What did I read this morning? A blog by Ming Thein that sums up why I think my 16 megapixel GH4 hits the professional sweet spot...

If you haven't read Ming's writings yet you might really enjoy his site. This blog is about "sufficiency."


Have fun. And maybe circle back and let me know what you think...

Knowledge. A good differentiator.

Studio Portrait Lighting


  1. Read Ming's post and actually thought of your blog, too. Now I'd like to see manufacturers focus on delivering some of the color, dynamic range, and tonal response that Ming discusses (rather than pushing the megapixels, apertures, etc.).

  2. Thanks, read the MT blog - GREAT!

  3. Beat ya to it, Kirk. Ming is absolutely spot on. This is something that many silverbacks of the craft have been harping on for a few years now. I do agree with him that the lens-body-sensor balance does indeed seem to be best for zooms at the u4/3 point...think em-1 with a 12-40 f2.8 and a FF viewfinder image. But even then, Oly is NOT solving user problems, just being a bit bolder at iterating the same tool-centric product cycle. I frankly am taken with Hogan's speculation that the final disruption of this market will come from a software ecosystem provider, someone who understands the need to keep in touch with and broaden one's user base.
    And I LOVE his description of Sony's strategy as "ADD". Bingo. A V8 in a Yugo makes a lot of noise but not a lot of sense.

  4. Between the lines, Apple. Only Apple has this culture of care.

  5. jlemile, can you please explain what you mean?

  6. Ming's sweet spot was an Om-d e-m1. Which I would agree with from a stills perspective. It's smaller and cheaper than a GH-4, with a built in stabilizer. Colors are better out of the box, and weather sealing is probably better. The main argument for the GH-4 is the video side of the camera. Its the perfect camera for your diverse professional services portfolio.

  7. I remember when I got my Canon 1Ds MkII, and 16MP seemed like as much as I or anyone would ever really need, or want.

    Now with my GH3's and 4's, I have cameras that have superior ability to render color and tone, better high iso capability, more accurate AF and AE, faster frame rates, and batteries that last 3 times as long. All in a package that weighs 70% less and takes up far less space in a camera bag. Oh yeah, the cameras are cheaper, the lenses are better, and the video just kills it. What's not to like?

    I shoot all day every day, and the GH3/4's make me very happy.

  8. I'll agree with mosswings in seeing a common thread between Ming Thein's piece and some things Thom Hogan brought up in his review of the Sony A7/A7r. Namely, a bit of pushback against the notion that everybody 'needs' a full-frame camera (or more than 16MP). The manufacturers are trying to push this idea, and the typical consumer will fall for it, because most of us are, at heart, a jumble of unexamined wants/needs (if not in the realm of camera purchases, then probably in other areas).

    While there are specific use cases that require a full-frame sensor, or 24 or 36MP, those use cases are rare, and getting those features has a price (in operational speed, AF performance, storage and processing, or simply money) that you're better off not paying if you don't really need them.

    What I think jlemile is getting at is Ming Thein's assertion that the manufacturers are too locked in to producing variations on the same theme they've been using for decades, with seemingly no ability to disrupt themselves. They refuse to examine, much less change, the experience of taking photos and optimizing for what customers actually want from a camera in an age when almost everyone has a decent camera phone with them at all times. It appears that it will take a company rooted in software (like Apple) to truly change the camera market, but there's not real sign that anyone actually wants to do this, given the current market.

  9. Apple?

    Et voilĂ , this morning:


    Most seriously, Apple takes care of its customers, it caress and pampers them.

    The concept of care is very present today,not only in feminist movements:


    "Heidegger's use of this fable in casting the female Cura as creator has been seen as an inversion of the equivalent Christian myth, in which woman is created last, with the centrality of Cura as a challenge to the Western concept of self-sufficiency and "atomization" of the individual."

    Kirk, my answer is a little too metaphorical and lyrical / ironic, but I think that the technique per se leads to a dead end and S.Job had foreseen that fairly well.

  10. Spot on article. My wife and I just came back from Thailand and what cameras did we take? A sony RX 100 II and a Nikon 1 V1! The Nikon D7000's, long lenses and pocket wizards stayed home. Other than my wife missing her long zoom - she did not want to carry it- we got great images from good small sensor cameras.

  11. Jlemile, while I do think that at least the Steve Jobs era Apple would have been the company to disrupt the photographic industry even further than it already has - effectively removing the entire mass-market end of it by killing off point-and-shoots, I'm not sure that the Tim Cook era Apple will do as well. Because as important as customer care is, and something that Apple does well in certain respects, vision is even more so. Jobs' vision was of a digitally coherent world, marketed through simplicity and artful industrial design, wherever that vision led. Hence, the integration of content and device into a digital ecosystem.
    Apple now seems to be adopting the evolutionary path with its products. With no new universal device on the horizon, and a hammerlock on a majority of the content industry. Having reworked and cornered the largest part of the market, there are fewer markets left for it to disrupt, less vision of where to go, and just as important less profit to be gained in doing so. The totality of the photographic enthusiast market is a mere blip in Apple's balance sheet.

    I'm probably wrong, and I hope so, but enthusiast photographers have this thing about control, and Apple has this thing about retaining control. For the vast majority of the market, giving up control for convenience and simplicity meets their needs. For the enthusiast photographer, it doesn't.

    What I do like about Ming's perspective is that he's quite happy to cede control to the camera manufacturer as long as it doesn't get in the way of his creative vision; there's a lot of leeway in setting the exposure parameters to get what we want, and that gives automatic cameras with vast IQ competence room to move in.

    Stick shifts were seen as essential to the driving experience until really smart automatics demonstrated that it was everything else that was more important. As long as there are paddles on the steering wheel, one doesn't need a 3rd pedal.

  12. Ahem!



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