WHAT DO THE NEW CAMERAS MEAN TO PHOTOGRAPHY?

AN EDITORIAL ON THE NEW CAMERAS FROM THE BIG CAMERA MANUFACTURES, AND WHAT IT MEANS TO PHOTOGRAPHY:

BIG ADVANCES IN PHOTOGRAPHY! DOES IT JUSTIFY THE BIG PRICES?
man standing on rock formation
Photo by Zukiman Mohamad on Pexels.com

I have been in the camera industry, either selling, taking pictures, and even doing this amazing blog, watching all the manufactures battle it out for supremacy in technology. It has been fun to watch the new developments in the last couple of years especially to see the rapid advances in technology.

IS THERE A BIG WINNER IN THE TECH WAR?

IS THERE A CLEAR WINNER IN THESE BRANDS?

Good questions and my opinion and my answers are:

  1. The big winner in the tech war in the camera industry is the Photographer
  2. Is one brand better than the other in creating the “SUPER” CAMERA? And my answer is NO.
man holding black dslr camera
Photo by Suliman Sallehi on Pexels.com

Because I sold cameras for a long time I have a hard time coming out and saying that one brand is better than another. So, how does that help you, the photographer, pick which camera is better for you?

If you know photography good enough to understand all the new advancements of the above 5 cameras (and there are other camera manufactures you could look at too), then as you read all the features they have, there are definitely some features that should excite you.

I do not have a favorite camera so I can be totally unbiased, but as I looked at some of the features of these cameras, there was something in each one that blew my mind, and got me way excited to buy that brand. So, I think I would like to own each one of the above 5 cameras. That won’t cost much, right?

Let’s look at the features of some of these cameras, and I will tell you what got me excited about each one:


OLYMPUS OM – D

  • Olympus has always had a well built camera.
  • Price on camera body:: $999.95
  • 121 Cross phase focus points.
  • Incredible, highly rated image stabilizer built in to camera body
  • Weather sealed for maximum wear
  • 3.0″ Vari-Angle Touch LCD
  • 10fps [H] mode 6fps [L] mode mechanical shutter
  • 30fps [H] mode 10fps [L] mode silent electronic shutter
  • 4K video recording
WINNING AND EXCITING POINTS FOR ME:

Have you ever felt an Olympus camera in your hands. Find one, feel the construction. And you will know you have a winner. Motor drive capable of 30 frames per second, or 10 frames a second in silent mode. WHAT! Thank goodness it does not have film in it. And the price alone has to be one of the big advantages to this camera.


Nikon Z-9

  • 45Mpixel sensor
  • 120Fps in burst mode with reduced sharpness
  • Built-in GPS
  • To avoid the chip shortage, Nikon has developed their own chip.
  • Built extremely well.
  • 8Kvideo recording
  • Priced at between $6,000 to $7,000 dollars (not really available yet, so price is uncertain)
  • New style locking flap for the two CFExpress memory cards.
WINNING AND EXCITING POINTS FOR ME:

The price of this camera has not been set in stone yet. There will be a few cameras that come to the US before the end of the year, but, mostly will not be available until 2022. In true Nikon Fashion, it seems they wanted to outperform most of the other brands out there, although, some things are just getting out of hand. Like the video shooting 8K. I hope somewhere somebody says, that you can’t tell the difference between 4K and 8K. And some optometrists are reporting that your eyes can’t see anything sharper than 4K. The other thing I like is with the chip shortage that is going on, some manufactures are starting to make the chips themselves. That way, production should be better. The new screen on the back of the camera is a new “articulated” screen. Yet to see it, but, I think that will be amazing.


Pentax K3 – III

  • Uses Pentax KA mount, the same mount it has been using for over 30 years, and all those lenses will fit this
  • Full frame DSLR, slightly bigger than the others. Feel is good.
  • Built-in sensor cleaner.
  • ISO up to 1,600,000
  • In-body image stabilizer – originally developed by Pentax
  • 5 different auto exposure points
  • 5 different user exposure modes
  • Flash sync speed at 1/200
  • Priced at body only at $1995.00
WINNING AND EXCITING POINTS OF INTEREST FOR ME:

Pentax is one of the oldest camera manufactures in the world. They have a reputation for extremely well built camera and lens quality is more than amazing. If you would like to do more photography with natural light, then this one is the winner, with an ISO setting from 100 to 1,600,000! This camera is not a mirrorless camera, and maintains the bigger size sensor. There are people who don’t like holding a mirrorless camera because they are too small and hard to hold. This camera seems more traditional in size and design. Pentax was one of the first to put their image stabilization system in the body, and not on the lens. Every manufacture does that now. Just that Pentax keeps improving on their original design so it seems ahead, in technology of the image stabilizer.


SONY A7 -III

  • 24MP sensor
  • Fast Hybrid AF with 693 phase-detection and 425 contrast-detection AF points
  • High-speed continuous shooting of up to 10fps with AF/AE tracking
  • 4K video
  • ISO reading from 50 – 204,800
  • 2 SD memory card slots
  • Uses standard E-mount lenses. Lenses from Europe will also fit this camera
  • Longest battery life on all cameras
  • Articulated rear screen with tilt
  • Priced at $1899.00 for the body only
EXCITING POINTS OF INTEREST WITH THE SONY CAMERA:

Sony has not been in the camera business that long, but, has done some really smart things with their cameras. First of all, they didn’t come up with some strange lens mount, they used one that other camera manufactures use. So, there are several lens companies in Europe that their lenses will work on Sony. To think that I can get a Carl Zeiss lens to work on a Sony is really exciting. The other thing I like about Sony’s thinking is the Auto focus sensor has 3 different types of auto focus, with a crazy amount of sensor points. That means the AI in the auto-focus system is real good. And finally, the way their screen works on the back of the camera is articulated and tilts in several directions. Seems that would be a very convenient feature that a lot of the others miss.


CANON R3

  • High Image Quality with a Back-illuminated Stacked 24.1 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS Sensor
  • Improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 1,053 AF Points featuring Vehicle Detection as well as Eye, Face, Head, and Animal Detection
  • The First EOS Digital camera to feature Eye Control AF
  • Uniques new Auto exposure modes: Includes: “Fine Detail”, “Monochrome”, “Faithful”, “Neutral”, and 3 user defined modes.
  • LCD screen with “vari-angle” viewing.
  • Built-in WI-FI and Bluetooth
  • Priced at $5999.00 body only
INTERESTING POINTS OF THIS CAMERA I LIKE:

Canon has been working on the “Ultiimate” camera for some time. I think when Sony came out with their new “flagship” camera, they wanted to UP them a lot. And they did come out with truly unique features. However, their price on this camera should include: To take away the loneliness anytime mode. Priced at $5999.00, it truly should be set for a few years as the ultimate in features. This camera has some unique settings. First of all, special autofocus mode that works best with faces, animals and eyes, and more. What a system. Then the little dial at the top that has the different exposure modes. What is “Faithful” mode? And what kind of exposure does that do? Does it show people from the other side? Can’t wait to see what these new settings are. I like that it has a Monochrome mode. How easy is that to do black and white just by putting it on a setting in your camera. This camera is just really impressive. See: https://123photogo.com/2021/09/18/new-canon-eos-r3-now-available/

My goal in this blog today was to show you that every camera manufacture has some special points to their camera systems. And you should just see which spec or feature you like. They are all really good cameras. But, don’t be biased towards any brand, be biased about the features you want.

Photographic inspirational thought for the day:

There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.

Ansel Adams

There are over 1500 different subjects of photography on this website. If there is a particular subject you want to look for, to help you out with your photography, try using this amazing search engine to find the subject you want:

WHEN TO USE A HIGH “ISO” IN PHOTOGRAPHY:

people walking near road beside buildings during night time
Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

In the Photo Equipment war, there is always someone that will outdo the other brands out there right now. One company in particular, with their new flagship camera has just introduced a camera with an ISO of 1,600,000 !!! That’s right! That is a high number, and along with their new chip design, the photos coming out of this new camera are amazing. That is the new Pentax K3-III .

This camera brings up just a few questions for sure:

1- What do I do with an ISO setting that high? Is there practical photography for a setting this high?

Well, let’s look into this a bit:

Ten years ago, these fears were justified. Raising your ISO to 1600 or 3200 was a no-go for the majority of cameras.

But no longer. Things are changing. These days, it often makes sense to boost your ISO to get better images. In fact, the improvements in camera technology have been such that you can now comfortably photograph at ISO 1600, 3200, and even 6400 with most DSLRs, Micro Four Thirds cameras, and mirrorless cameras, and of course now with the introduction from Pentax with an ISO of 1,600,000, the question would now be: What can’t I shoot with a high ISO?

Newly developed for the PENTAX K-3 Mark III, the Fine Sharpness II mode faithfully reproduces delicate outlines just like the Extra Sharpness mode, but it also minimizes the generation and emphasis of unwanted noise, while reproducing fine textures and subtle gradations in the subject with greater accuracy. In fact, at PENTAX we see this mode as depicting subject texture at a level close to perfection. Created by integrating the Fine Sharpness and Extra Sharpness modes, this new mode is incorporated into the PENTAX K-3 Mark III — and will be in future PENTAX SLR models — as the default setting.

With the introduction of a camera that can shoot ISO of 1,600,000, it brings up and interesting advantage. If you can make your photo look good, say even at 240,000ISO, what kind of sharpness would I get when I shoot at a lower ISO?

Thanks to all these advanced features, you will realize the great improvement in image resolution and reproduction of subject texture in the low-sensitivity range when you capture image with the PENTAX K-3 Mark III.

You begin using your imagination the moment you see a subject, then release the shutter and anticipate the resulting image. I believe that’s the best way to enjoy the entire process of photography. You can make image quality look better, at least on the surface, by boosting numerical specifications. To step more deeply into a world of image description that can’t just be summed up in numbers, PENTAX stresses the importance of sensibility evaluations, which factor in the feelings and opinions of our designers in our pursuit of more beautiful, more truthful images. When you look at the picture above and realize the small square in the inset photo, is what was enlarged, you can now create the sharpest photos ever yet, by having a camera with a high ISO, as long as they worked on the image sensor to create this amazing fete.

When you look at how much the image has improved in going from the previous model (the Mark II), to the Mark III, you can see that the new K3 Mark III is a camera not to be ignored.

Here are 3 options of using a high ISO:

1. When you’re photographing indoors or at night

If you take your camera indoors, or you shoot at night, you’ll quickly run into a problem:

Your images will be dark and lacking detail.

In such situations, you have three solutions:

First, you can widen your aperture. Often, this can help (and it’s the reason why many night photographers and event photographers work with an ultra-low f-stop). But it’s rarely enough.

Second, you can drop your shutter speed. But unless your subject is completely still and you’re shooting with a tripod, you’ll end up with lots of blur. Not ideal, right?

Which brings me to the third solution:

You can raise your ISO.

when to use a high ISO in photography concert

Will it introduce some noise? Yes. But the noise produced by modern cameras at high ISOs just isn’t that bad; as I mentioned above, you can comfortably boost your ISO to ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 without much loss of quality.

And by raising the ISO, you’ll end up with much brighter images, even indoors and even at night.

2. When you’re photographing fast-moving subjects

The faster your subject, the faster the shutter speed required to render it with zero blur.

For instance, if you’re photographing a runner, you might need a shutter speed of 1/500s. If you’re photographing a moving car, 1/1000s might be more appropriate. And if you’re photographing a diving falcon, 1/3200s is a safe bet.

Unfortunately, even in relatively good light, boosting your shutter speed to 1/3200s will result in a too-dark exposure – unless you raise the ISO, that is.

After all, better to end up with a slightly noisy image than a completely blurry one, right?

So don’t be afraid to increase your ISO when faced with a fast-moving subject.

when to use a high ISO in photography people walking at night

3. When you’re using a long lens

The longer your lens, the easier it is to end up with blur – because subject movement and camera movement are magnified. So with a long lens, you need a fast shutter speed, just the same as if you were shooting a moving subject.

That’s why boosting your ISO is so essential when working with telephoto lenses; it allows you to boost the shutter speed, too, and capture a sharp image.

Sure, when the light is bright, you can keep the ISO at 100 or 200 and end up with sharp, well-exposed images.

But as the light begins to drop, you’ll need to raise your ISO with confidence. That way, you can capture bright and clear photos at 300mm, 400mm, and beyond.

when to use a high ISO shadowy man with briefcase
Canon 5D Mark II | 135mm | f/6.3 | ISO 1600
The high ISO allowed for a 1/320s shutter speed; this accounted for both the motion in the scene and for the longer focal length used.

But doesn’t a lower ISO give better image quality?

Well, yes – and no.

Yes, if you are setting up a studio shot and controlling the lighting. Yes, if you are using a tripod, if you are a landscape photographer, or if there is very strong natural light. Yes, if you don’t have to compromise your shutter speed or aperture settings to expose the shot correctly. A photo taken at ISO 100 will always be significantly sharper and cleaner than a photo taken at ISO 1600, assuming the aperture and shutter speed are the same, and you have complete control over the subject and the lighting.

In every other case, however, the answer is no; a lower ISO will not give better image quality.

Raising your ISO will help you capture a higher quality photograph in many situations. Why? Because it lets you use a faster shutter speed and a smaller aperture to get a sharper result. When creating a technically great photograph – one with minimal blur and proper exposure – getting the aperture and shutter speed settings correct is much more important than using a low ISO.

If you want to know how great event photographers consistently create such bright and beautiful images, it’s not only because they use fast lenses and flashes. It’s because they are not afraid to raise the ISO.

Plus, the look of grain at high ISOs in digital cameras has become more pleasing. The newer camera models have not only reduced the strength of grain (noise) at high ISOs, but they have also created noise that looks more artistic.

ISO has now become a luxury instead of an obstacle. We can photograph in dark areas while handholding the camera when we need to.

crop of the man with a briefcase
Cropped version of the above (ISO 1600) shot. Note the minimal, pleasing grain.
when to use a high ISO in photography street at night

The best thing to try now, if you don’t have the new Pentax K3 Mark III, is to see how good your camera will do at a high ISO setting. Try it at it’s max, and then see if you like it. Does it make you want to buy a new camera? This is what has happened to camera makers lately, is that the image quality has gotten significantly better than before, especially doing the higher ISO settings.

Ready to go shooting in the dark? It’s a whole new era of photography now, so, let’s do it!

This article was written by: Lanny Cottrell (123PhotoGo), and help from: James Maher (Digital Photography School), and also: Shigeru Wakashiro, in charge of planning and development for PENTAX digital SLR cameras

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