Camera/Lens/Accessories Deal-Breakers.

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Virginia
Name
Steve
This forum is a very rare combination of brands, styles, and civility. Given the last trait, I think we could talk about something that permeates almost every photographic forum and comment sections, i.e., deal-breakers. What things about gear are real problems for you? The classic case is tilt vs. flippy screen, but that one has been done to death. What features of new camera or lenses or accessories give you real pause when you are considering a purchase? I think we all understand that this really isn't an issue of right and wrong, but personal preferences or things specific to the way you shoot or what you shoot. I'm fairly flexible about most features and ergonomics, but when I do have a nagging problem I kind of just stop using the camera and sell it.

Size and weight are a problem for me, which quickly took out DSLRs as they just kept getting bigger. I started with an Pentax *ist D which I loved, but quickly switched Olympus mirrorless (E-300, anyone?). I bought a used Nikon D700 a few years ago and love it as a camera, but I would never even think of taking it anywhere and just shoot around my home and workplace. The best example of this for me was the Fuji XH1. I really loved shooting with that camera but always grabbed a mu43 camera for the road. I’m pretty happy with my current X-S10, X-T30, and GR kit. To be honest, a WR version of the X-S10 might carry the day for me.
 
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ILC manufacturers' moves upmarket, plus inflation, have priced me out. The μ43 gear I bought used years ago works fine and, even at the level of like a used Panasonic G95, there's no compelling update. The practical value of the feature increments is small compared to the prices. It's also not like the Arca kit and Gitzo I have are going to wear out—I'm younger than most on the forum and it'll still plausibly outlast me—and the same pretty much goes for the few filters I use.

Since phones are good enough for most of what I've used ILCs for over the past several decades I've been doing more photography than ever. I've a triple rear camera phone that's a couple years old so I'm not anticipating any meaningful reason to update. I'm just also fine with the phone form factor and seldom miss an SLR style body.

So far as camera function, the only real dealbreaker I've hit is Fuji lockups. Having to do two power cycles and lens changes to turn the XF 100–400's OIS back on was a major reason I switched to the Panasonic 100–300 II.
 

mnhoj

gee aahrr
Location
Los Angeles
Name
John
Mostly nitpicking except the last.

Bodies without a fully mechanical shutter like the RP and G100. Which is a problem for HSS. And HSS is a friend.

A good finger grip. Whether it be an add-on arca or built-in.

A shutter button with a medium throw. The G9 and Em5iii are a few recents that are short but once I got used to worked.

This. Especially the hot shoe ( :
No viewfinder, no hot shoe, no deal.
 
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drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Virginia
Name
Steve
Do many bodies come without a hot shoe these days? I hadn't thought about that. I like an EVF but phones, Olympus Pens, and the GR have taught me to do without. Of course, I do have an old clip-on optical VF that has lines for a 35 mm lens, which is close enough.
 
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CraigC

Top Veteran
Location
Toronto, Canada
Name
Craig
Nice idea for a thread Steve.

I have preferences, but no real dealbreakers that I can think of.

Prefer viewfinder, but have a GRiiix. Prefer tilt LCDs over fully articulating, but have an A7c. 😄

Interested to hear others thoughts on this topic.
 

JensM

All-Pro
Interesting tread!

I think the major decision maker for me is "unobtrusiveness", whatever that may be. The gear should be carriable from day to day without needing extra luggage, with the caveat that a small(ish) belt pouch/tiny bag is allowed, either on the belt, in jacket pocket or the EDC bag. Outings where photography is the main goal of the outing is a different ball game, but I prefer light there as well, hence my somewhat obsession with M43.

I prefer some sort of viewfinder, but can make do without, as long as it is not long tele work on the itinerary. Tilty or flippy screen? Both workable, as is a fixed screen. :drinks:
 

William Lewis

All-Pro
Location
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Name
William Lewis
No view finder is an absolute deal breaker for me. I hate chimping and so the idea of using the rear screen to compose and shoot grates on me. I try to only use the screen to do menu stuff and examine my images only after I've downloaded them onto the computer back home. I prefer a fixed one for that reason as well. Though I have seen some you can flip completely around and leave the back without a visible screen at all - that would be nice.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Virginia
Name
Steve
Nice idea for a thread Steve.

I have preferences, but no real dealbreakers that I can think of.

Prefer viewfinder, but have a GRiiix. Prefer tilt LCDs over fully articulating, but have an A7c. 😄

Interested to hear others thoughts on this topic.
The GRiiix is a camera which really shows you what you can put up with. Truly small and a lovely sensor/lens combination. For a traditional camera, it can compete with the iPhone on its own territory, i.e., my pocket. I’d love at least a flip screen but I wouldn’t want it to get any bigger. I was always curious about the GR series but 28 mme is just not my favorite focal length. I did, however, have an old Pentax film SLR with the M40 2.8 pancake for many years and the GRiiix is a excellent digital replacement. Well, maybe the GR and the XT30/27 2.8 as well.
 

Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Location
New Mexico
Name
Larry
If it doesn't have an eye-level viewfinder it's a no- go. It can be an OVF or an EVF, and although built in is preferable, one of my favorite cameras, the Leica X 113, only has an accessory VF for the hot shoe. I usually use the ugly but very useful EVF, though the little OVF that came with the X1 is sweet to use too, when I'm in the mood. And a dedicated exposure compensation dial, at the very least a dial that can assigned that function, has become increasingly important to me. Fiddling with buttons to change exposure compensations is just something I no longer have much patience with. Lacking these things, a camera isn't bad, nor would I ever suggest that; it's just not something I'd enjoy shooting with. My current shooters are the Pen-F, the original E-M5 (mostly for back up now or wet weather, as it is the only weather sealed body I have); the Leica X-113, Olympus Stylus 1s as my all purpose point and shoot camera; and the lovely little D-lux 109, making traveling light easy. Also the Sony a7ii, which doesn't make traveling light easy, but which is a lot of fun with manual focus lenses. I don't need them all, but I do use them all, and they are all keepers.
 

gryphon1911

Hall of Famer
Location
Central Ohio, USA
Name
Andrew
I’m also one that must have a viewfinder.

Even getting the GR III, I had to get an optical viewfinder for it. I set the focus point to center and off I go!

Another deal breaker for me is too small of a camera. I don’t like using the cell phone for this reason. Too thin and fiddle to get to any kind of controls. An actual purpose made camera, an EM5 or PEN-F or the Ricoh GR is about the limit. Anything smaller and I can’t comfortably get to the controls or grip it securely.
 

John King

Member of SOFA
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Name
John ...
The E-PM2, VF-4 and 14-42 EZ pancake zoom lives nicely in a pocket and the passenger seat cover kangaroo pouch on the front squab in the car. I take the VF-4 off when it's stored there, and put the VF-4 in its case next to the camera and lens.

I have a 12/240V car charger for the battery, with a spare one in it.

The VF-4 gets around the no built in VF problem, which I also dislike greatly. It's also a pretty good VF with around 2.5 mega dots, and good magnification.

For those who are not familiar with the E-PM2, it has the same 16 MPx Sony sensor as in the original E-M5.
 
I think the major decision maker for me is "unobtrusiveness", whatever that may be.
For me it's a phone. You get to be a regular person, instead of a Photographer™, and phones are as about as every day carry as a camera gets. No viewfinder, true. But the focal lengths aren't long enough I find it to matter—my preferred LCD to EVF switchover's around 200 mme and it's not like I can afford phones with that many mme.

Tilty or flippy screen? Both workable, as is a fixed screen.
That's where it's been for me and, IMO, phones qualify as fixed. My current ILC is flippy screen and, having flipped the flippy screen a lot for ground level macro and now pretty much using ILC only for macro and long lenses, if I ever do update to a newer ILC body I'd anticipate a strong preference for flippy.
 

Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Location
New Mexico
Name
Larry
The E-PM2, VF-4 and 14-42 EZ pancake zoom lives nicely in a pocket and the passenger seat cover kangaroo pouch on the front squab in the car. I take the VF-4 off when it's stored there, and put the VF-4 in its case next to the camera and lens.

I have a 12/240V car charger for the battery, with a spare one in it.

The VF-4 gets around the no built in VF problem, which I also dislike greatly. It's also a pretty good VF with around 2.5 mega dots, and good magnification.

For those who are not familiar with the E-PM2, it has the same 16 MPx Sony sensor as in the original E-M5.
I had both and E-PM1 and and E-PM2 and thought they were fine cameras. I used the VF-2 on both, which did the job. Eventually my desire for a dedicated exp. comp. dial won out, but my first trip to SE Asia was with an E-PM1 and and E-P2. They were light to travel with, and I have no reason to complain about the images I got with them, or if I do have reason to complain, it is about my own failings, not the cameras.. The E-PM2 was even better and with the E-M5, it was my main kit for some time..
 
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melanie.ylang

Regular
Location
Australia
@drd1135 The Pentax *ist was my first digital camera, too, but then I realised I am feeble, and moved on to smaller, high-end compacts. But I agree that a weather-sealed X-S10 would, er, float my boat.

Like many on the forum, I've tried a lot of cameras, and still haven't found "the one", but it's been fun checking off the list while looking for it (I've owned 30-40 models, mostly digital). Turns out, there are a lot of deal-breakers!

At the top of my list, I have discovered that I do want a nice EVF; either that, or none at all, because a bad EVF is more annoying than none - but only if the camera is very light / has a shortish lens.

Ditto a touchscreen - but not if the touchscreen isn't as good as the one on my Lumix cameras or smartphone (I'm glaring at you, Olympus, Canon, Fuji, albeit I haven't tried any current models). It must articulate, but we all know that how it should articulate is a BIG argument.

I go nuts for knurled dials - two of my cameras don't have them (they're ribbed instead), which makes me so sad 😢. But, a knurled dial alone does not a good camera make.

If it isn't a system camera, then the lens must have at least 5x zoom. I've tried 3x and 4x zooms, and 5 is really the least I can accept.

Get (me) a grip! But I'm happy to put one on myself, if need be.

Great discussion topic, thanks!
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Virginia
Name
Steve
For me it's a phone. You get to be a regular person, instead of a Photographer™, and phones are as about as every day carry as a camera gets. No viewfinder, true. But the focal lengths aren't long enough I find it to matter—my preferred LCD to EVF switchover's around 200 mme and it's not like I can afford phones with that many mme.


That's where it's been for me and, IMO, phones qualify as fixed. My current ILC is flippy screen and, having flipped the flippy screen a lot for ground level macro and now pretty much using ILC only for macro and long lenses, if I ever do update to a newer ILC body I'd anticipate a strong preference for flippy.
Many images that I post here were taken with my phone. After all, it's always with me. The iPhone 12 was the phone that finally was good enough so that I actually liked the images I was taking. I always use it at the native FL of the lenses, as the digital zoom causes a significant reduction in IQ.
 
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drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Virginia
Name
Steve
@drd1135 The Pentax *ist was my first digital camera, too, but then I realised I am feeble, and moved on to smaller, high-end compacts. But I agree that a weather-sealed X-S10 would, er, float my boat.

Like many on the forum, I've tried a lot of cameras, and still haven't found "the one", but it's been fun checking off the list while looking for it (I've owned 30-40 models, mostly digital). Turns out, there are a lot of deal-breakers!

At the top of my list, I have discovered that I do want a nice EVF; either that, or none at all, because a bad EVF is more annoying than none - but only if the camera is very light / has a shortish lens.

Ditto a touchscreen - but not if the touchscreen isn't as good as the one on my Lumix cameras or smartphone (I'm glaring at you, Olympus, Canon, Fuji, albeit I haven't tried any current models). It must articulate, but we all know that how it should articulate is a BIG argument.

I go nuts for knurled dials - two of my cameras don't have them (they're ribbed instead), which makes me so sad 😢. But, a knurled dial alone does not a good camera make.

If it isn't a system camera, then the lens must have at least 5x zoom. I've tried 3x and 4x zooms, and 5 is really the least I can accept.

Get (me) a grip! But I'm happy to put one on myself, if need be.

Great discussion topic, thanks!
About 18 years ago, I took a group of students to India for a six week survey of their health care system. I took the *ist D 2, a slightly more basic model, the FA 20-35 and the FA 40. I took many shots and I always think of that experience as a time when a camera was really a working tool and helped me have one of my best photography experiences.
 
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