Nikon D3500 or Sony A7 III ? (Also Sony A6600 or Nikon Z50) for absolute beginner

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 18,459
Re: Nikon D3500 or Sony A7 III ? (Also Sony A6600 or Nikon Z50) for absolute beginner

sonic123 wrote:

Thank you all very much. I've made my mind and bought a NIKON Z50. Everything you all have said about is the "photographer not the camera" is absolutely true BUT over a week I've been seeing a lot of "sample galleries" of many cameras and, don't know why, the Nikon photos stand out to me. Don't know if that's what is called "color science" and that each camera manufacturer have their own one or what but all the Nikon photos had color renditions that I really liked.

There is, indeed, a lot of science applied to photography. However, the way colours look to individuals is very personal and science hasn't yet worked out how to reproduce them perfectly. Getting from the way light is recorded on the camera's sensor to the final picture requires a lot of art; each maker has its own team of technicians who apply this art and - being people - they all have slightly different styles.

That's what is called (wrongly) "colour science" and it means that the results straight from the camera can have recognisable differences between makes.

I understand what you are telling me about that an iPhone can take better photos than a professional camera if the professional camera is in the wrong hands, more in my case in which I change my iPhone every year (replacing my iPhone 11 Pro Max with the iPhone 12 Pro Max) but I would really like to ...

… take a further step onto photography being that specially iPhone are very limited in the tweaks you can do in the photo shooting. I don't like the idea of post-processing.

I've pushed these two statements together because they are contradictory. What you call "tweaking" is taking control of how the final picture looks to make it suit your own taste rather than some general one-size-fits-all style imposed by the maker's technicians.

You can do this in two ways: (1) you can make crude adjustments to a range of parameters such as contrast, saturation, sharpening etc in the camera; in this case you have to guess what the result will be and if you don't like it the pictures you took that way are spoiled, so you keep fiddling until you get something that works … and then you take a different sort of picture and you have to start again; (2) you take what comes from the camera as a base and make adjustments of the same parameters on your computer where you can see the effect as you go.

I mean, if I have a whole of things yet to learn about using the camera, I don't even want to begin thinking about the big learning curve of programs like Lightroom.

(a) the learning curve isn't very big and (b) the learning curve for the same things on the camera (as I described above) is bigger.

Curiously enough, I "played" with some RAW files that I downloaded from DPREVIEW and applied the filters of a most basic free program like WINDOWS PHOTO and the preset filters made wonders to the original RAW pictures. Guess that's easy when the "source" is a good as those RAW files.

I will try to learn and practice with my Z50 and hopefully, at one time, get good results. I know I won't get immediate results.

BONUS CURIOUS QUESTION: In the responses to my post, I've read someone saying that one of the photos he was most proud of when young, was a b&w photo he took with a basic film (not digital) point-and-shoot camera. The QUESTION is: Back in those days, when you had to take the negatives to the shop for them to print them, how did you got a b&w photo

Pre-digital photography relies on the fact that some chemicals are sensitive to light (you can see this in ordinary life if you leave newspaper in sunlight with something standing on it - in a few hours the paper turns pale brown except fir the shadow). Originally just one chemical was used so colours weren't recorded.

Do they have to use a special paper? A special program? Or was that you actually had to buy a special b&w film so all photos you take with that film were going to be b&w ones? Thank you.

This is backwards. Originally film was all monochrome; when coloured film was invented it was that that was special. But in either case the process is the same: the film is exposed to light and where there is more light the reaction is stronger so the chemical records more effect. This effect is then strengthened by chemical development and fixed to stop it going any further. The result is a negative image - more light means a darker area on the film.

This negative image is then projected onto paper that has the same types of chemical on its surface. Now the dark areas on the negative transmit less light so the image on the paper is reversed from the negative so it shows the range of tones from dark to light in the original scene. (Colour negatives show weird colours that are the inverse of the natural ones). Developing and fixing follow the same process.

Most of the above is a wet process so the end results need to be dried. For B&W work it can be done with a certain amount of dim red light that doesn't affect the chemicals so you can see what's going on; that doesn't work with film so it's mostly done in the dark.

There is something magical about being in the darkroom and watching a picture slowly emerge on a plain piece of paper in a tray of liquid. I first saw this in our neighbour's darkroom when I as 10 and asked to learn about it. He was happy to teach me and I became quite expert processing his and Dad's photos long before I ever took a photo of my own.

Processing was my first love in photography and it has never left me. I can't separate seeing the subject, framing, composing and exposing it and then developing the final image; every step is a fundamental part of the job. The beauty of digital is that it can all be done with great subtlety at my desk without the trouble - and smells - of needing a special darkroom.

Thank you all. Best regards,

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I'm happy for anyone to edit any of my photos and display the results
First camera 1953, first Pentax 1985, first DSLR 2006

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