The Redeye Complex

Saturday, October 25, 2008
LL, the G10, and digicams

The Luminous Landscape has some high praise for the new Canon G10.
That evening I looked at the files on my laptop screen, along with several other people, and we were amazed to see that the differences between the 39 Megapixel medium format system and the 15 Megapixel pocket digicam didn't seem that dramatic – certainly not as big as one might have expected. In fact, with the files in Lightroom I usually couldn't tell which was which without pixel-peeping.
The article gets into the unscientific comparison between a medium format back and the consumer G10. I'm sure it will likely cause more outrage and fury than nods of agreement. I think the LL is onto something though. When people ask me about digicams, I usually respond with "name" cameras are all good. And the actual criteria for choosing one over the other is not about megapixels but more about the lens and sensor.

So where are we with digicams today? LL offers up an opinion.
The lesson here, especially for newbies and amateurs (the pros have always understood this) is – stop fussing over each new camera's image quality. Now, even sub-$1,000 cameras are able to produce exceptional image quality – likely far better than most photographers are able to execute. Buy high end gear if you need it or want it. But, don't think that the better camera is going to make you a better photographer. As I've written before – most cameras are better than most photographers. This has always been true, and now simply more so than ever.


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