Camera/Lens/Accessories Deal-Breakers.

wt21

Hall of Famer
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 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.
Deal Breakers:
  • Size and weight.
  • Fixed lenses where the sensor is known to get dusty.
  • Paying for video features.
  • Single dial and too few configurable buttons - I need a good AEL lock and dual dials and a configurable button or two.
  • No rear panel touch screen, or touch screen doesn't operate menus.
  • A power switch that is anywhere other than top right plate. Top left plate. Bottom back right. Yuck. This is the worst for me. I have passed on even trying cameras (OM and Canon) without right finger power switches.
 
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gordo

All-Pro
Location
Arizona
Name
Gordon
I find it interesting how many people list lack of ibis as a dealbreaker. Is it due to a difference in how people learn to shoot? Or just a difference in shooting styles/techniques?

Almost a deal breaker for me, but not quite yet. Speaking only for myself, as I get older and less stable, IS of some sort is very helpful.

edit - sometimes a monopod/ tripod isn't an option.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Virginia
Name
Steve
I find it interesting how many people list lack of ibis as a dealbreaker. Is it due to a difference in how people learn to shoot? Or just a difference in shooting styles/techniques?
With IBIS, I can shoot in low light without a tripod, and I never have a tripod. No matter how good my technique is,I can do better with IBIS. It’s not a total dealbreaker for me, it’s just that IBIS is useful and lots of good cameras have it. I’ve never found a camera without IBIS that was so amazing that I couldn’t find another just as good with IBIS. So, even though it’s not essential, when it comes to buying it’s often definitive.
 
With IBIS, I can shoot in low light without a tripod, and I never have a tripod. No matter how good my technique is,I can do better with IBIS.
I've always been able to shoot in low light without a tripod. Which is what led to my curiosity about people having ibis as a deal breaker. I currently have my first, and only camera with ibis. So far for me, the only difference it has made is being able shoot with lower iso.
 

John King

Member of SOFA
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Name
John ...
I've always been able to shoot in low light without a tripod. Which is what led to my curiosity about people having ibis as a deal breaker. I currently have my first, and only camera with ibis. So far for me, the only difference it has made is being able shoot with lower iso.
Bobby, at my age, I will take the 7+ stops of IBIS my E-M1 MkII + 12-100 give me every time.

When I was about 17 y.o., I could shoot my Leica M2 at 1s unsupported. I haven't been as steady as that for about 30 years, at least!
 

Iron

All-Pro
Location
New Zealand
Name
Tímo
Thanks for sharing all your deal-breakers. It's quite an interesting read.

It's truly hard to find a deal-breaker right now as for me, these cameras have their strengths and weaknesses. They are all good and it's up to us to pick our own poison. If am in to choose a new (at least to me) camera, though, I just want it to be reliable so any unreliable gear is a deal-breaker for me. My gauge for almost everything when buying new is the question, "Will I be buying a similar product from this company from 10 years ago?" If the answer is yes, then I will consider their new product. I want my things to last.

With stills cameras, a badly-coated EVF is a deal-breaker. I noticed this trend recently especially when I tested them all. Mirrorless cameras area already much, much cheaper to produce vs DSLRs yet many cameras still chimp out on coatings. We already have good coatings on our lenses, so why can't we have good ones on EVF optics? Eye cups are the solution but they act like the good ol' lens hood. A good EVF must be clear even without the eye cup and it, therefore, must be properly coated.

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.
My solution is the VF-1. I have to use an OVF nowadays and the VF-1 on the GF1 + 20mm, makes a great GR IIIx substitute, at least for me.

2) OVF/ EVF, and it has to be useable without causing excessive eye strain or headaches.
Interestingly, EVF strain is on current cameras' manuals. It's still a screen placed a few cms in front of our eyes. Monochrome video EVFs of old fair better here as they are offset and projected through a prism.

This is an excerpt from the A7R5 Manual:
1670636106263.png


I appreciate this precaution a lot. They know the consequences. At least, their cinema cameras still have projected and muted EVFs. By the way, "Appreciate" is quite an understatement from me as I still am a Sony appreciator, even now that I don't have any Sony camera anymore. I still have their sensors in my imaging devices, though.

For video, no more EVFs for me, at least for now, after having used them for ~27 years. I really like the Sony HDVF-EL100B 11" external viewfinder mounted further away than usual. Well, a 7" one is more practical (and affordable) but if one has tried the 11" Sony, viewfinding preferences are going to be changing. I like the ARRI OVF-1, but like the 11" Sony, they are just good to be rented or borrowed because of the price or one can work at a film institute to be able to use those. Of course, the ARRI OVF-1 goes into specific cameras only. So my video direction, if I find the drive again, will be a BGH-1, which is cinema-approved, plus a 7" viewfinder, at least, and all my bare minimum accessories.
 

gordo

All-Pro
Location
Arizona
Name
Gordon
Thanks for sharing all your deal-breakers. It's quite an interesting read.

It's truly hard to find a deal-breaker right now as for me, these cameras have their strengths and weaknesses. They are all good and it's up to us to pick our own poison. If am in to choose a new (at least to me) camera, though, I just want it to be reliable so any unreliable gear is a deal-breaker for me. My gauge for almost everything when buying new is the question, "Will I be buying a similar product from this company from 10 years ago?" If the answer is yes, then I will consider their new product. I want my things to last.

With stills cameras, a badly-coated EVF is a deal-breaker. I noticed this trend recently especially when I tested them all. Mirrorless cameras area already much, much cheaper to produce vs DSLRs yet many cameras still chimp out on coatings. We already have good coatings on our lenses, so why can't we have good ones on EVF optics? Eye cups are the solution but they act like the good ol' lens hood. A good EVF must be clear even without the eye cup and it, therefore, must be properly coated.


My solution is the VF-1. I have to use an OVF nowadays and the VF-1 on the GF1 + 20mm, makes a great GR IIIx substitute, at least for me.


Interestingly, EVF strain is on current cameras' manuals. It's still a screen placed a few cms in front of our eyes. Monochrome video EVFs of old fair better here as they are offset and projected through a prism.

This is an excerpt from the A7R5 Manual:
View attachment 352084

I appreciate this precaution a lot. They know the consequences. At least, their cinema cameras still have projected and muted EVFs. By the way, "Appreciate" is quite an understatement from me as I still am a Sony appreciator, even now that I don't have any Sony camera anymore. I still have their sensors in my imaging devices, though.

For video, no more EVFs for me, at least for now, after having used them for ~27 years. I really like the Sony HDVF-EL100B 11" external viewfinder mounted further away than usual. Well, a 7" one is more practical (and affordable) but if one has tried the 11" Sony, viewfinding preferences are going to be changing. I like the ARRI OVF-1, but like the 11" Sony, they are just good to be rented or borrowed because of the price or one can work at a film institute to be able to use those. Of course, the ARRI OVF-1 goes into specific cameras only. So my video direction, if I find the drive again, will be a BGH-1, which is cinema-approved, plus a 7" viewfinder, at least, and all my bare minimum accessories.

Even back in the film days, OVFs could be a mixed bag of bantha poodoo. The one thing that connects us to our vision through the lens is the OVF/ EVF and it is a true aggravating factor for me that manufacturers can't be bothered to produce seriously nice OVFs/ EVFs. Short eyepoints. Small/ artificially restricted viewports. Cheap optics.

I've had problems with OVFs for years. The Nikon Df OVF was so bad for me that a 50 minute session with the camera up to my eye for about 22 minutes randomly knocked my binocular vision out of whack and instigated a migraine-type headache. Had to sit in my vehicle for almost 30 minutes before driving home. :mad:

Similar issues with binoculars and rifle scopes. I've spent a lot of money over the years trying to find what works for me.

I tend to limit time behind optics as much as possible these days.
 
Interestingly, EVF strain is on current cameras' manuals.
Reminds me of the Fuji X-Pro I was asked to use briefly. The EVF lag made my eyes water and the AF couldn't focus on a posed subject. I guess both of those would be deal breakers at this point but, since it's not a camera I ever considered purchasing, there was no deal to break.

I tend to limit time behind optics as much as possible these days.
Understandably! The best viewfinder, for just plain viewfindery-ness, I've ever used was ground glass in a 4x5. Was also hoping to get a used Nikon F3HP towards the end of the film era but never found the money. As a current perspective, something I like about phones is the LCD's nicer than most ILC OVF/EVF/LCDs.
 

gordo

All-Pro
Location
Arizona
Name
Gordon
Reminds me of the Fuji X-Pro I was asked to use briefly. The EVF lag made my eyes water and the AF couldn't focus on a posed subject. I guess both of those would be deal breakers at this point but, since it's not a camera I ever considered purchasing, there was no deal to break.


Understandably! The best viewfinder, for just plain viewfindery-ness, I've ever used was ground glass in a 4x5. Was also hoping to get a used Nikon F3HP towards the end of the film era but never found the money. As a current perspective, something I like about phones is the LCD's nicer than most ILC OVF/EVF/LCDs.

I was OK with the F3HP OVF, but found the small LCD readings a bit difficult to read. F4 had a better OVF IMHO. New F-1 was clear but a bit too small in the eyepoint and viewport for my tastes. 645 and larger generally had better viewing glass (the few I've used anyways).

And I always liked the simplicity of a simple match needle, or the - 0 + LED indicators, instead of a more busy OVF. Something to be said for clean and simple.
 

Iron

All-Pro
Location
New Zealand
Name
Tímo
The one thing that connects us to our vision through the lens is the OVF/ EVF and it is a true aggravating factor for me that manufacturers can't be bothered to produce seriously nice OVFs/ EVFs. Short eyepoints. Small/ artificially restricted viewports. Cheap optics.
Totally agree with you here. If they can do it with their lenses, why not with their viewfinders, too? The viewfinder coatings, too, are greatly reduced nowadays in many cameras, and I think that's a step backwards.

I've had problems with OVFs for years. The Nikon Df OVF was so bad for me that a 50 minute session with the camera up to my eye for about 22 minutes randomly knocked my binocular vision out of whack and instigated a migraine-type headache. Had to sit in my vehicle for almost 30 minutes before driving home. :mad:
That's tough. Some dioptre adjustments are just dodgy and can cause at least one lens in the viewfinder, off-centre. Those could be manufacturing defects, I don't know but there are no excuses for bad ones.

I also have 30 minute rests with some EVFs but mine is more of an eye burn that eye strain. According to my eye doctors, photochemical damage is more prevalent nowadays because of dark adaptation. This is the part where brighter artificial light isn't necessarily better. They just say Digital Eye Strain and the term is just made after recent empirical evidences. The why has already been answered before but to connect it directly to photochemical damage and use of devices will cause a lot of discomfort among manufacturers and companies. I may have strained my shooting eye through using EVFs for more than 2 decades, hence my perceived eye burn sensation.
 

Iron

All-Pro
Location
New Zealand
Name
Tímo
Reminds me of the Fuji X-Pro I was asked to use briefly. The EVF lag made my eyes water and the AF couldn't focus on a posed subject.
I find that Fujifilm's implementation of the OVF on that, though. I remember the EVF is also well-coated.

As a current perspective, something I like about phones is the LCD's nicer than most ILC OVF/EVF/LCDs.
This is a completely friendly but curious question: Apologies for asking, but isn't smartphone shooting, which doesn't have the viewfinder optics, rather similar to LVF shooting, which is why many in this thread prefer to have an eye-level TTL viewfinder as it is a completely different experience neurologically? Cheers.

And I always liked the simplicity of a simple match needle, or the - 0 + LED indicators, instead of a more busy OVF. Something to be said for clean and simple.
Yes, I remember those. I even see (or used to see) focusing screen changes by Canon and Nikon DSLR shooters to simplify everything.

If you have tried the Olmpus OM-1 SLR, how did you find its optics?
 

gordo

All-Pro
Location
Arizona
Name
Gordon
I find that Fujifilm's implementation of the OVF on that, though. I remember the EVF is also well-coated.


This is a completely friendly but curious question: Apologies for asking, but isn't smartphone shooting, which doesn't have the viewfinder optics, rather similar to LVF shooting, which is why many in this thread prefer to have an eye-level TTL viewfinder as it is a completely different experience neurologically? Cheers.


Yes, I remember those. I even see (or used to see) focusing screen changes by Canon and Nikon DSLR shooters to simplify everything.

If you have tried the Olmpus OM-1 SLR, how did you find its optics?

I never got to try the OM-1.
 

MountainMan79

😎💩➡️📸
Location
Minnesota
Name
Chris
Even back in the film days, OVFs could be a mixed bag of bantha poodoo. The one thing that connects us to our vision through the lens is the OVF/ EVF and it is a true aggravating factor for me that manufacturers can't be bothered to produce seriously nice OVFs/ EVFs. Short eyepoints. Small/ artificially restricted viewports. Cheap optics.

I've had problems with OVFs for years. The Nikon Df OVF was so bad for me that a 50 minute session with the camera up to my eye for about 22 minutes randomly knocked my binocular vision out of whack and instigated a migraine-type headache. Had to sit in my vehicle for almost 30 minutes before driving home. :mad:

Similar issues with binoculars and rifle scopes. I've spent a lot of money over the years trying to find what works for me.

I tend to limit time behind optics as much as possible these days.
Yikes. As a Df user, I’ll admit the OVF is disappointingly dim, but goodness…nothing so bad as to give me an ocular migraine. Not sure why it’s so dim. It’s a pentaprism not a pentamirror. I mean, there are plenty of old SLRs that have wonderful OVFs. Big, bright ones like the OM-1 come to mind. Anyways, crazy that happened to you. I’ve had an ocular migraine once and thought I was having a damn stroke, so I understand the feeling and why you’d be put off to want to use that again.
 

John King

Member of SOFA
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Name
John ...
Yikes. As a Df user, I’ll admit the OVF is disappointingly dim, but goodness…nothing so bad as to give me an ocular migraine. Not sure why it’s so dim. It’s a pentaprism not a pentamirror. I mean, there are plenty of old SLRs that have wonderful OVFs. Big, bright ones like the OM-1 come to mind. Anyways, crazy that happened to you. I’ve had an ocular migraine once and thought I was having a damn stroke, so I understand the feeling and why you’d be put off to want to use that again.
I have ocular migraines about every second day. Nothing to do with cameras or other gizmos, FTM. Certainly not in my case.

Unfortunately, I could write a book about all the different kinds of headaches I get ...

I was born exhausted, with a headache. Literally. I have suffered from headaches as far back as I can remember. Maybe 1 to 2 y.o. ...
 

gordo

All-Pro
Location
Arizona
Name
Gordon
Yikes. As a Df user, I’ll admit the OVF is disappointingly dim, but goodness…nothing so bad as to give me an ocular migraine. Not sure why it’s so dim. It’s a pentaprism not a pentamirror. I mean, there are plenty of old SLRs that have wonderful OVFs. Big, bright ones like the OM-1 come to mind. Anyways, crazy that happened to you. I’ve had an ocular migraine once and thought I was having a damn stroke, so I understand the feeling and why you’d be put off to want to use that again.

It wasn't an ocular, just a headache similar to migraines I've had in the past. Can't imagine an ocular.
 

John King

Member of SOFA
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Name
John ...
It wasn't an ocular, just a headache similar to migraines I've had in the past. Can't imagine an ocular.
I call them 'carpet snakes'.

A multi-coloured, zigzag pattern in (usually) either left or right visual field. Sometimes both, but this is relatively rare for me. I often do not have a headache with them, but sometimes do. Also often do have a bit of balance disturbance with them.

Nothing like the ferocious 'classic' migraines I got as a young adult in my early twenties.
 

Iron

All-Pro
Location
New Zealand
Name
Tímo
I never got to try the OM-1.
It's uncomfortably bright, making one's eyes feel like there's an instant1 f-stop improvement. They definitely didn't cut corners on that. That was during their transition from a workshop-style manufacturing to a bigger scale one.

Big, bright ones like the OM-1 come to mind
Yup, big and bright and no corners cut.

Not sure why it’s so dim. It’s a pentaprism not a pentamirror.
I like the design of that. It's like a 35mm version of the KP but I can't imagine how they were able to make it dim. I haven't tried it yet, though. Pentaprism manufacturing is extremely tasking and expensive, though, with all the materials and quality control. One flaw and a whole batch is out. Still for a 35mm format, it's really hard to make it dim. At least it's the lightest 35mm DSLR Nikon ever made.

Ozekikoki did a review of it just recently for everyone's reference:

It wasn't an ocular, just a headache similar to migraines I've had in the past. Can't imagine an ocular.

A multi-coloured, zigzag pattern in (usually) either left or right visual field. Sometimes both, but this is relatively rare for me. I often do not have a headache with them, but sometimes do. Also often do have a bit of balance disturbance with them.
Tough. It's like having a migraine just imagining your migraines.
 

gordo

All-Pro
Location
Arizona
Name
Gordon
I call them 'carpet snakes'.

A multi-coloured, zigzag pattern in (usually) either left or right visual field. Sometimes both, but this is relatively rare for me. I often do not have a headache with them, but sometimes do. Also often do have a bit of balance disturbance with them.

Nothing like the ferocious 'classic' migraines I got as a young adult in my early twenties.

Those of us who've never had one (ocular) most likely can't relate. I'm glad I haven't had one of the others in many years now. My younger sis suffers from them weekly. :sick:
 

MountainMan79

😎💩➡️📸
Location
Minnesota
Name
Chris
It wasn't an ocular, just a headache similar to migraines I've had in the past. Can't imagine an ocular.
It’s an odd experience. Happened during the height of the pandemic. Working from home, using 3 screens and 2 phones and having a ring light blasting you in the face all day…one day my eye said, “nope, I’ve had enough”, and wasn’t able to focus any longer and I became dizzy and faint. Had to sit in a dark room for about 20-30 minutes and kind of just look at infinity, but try to to focus on it. Eventually a CAT scan cleared me from a TIA or stroke, so that was good. Pretty much the consensus was an ocular migraine.

Moral of that story is I now use “night mode” on my phones and screens so it’s a warmer color. I also have gaming glasses that help do the same. I just need to remember to shut that mode off when I edit my photos, which is about a 50/50 that I do.
 
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