February 15, 2018

A Bone to Pick

I have a bone to pick with my new camera. It’s too good. I can’t blame the camera for my mistakes any more!

I was comfortable shooting at a wider aperture because the old camera had a bit of a soft focus problem. Those itty bitty baby lashes didn’t look sharp on either side of the face. That made small issues with camera shake, depth of field or motion blur virtually undetectable. With my new camera they’re detectable! Nevermind that the image looks great for most standard printing sizes, if I can zoom in on her face enough to see the pores on her left check, I want to see them on the right as well! My new camera is rubbing it in my face that I don’t have as intuitive a sense of the depth of field as I think I do!

Kidding aside, I’ve noticed a huge jump in the quality of my photos thanks to my new camera. The Nikon D7500 has a much better performance in low light. I can bump up the ISO easily 5x what I would set it to with my 5100 without fear of noticiable noise. That means I can use a faster shutter speed, and narrow aparture which cuts down on motion blur and camera shake. The cameras internal logic is amazing. If I frame the image right, 9 times out of ten the end product is going to be great. I don’t find myself adjusting the exposure as much, but when I need to the exposure compensation button makes it a snap. I can do it with just my right hand, while still looking through the viewfinder rather than the LCD screen. That means less time away from the “action”, and better focus. I’m taking fewer pictures each burst, fewer frames in general, and still happy with the outcome. Aside for that depth of field ‘issue’ mentioned above.

They say it’s the photographer, not the camera. That’s true to an extent, clearly. A good photographer can overcome many of the limitations of a bad camera, but not all. Shoot in lower light than your camera can handle and your choice is motion blur or noise. (Or bring additional lights and equipment.) Shooting a faster subject than you’re camera can handle? Need a greater dynamic range? Your out of luck, Chuck. A good photographer can likely get an interesting shot with any camera, but certain shots require certain equipment.

Sometimes you do need better equipment to realize your limitations in order to grow.

Posted in Life, Photography

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