On putting money into 4:3 gear ...

Started May 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
Great Bustard
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Re: It will not ..
In reply to esco, May 17, 2013

esco wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

All fair enough to say.  That said, I've seen numerous photos published in NG (National Geographic) that suffered serious technical flaws, such as motion blur that detracted, rather than added, to the appeal of the photo, but did not detract so much, apparently, that NG decided not to print that photo as opposed to any number of other technically proficient photos the photographer provided them.  In other words, scene often trumps IQ.

But, for sure, I've seen more than my fair of photos that looked great on the back of an LCD but were severely lacking on the computer monitor.  However, my question is if differences in IQ between modern systems is such that this is an issue.  For sure, it may be for cell phones and compacts depending on the scene, but what about from mirrorless to FF DSLRs?  How often does the IQ differential between systems really have an impact on the success of a photo?

For some it has a drastic impact. I'm not sure if many people thought it out as well as they should have when answering your poll. For low light event, sports and other highly demanding scenarios it obviously makes a big difference. There are many images I would not have been able to capture had I not had the low-light capability of an FF sensor AND a bright lens along with an AF system that you could trust more than your own eye. Some images I could have scraped by if I had my Olympus gear with me but it would not have been anywhere near of the same caliber, the noise would have added to the image in a distracting way. There are some scenarios where noise doesn't matter or can actually add to the quality but there are just as many where it just doesn't work or where the standards have long exceeded what you're able to execute with your old gear.
That's the thing that nobody seems to bring up is that in some industries on a professional level the standards are raised every time technology allows it to. This is something that many people like to turn a blind-eye to on here, simply don't understand or refuse to accept. The technical AND emotional qualities are both expected at a very high level, there are very little excuses otherwise.
For natgeo there are many many reasons as to why certain photos are deliberately chosen. The photog could be thousands of miles away in a remote area, they could be in a country that is very hostile to foreigners or journalists etc. .there are a million reasons as to why an image may not have been captured in the most expertise fashion. The content in natgeo appears the way it is and there is always very good reason behind all of it. This is journalism after-all, the images in natgeo are more often than not of great technical excellence but ultimately it's the story(both visual and written) that matter the most.

First of all, thanks for your outstanding response.

I most certainly admit that operation (e.g. AF, frame rate, weather sealing, etc.) can most certainly matter in terms of getting the photo in the first place.  Indeed, we could say that the missed photo has the worst possible IQ. 

I also definitely agree that there is an IQ differential between systems, and that differential can make or break a photo in extreme circumstances and that some photographers work almost entirely in the realm of the extreme.

However, what I'm asking is about the vast majority.  Of the photos that are sold and the photos that are entered into competitions, how often is the IQ differential between modern systems a factor in the success of the photo?

For example, how often would a photo that placed 3rd with an E1 have placed 1st if it had been taken with an E5?  How much more would the photo have sold for?  How many more copies would the E5 photo have sold?  If two equally competent NG photographers went out on a story, one with an E1 and another with an E5, would the editors, on average, choose more of the E5 photos?  Or are the E1 and E5 too close for it to make a significant difference?

In short, how often do successful photos depend so heavily on the IQ of the photo that the technology makes or breaks them, or, at least, contributes heavily to their value?

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