Contituation of the Versatility thread

Started Apr 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Contituation of the Versatility thread
Apr 5, 2013

versatile: turning with ease from one thing to another.

Amongst the different photography formats we have today, FF is the most versatile bcoz you can adapt it to work in a lot of different situations where other formats might not be fully up to the task.

example: Low light, fast focusing, Thin DOF, high MP landscape or fashion work. Also FF cameras are mostly more rugged and weather sealed than other smaller digital cameras and are more capable of handling tough weather conditions etc.

Having an optical viewfinder is very useful for tracking action shots compared to LCD and holding a camera at an arms length.

CDAF is nowhere close to being as fast as PDAF and there are many situations where you would want the speed of PDAF.

There are a lot of accessories available for FF that might not be easily available for other formats. Like wireless Flash systems, remotes etc not to mentions lenses.

Apart from that, FF cameras are just built to me more responsive, fast, with batteries that last longer, with a lot other technical wizardry inside to suit any purpose.

As far as versatile goes, I guess any other format currently lags behind FF. Yes, there are options that are lighter and cheaper, but not by a lot. And even if we were to take that in account the little brother DX does almost everything the FF does in a smaller, lighter and cheaper package while still not compromising on the capabilities as much as the other formats do.

Mirrorless and other format :

1) Lack the AF speed - not suitable for sports, moving people etc.

2) Not as good in low light

3) No optical viewfinder, awkward holding style with longer lenses, more prone to handshake.

4) less shots per battery charge. Not many offer battery pack.

5) Not good enough flash system.

6) Thin DOF not possible in situations when you need it.

7) Less external controls, less mature menu navigation, lots of fluff and gimmicks to selling to new photo enthusiasts.

8) High on novelty factor rather than practicality. Like manual focus by wire, instead of real manual focus. Its like the ridiculous semi-manual option in some automatic cars to advertise to manual car enthusiasts who are looking for a real manual gear. Just a gimmick.

9) More expensive than DX or APS-C cameras and much more ridiculously expensive external viewfinder attachments ( and other assorted nonsense items with no standardized connections yet) going into couple of hundreds of dollars, while you get a free optical viewfinder with the DX which is miles better anyway.

10) Being smaller with low power electronics/processor, smaller buffer etc, these cameras will usually be slow in operation, slow to focus, lot of shutter lag, cumbersome to change settings on the fly.

Now ofcourse having gotten rid of so many features that made the FF cameras VERSATILE, the small mirrorless IS going to be light, but its not VERSATILE anymore. Its a design tradeoff. In any case, if you want a good quality no-nonsense camera that is also light and small, there are many good point and shoots which will do EVERYTHING the mirrorless does and with less cost and with none of the gimmicks.

Mirrorless cameras remind of the new class of cars that were invented by Mercedes couple of years back. The 4-door coupe. Its styled like a couple with low, sloping roof in the rear, but has 4 doors. Its neither here nor there. If you want space and practicality go for the sedan, if you want style and performance go for the 2-door couple. The 4-door coupes are just he regular sedans styled differently but with a hefty price tag. Only thing you are getting is NOVELTY. And the company gets to create a new niche in the saturated car market. The car essentially didnt offer anything the cheaper sedan didnt and infact lost precious head room in the back seats.With mirrorless, esp the retro designs, you are paying for the design and the novelty factor, nothing else.

If you want small cameras that weigh less that are like do-it-all, they are the advanced bridge point and shoots, or the large sensor point and shoots. Mirrorless cams offer almost no advantage over those, but will be priced 3 to 5 times more.

If you want ULTIMATE VERSATILITY and want to be ready for almost anything, go FF.


Want everyday no-frills camera without significant learning curve which is also cheap, light and small - high end point and shoot or bridge camera.

Want novelty factor, want to try something new, want something retro looking which is cool nowadays no matter if it is expensive and not as fast as DX or FF and cuts down on many features while trying to look retro - mirrorless from Olympus or Fuji.

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