Thursday, October 22, 2009


102400 seems to be the magic number nowadays for the marketing departments of CaNikon to push their products to professional photographers. It was first apparent in the Nikon D3s, and now the Canon EOS-1D mark IV. [Even I have some trouble spelling the entire name of the Canon EOS-1D mark IV as elegantly as the presenter on the Canon website... sheesh]

Canon EOS-1D mark IV + 50mm f1.2 lens

Nikon D3s + 14-24 f2.8G lens

But are full frame cameras everything? During the Melbourne Spring Fashion week, I was horrified to see two Nikon D3 users (who were official photographers of the Melbourne Fashion Week, mind you) using direct flash at their subjects, with no apparent knowledge of bounce flash. I also noticed another Canon 5D mark 2 user pointing his 580 EX 2 upwards, but not altering the position of the flash head when he used the camera in portrait mode. As a result, he was blasting the flash at guests of  the function which I attended, which isn't a nice thing to do really. It seems full frame affordability for the masses also means more ''dumber'' photographer wannabes. :S

I have been debating within myself the endless possibilities I could have by acquiring a full frame body in my previous post. Of course, having a better camera doesn't mean having better photos. I could take the easy way out and blame the incompetency of my equipment, and Olympus as a whole : not enough megapixels, insufficient FPS (frames per second), poor dynamic range and noise at high ISOs, and the list can go on and on.

But that doesn't do justice to what I've been seeing so far from the stunning works produced by Olympus visionaries. I can name a few of them - photoshop guru Jay Kinghorn, food photographer Lou Manna, Magnum photographer Eli Reed, wildlife photographer John Isaac. They all more or less are using the same equipment that I own (with the exception of the biggest 'guns' in the Zuiko lineup), and they're not complaining one bit ! And here am I complaining till the cows come home when I don't have any substantial photos in my current portfolio which are considered ''professional''.  : (

If there was one thing I needed to hear, its from a wonderful piece of writing by Gordon Lewis:

Keep whatever you've got now. It costs nothing, strengthens your character, and demonstrates that you are an independent thinker, immune to the enticements of the marketeers. Whatever you decide, rest assured that that camera you own today will take much better photographs than the one you hope to own one day.

And with that, I shall officially end my rants, and start taking better pictures. It's what photographers should be doing after all.


ian said...

The work that John Isaac has done with his E-1 says a lot about the quality of Olympus. I like the works of Maki Kawakita as well.

dan said...

"Professional" means that you make your primary living from something. It has little to do with your ability as a photographer.

I just got myself an external flash and whilst I have never used one before, I'm actually trying to learn a few basics before I do anything serious with it... like how to rotate it in portrait mode (it takes one hand and all of 0.5 seconds with mine). After all, 'flashing' at others is hardly polite, even if you have spent $10,000 on the equipment you're doing it with.

So as you say, get out there and create better pictures. A D3 won't make you a better photographer. Child guitar prodigies don't start out with a $10,000 guitar; photographic prodigies needn't either.

[But by all means, get a D3 if you want one ahaha.]


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