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Pondering Question

Earl Moore Photography

When first announced in February 2012, I’d placed an order for a Nikon D800 to replace my Nikon D700. After a couple of months of waiting I canceled that order because I was having second thoughts on how or if I really needed a camera with so many mega pixels. I’ve thought a number of times about ordering one again and had even thought I would upon our return from Italy.

Shooting with my Olympus E-M5 in Italy certainly raised the question of do I need a DSLR at all? I have a nice kit of Nikon Lens so I only need the Nikon body, which makes it more practical, but with an adapter I can also use these same lens with manual focus on the E-M5. The IQ and DR of the E-M5 is excellent, certainly as good as many DSLR’s, although not as good as the D800.

Where does this leave me — I haven’t ruled out the D800/E yet but I’m not in any hurry at this point. Perhaps let the supply catch up with the demand and see what happens with the price and where my head/heart is at that point. Until then, my D700 is a wonderful camera and the E-M5 is certainly a fine companion to it.

The above photo was taken in Venice, Italy, of two priest having discussions as they walked. I waited for them to reach the top of a bridge over one of the smaller canals. They seemed lost in their thoughts and conversations.

12 Comments on Pondering Question

  1. Earl, welcome in the “good enough” realm of cameras! Your experience is similar to mine: A good m43 camera fulfills so many of the (non-professional) photographer’s needs and wishes, that we suddenly feel much less need for “something even better”, as we can do with the things we want to. Some years ago this certainly was not the case: early smaller-sensor cameras were lacking in certain aspects, especially noise and DR, so the DSLR was the natural and only choice. Now this has changed, as we have (growing older and wiser, the latter at least sometimes) and with it came the knowledge how to get the best out of a camera and the ability to enjoy the smaller and lighter package. Yes, I too still have my Sony DSLR gear, but haven’t used it now for half a year and mentally almost sold it. It’s good to be able to concentrate on images again!
    The priests could be symbolic for that knowledge: pretty much uninterested in the outfit, they (so do I hope) concentrate on the inner values.
    Markus recently posted… Spouts At No. 4

    • Markus, well stated! In the E-M5 case I’m finding it’s “more than good enough.” It’s been a couple of months since i shot with the D700…and there are times I think of selling the whole kit.


  2. That consumer voice inside seems to raise its head every once in a while prompting me to hand over the cash for something newer, better but not really needed. Again it is the photographers eye who composes the best images. I do not make large prints so the extra pixels are not needed. Not only that but I’d have to upgrade some glass which is even more money. I enjoy my photography and that is the purpose of the equipment I have now. It does a good job and is light weight. Time to go shoot.
    Monte Stevens recently posted… Cattail Chorus Ponds

    • Monte, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting new stuff if you can afford it and will use it after you get it. It’s when the new wears off and you don’t use it that bothers me. Like I said, I don’t feel in any hurry to make any changes at the moment. Thanks and have a good weekend.

  3. I can relate to your point since I am considering upgrading from my 5 year old D80. Certainly the technology has changed tremendously since I got it and the camera is starting to show some signs of age. I heard rumors of a Nikon D600, a full frame DSLR with 24 MP, making it the D800 kid brother. The appeal to me is the (much) lower price tag and the ability to use my old full frame lenses. I like the idea of a smaller camera as well, but I put more weight on quality, adaptability to my existing platform and price than on a smaller and lighter package.
    ken bello recently posted… abstract?

    • Ken, a D600, as you described, is more in line with what I expected the D700 replacement to be. It would probably sell like hot cakes and would make a great next camera for you.

      I think the new smaller 4/3 cameras are proving you don’t need to give up much if any quality but granted there are still issues of legacy lens and equipment.

      Have a great weekend.

  4. Earl, quite frankly, I still question myself now and again if I REALLY needed the D800. Sure, the details in the files are stunning, but I do wonder how often anyone will ever be able to appreciate it other than me looking at images at 100%. Sure, it will help with big prints and landscapes, and perhaps when I eventually get to doing some of those I will appreciate it even more. Perhaps we really are in the age of “good enough” DSLRs. I am still quite happy with my D700 and plan to keep it for my underwater work and the D800 backup.
    Mark recently posted… Southern Stingrays

    • Mark, I’ve been having the NEEDED vs. WANTED conversation with myself ever since Nikon announced the D800. I seldom do any large prints those that I have done in the past were with 10-12 megapixel files and they looked very good…so I keep asking what to I need three times the data for. Bottom line is I DON’T NEED it, but I still have days I want it. :-)

      I think, soon and perhaps already, almost all cameras are “good enough” for all but the most demanding professional.

  5. Earl these images look great, no matter what camera you use, your eye has it, very nice.

    I still use my D90, I just can’t afford to chase Nikon and their pixels.
    Don Cooper recently posted… Wild Wash

    • Hi Don,

      Thanks! Good to hear from you again. The D90 was and still is a good camera. I’m going to watch the Nikon models from the sidelines for a little while too. :-)

  6. I’ve been looking at the EM5 since announcement from Olympus. As a long time Oly shooter, I have a soft spot for them and after years of 4\3rd system, lack of innovation, they abandoned us 4/3rd shooters for the m4/3rd. But I suppose the natural progression was the m4/3rd. I’m definitely interested in the EM5, but as a companion to my Canon gear. The state of Oly is in flux and worries me from investing any more gear in Oly. What are your thoughts on Oly Earl?

    • The E-M5 is top notch and definitely a wonderful companion camera or even a good only camera. Olympus has had a lot of management problems as of late but last I heard Panasonic had infused some cash into it so if they can get their upper management back on track they should be stable. The nice thing about m4/3 is that you’re not limited to only Oly lens. I use a good many Lumix lens and with an adapters your 4/3 lens will work and with manual focus all my Nikon lens can work as well.

      Also while not small change the E-M5 is reasonably priced for what you get.

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