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Are They Pro quality image wise???

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Pretty sure Jack is referring to issues of Chromatic Aberration.

 

The issues of blue cast you mention are probably due to being to far from the subject, not enough strobe power, too low an aperture setting, or a combination of the three.

 

The most common reason not to have these problems in the PNW is that the visibility is much less, and the water is green.

 

Actually, my *decent* PNW photos were mostly shot in late October, when the water was pretty clear. So clear that, ironically, the 5050's little onboard flash was enough for most subjects. Some of the better images are in my Scubaboard gallery. The blue cast seems to be a real problem with the Caribbean shots, though. Simon Walsh of Dominica's Nature Island Dive is a wonderful UW photographer who has taken many excellent and quite saleable images with the same little rig I was using, without even bothering with external flash. he was generous with his time and advice and suggested locking exposure--including auto-white balance, I guess, with the camera pointed diaginally at the surface and then reframiing and taking the picture.

 

Unfortunately, my buoyancy control in the current and surge of places like Gordon's Rocks is not usually up to such maneuvers, especially when shooting with one hand (the other is usually needed for hanging on.

 

I'm still experimenting with external flash, but found even the DS-50, throtled right down, was usually too much rather than too little in the brightly lit waters.

 

To get back to the topic, even the aged, 5 MB Oly C5050 is certainly capable of salable, professional images for a diver who really knows how to use it. The senors may be small, but the optics (especially the fast 1.7 ap ratio of the aspherical lens) and extensive control options make them a quite usable tool.

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Am currently finishing up an assignment on freediving at the Blue Hole in New Mexico. Since I had no takers on my C3000's and housing, decided to work with them while freediving. A colleague of mine attending the freediving clinic is using a Canon G6 in an Ikelite housing. Needless to say, although his images were nice, I found the ability to shoot quickly with my C3000's much more enjoyable. We compared back and forth between our two cameras, and since I had my Inon with me, we swapped out - shooting both stills (Raw for his and SHQ Jpeg's on mine). In addition we shot in video mode and the quality of the 7.1MP Canon really made me a believer. In addition, we were discussing the merits of shooting as compact as possible, and he told me he knows of "PRO's" shooting with similar P/S cameras getting steady work in magazine. Now this is someone who is working regularly with Fabien Cousteau and has access to a lot of contacts in the u/w shotting realm - both still and video. I'm now beginning to wonder if going DSLR was such a great idea (Purchased 2 Olumpus E-300's and 2 lenses). I do have to admit, they are excellent cameras for the money, but I'm truly thinking a 7+ MP P/S in a housing is the key and shooting RAW.

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Cliff

 

DSLR is always a better Idea. ALWAYS!!!!

 

You can do the job with a compact camera and you can have them print in magazines but DSLR is always a step ahead in quality...

 

Dont compare the C3000 with the canon G6 (brw a great camera)

Compare with a DSLR

 

Is more expensive. Yes thats true. More compact? I dont think so.

I am to freediving and my setup is more compact as a Olympus 5050 setup

More its easer to use and fill like is not existing underwater

 

I freedive better with my DSLR that with my Olympus 5050

 

Like we had chat before... is the price that is the big problem

 

My lenses cost more that 3 - 4 canon G6 .

Is the quality off glass

Is the sensor (not pixel but size off the sensor)

is the manual control

is better white balance ...

and many other thinks that a DSLR do better that a compact ...

 

On the end the best system is that that is offen under water :-)

If you shoot some photos with your camera there are better that my that is sitting in a closet :-)

 

Lambis

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This is an interesting thread.

 

I use acouple of Olympus C5050's for underwater, a great camera but horrible shutter lag made even worse by the time taken to write in raw :D . This handicap has definitely cost me some shots but it has also made me more careful about when to press the trigger which has (I hope) made a better photographer. I really think about composition before madly shooting away. It is lucky that no one can hear what I am saying underwater when I get it all wrong!

 

I will be upgrading into a housed DSLR soon. Apart from the shutter lag the main reasons for my change are to improve the quality of the images from the larger sensor etc and to be able to use high quality prime lenses specifically designed for the task in hand. The latest batch of compact cameras are quite astounding at what they can do in such a small package but I question the quality of the lenses that they come with.

 

There has been alot of talk here about what is acceptable for publishing which has been very informative. But we should remember that the digital camera revolution has allowed many more divers to take a camera underwater than before. Most divers are using housed compact cameras to capture some memories of their dive trip and are not looking to get a spread in National Geographic.

 

There are some great photos around the digital camera forums taken with compacts. If the budget is limited then get the best you can afford, shoot some pictures and learn from your mistakes.

 

Finally, I am a firm believer in: "it isn't what you've got it's the way that you use it".

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Hello guys, does anyone has anything to add to this topic about the new 2008 - 2009 camera models ?

I'm a beginner in the boat and not looking to spend 2500 on a camera set.

I was thinking about a <$1000 complete system camera with underwater case.

Does anyone have any recommendation ?

Using a Canon camera with CHDK does seems to be a good option, anyone recommends it ? Or should I go with Nikon, Fuji, Olympus ?

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For 2009, I think the current P&S setup is the Cannon G-10. An inexpensive plastic housing is available and an optically fired INON strob is indicated. That is probably a bit over $1000 for a new setup.

 

To get a decent setup for below $1000 you need to find a used setup. Therefore the discussions circa 2005-2006 in this thread are adaquate.

 

I will, however, add one thing about RAW that was not discussed. For a novice I strongly recommend RAW and carrying a laptop computer on a dive trip. (You will need Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements or the like also.) First, RAW will allow you to turn some throaway shots into decent shots. Second, RAW will allow you to avoid learning some of the necessary settings, such as white balance, underwater. You need only learn to shoot in manual and control the shutter speed and F/stop. The autofocus on the camera and the automatic strobe (optically fired strobes mimic the built-in flash) will do the rest.

 

Therefore I recommend a camera that shoots in RAW, has autofocus and a setup with an external strobe. (Exception: the old 5050/5060 from Olympus had a strong enough flash to take good shots in very clear water)

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The G10 seems to be a great option, the Canon WP-DC28 Case for Canon PowerShot G10 sells for $165 while the camera is $400.

It does do RAW shooting also.

There is no CHDK for it yet, but it may come in the future bringing extra features.

 

With CHDK I can get the Powershot SD880 to shot RAW as well. While paying $250 for the camera and $165 for the case.

 

Maybe I'm being too cheap now. But with CHDK on SD880 it seems that some extra stuff can be done.

 

Does the strob goes connected to the camera over a cable or does Optically fired means it will fire when the camera flash fires ?

 

 

 

 

 

For 2009, I think the current P&S setup is the Cannon G-10. An inexpensive plastic housing is available and an optically fired INON strob is indicated. That is probably a bit over $1000 for a new setup.

 

To get a decent setup for below $1000 you need to find a used setup. Therefore the discussions circa 2005-2006 in this thread are adaquate.

 

I will, however, add one thing about RAW that was not discussed. For a novice I strongly recommend RAW and carrying a laptop computer on a dive trip. (You will need Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements or the like also.) First, RAW will allow you to turn some throaway shots into decent shots. Second, RAW will allow you to avoid learning some of the necessary settings, such as white balance, underwater. You need only learn to shoot in manual and control the shutter speed and F/stop. The autofocus on the camera and the automatic strobe (optically fired strobes mimic the built-in flash) will do the rest.

 

Therefore I recommend a camera that shoots in RAW, has autofocus and a setup with an external strobe. (Exception: the old 5050/5060 from Olympus had a strong enough flash to take good shots in very clear water)

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Powershot SD880 has been discontinued. I've got the SD960 IS , it is supposed to be it's replacement. It does 720P video and with a Canon case should be a great deal.

Camera $260 , case $175.

The G10 looks pretty good, but I read comparissons of G10 to SD880 and with CHDK it is about the same.

Now I would like to get an inexpensive strobe kit and I will be all set to learn underwater photography.

When it arrives I will try to help porting CHDK to it and with RAW it should rock.

 

 

 

 

The G10 seems to be a great option, the Canon WP-DC28 Case for Canon PowerShot G10 sells for $165 while the camera is $400.

It does do RAW shooting also.

There is no CHDK for it yet, but it may come in the future bringing extra features.

 

With CHDK I can get the Powershot SD880 to shot RAW as well. While paying $250 for the camera and $165 for the case.

 

Maybe I'm being too cheap now. But with CHDK on SD880 it seems that some extra stuff can be done.

 

Does the strob goes connected to the camera over a cable or does Optically fired means it will fire when the camera flash fires ?

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I was seduced into buying a 14mp G9, which has proved to be an ideal holiday snaps camera, but I have to say that when it comes to overall quality of the pics it's not as good as my original 6mp Fuji S2 Pro. I have just used my 12mp D700 at ISO5000 - astounding.

 

There is no way you can judge the quality from an image on the Internet. Everything looks good!

Edited by John Bantin

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A good prosumer G11 or S90 or similar P&S today probably rivals a dSLR from two or three years ago. As technology advances each steps forward or in the case of the G11 and S90 back to a lower MP count to improve dynamic range and picture quality.

 

The upcoming wave of EVIL cameras from Nikon, Canon, Oly and others will blur the distinction and develop into a new category of it's own with capabilities yet realized.

 

Travel restrictions will increasingly restrict carry on and mobility when hauling dive gear so new, compact rigs will be developed to allow photographers to get great capability with a small footprint. Only professional photographers and the most ardent amateurs will struggle onward with the archaic SLR format.

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The upcoming wave of EVIL cameras from Nikon, Canon, Oly and others will blur the distinction and develop into a new category of it's own with capabilities yet realized.

 

These small and light dslr sized-sensor interchangebale lens cameras are already being actively sold by Olympus and Panasonic. And when Olympus announced its third Pen Model, the Pen PL, slated to sell for around $600 (the earlier two were/are around $1000), they also anounced the UW housing for it. For those of us who dive and take along a camera, rather than dive mainly or just to take pictures, this - in terms of size and complexity and expense - is just about the perfect solution. Of course the manufacturers housing never have all the bells and whistles of third party ones, but in my experience, they work quite well for the occasional UW photographer.

 

Travel restrictions will increasingly restrict carry on and mobility when hauling dive gear so new, compact rigs will be developed to allow photographers to get great capability with a small footprint. Only professional photographers and the most ardent amateurs will struggle onward with the archaic SLR format.

 

Just as there still are Nikonos users, and Ansel Adams work-alikes (a couple of dozen of them even bearded look-alikes) shooting the things he shot with monster 8X10 cameras. Each to his or her own, but I really don't see much point in such archaicisms, evem if the result is sometimes quite beauitiful. Life is to short to repeat what otthers have done - and especially to endlessly go on doing so - even when more expeditious and pleasant alternatives are available.

 

I prefer to devote scarce carry-on space to such vital equipment as dive computers and sometimes regulators, rather than monster camera rigs.

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I would say that a compact camera with a 5x cropped sensor (compared to 24x36) will never equal the image quality of a DSLR. That's because each time the manufacturers improve the technology on the compact cameras they improve the DSLR's at the same time. So they both move forward together.

 

That's NOT to say that the compact cameras photos won't be "use-able" - because if the photos from a compact are made correctly, they can look great!

 

Cheers

James

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True, agreed, but most people are not shooting full size sensors anyways, they are shooting the DX size and I think all we are saying is that the emphasis on camera development may be shifting away from dSLR to other more manageable formats not constrained by archaic mechanical systems like moving mirrors and prisms or even shutters.

 

At some point the resolution/MP wars will be rendered mute when they exceed the capability of the human eye--yeah, a long way off maybe--but just as nobody really cares anymore about clock speed on their computers so will go the MP and resolution wars. It will reach a point where either format and the new emerging formats can provide publisher quality and we are getting there now.

 

If, you could get resolution that exceeds printing capability or requirements for publishing and low noise below the objectionable threshold, why would a person continue to use a large camera, all else being equal (and no it isn't just yet)?

 

Put another way, camera technology may continue to leap ahead year by year but the human eye, brain, human tastes evolve less rapidly, when all technologies meet the HUMAN requirement then the next avenue is miniaturization---which is what we are seeing now with the new formats.

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To answer your question crawdad: shutter lag and image quality.

 

Look at it this way - this conversation has been going on since 2000 when the first DSLR's came out.

 

And another "blast from the past" Did the Olympus E system (ala E-330) "revolutionize" underwater photography? Is it even around anymore? If not, why not?

 

Cheers

James

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To answer your question crawdad: shutter lag and image quality.

 

Look at it this way - this conversation has been going on since 2000 when the first DSLR's came out.

 

And another "blast from the past" Did the Olympus E system (ala E-330) "revolutionize" underwater photography? Is it even around anymore? If not, why not?

 

Cheers

James

 

You must not have read what I just wrote but no matter. The shutter lag and the image quality will be rendered moot, when that happens, and it is and will be soon enough that it no longer matters.

 

A few years ago desktop computers (dSLR) were the go to machines, when clock speed (Image Quality) got crazy beyond the point of using it as a comparison tool (the human requirement) then miniaturization (lap tops) will be the next move (EVIL and Micro and HQ P&S). Lap top computers run programs today that a desk top a few years ago would struggle with, at some point, like I said, the format no longer matters since they can all accomplish the task beyond the human requirement. Our eyes are not going to evolve, our brains will not change sensory perception---the human requirement will have been met.

 

http://www.normankoren.com/Tutorials/MTF.html

 

Image quality and shutter speed will not be fall back reasons much longer, electrons move faster than mirrors, mechanical systems can, are and will be replaced by electronic analogies that are much faster.

 

Not arguing, just saying, what was will not always be nor should it. A range finder BTW had and has a faster shutter response than a SLR, no reason that an EVIL cannot be faster than a dSLR, none at all and several reasons for it to be faster such as no mirror to swing.

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Well I suppose anything is possible, but I don't think your analogy is a good one. Let's go back to my question to you - if the E system (one of the first and well-adopted EVIL cameras for UW shooting) was so much better, why did it fizzle on the vine and get replaced with something completely different?

 

Cheers

James

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See, this is why I like wetpixel so much -- I can always rely on reading an entertaining conversation containing arguments about things that really, in the grand scheme of things, just may not matter all that much. Hell, there are many reasons to buy anything. Some people get off on having the newest and greatest; some people get off on having the cheapest and smallest. Some people want to make huge enlargements, some want to post 480x640 pictures on the web. Some people don't mind cropping, some people prefer not to. It would appear, however, that quite a few like whatever they have and don't mind goading others who have different stuff. Sure, I've got a nice shiny silver (chicks dig aluminum!) SLR rig but you know what? I still have a picture from my Olympus C-2020z -- yes, you read that right, a whopping 2.1million pixels and shutter lag that one could sometimes measure in days -- that I wouldn't trade for most I've gotten since then. It's a picture of a Caribbean reef shark that is near and dear to my heart. Can I blow it up to the size of an apartment building? Gosh, it never occurred to me to try! I ended up switching to the DSLR because, for MY purposes, the shutter lag on the compacts was annoying me. Right now would I like something smaller and more capable -- sure, and that's why I continue to pay attention. Will the EVIL (or whatever the heck we call them) cameras be the holy grail? I'm not convinced -- why the heck should I have to keep changing lenses? Simple question -- does a camera do what you need it to do? If so, then good on ya'! Just don't flame me because it won't do the same (or does way too much) for me.

 

Grumpily,

 

Mike

Edited by MikeO

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Oh how I love reading this on my iPhone ;)

 

All I need is a housing for it now!!!!

 

LOL......

 

dhaas

 

I have a Canon S90 but have not given up on dSLR yet. Although what crawdad prognosticates may come true for many UW shooters sooner than we think !

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Well I suppose anything is possible, but I don't think your analogy is a good one. Let's go back to my question to you - if the E system (one of the first and well-adopted EVIL cameras for UW shooting) was so much better, why did it fizzle on the vine and get replaced with something completely different?

 

Cheers

James

 

The E-system cameras from Olympus fall into two categories: Four-Thirds cameras with lots of available lenses but relatively large size, and micro-four thirds EVIL cameras with only a few lenses so far. The four-thirds cameras don't add much to underwater photography. The MFT cameras, however, have the potential to allow better/cheaper wideangle lenses because there is no mirror to interfere with lens elements near the rear nodal point. When those wideangle lenses come out, I expect underwater photography to change.

 

The Olympus Zuiko 50mm macro lens is already one of the sharpest macro lenses out there. When that is adapted to the MFT format along with the 8mm fisheye and 9-18mm zoom (all three lenses should be available in MFT mounts by spring of 2011), the MFT format is going to be very interesting for underwater photography. The small size of MFT cameras isn't that interesting once you've added the housing, port and strobes, but the low cost & high quality wideangle lenses enabled by mounting the lens close to the sensor could be very nice.

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Why does it upset SLR users if there were to be another type of camera as capable or more capable? Once upon a time their were LPs and film Nikons and now there are DVDs and dSLRs. The question is are "they" (P&S) pro quality and my answer is that "pro quality" is an ill defined concept to which at some point the majority of people will not care. Some might say that they are already pro quality.

 

Just as computer users no longer shop based on clock speed neither will camera folks shop based on MP in a few more years because they will ALL have so much resolution, DR and capability that the argument will be rendered moot and at which point, I have to ask, why would the dSLR format continue if there were cameras as fast and as capable in a different format, shape, foot print?

 

Will we be having this argument, which I guess it is, five years from now when the dSLR has 40MP and the whatever other class there is of camera has 38.5MP and both are fast as lightening with low noise and easy handling?

 

Why are so many stuck on a format that has largely been shaped by film heritage instead of breaking free at long last? Instead of a shutter, why not an e-gate or a on/off diode for the sensor instead of a mechanical light gate (shutter)? When an EVF can replicate and exceed the capability of an optical VF system, why stick to the optical system? Don't say well because of reliability, we left that behind when cameras went all electronic years ago even before digital. Cameras do not need shutters or mirrors or prisms anymore, they are simply evolutionary holdovers or soon will be.

 

Why should you have to keep changing lenses?---why not--I did--several times until I finally gave up. I was more a Leica RF shooter anyways though I owned two Nikonos and three Nikon SLRs and housings.

 

I don't understand why my belief, and that of many others, who prefer a smaller footprint that cameras will soon evolve that combine the best of both worlds (P&S and SLR) then challenges, insults, aggravates SLR users. It is as if there is a need, that "snob" appeal to justify owning the systems. If there is some need to believe that having a SLR makes or defines a photographer as being real or more serious than some user with a pinhole camera, I guess so.

 

I have a friend who said cloning was impossible because God said so, I looked at him and said I am not sure what God said in that regard but do not box yourself into a corner that will cause you (him) to question your faith, well, cloning is old news now.

 

After now having sold off thousands of dollars of film equipment, I feel free, no longer married to a format or a pile of lenses. Today's P&S give me 90% of what I want and in a few years or less there will be new alternatives that fulfill the "human" requirement beyond which, this argument is DEAD. If it makes one feel better, I do not think the SLR will go away, I just think they will move further upscale as other forms of equipment push them in that direction much as large format has done today.

Edited by crawdad

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Why does it upset SLR users if there were to be another type of camera as capable or more capable? Once upon a time their were LPs and film Nikons and now there are DVDs and dSLRs. The question is are "they" (P&S) pro quality and my answer is that "pro quality" is an ill defined concept to which at some point the majority of people will not care. Some might say that they are already pro quality.

I don't think it is upsetting anyone. But you need to define "pro quality" and the conditions of shooting before you make assertions about compacts reaching a particular bar. Are you talking about shooting in bright conditions? Shooting macro? Shooting wide angle in super low light?

 

Compacts have their advantages, but absolute image quality is not yet one of them, and will not be until sensor sizes increase. All you have to do is look at the images coming out of SLR shooters vs the images coming out of compact shooters. Yes, there are some incredible images that come out of compact cameras, and some of those images may have been much more difficult to capture with an SLR. But the vast majority of high-quality images out there have been captured with SLRs because of the advantages that they CURRENTLY have over compacts. I shoot the system that gives me the highest likelihood of nailing a good image when I'm presented with the right opportunity. I understand that if I had a tripod and perfect conditions, a normal-sized print from an image taken by a G11 might be indistinguishable from an image taken by a Hasselblad with digital back, but when a sailfish shoots by at high speed, I want an SLR with a sharp wide angle lens and dome port.

 

I am sure that eventually, someone will put a big sensor into a compact-format camera and get it right, but that time is not yet here.

 

I agree with your statement that SLRs will be pushed upscale. It has always been "upscale" when compared to the number of compact shooters. I'll take it one step further: with cameras in virtually every phone out there, I don't think stand-alone cameras of any form will be commonly used by the masses. You're talking about the pains of mirrors, prisms, switching lenses -- but there is a bigger annoyance, which is carrying a dedicated imaging device to begin with.

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I have to say that this discussion takes a completely different turn with the introduction of m4/3.

 

m4/3 cameras are very clearly not "P&S", nor are they compacts in the traditional sense. Rather, they bridge the gap between the traditional SLRs and compacts. The Panasonic G series can rival the focus speed and shutter lag of "entry level" DSLR systems (probably considered "pro" in this thread). And the sensor size of m4/3 is large enough to provide IQ at nearly the same level as that of APS-C sensors even at high ISO.

 

A Canon S90 can't rival a DSLR in terms of absolute IQ but it's probably more than enough for most users. m4/3 take that one step further. For a lot of people like myself, who enjoy using DSLRs on land, the huge investment in both money and travel space is more than a bit off-putting. However, with m4/3 both cost and weight is dramatically reduced.

 

Tom

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You might have seen this before in the GF1 thread but if you have not this is a shot with the GF1 using the 10Bar housing and the Leica M4/3's 45mm macro lens. I'm a just for fun photographer but I think it shows the potential of the format.

 

 

Laulau_082.jpg

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Why does it upset SLR users if there were to be another type of camera as capable or more capable?, etc. etc. . . .

 

I could turn it around and ask you a similar question --why does it upset compact users when someone suggests that a DSLR might be more capable? But if I did that, it might distract people further from the point I was actually trying to make. If you have followed what I've been saying, you'd see that I am not, in the least, upset by the potential that there might be a compact camera more capable than my DSLR. It may surprise you to know that I actually own an S90 and am thinking about housing it. My decision will be based on what makes sense for me and what I use the thing for and what I can afford, not on whether one camera or the other is, in all respects, "better", whatever that means. I'd love to have a camera for which I never had to change any lenses to do macro and wide angle (or whatever), that fit in the palm of my hand, that was very responsive, and contained built-in software that could automatically sense depth, weather conditions and distance to everything in the frame and selectively white balance accordingly so I didn't have to use strobes. Maybe you're right, maybe in ten years the conversation will be moot. However, I think it is more likely that in ten years the people who own the compact cameras that are five times better than today's SLRs will be arguing and measurebating with the people who've got in-phone cameras that are five times better than today's compacts and are wondering, as Eric intimates, why the heck anyone is being so defensive about their device that serves only one purpose ;). That's just how the internet works (if there isn't something "better" than the internet by then!), so I guess I'm just gonna accept it and move on.

 

Cheers,

 

Mike

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