The cost of excellence ...

Started Aug 25, 2014 | User reviews thread
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The cost of excellence ...
Aug 25, 2014

I've been shooting digitally since early 2001. I purchased a 2MP Kodak DCS 520 that year and was amazed. That camera cost me a little over $12,000. Digital advanced quickly during the years following. By 2003 my Kodak had already become obsolete and was replaced with a 6MP Canon D60, which in turn was replaced by a Canon 10D. Back then, a Canon 10D cost a little over $2,400 new.

The advancements ... and camera purchases ... continued. Canon 1Ds. Canon 1Ds II. Canon 5D. Nikon D2x. Kodak SLR/c. Canon 5D II. Etc.

Much has been made recently of three major improvements in digital photo technology: first is the very obvious improvement in dynamic range; second is resolution of fine detail; the third is noise control. These improvements apply to all of the latest cameras ... from point-and-shoot to full frame.

But I think that one "improvement" supersedes them all: it's the cost of excellence in digital photography. My refurbished Olympus E-P5 cost me $639 via the Olympus online store. What I got for my $639 was a very well made, so far totally reliable camera that gives me image quality that matches or exceeds (at high ISOs) the IQ of my $8,000 Canon 1Ds (11.1MP) and is a near match at low ISOs to my Canon 5D Classic. It's a better, more predictable camera than my Kodak SLR/c and Nikon D2x.

What did $639.00 get you just 5 or 6 years ago? What did it get you 10 years ago?

The cost of excellent imagery has never been lower and more than likely will become cheaper and cheaper as time goes by. I don't think purchasing the expensive cameras I've owned over the years was a mistake; just the opposite, in fact. It provided the learning curves necessary for mastering a full-featured, present-day tool like the E-P5, which in my view is a state-of-the-art camera ... one that can be had for as little as $639.00.


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