It's the Shooting Experience , Not the Image Quality

May 17, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Hey Ya'll! Hope you're having a great week. Me? Pretty good. First of all I want to start out to give props to Derrick Story who has one of the best Photography Podcast around! I borrowed this title from him. He has a podcast on this topic and it really resinated with me. Because that's how I feel about photography. First if you haven't listened to his podcast it's the Digital Story and it can be found in any of the podcast services or you can google "The Digital Story" and listen to it there. Now back to the subject. When your buying a camera or camera system is the most important thing to you image quality? Or does the camera have to feel good in your hand? To me it has to feel good. I have to like where all the buttons and gismo's are. Shooting should be fun and not complicated or uncomfortable. But for some people it's not like that it's the bottom line of image quality that is the most important. How many megapixels , what's the burst rate, how fast does it focus . Image quality is everything. If you're a professional photographer I can understand that. But very few of us are Professional. Since this is my blog and it's all about me! LOL I'm going to take the other side of this argument and say that the Shooting Experience is more important that the image quality.

I have been in photography for a long time. When I got my first camera image quality was the furtherest from my mind because all film camera's pretty much had the same quality.  It was the shooting experience , how the camera felt in our hand , the taking of the photo's with friends and family. That was the fun part. Getting the photo's back from the lab and looking at them a week or so later it wasn't on how sharp the photo's were but the people and things in them. Now when I got into digital there was a time when I was obsessed with the megapixel count and how fast it shot (the image quality) But then I got away from that and started shooting crop sensor camera's and the image wasn't as important as the experience. You have a much better experience hauling a crop sensor camera and lenses compared to carrying around a full frame sensor camera. And the quality didn't change much. If you look at my website 90% of the photo's are shot with a crop sensor and they look great! (or at least i think so) I have shots on my website that were shot with point and shoots and with iPhones . So I think getting a camera for quality isn't as important as it used to be because any camera you buy today will give you great photo's. Even your phone. So maybe that's why I like film so much it's the experience, the feel, the sound of the shutter and the mirror slapping up and out of the way. Zone focusing, using old lenses on new digital camera's just for the feel of the old lens even though new lenses may be sharper. I like to set up my digital camera's as much as I can like old film ones . I like using lenses that have aperture rings on them to set the aperture like I would on an older film camera. I usually shoot in Aperture Priority or Manual to keep it close to as what it was when I was shooting film. I do like smaller cameras to shoot because large ones are just too heavy to tote around. I would rather take a point and shoot camera to shoot on a photowalk instead of a big bulky camera like I did on the last trip to the low country. I used a point and shoot and a film when walking around Savannah and had really good images. Were they as sharp and flawless as a more modern full frame camera kit? No but I don't even own a modern full frame camera kit. Mine still works fine. I think of camera systems as tools that you use. I wouldn't take a film camera to capture a race car race. I would take a big lens and camera to catch what I could. But I would take the film camera for a walk about a town and not the big lens camera.  I would take a crop sensor camera on a hike because it would be more comfortable (shooting experience) than a big digital camera that might have better quality images. How a camera feels in your hand is more important than the technical aspects of it. If you're not comfortable you won't take very good photo's. But I've seen photo's taken with a phone that are great because it was the right tool for the job at the right time and the photographer was comfortable using it.

I feel as I've gone off of the reservation a little. What I'm saying is that its not the technical aspects of the gear that is important its how it feels to you when your using it that is important. I have a Sony 24- 105 lens that takes great photo's but its just too heavy to take around with me so I'm having the conversation with myself should I change it out for a 20-70mm lens that is newer and lighter has an aperture ring that my 24-105 doesn't .  I'm thinking so I just haven't pulled the trigger yet. To me the 30mm difference in the lens is less important than me hauling a twice as heavy lens with me. I would get better photo's with a lens that I'm bringing with me and using instead of a lens that sits in my bag because it's too heavy. The shooting experience is more important than quality of the image. Well I've gone on enough on this subject. Please enjoy your gear and don't get it just because it's the newest and the greatest it should be comfortable to make the shooting experience greater ! So get out and shoot!


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