivalent super-zoom.

Seeing how a 24-70 and a 70-200 or even a lighter load like a 85mm and a 300 f/4 can capture a lot of work, one isn't required to lug around a heavy bag-of-tricks just to take photographs... You take what you need. It's that simple. If you're shooting for fun at your uncle Bob's wedding... you can take a 24-105 and very likely get most of the shots you want; not exactly a heavy choice.

5) Flash. The 5DIII hasn't got one and novices want the convenience of flash without having to carry one along.

Speak for yourself, not for others. You do a lot of presupposing. Let's use basic math... since a significant number of novice photographers purchase pro/semi-pro cameras that don't have a pop up flash, many of them are buying speed lights.

The best camera is the one you have with you. I recommend cameras for novices all the time, and they don't care about ISOs and multi-point AF and framing rates. They want better image quality than their point-and-shoots, no loss of convenience, lately greater control over DOF (mostly for portraits with a cheap 50/1.8) and the ability to easily use manual controls IF they decide they want to "play around with that some day." Novices are far more likely to carry an entry-level DSLR and kit or super zoom than a 5DIII and lenses and flash necessary to give the same functionality.

Interesting logic.

...a lot of people "don't care" about iso performance because they haven't owned a camera that could make a difference to their photography if they did care. Likewise, many enthusiasts never do a custom white balance because they feel Auto White Balance does a great job... until they use a color checker card and or custom white balance/grey card. You seem to be advocating "ignorance is bliss", when in fact, many novice photographers want more than what a point-and-shoot or Rebel can give.

A novice photographer today isn't necessarily a novice photographer 6-12 months from now. Before you presuppose what a novice photographer wants, I recommend asking about their ultimate photographic goals to better ensure that you're actually helping the person in the long run.

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