If all you have is a hammer...

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NorCal Jim
NorCal Jim Regular Member • Posts: 285
If all you have is a hammer...

"If all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail."

I think this is a great axiom and a reminder to avoid a myopic approach in our various undertakings.

How does this apply to photography and camera gear?  There is no "One size fits all" camera gear solution.  For an ever-increasing number of people, the smartphone camera is all they need or want.  Photography professionals and enthusiasts choose many different solutions.  You don't have to look far to see examples of a myopic point of view that would seek to dismiss non-FF solutions as not worth considering.

For an analogy, imagine the case of computer security represented by a horizontal line.  At the extreme left side of the line, let's plot a point and call it ultimate convenience (lowest security) and on the extreme right side of the line, let's plot a point and call it ultimate security.  In my example, let's assume that ultimate security means isolating the computer system so that it is not connected to other systems (no Internet or external network) and has maximum physical access control (great security but no access to external resources). On the other hand, the opposite extreme can also represent extreme vulnerability.  Most of us weigh our convenience against security risks and plot a point somewhere between the two extreme points.

So, how does this analogy apply to photography and camera systems?  I think that the Micro Four Thirds system is a good example that those who devised this standard, chose plot on a line (somewhat similar to my computer security example) to balance image qualities with the associated benefits of a smaller sensor.  From my point of view, it represents a "Best of both worlds" type of balance between two points on the extremities.  My analogy is rather weak, because the upper level camera systems don't involve extreme isolation like ultimate computer security but they did involve bulk and very high cost when the MFT system was devised.

I cited MFT as a good example of an ILC camera format that balances excellent image quality with a smaller sensor size that yields additional benefits.  There are other non-ILC examples that balance image quality with other benefits such as 1" sensor cameras and super zoom bridge cameras.

My point?  Just as we get to decide how we balance computer convenience & security, we should recognize that the decision to balance image quality with associated benefits is a personal decision that doesn't require second guessing from myopic advocates.


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