Different Photographic Subjects Require Differing Tool Set Considerations

One of the things about photography that keeps it new and interesting for me is how very much there is to know about any particular niche of photography.

And, beyond any given niche, how varying from a niche is very much like and very much different from all other niches.

I believe, and have written, that the future of photography will be smaller sensor digital format cameras, like the APS-C Nikons and Canons many of us shoot.  To read the article on the whys technologies are going in this crop sensor direction, click here.

Two Nikon 7000‘s are currently the bodies I use and obtain excellent results for portraiture, glamour photography, and art photography, all primarily with women as subjects.

Some of my edited photos have been enlarged to 36″ x 54″ with excellent results.  Click here to view a high resolution JPG or to purchase of one of these.    Be advised, it is a large file and may take some seconds downloading.   While I do shoot in camera raw, the JPEG is a conversion for your viewing pleasure only.

The point of all this being, I get excellent results with an APS-C camera for my style of shooting, including good results for huge enlargements.

For those with other fish to fry, photographically speaking, there are other more pressing technological issues which make APS-C cameras less alluring.

While in the long run, I feel strongly that smaller sensors will prevail over larger sensors, due to economies of scale and the inexorable march of technology, in the short run, there are some physics advantages to large sensors, particularly in terms of noise performance, making larger sensors particularly interesting to photographers of objects in the dark, who shoot long exposures…

For instance, photographers who shoot landscapes at night much prefer large sensor cameras due to their improved noise performance.

When exposure times increase, and when shooting at high ISO’s or into dark fields, one will often see lots of scattered little red pixels.  These are caused by stray photon induced noise.

Larger sensors are much less prone to this noise effect, largely because each pixel cell on a large sensor tends to be larger, than a pixel cell on a smaller sensor.

So, it takes more stray photon hits on any particular sensor cell to cause this kind of noise.

Kind of like lightning hitting twice in the same spot.  Less likely to create these long exposure high ISO type noise patterns on larger sensored cameras…

Yet, this advantage of the larger sensors, with regards to low light situations, means almost nothing to someone photographing live people using studio lights …  We photographers of people in studios shoot at high shutter speeds, with ample bright lights.

Different tools for different jobs.

Each photographer must pick the best tools for his job.

Let’s face it, we are all on some kind of budget.  It’s not always a money budget either.

There is also weight, space, time, etc.

In fact, there are all kinds of budgets.

For the current budget for portraiture and glamour, there just isn’t much a Nikon 7000 cannot do well.

For shooting landscapes, on a tripod, in the dark, maybe a D3s or D3x is today the better choice …

Who knew?


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