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A7r IV

Pradeep

Member
You're right, I forgot to include Photoshop!

I'm curious what features cameras could possibly add that would make any difference to anyone who's serious about the fundamentals of photography?
Seriously, I'm not trying to provoke, but where is the threshold to digital camera technology for the average user? What more could you possibly need?
The only thing this new Sony does is perhaps require a newer computer. I guess it's really in the editing these days. Bad technique is easily fixed in Photoshop, LR, etc. Perhaps it's the gorgeous Dorothea Lange hardcover photo book I recently saw at a local bookstore. It impressed upon me that today's digital photography seems to have lost its way with the instant gratification and expectation of simplicity. Hard work is intrinsic to the perceived value...at least to me it is.
I think others have already answered this, but it remains a very valid question and something I myself have struggled with in my constant lust for new gear :eek:

I think one does develop an 'eye' gradually, with time and repeated efforts, looking at and understanding the work of others. However, I can also say that improvements in technology has made a great difference in some ways.

For example, I love birds but have always struggled with BIF shots until the a9 came along with its 'wide zone' and extensive AF coverage with excellent tracking. Lenses too have made my work so much easier, with stabilization, lighter weight, better AF. Action photos of large mammals too are better with larger sensor resolution (can crop without losing too much data), faster frame rate, better high ISO performance and so on.

Yes, Photoshop also helps, continued improvement in algorithms, computing power and faster hard drives with larger storage mean you can afford to take more pictures and not worry about space/processing time.

The world has moved on, way beyond the film and Kodachrome days. What sells today is a product that is completely different from what used to be. 500px and Instagram provide enough evidence of what people want.

I honestly believe it is going to continue this way, cameras becoming more and more complex and offering more in terms of features and sensor capacity too is going to keep increasing. Moore's Law has been fairly consistent despite being in existence for over 50 yrs. Yes, it is more difficult and yet it continues to hold true generally.

I personally think it should be celebrated although it is up to each of us to decide whether we want to continue buying the latest and greatest.

Me, I suspect will continue to be afflicted with GAS. :eek:
 

iiiNelson

Well-known member
You're right, I forgot to include Photoshop!

I'm curious what features cameras could possibly add that would make any difference to anyone who's serious about the fundamentals of photography?
Seriously, I'm not trying to provoke, but where is the threshold to digital camera technology for the average user? What more could you possibly need?
The only thing this new Sony does is perhaps require a newer computer. I guess it's really in the editing these days. Bad technique is easily fixed in Photoshop, LR, etc. Perhaps it's the gorgeous Dorothea Lange hardcover photo book I recently saw at a local bookstore. It impressed upon me that today's digital photography seems to have lost its way with the instant gratification and expectation of simplicity. Hard work is intrinsic to the perceived value...at least to me it is.
In my opinion people are confusing the difference between perceived value and raw improvements/efficiency.

I have no doubt that the A7RIV is better than the previous cameras in every way when you look at the raw abilities... that doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone or that anyone will clearly value/appreciate the improvements for the increased cost over an older generation body. If the cost of entry isn’t worth it then you old camera will still work the same as it always has.

Regarding increased automation - that’s the natural progression of things. I’d say these kinds of improvements potentially help an new shooter because with the automation being done at a high level they can focus on the important parts like composition. I don’t see how this is legitimately a negative.

People refer to cameras a a photographers tool but there’s a reason that we use hammers on nails when technically a large stone could work too. Technology is largely about advancements and efficiency in an ideal situation. People should look down on things like Eye AF, cutting edge tech, or increased resolution of you’re sensors in that market for this. It’s probably not my next purchase but I’m sure many will be ecstatic with the improvements.
 

Wayne Fox

Workshop Member
People refer to cameras a a photographers tool but there’s a reason that we use hammers on nails when technically a large stone could work too. Technology is largely about advancements and efficiency in an ideal situation.
Good example, and actually those that need to do a lot of nailing don’t use hammers anymore. You can get a pneumatic nail gun for under $100 that will drive up to 3.5” nails. Getting more technology doesn’t mean you have to use it, but if you understand it and use it, it might might life easier for you and allow you to be more creative because you don’t have to sweat some of the details.
 

iiiNelson

Well-known member
Good example, and actually those that need to do a lot of nailing don’t use hammers anymore. You can get a pneumatic nail gun for under $100 that will drive up to 3.5” nails.
LOL... very true but my only points were that there's always something more technologically advanced around the corner and there's little to no reason for us to not appreciate the advancements as many are helpful. I'd even argue that most modern mirrorless cameras are better tools for a new photographer to learn on because they can receive real-time feedback to their settings adjustments. Yes, many of us learned on mechanical film cameras (and there's nothing wrong with them either) but having that feedback does make the art more approachable and less scary for someone to try out different things.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
Good example, and actually those that need to do a lot of nailing don’t use hammers anymore. You can get a pneumatic nail gun for under $100 that will drive up to 3.5” nails. Getting more technology doesn’t mean you have to use it, but if you understand it and use it, it might might life easier for you and allow you to be more creative because you don’t have to sweat some of the details.
There are also artists who make portraits and landscape images with brushes and oil paint. Those who do that well are much better paid than photographers.

Digital photography and the internet devalued stock photography. More automation will probably devalue it further, when any idiot can make a photo usable for whatever. Some company recently launched an automated product photography service. Automation and simplification sound like good ideas, but they will eventually make the photographer redundant. The question of what the purpose of photography is and who will decide the look and contents of a photo, the human or the machine, will arise. Or maybe not. Maybe we have already accepted that the machines are better at this than humans...
 

MrSmith

Member
There are also artists who make portraits and landscape images with brushes and oil paint. Those who do that well are much better paid than photographers.

Digital photography and the internet devalued stock photography. More automation will probably devalue it further, when any idiot can make a photo usable for whatever. Some company recently launched an automated product photography service. Automation and simplification sound like good ideas, but they will eventually make the photographer redundant. The question of what the purpose of photography is and who will decide the look and contents of a photo, the human or the machine, will arise. Or maybe not. Maybe we have already accepted that the machines are better at this than humans...

If you take photographs then you might be worried but if you are in the business of making images while you still have things to worry about your photographic future (fiscally speaking) is more secure.
Anyone can buy a light tent and stick a product in it, not everyone can make an everyday gizmo look amazing enough for the gizmo manufacturer to pay handsomely for your image making services.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
If you take photographs then you might be worried but if you are in the business of making images while you still have things to worry about your photographic future (fiscally speaking) is more secure.
Anyone can buy a light tent and stick a product in it, not everyone can make an everyday gizmo look amazing enough for the gizmo manufacturer to pay handsomely for your image making services.
I can choose to worry or not worry, but this is changing photography and not least the skill set needed to make photos. Seen from a philosophical point of view, human skills might not be needed in the future in any area. The question will then be what the purpose of our lives are. We might all be better off playing golf of course, since no technology seems to make it easier to get that [email protected]*&ing little ball into its hole, but I would honestly prefer to maintain skills that actually give a useful result, like a photograph.

For me, this is not a problem. I still shoot film, and I use "ancient" digital cameras like the D800, but the trend towards automation in all kinds of areas makes me wonder what kind of skills will be needed for future generations. I see a dumbing down of young generations. They might not be missing the great feeling of mastering a craft, since few of them have ever experienced it, but I still see it as a loss for humanity.

Again... seen from a philisophical angle.
 

retow

Member
I can choose to worry or not worry, but this is changing photography and not least the skill set needed to make photos. Seen from a philosophical point of view, human skills might not be needed in the future in any area. The question will then be what the purpose of our lives are. We might all be better off playing golf of course, since no technology seems to make it easier to get that [email protected]*&ing little ball into its hole, but I would honestly prefer to maintain skills that actually give a useful result, like a photograph.

For me, this is not a problem. I still shoot film, and I use "ancient" digital cameras like the D800, but the trend towards automation in all kinds of areas makes me wonder what kind of skills will be needed for future generations. I see a dumbing down of young generations. They might not be missing the great feeling of mastering a craft, since few of them have ever experienced it, but I still see it as a loss for humanity.

Again... seen from a philisophical angle.
My vacuum cleaner is a robot. I call him Joe. He learned our floorplan in 2 training days. Since then he does the job reliably, never asks for a raise, for a vacation, for better working conditions, never calls in for sick days. I wished there was as good a solution for cleaning large windows. The moment it is available, I'll buy it. Some loose, some gain, this is how "progress" always worked.
 

iiiNelson

Well-known member
I can choose to worry or not worry, but this is changing photography and not least the skill set needed to make photos. Seen from a philosophical point of view, human skills might not be needed in the future in any area. The question will then be what the purpose of our lives are. We might all be better off playing golf of course, since no technology seems to make it easier to get that [email protected]*&ing little ball into its hole, but I would honestly prefer to maintain skills that actually give a useful result, like a photograph.

For me, this is not a problem. I still shoot film, and I use "ancient" digital cameras like the D800, but the trend towards automation in all kinds of areas makes me wonder what kind of skills will be needed for future generations. I see a dumbing down of young generations. They might not be missing the great feeling of mastering a craft, since few of them have ever experienced it, but I still see it as a loss for humanity.

Again... seen from a philisophical angle.
I think you're being a bit sensational but I'd agree that photography is changing. This doesn't have to be viewed as a negative.

From an artistry standpoint then it becomes more about the framing and less about the gear. For someone that knows how to work the camera "the old way" you generally still can. For those learning, instant feedback provides a shorter learning curve to working the deeper and more advanced features with minimal trial/error methods.

I see all of this as a positive. Really what the advancements do is take away the potential for a potentially elitist attitude when someone can't deny a great eye but may not be the most technologically proficient person. Ultimately it's about the end result though I acknowledge the value in the process... but the process generally is also a personal thing that isn't shared with the world.
 

JoelM

Active member
My vacuum cleaner is a robot. I call him Joe. He learned our floorplan in 2 training days. Since then he does the job reliably, never asks for a raise, for a vacation, for better working conditions, never calls in for sick days. I wished there was as good a solution for cleaning large windows. The moment it is available, I'll buy it. Some loose, some gain, this is how "progress" always worked.
Wow, my vacuum robot doesn't learn anything. It bumps its way around the place and eventually gets tired and goes home. I have to lean my bicycles so that when it rams into them, they don't fall down. I learned this from experience. I have a rebuild kit for him when the parts get worn, but like your Joe, he a good worker. If you don't mind, I will name him "Dumb Joe".

Joel
 

cerett

Member
Wow, my vacuum robot doesn't learn anything. It bumps its way around the place and eventually gets tired and goes home. I have to lean my bicycles so that when it rams into them, they don't fall down. I learned this from experience. I have a rebuild kit for him when the parts get worn, but like your Joe, he a good worker. If you don't mind, I will name him "Dumb Joe".

Joel
Ditto!
 

Pradeep

Member
I think you're being a bit sensational but I'd agree that photography is changing. This doesn't have to be viewed as a negative.

From an artistry standpoint then it becomes more about the framing and less about the gear. For someone that knows how to work the camera "the old way" you generally still can. For those learning, instant feedback provides a shorter learning curve to working the deeper and more advanced features with minimal trial/error methods.

I see all of this as a positive. Really what the advancements do is take away the potential for a potentially elitist attitude when someone can't deny a great eye but may not be the most technologically proficient person. Ultimately it's about the end result though I acknowledge the value in the process... but the process generally is also a personal thing that isn't shared with the world.
From somebody who takes pictures and enjoys photography simply for the love of it - to me it is all good, as I can get 'better' results with less concern for things like sensor noise, high ISO, autofocus speed, enough resolution etc.

I can see how increasing automation would affect the lives of those who put food on the table from photography, it is indeed getting harder and harder for them to compete with millions of selfie sticks and Instagram.

One needs to reflect a little on those who only a few years ago could not afford the indulgence of high-end photography. My father for example was always passionate about the art, but could not afford anything other than one simple camera and two lenses. In the pre-digital era, very few people could buy dozens of slide film rolls. Printing your favorite images was even harder, you had to go to a professional service for anything bigger than 4X6.

There has been a leveling of the playing field in some ways, what was the domain of the rich and famous is now very much in the hands of the common man (with some exceptions of course). I think this ought to be celebrated.
 

Pradeep

Member
I can choose to worry or not worry, but this is changing photography and not least the skill set needed to make photos. Seen from a philosophical point of view, human skills might not be needed in the future in any area. The question will then be what the purpose of our lives are. We might all be better off playing golf of course, since no technology seems to make it easier to get that [email protected]*&ing little ball into its hole, but I would honestly prefer to maintain skills that actually give a useful result, like a photograph.

For me, this is not a problem. I still shoot film, and I use "ancient" digital cameras like the D800, but the trend towards automation in all kinds of areas makes me wonder what kind of skills will be needed for future generations. I see a dumbing down of young generations. They might not be missing the great feeling of mastering a craft, since few of them have ever experienced it, but I still see it as a loss for humanity.

Again... seen from a philisophical angle.
Yuval Noah Harari's second in the series, 'Homo Deus" is a good read about some of the points you make.

There are many arts that have been lost over the centuries as science and automation have advanced, some we look upon wistfully others we do not miss at all. A lot depends upon where you stand in terms of need. We had to have our pool table repaired recently, it is about 40 yrs old, a classic and to our dismay we found out that the only company that still made the leather pockets is out of business, so we have to put ugly tape over the tears in pockets we have. It is a loss for us, but a gain for those looking for cheap alternatives that are mass produced.

Meanwhile, for me, all the innovations and advances in photography have been very welcome. Same with automobiles. Cannot seem to reverse without the rear-view camera now, arthritis prevents me from turning my body and neck around to look directly out of the rear window. Our lives are so dependent on continued advancement in the items we use in daily living.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
Meanwhile, for me, all the innovations and advances in photography have been very welcome. Same with automobiles. Cannot seem to reverse without the rear-view camera now, arthritis prevents me from turning my body and neck around to look directly out of the rear window. Our lives are so dependent on continued advancement in the items we use in daily living.
... which is one of the reasons why I started reversing using the mirrors only decades ago. I saw how my old father struggled turning his body. That being said, rear-view cameras ar useful safety features since they show items that can't be seen from the inside of the car.

I'll check out Harari. Try also "City" by Clifford Simak, a rather pesimistic future vision. Or maybe it's optimistic. Depends on how one sees it.
 

Pradeep

Member
... which is one of the reasons why I started reversing using the mirrors only decades ago. I saw how my old father struggled turning his body. That being said, rear-view cameras ar useful safety features since they show items that can't be seen from the inside of the car.

I'll check out Harari. Try also "City" by Clifford Simak, a rather pesimistic future vision. Or maybe it's optimistic. Depends on how one sees it.
Once upon a time :) I used to be able to turn around completely and looking out my rear window, drive almost as fast as looking through the front! Age and 'wisdom' has taught me to be more careful.

Yes, I did read "City" in my younger days. I am a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan. One of my favorite authors of the classic era is Jack Vance.

A possibly more realistic and yet very disturbing vision of the future is portrayed by David Mitchell in his book 'Cloud Atlas'. I thought the movie version was one of the best SF movies I've seen in many years.
 

ptomsu

Workshop Member
Thanks. I’ll check the camera out once it’s released this fall... I was just hoping for a bit more. I’ll be heading to Asia over the weekend to do some work out there with probably just the 35/1.4 and 55/1.8 in tow. I considered selling my 35/1.4 for the 35/1.8 but I’m not sure that I will yet.

On a side note i did try out the 24, 135, and 200-600 last Saturday briefly. They’re all great lenses. I imagine the 200-600 is a must have for anyone that cares about wildlife photography or an affordable sports lens option.
On the A7R4 the 100-400 is actually the must have wildlife lens - much sharper, much faster than the 200-600 and also smaller and lighter. Much better to handle IMO. And using the APSC Crop of the A7R4 results in a 600mm reach with that lens and still delivers 26MP.

So the 100-400 is the clear winner for me.
 

k-hawinkler

Well-known member
On the A7R4 the 100-400 is actually the must have wildlife lens - much sharper, much faster than the 200-600 and also smaller and lighter. Much better to handle IMO. And using the APSC Crop of the A7R4 results in a 600mm reach with that lens and still delivers 26MP.

So the 100-400 is the clear winner for me.
Thanks Peter. That’s great. :thumbs:
Do you actually have the camera and lens? :salute:
 
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