Welcome to MobiTog - The Original Mobile Photography Community!
THE Original Global Community for Mobile Photographers - Everywhere...

You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user. Sign up or
Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions.

Why switching gear really doesn't matter

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Mik, 30 March 2018.

  1. Mik

    Mik MobiLurver MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    26 December 2013
    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    5,913
    Location:
    North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
    Real Name:
    Michael
    Device:
    iPhone X
    I came across the web page of a photographer who's name is Sean Tucker. He has interesting thoughtful videos on YouTube. Not much tutorial-like but these make you start thinking about things.

    This video here is about gear. Sorry, it's no cell phone stuff, he talks about Fuji cameras. But, it's about "if only I could afford a XYZ $20,000 camera my images would be soooo much better" kind of bla. Some cell phone owners may think this way. That they can't do better without new gear.

    Here is the link to the video. The other videos might also be good to look at.

    He also has some videos with iPhone involved:

     
    zenjenny, lisamjw, FundyBrian and 2 others like this.
  2. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    16 April 2013
    Messages:
    8,900
    Likes Received:
    26,896
    Location:
    Alma, New Brunswick, Canada
    Real Name:
    Brian Townsend
    Device:
    iPhone 8 Plus
    My 365:
    My MobiTog 365
    I’ve received some friction from other friend photographers for downsizing my gear. It was the right move for me and makes no difference to my photos. Harder to impress clients, though.
     
  3. rizole

    rizole In for it!

    Joined:
    9 April 2016
    Messages:
    3,169
    Likes Received:
    15,092
    Device:
    Samsung
    One of the accounts I follow on Instagram is @stuffonacheapsmartphonecamera. It's good work but I like the sentiment behind it too.
     
    JillyG, zenjenny, FundyBrian and 2 others like this.
  4. Mik

    Mik MobiLurver MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    26 December 2013
    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    5,913
    Location:
    North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
    Real Name:
    Michael
    Device:
    iPhone X
    I like it when photographers doing their thing, regardless of how often someone “likes” it.
     
  5. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    16 April 2013
    Messages:
    8,900
    Likes Received:
    26,896
    Location:
    Alma, New Brunswick, Canada
    Real Name:
    Brian Townsend
    Device:
    iPhone 8 Plus
    My 365:
    My MobiTog 365
    I don’t know anything about Instagram but I know on Facebook if I post one of my usual photos I get so many likes. But if I post a picture of Fabi (my partner) I get 3 or 4 times as many likes, even if it is just a casual snapshot. She has a lot more FB friends than I do and they will all like it. So I realized the likes don’t have much to do with how good the pictures are.
     
    JillyG, lisamjw and RoseCat like this.
  6. RoseCat

    RoseCat MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    1 August 2011
    Messages:
    51,572
    Likes Received:
    79,484
    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Real Name:
    Catherine
    Device:
    iPhone 7 Plus
    Nope. Not at all. And some people will just *like* everything no matter what it is. :rolleyes:
     
    lisamjw, zenjenny and FundyBrian like this.
  7. zenjenny

    zenjenny MobiStaff Site Staff

    Joined:
    2 December 2013
    Messages:
    14,293
    Likes Received:
    33,297
    Location:
    Australia
    Real Name:
    jen
    Device:
    iPhone 6s Plus
    I ‘liked’ your comment because it combines faultless prose and elegant reasoning. :mobibabe:
     
    mwolfer, terse, lisamjw and 2 others like this.
  8. RoseCat

    RoseCat MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    1 August 2011
    Messages:
    51,572
    Likes Received:
    79,484
    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Real Name:
    Catherine
    Device:
    iPhone 7 Plus
    :lol:
     
    JillyG, lisamjw and Starzee like this.
  9. sinnerjohn

    sinnerjohn Fruitloopy Me...

    Joined:
    16 November 2015
    Messages:
    7,090
    Likes Received:
    24,832
    Location:
    England
    Real Name:
    John
    Device:
    Samsung
    But you have an iphoneX Michael? Surely that's top of the range?
     
    JillyG likes this.
  10. Mik

    Mik MobiLurver MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    26 December 2013
    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    5,913
    Location:
    North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
    Real Name:
    Michael
    Device:
    iPhone X
    I don't see it this way. It's a phone with a camera. I have no doubt that there are other phones with better cameras. For me it's a phone in the first place, a really good one, nicely designed, the glass body feels good in your hands, decent display. And I like the apple ecosystem. It's just a happy coincidence that the camera and the related apps doesn't suck. :)
     
    ImageArt and JillyG like this.
  11. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    16 April 2013
    Messages:
    8,900
    Likes Received:
    26,896
    Location:
    Alma, New Brunswick, Canada
    Real Name:
    Brian Townsend
    Device:
    iPhone 8 Plus
    My 365:
    My MobiTog 365
    I moved from an iPhone 6 to a 7 Plus specifically to get the dual lens camera, dng, and 12MP instead of 8. I use my phone for all sorts of things but the phone aspect is one of the least used, although important. I found the move from 6 to 7 Plus very worthwhile in terms of image quality and camera features but it didn’t really affect my style of photography, except allowing for further experimenting.
    I eagerly anticipated the new 8 Plus and X, hoping for further camera advances but upon looking at them both in detail I decided there wasn’t enough of a difference so I still have my 7 Plus and I’m still quite happy with it.
     
    JillyG and lisamjw like this.
  12. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    16 April 2013
    Messages:
    8,900
    Likes Received:
    26,896
    Location:
    Alma, New Brunswick, Canada
    Real Name:
    Brian Townsend
    Device:
    iPhone 8 Plus
    My 365:
    My MobiTog 365
    This topic is something that interests me - arouses my curiosity. Among the various current topics on MobiTog I have spent more time revisiting this one, maybe because I do use a variety of cameras.

    I mostly agree that the camera doesn’t change your way of photographing - as long as you are mostly using one camera and the cameras you compare are fairly similar, let’s say in image shape and lens focal length. Most cell phones would be much the same. Likewise, apsC sensor DSLR cameras are fairly interchangeable.

    Over time, your way of seeing adapts to suit your camera, especially if you have only one camera and it is limited like a cell phone camera. You only have a wide angle lens so you learn to see in wide angle. You pretty well know how close you need to be to take in a certain view. You don’t worry much about depth of field because there seems to be plenty. You stop trying to do things you realize your camera cannot do.

    The flip side of this is that over time your equipment adapts to suit your way of seeing. If you always feel your lens is too wide, you get a telephoto. Can’t focus close enough, you get a macro.

    Now suppose I change just one thing - change the 28mm lens on your cell phone for a 100. After a temporary period of disorientation your way of photographing would be different. No more wide vistas. No more exaggerated perspective. No more seemingly limitless depth of field. Much more isolating subjects from their surroundings. More standing back and picking out small areas to focus on. You may even start working with new subject matter, now that you can.

    One of the biggest differences I experience is working with a camera where I can really see what I’m doing. Let’s face it, in daylight a cell phone screen leaves a lot to be desired if you like to see what you’re doing. I can’t compose with confidence. I can’t see the focus well enough. Using any camera with a good optical viewfinder leads to more precise framing and really does make a difference to your sense of commitment to the image while making it.

    I really find that switching cameras shakes up my way of working, often leading me to make completely different photos. If you don’t believe it, pick up a GoPro and see what happens. It’s so different you don’t have any feel for how close you need to get. Pretty soon you are making photos that would be impossible with your other camera. But it doesn’t need to be something so extreme. All it takes is a change in aspect ratio to force you to compose differently. Try a square camera, or 16:9. This is assuming you like to compose tightly to fill the frame, and avoid cropping.

    It is very worthwhile and rather fun to pick up a different camera and go out for a photo outing. Just pick one lens, say a 135mm, and see the type of pictures you make.

    I appreciate the opportunity to explore this topic. Thinking about this subject for a while has led me to realize that the photography I do on my iPhone represents only a niche in my overall photography. Whenever I come across something that the iPhone is not suited for I just put it down and pick up the right tool for the job. But my stubbornness often leads me to keep trying to make it work. I fully expect cell phone cameras will get better over time.
     
  13. sinnerjohn

    sinnerjohn Fruitloopy Me...

    Joined:
    16 November 2015
    Messages:
    7,090
    Likes Received:
    24,832
    Location:
    England
    Real Name:
    John
    Device:
    Samsung
    Always interested to hear your thoughts Brian, as you probably have more 'photographic' experience than most of us.
    I don't always agree with what you say but life would be boring if we all agreed wouldn't it ;)
    In this case I'm not sure what the topic is. Michael started with 'why switching gear doesn't matter' and you are saying switching gear is useful, so I'm confused :confused:
    I have to admit I only watched the 3rd video and I didn't agree with the guy. OK maybe I'm not ever looking to be a pro photographer so there is no way I'd want all my images to look the same way, boring.
    So maybe I'm missing the point.
     
    JillyG and FundyBrian like this.
  14. Mik

    Mik MobiLurver MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    26 December 2013
    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    5,913
    Location:
    North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
    Real Name:
    Michael
    Device:
    iPhone X
    As I understand the topic of the video, it's about people thinking only gear is responsible for good images. But only the photographer is. The photographer has to have an image in his/her mind and use whatever gear is at hand to make this image come to life. If you need a tele lens to get "your" image, then use one. As a sensible photographer you choose to do so because you know what a tele lens can do and can't do. Just a cell phone available? Then use this. You are not necessarily a bad photographer because you only have a cell phone. You are not necessarily a good photographer because you have a $30,000 camera.

    The topic is not to feel unworthy, incompetent, limited or uncomfortable just because for can't afford the gear. Don't let thinking about-gear-you-can't-afford limit your inspiration. Get inspiration from gear you can afford. Be realistic. Don't switch gear just because some YouTube guy tells you that "his" camera makes better images. Three months later the same guy has another "best" camera. I don't trust people telling you at any given opportunity how good their newest toy gear is. Or every two weeks a new "best" app. Instead of hunting "best" gear they should practise more for getting better photographs. And concentrate on the gear at hand.

    It's good to think about the right gear and how it can support you in your work. Switch gear as necessary. But don't throw away gear just to switch the brand. Or because some 1,000,000 likes-instagramers want you to talk into it. Find your own way to make your own images.
     
    Starzee, FundyBrian and sinnerjohn like this.
  15. sinnerjohn

    sinnerjohn Fruitloopy Me...

    Joined:
    16 November 2015
    Messages:
    7,090
    Likes Received:
    24,832
    Location:
    England
    Real Name:
    John
    Device:
    Samsung
    That has always been my belief too.
    I guess (and I really mean no offence) if you had been a Mobitogger with a very average mobile phone, say something like a Motorola, and you made amazing images, I'd have been blown away. But you do own one, if not THE most expensive phones on the market, which kind of takes the shine off your argument ;) I still love your images though :thumbs:
     
    Starzee and Mik like this.
  16. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    16 April 2013
    Messages:
    8,900
    Likes Received:
    26,896
    Location:
    Alma, New Brunswick, Canada
    Real Name:
    Brian Townsend
    Device:
    iPhone 8 Plus
    My 365:
    My MobiTog 365
    Watch the first video.
    I don’t think I ever expect people to agree. It’s just ideas to bounce around and consider. I’m agreeing that in most cases switching gear doesn’t change the way we photograph. However, using different cameras is a good way to shake things up a bit, especially if the other camera is quite different than the one we usually use.
     
    sinnerjohn likes this.
  17. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    16 April 2013
    Messages:
    8,900
    Likes Received:
    26,896
    Location:
    Alma, New Brunswick, Canada
    Real Name:
    Brian Townsend
    Device:
    iPhone 8 Plus
    My 365:
    My MobiTog 365
    Yes, that all makes sense to me. I must say your interpretation of the video sounds exactly right and it seems I focused on different points. Especially as he was comparing two similar models of the same brand of camera. Fascinating the reaction he got on instagram.

    I used to do camera repairs as a sideline for about 20 years and a lot of interesting cameras passed through my hands. In all that time (pre-digital) I never saw a camera that made better images than what I already had. (Olympus, Canon, Bronica and a couple of 4x5s) They were just different cameras. Now if you were into making your own B&W prints in the darkroom then shooting 2&1/4 film was definitely better than 35mm but it was all because of the film, not the cameras. I got just as much enjoyment using a cheap plastic thing as something expensive.
    Funny though, how some cameras just feel “right” while others feel awkward, and not necessarily relating to cost.

    In my photo courses I sometimes get people who arrive with very expensive new gear and they look very professional and I feel a bit intimidated and wonder why they came to my course. Then I discover after a while that they have no idea how to use the camera beyond the auto-everything setting. These are the people who think photography is all about having an expensive camera.
    That is exactly why I start my courses by showing a few photos, and this usually elicits a few ooohs and aaahs, and then I reveal they were all made with my cell phone. (Mostly from my iPhone 5 & 6) That makes everyone stop and give me an incredulous look. I’ve made my point. It’s not the camera. Everyone pays close attention after that. Of course we Mobile Photography enthusiasts know that maybe it gave me an unfair advantage.

    Do you remember the “Leica Weekend” promotion? From the film days. They would lend you an aluminum camera case full of Leica stuff, a camera body and 3 lenses, and give you two rolls of Kodachrome film.
    I was curious. Instead of the 25 & 64 ISO films they offered I gave back the 64 and asked for a matching 25. Kodachrome 25 Professional was a standard film for me so I knew what to expect. I put one roll in the Leica and one in my well used Olympus OM-1 and shot everything on a tripod doing exact side-by-side comparisons of every shot. When I used up the 2 rolls I shot more of my own K25, duplicating the last shots from the Leica films. Those Leica films were a carefully selected batch and refrigerated at the optimum colour balance and were very nice. Anyhow, I examined those films every way I could, including under a microscope, and I didn’t find any images from the Leica that were better than my Olympus shots. In some cases I thought my OM shots were better. The magic aura of Leica glass went “poof”. That famous Leica Look failed to materialize. As I suspected, spending a pile of money on Leicas would not make any improvement over what I already had. The batch of film made a bigger difference. I learned to pay more attention to my film instead of the camera. You know how fresh K25 started out a bit green and gradually changed through neutral to slightly magenta as it got closer to the expiry date. Somewhere in the middle was ideal.
     
    sinnerjohn likes this.
  18. Mik

    Mik MobiLurver MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    26 December 2013
    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    5,913
    Location:
    North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
    Real Name:
    Michael
    Device:
    iPhone X
    Two photographers are facing the same sunset standing side by side. One uses cheap cellphone A the other expensive cellphone B. They take the same image. They choose the same framing and composition. Who is the better photographer? There are might be differences in the images like sharpness or details or noise. But this tells nothing about the photographer. Nor does it make the one image better than the other in an artistic way, in my humble opinion.
     
    lisamjw, FundyBrian and sinnerjohn like this.
  19. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    16 April 2013
    Messages:
    8,900
    Likes Received:
    26,896
    Location:
    Alma, New Brunswick, Canada
    Real Name:
    Brian Townsend
    Device:
    iPhone 8 Plus
    My 365:
    My MobiTog 365
    Yes, that’s true. You can’t tell much about what is happening in someone’s head by looking at a few pictures. You can’t tell if they are acting mechanically, or in a calculated way, or innocently without any thinking at all. Nor can you guess their motivation. You could also say the same if one was using an expensive DSLR and the other a cheap cellphone, or an expensive cell phone and a disposable camera.

    However, to add to the above scenereo, I have been on several group photo outings with the camera club where we arrived at a few locations without much room to spread out and it seemed inevitable that everyone must be taking exactly the same pictures. Yet later on, at the club meeting where people show their photos from the field trip, it is truly amazing to see how dramatically different the photos are. I’m talking here about situations where everyone was using slide film and had no opportunity for editing or altering the photos. What you shot is what you got. Hardly ever did we see two pictures that were essentially the same. We did see some compositions that were good and others not so inspired.

    Another point of interest is what a photographer chooses to show, and not show. People who are very concerned about the impression they make will be very careful to only show not just their best photos, but ones that create a certain impression, while other photographers might not care that much about making impressions. Some photographers will never show you their out-takes in a million years while other realize it can be instructive.

    Sometimes people are very emotionally attached to their photos and if you say anything about the photo that isn’t adoring praise then they take it as a personal attack. This is more true when people only have a relatively small number of pictures. I try hard to say, what you happened to do one day in 1/125th of a second is not a reflection of your entire worth as a human being. It’s just a picture.
     
  20. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    16 April 2013
    Messages:
    8,900
    Likes Received:
    26,896
    Location:
    Alma, New Brunswick, Canada
    Real Name:
    Brian Townsend
    Device:
    iPhone 8 Plus
    My 365:
    My MobiTog 365
    Unfortunately, a lot of my experience is not much use anymore. Some is still useful but the cell phone arena is new territory for me, too.
    The third video made some good points and I see what he was saying about consistency in a portfolio. I was finding it hard to imagine how I could apply that to my own work. The only way would be to have separate portfolios for each topic. For instance my photos of the red cliffs have different colour requirements than close-ups of green caterpillars and it wouldn’t make sense to dull the beautiful greens to suit the cliffs. Should a portfolio show versatility and a broad range of experience or be more limited? I guess that depends on what you do. A fashion photographer is only going to show fashion photos. I think there is consistency among the things that are similar but certainly contrasts with other things.
     
    JillyG likes this.
  21. sinnerjohn

    sinnerjohn Fruitloopy Me...

    Joined:
    16 November 2015
    Messages:
    7,090
    Likes Received:
    24,832
    Location:
    England
    Real Name:
    John
    Device:
    Samsung
    This guy talks a lot of sense, I like him, thank you Mik for the 'introduction'. I particularly like this...
     
    JillyG, Mik and FundyBrian like this.
  22. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    16 April 2013
    Messages:
    8,900
    Likes Received:
    26,896
    Location:
    Alma, New Brunswick, Canada
    Real Name:
    Brian Townsend
    Device:
    iPhone 8 Plus
    My 365:
    My MobiTog 365
    I’ve been thinking about you a lot today. You are one of the few Mobitogers who shows an interest in developing RAW files and similar topics of image quality that I am also interested in. You have frequently added important information and links to topics I am interested in. You often post thought provoking threads that I enjoy reading and participating in. I should be paying more attention to what you’re doing. I confess I never have enough time to do as much as I would like to be able to do on MobiTog so I don’t explore as much as I should. I’m surprised when I do have some extra time to look farther afield that I always see JillyG and RoseCat have been there before me. Anyhow, Mik, be well and I appreciate the things you do on MobiTog.
     
    JillyG, Mik, lisamjw and 2 others like this.
  23. Mik

    Mik MobiLurver MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    26 December 2013
    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    5,913
    Location:
    North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
    Real Name:
    Michael
    Device:
    iPhone X
    FundyBrian, Brian, these are very kind words and I appreciate your work too. Thank you, Brian.

    I am a more technically interested person, curious, to look behind the things. I am not very often on MobiTog, which is a shame. This might be because I have not many images to share. My 365 project ended after a month or so. I admire the MobiPeeps putting each day such nice images on MobiTog.
     
  24. JillyG

    JillyG MobiLifer Mobi Veteran

    Joined:
    31 May 2011
    Messages:
    18,715
    Likes Received:
    45,226
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire, England
    Real Name:
    Jilly
    Device:
    iPhone 8 Plus
    My 365:
    My MobiTog 365
    Well said Brian. And so say all of us!
     
    Last edited: 6 April 2018
  25. ImageArt

    ImageArt MobiLifer MobiSupporter

    Joined:
    5 November 2014
    Messages:
    6,901
    Likes Received:
    23,590
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    Real Name:
    Ann
    Device:
    iPhone 7 Plus
    Oh! It’s a phone as well?? ;)
     
    lisamjw, Mik, FundyBrian and 2 others like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice