Where has this obsession with comparison come from ?

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
New Day Rising
New Day Rising Senior Member • Posts: 6,588
Re: I like comparisons...

richj20 wrote:

... when I do them myself!

With lenses: People comparing this lens against that lens, don't always include examples of the two lenses. Often just quotes from testing sites referring to MFT charts and other technical stuff that I don't pay attention to.

And when examples are included, how can I know what the conditions were? Tripod used? If not, the test test isn't valid, as far as I'm concerned.

Cameras: I purchased a Panasonic GX8 for the DUAL IS to use with my long 100-400mm lens. That was an improvement over the GX7 I was using.

Soon I began seeing posts comparing the two cameras with respect to image quality and color: the newer camera was an improvement in both departments.

Strange, I thought: I had no complaints with the GX7. I didn't see any examples. I decided to compare for myself.

Image quality

Color

(At least one person on the Forum has moved on to the GX9 for better color results.)

I continue to use both cameras: the GX7 with smaller lenses for everyday use, the GX8 with the larger lens.

Regarding your comments,

softmarmotte wrote:

Few people seem happy with what they have.

Count me as one of the few!

We see comparisons everywhere

That's fine: several have pointed out that it is human nature. No sense worrying about it!

- Richard

I'm not seeing a lot of difference at all between the GX8 and GX7.

Based on these pictures, if I owned a GX7 (I did for a little while) I would have concluded there was no need for me to upgrade to the GX8 as there was no improvement in image quality or colour. It would be money well saved.

Of course human nature being what it is...

Based on these pictures, had I already decided to upgrade to the GX8 I would be telling myself I made the right decision as the image quality and colour was so much improved over the GX7. It would be money well spent.

This of course is one of the reasons there is so much bickering on the forums!

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Smaug01
MOD Smaug01 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,295
How about a more healthy comparison?
3

That is, comparing results, not gear. It's true that sometimes, certain gear is needed to get certain results, but I bet not as often as you think.

softmarmotte wrote:

Few people seem happy with what they have. We see comparisons everywhere

Comparing, sensors, lenses, weight, colours, IQ, sharpness, lastest... seems endemic

Yeah, this is a spin-off from DPRs original intent. Other subfora here are more focused on what we can do with the gear, which I think is more healthy.

What are we hoping to do/achieve by constantly comparing one thing with another ?

One thing with another? Not much. But if we compare our results in a constructive way, I think we can improve as photographers?

and yes, like everyone I fall into the trap (sometimes)

So, calling all psychologists, anthropologists...or maybe we'll just end up comapring psyches

My advice: when Open Talk seems to have a negative atmosphere and you're just sick of it all, pay a visit to the subfora here that end in "...Photography"; They're really good and have a totally different atmosphere.

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softmarmotte
OP softmarmotte Veteran Member • Posts: 4,033
Re: Where has this obsession with comparison come from ?
1

Photodog2 wrote:

I do of course but I don't make it a point to talk about it on Internet forums. I might have done so in just replying to existing threads. I'm not into initiating or promoting such discussions is what I meant with my original sentence. I acknowledge that they can be useful when one is trying to make purchase decisions or just increase knowledge. I didn't think that was the point of the OP though.

You are right Photodog2, that wasn't my point...Comparing before purchasing is, I think normal but chasing your tail in ever decreasing circles to compare all these 'things'...?

Smaug's point just below thta it is results we should be comparing is very valid and well made and yes the fora where photos and photography is discussed are a much 'nicer' place to be. In the Olympus SLR forum there daily delightful threads and tempered discussions and comparing our photography. It's a joy to be there and I don't recall a rude discussion in the last 2 years. Andrew and Roel, as well as Bostonboy and Kim curate some lovely threads there

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David Pavlich
David Pavlich Veteran Member • Posts: 4,862
Re: Where has this obsession with comparison come from ?
1

Meh....this has been going on for a LONG time.  Nikon/Canon, Ford/Chevy, Fender/Gibson, Gulfstream/Citation, Bertram/Egg Harbor, Mercury/Johnson.  It's normal....it's human nature.

David

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Glen Barrington
Glen Barrington Forum Pro • Posts: 22,376
Frankly, they are fun and easy to do!
1

To do them you just do the same thing with all candidates, draw some conclusions, and post enough information so other people can disagree with you.

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FrancoD Forum Pro • Posts: 16,982
Re: Frankly, they are fun and easy to do!
1

Glen Barrington wrote:

To do them you just do the same thing with all candidates, draw some conclusions, and post enough information so other people can disagree with you.

I have to disagree with your comment that people post enough information to  disagree with.

techjedi
techjedi Veteran Member • Posts: 4,140
Its about personal validation in several ways ...
1

softmarmotte wrote:

Few people seem happy with what they have. We see comparisons everywhere

Comparing, sensors, lenses, weight, colours, IQ, sharpness, lastest... seems endemic

What are we hoping to do/achieve by constantly comparing one thing with another ?

and yes, like everyone I fall into the trap (sometimes)

So, calling all psychologists, anthropologists...or maybe we'll just end up comapring psyches

Generally, I think objective discussion and comparison of metrics is a fruitful endeavor as long as a particular interpretation isn't the goal of the discussion/comparison. We are more equipped to understand how our tools can help us and how valuable upgrades will be if we can quantify the differences, especially as they relate to our personal empirical experiences.

Some people look at this as pure interesting science, but I do think some discussion/comparison comes down to personal validation.

First, the healthy types of validation:

1) Validation about "Am I being limited by my gear, or do I need to improve?"

When someone is about to put money down on a product, they want the best they can get within whatever price/feature constraint they are working with. The primary reason is that when a newcomer is reviewing their photographs, they want to feel like they are not being limited by their hardware choice. Knowing you need to improve your skills or technique is a reasonable thing to accept and enjoy a learning journey. However, if you feel your photos are not great because you have been limited by your gear choice is a frustrating idea because there isn't much you can do on your own to improve it other than choosing again.

2) Validation about a past investment. e.g: "Will the platform I chose be able to support future goals that I dont need right now?"

No one likes to hear that their choice is great for X, Y and Z, but not great for A, B, C. So we like to endlessly compare options and capabilities to hopefully validate investments we already made or are about to make. We may never even get to shooting A, B or C, but it is comforting to know we wouldn't need to switch to something else if we ever wanted to buy a new lens and try it, etc. If we find out there are limitations, this might affect our investment roadmap in a positive way.

Types of unhealthy validation:

  • Forum Narcissist: Being perceived as having made the best choice or the technically correct one is more important to some people than the variety of options being discussed. Some will endlessly debate the comparison simply because being recognized as correct validates their hobby more than enjoying their own work.
  • Confirmation Bias: Some people are so fearful they might have made the wrong choice, they will seek comparisons solely to cherry pick the ones that make them feel better about the choice they already made. There is no objective goal other than supporting confirmation bias.
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LeicaEye
LeicaEye Veteran Member • Posts: 7,728
Re: Its about personal validation in several ways ...

techjedi wrote:

softmarmotte wrote:

Few people seem happy with what they have. We see comparisons everywhere

Comparing, sensors, lenses, weight, colours, IQ, sharpness, lastest... seems endemic

What are we hoping to do/achieve by constantly comparing one thing with another ?

and yes, like everyone I fall into the trap (sometimes)

So, calling all psychologists, anthropologists...or maybe we'll just end up comapring psyches

Generally, I think objective discussion and comparison of metrics is a fruitful endeavor as long as a particular interpretation isn't the goal of the discussion/comparison. We are more equipped to understand how our tools can help us and how valuable upgrades will be if we can quantify the differences, especially as they relate to our personal empirical experiences.

Some people look at this as pure interesting science, but I do think some discussion/comparison comes down to personal validation.

First, the healthy types of validation:

1) Validation about "Am I being limited by my gear, or do I need to improve?"

When someone is about to put money down on a product, they want the best they can get within whatever price/feature constraint they are working with. The primary reason is that when a newcomer is reviewing their photographs, they want to feel like they are not being limited by their hardware choice. Knowing you need to improve your skills or technique is a reasonable thing to accept and enjoy a learning journey. However, if you feel your photos are not great because you have been limited by your gear choice is a frustrating idea because there isn't much you can do on your own to improve it other than choosing again.

2) Validation about a past investment. e.g: "Will the platform I chose be able to support future goals that I dont need right now?"

No one likes to hear that their choice is great for X, Y and Z, but not great for A, B, C. So we like to endlessly compare options and capabilities to hopefully validate investments we already made or are about to make. We may never even get to shooting A, B or C, but it is comforting to know we wouldn't need to switch to something else if we ever wanted to buy a new lens and try it, etc. If we find out there are limitations, this might affect our investment roadmap in a positive way.

Types of unhealthy validation:

  • Forum Narcissist: Being perceived as having made the best choice or the technically correct one is more important to some people than the variety of options being discussed. Some will endlessly debate the comparison simply because being recognized as correct validates their hobby more than enjoying their own work.
  • Confirmation Bias: Some people are so fearful they might have made the wrong choice, they will seek comparisons solely to cherry pick the ones that make them feel better about the choice they already made. There is no objective goal other than supporting confirmation bias.

Next time I'm in town I will make an appointment.. Need to unbaffle myself..  L

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techjedi
techjedi Veteran Member • Posts: 4,140
Re: Its about personal validation in several ways ...

LeicaEye wrote:

techjedi wrote:

softmarmotte wrote:

Few people seem happy with what they have. We see comparisons everywhere

Comparing, sensors, lenses, weight, colours, IQ, sharpness, lastest... seems endemic

What are we hoping to do/achieve by constantly comparing one thing with another ?

and yes, like everyone I fall into the trap (sometimes)

So, calling all psychologists, anthropologists...or maybe we'll just end up comapring psyches

Generally, I think objective discussion and comparison of metrics is a fruitful endeavor as long as a particular interpretation isn't the goal of the discussion/comparison. We are more equipped to understand how our tools can help us and how valuable upgrades will be if we can quantify the differences, especially as they relate to our personal empirical experiences.

Some people look at this as pure interesting science, but I do think some discussion/comparison comes down to personal validation.

First, the healthy types of validation:

1) Validation about "Am I being limited by my gear, or do I need to improve?"

When someone is about to put money down on a product, they want the best they can get within whatever price/feature constraint they are working with. The primary reason is that when a newcomer is reviewing their photographs, they want to feel like they are not being limited by their hardware choice. Knowing you need to improve your skills or technique is a reasonable thing to accept and enjoy a learning journey. However, if you feel your photos are not great because you have been limited by your gear choice is a frustrating idea because there isn't much you can do on your own to improve it other than choosing again.

2) Validation about a past investment. e.g: "Will the platform I chose be able to support future goals that I dont need right now?"

No one likes to hear that their choice is great for X, Y and Z, but not great for A, B, C. So we like to endlessly compare options and capabilities to hopefully validate investments we already made or are about to make. We may never even get to shooting A, B or C, but it is comforting to know we wouldn't need to switch to something else if we ever wanted to buy a new lens and try it, etc. If we find out there are limitations, this might affect our investment roadmap in a positive way.

Types of unhealthy validation:

  • Forum Narcissist: Being perceived as having made the best choice or the technically correct one is more important to some people than the variety of options being discussed. Some will endlessly debate the comparison simply because being recognized as correct validates their hobby more than enjoying their own work.
  • Confirmation Bias: Some people are so fearful they might have made the wrong choice, they will seek comparisons solely to cherry pick the ones that make them feel better about the choice they already made. There is no objective goal other than supporting confirmation bias.

Next time I'm in town I will make an appointment.. Need to unbaffle myself.. L

My rates are very affordable. A stiff drink and good company!

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Glen Barrington
Glen Barrington Forum Pro • Posts: 22,376
Re: Frankly, they are fun and easy to do!
2

FrancoD wrote:

Glen Barrington wrote:

To do them you just do the same thing with all candidates, draw some conclusions, and post enough information so other people can disagree with you.

I have to disagree with your comment that people post enough information to disagree with.

LOL! We could put nothing in the comparison post and people would disagree!  So, from that perspective how much info is enough?:-D

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KAAMBIC
KAAMBIC Contributing Member • Posts: 999
Re: Where has this obsession with comparison come from ?

softmarmotte wrote:

Few people seem happy with what they have. We see comparisons everywhere

Comparing, sensors, lenses, weight, colours, IQ, sharpness, lastest... seems endemic

What are we hoping to do/achieve by constantly comparing one thing with another ?

and yes, like everyone I fall into the trap (sometimes)

So, calling all psychologists, anthropologists...or maybe we'll just end up comapring psyches

It comes from the human drive to constantly improve, which is why we have these amazing cameras to begin with. What are we hoping to achieve? The knowledge of what camera is better so we know what to upgrade to next.

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FrancoD Forum Pro • Posts: 16,982
Re: Frankly, they are fun and easy to do!
1

Glen Barrington wrote:

FrancoD wrote:

Glen Barrington wrote:

To do them you just do the same thing with all candidates, draw some conclusions, and post enough information so other people can disagree with you.

I have to disagree with your comment that people post enough information to disagree with.

LOL! We could put nothing in the comparison post and people would disagree! So, from that perspective how much info is enough?:-D

I am not sure but I am now disagreeing with my own comment.

mga010 Regular Member • Posts: 404
Re: Frankly, they are fun and easy to do!

It is an amateur thing. It's like that in all hobbies: cars, motorcycles and boats, sports, gardening, music. We can't be satisfied, need the next best thing. From a psychological viewpoint, it may have to do with staying a child a life long. Positively put, it is about curiosity. The internet also helps to fire the desires.

Pros get the tools to get the job done and compare only the results. Musicians may stick with their old clarinet and make beautiful music. You need a lot of persuasion and talking to get them to try something new. The old one just served them well over all the years. No need to change.

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SirLataxe
SirLataxe Veteran Member • Posts: 4,225
Re: Where has this obsession with comparison come from ?

softmarmotte wrote:

Few people seem happy with what they have. We see comparisons everywhere

Comparing, sensors, lenses, weight, colours, IQ, sharpness, lastest... seems endemic

Various factors are involved in this now common human behaviour. The oldest is probably "The Great Chain of Being" - a picture of the universe as a set of nested spheres in which the higher beings are out there with god & the angels whilst the lowest are crawling about in the muck of the Earth. Every one and every thing "has its pace" in a hierarchy of worth determined by their position in the spheroids, as planned & created by the Big Bearded Bully in the sky.

Mind, you can argue that this culturally made-up-stuff is a reflection of the deeper genetic inclinations of the humans that came up with the notion.  We do like the leaders and followers model; status taxonomies; the thrill of social snakes & ladders.

The most modern factor involved is the development of this background inclination to construct hierarchies of worth as it manifests in advertising, which persuades us that the efflorescence of the fashion cycle and its planned obsolescence requires us to throw out yesterday's product as a "new & improved" version exudes from the producer-consumer hegemony.  We lap up these "you have to have it" urgings as we scrabble up the imaginary greasy pole of "I am what I own".

What are we hoping to do/achieve by constantly comparing one thing with another ?

We are hoping to move up the Great Chain of Being.  Once it was disallowed (one was born into one's fixed place).  Now we can all strive to be more worthy by having a "better" gizmo than them over there have got. Perhaps we will eventually become a demi-god via our rabid consumption and its portrayal in our influencer-channel?

and yes, like everyone I fall into the trap (sometimes)

We baa-lambs follow the herd straight into the stockyard of the virtual shops.

So, calling all psychologists, anthropologists...or maybe we'll just end up comapring psyches

Well .... we can all easily mythologise our own histories. This too can result in a step up The Great Chain. After all, that chain exists only in our own minds so why not just imagine we're more worthy without all the desperate striving to obtain "likes" from the other strivers via mad camera-buying? Solipsism is very fashionable just now.

SirLataxe, No D-72 in my own taxonomy of worth, plagiarized from that of Clement Attlee.

robgendreau Veteran Member • Posts: 9,737
Re: Where has this obsession with comparison come from ?

One might notice that on DPR more time is spent comparing gear than photos.

Lots of people here love that gear, perhaps even more than the images that it produces. Nothing wrong with that; most all the people here are at most good photographers, not great ones, and we recognize that.

And the site is mostly about gear news, so it attracts those looking for purchasing info; it should really be called Digital Photography Gear Review; it's not an art forum.

There are always lots of car analogies here, and with good reason since there are lots of similarities. One is that far more people love high performance vehicle than ever perform at a high level in those same vehicles. Most Ferraris don't hit a track, most big ol' mall crawlers don't see much dirt. It doesn't change that people enjoy the equipment, and whole businesses are built up around comparing and arguing about the merits of that equipment by people who won't even own much of it. At least cameras are more affordable than Lambos (well, usually...  ). Gear fetishes usually crop up in any subculture where gear is unique to that group, so no surprises it's prevalent on this site and others.

z2122
z2122 Senior Member • Posts: 1,816
Re: Where has this obsession with comparison come from ?

Since I have a Nikon Z6 and some Z zooms and primes I stoppec to compare my equipment with other brands.  Nikon Z primes are in the top 95% IQ wise...

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(unknown member) Regular Member • Posts: 394
Re: Where has this obsession with comparison come from ?

z2122 wrote:

Since I have a Nikon Z6 and some Z zooms and primes I stoppec to compare my equipment with other brands. Nikon Z primes are in the top 95% IQ wise...

What percentile would you say the Z-bodies are in?

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Dennis Forum Pro • Posts: 20,821
Re: Where has this obsession with comparison come from ?
1

z2122 wrote:

Since I have a Nikon Z6 and some Z zooms and primes I stoppec to compare my equipment with other brands. Nikon Z primes are in the top 95% IQ wise...

Just nitpicking, but "top 95%" is nothing to brag about

z2122
z2122 Senior Member • Posts: 1,816
Re: Where has this obsession with comparison come from ?

Travis Nicky Bombastus wrote:

z2122 wrote:

Since I have a Nikon Z6 and some Z zooms and primes I stoppec to compare my equipment with other brands. Nikon Z primes are in the top 95% IQ wise...

What percentile would you say the Z-bodies are in?

good question.  For my style of shooting (travel, portraits and family events) the Z6 is still my favorite. Would I start today with a new system, I would buy a used Z6 or a used Z7, because that is sufficient for my style of photography and I like the Nikon lenses a lot.  If you are looking for best AF tracking capabilities, Canon and Sony are better, but the R5 is too expensive for me and I would miss the top OLED with the R6.

So the Z7 II and Z7 are top for landscape -  the Z6 II is somewhere in the middle of the field compared to others -  maybe at 80-85% but you get very good value for the money.

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z2122
z2122 Senior Member • Posts: 1,816
Re: Where has this obsession with comparison come from ?

Dennis wrote:

z2122 wrote:

Since I have a Nikon Z6 and some Z zooms and primes I stoppec to compare my equipment with other brands. Nikon Z primes are in the top 95% IQ wise...

Just nitpicking, but "top 95%" is nothing to brag about

you are right -  Nikon Z lenses are in the top 5%

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