The difference between cameras.

My attitude to this "rubbishing" of the a77 (and there's a lot of it about) is simply, Its your loss.

There seem to be many who are prepared to write it off without even seeing what it can do, and some of the posts on forums are simply ridiculous.

Because as far as I can see, the actual real-world differences between cameras and sensors are becoming less distinguishable as time goes on. Its probably actually quite difficult, these days, to find either a camera, a sensor or a lens that is downright bad from any system from m4/3 upwards. Sure some are better than others, but the differences are way less than is often conveyed by these tribal, fan club type posts that attempt to persuade others of the posters wisdom and skill in picking their particular camera system.

Back in the early days of digital, there were some real differences in sensor performance as engineers and designers were learning how to overcome technical obstacles that restricted image quality. Nowadays sensor manufacturers like Sony, Canon and Panasonic have mostly solved the problem of producing decent images for large-scale reproduction, and the differences are now more about emphasis. Good high ISO results, good video results etc. I know of no camera from a Panasonic GF3 "upwards" that is now incapable of producing an image that could be used as the cover of an A4 magazine or an A3 double-page spread.

So what are all these arguments about? To be honest, as time goes by, it escapes me more and more. There is unfortunately a strand of "enthusiast photography" that is more concerned about the ownership of the "right gadget" rather than the photography itself. For example sites talk about the NEX-7 as the next "hot camera". Isn't this somewhat pathetic? Shouldn't we be much more concerned about how it performs? Unfortunately, I get the impression that is the least of some peoples concerns. 

There is also this attitude that seems to prevail in certain circles, that once you have made your choice, you stick with it. Changing your mind is taken to be a sign of weakness, or dithering or something else equally pathetic. One of the reasons I enjoy Kirk Tucks writing (and I'm glad to say he has returned to blogging after his short hiatus) is that, like me, he changes his mind and his camera systems on a regular basis. However some camera system owners seem to echo the famous speech by William Holden in the Wild Bunch. "When you side with a man, you stay with him. And if you can’t do that, you’re like some animal – you’re finished!" Its plainly ridiculous to apply this to camera ownership, but some quite clearly do.

Ultimately, what camera you use should be down to how successfully it fulfills your needs. One or two small functions that may be unimportant to others can make all the difference to some. Indeed the reason I'm so enthusiastic about the a77 is because it does just that. The fact that I can use the viewfinder wearing my polarised sunglasses may seem trivial, but its really important to me. There are other bits and pieces that I went through in my review that do the same. Add them all up and it becomes a camera I've very happy using. However, I'm not going to say that "This camera is a Canikon Killer" "This camera blows away the opposition" or other such meaningless and insulting statements.

I've made comments in the past about how I find it difficult to "get on with" Canon DSLR's, but I never have and never will come up with something so ridiculous as "6 reasons not to buy a Canon DSLR". I would never insult anybodys intelligence in that way, though there are others who have no such scruples. 

That we have this incredible choice is a cause for celebration and not bitter and acrimonious "debate". I could do my job with any serious camera from the large choice available, and what I choose is mostly a matter of personal preference and those small but significant ways of operating that I mentioned earlier. 

Less pontification would be nice, and the worlds available bandwidth could be substantially increased if those who insist on foisting these "rubbishing posts" on us would actually think before they press send.

Unfortunately, I have no confidence whatsoever that is ever going to happen.