Last Updated on 06/14/2018 by Mark Beckenbach
Every single manufacturer is making good cameras and lenses; but they’re not necessarily what you may want
The statement I often like to make is that in this economy, no product developer is going to their managers and purposely trying to pitch ideas that they think will fail and that won’t bring their company any profits. That just doesn’t happen anymore, and overall companies are all making very good products. It’s impossible to take bad pictures with them unless you know nothing about taking pictures. And even then, many of these products have an automatic mode that makes it really straightforward. Instead, some companies just aren’t choosing to innovate and keep up with others; and I think we all know whom we’re talking about here.
Another obvious idea is that technology is becoming so good that humans need to arguably do less and less work. We don’t need to print out bills, write checks and mail them out anymore. Instead, we can pay our bills online. We don’t need to take film in for development anymore, we can edit at home in programs or we can just shoot in JPEG and go along being happy with what we’re doing. But the cameras aren’t taking bad images, the people are taking bad photos.
I’ve thought about this over the years when it has come to reviewing cameras and lenses. When you look at the whole photo, it’s very difficult to tell what camera took what photo from Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Zeiss, Fujifilm, etc. in a completely blind test. The difference is that there are lab tests done very well by different publications. But in the end, none of us really care. What we care about (if you’re more of a photographer than a tech geek) is just making an image that’s important to you. That can be done with any piece of equipment that you use. It’s possible to shoot a wedding with a pinhole camera if you have the right creative vision. You can shoot portraits with your phone along with the right creative vision too. But your camera knows nothing about creative vision at all. You do. You’re the one that has a beating heart and a soul inside of you with genuine feelings. No AI in the world is going to make you feel the same way about an image as another human being will face to face.
Even more importantly, no image on a screen is going to equal the personalized experience of seeing it live and in person on a giant print. Be it metal, glass, paper, etc. the real life experience is so much better than the digital one.