FOMO and Managing the Exceptions
Here's the editor of Lens. Work Publishing Brooks Jensen. I WanNa talk today. A little bit about the pragmatics of equipment and equipment selection relative to what it is that we want to produce. It's a topic that we've discussed before but there's a new take on it that I want to share about the nature of compromise to begin with there appears to be one prevalent strategy for choosing a camera and lens system and that strategy seems to be driven by the recently coined acronym. That's made its way into the photographic lexicon Thommo the fear of missing out and all you have to do is go look at camera reviews on Youtube or in the current crop of magazines. And you'll see that this is a big one. It's the primary marketing tool that camera. Manufacturers are using the implication being that you might miss a shot if you don't have the latest greatest camera but the premise of this idea. Is that the cameras should be capable of not only the photographs we routinely WANNA make but the ones that we might possibly WanNa make no matter. How unusual the circumstances and if we don't buy the right camera that is the one with maximum capabilities. We might find ourselves frustrated when that rare opportunity presents itself because of the limitations of our equipment and so they tell us we need to buy a piece of equipment that will handle every possible situation. I'm not sure that's the best strategy. For the simple reason that it unquestionably over engineers. Most of what we do. It also fails to include an important part of the decision making process known as the opportunity cost. Now for those of you who are not familiar with the term opportunity cost. The opportunity cost is what you have to pay as a result of the decision that you made to buy something else so for example if you buy a very high megapixel camera that's GonNa cost you a bunch of time Time to copy the files over to your computer and hard drive space and etc. Those are all things that you're going to have to give up efficiency of time efficiency of storage. You'RE GONNA have to give up all of that in order to pay for the advantage of having a high megapixel camera and speaking of that crazy megapixel rat race. We seem to be involved in. This whole idea seems to me to be wholly based on the idea that we might. I repeat might want to make a large print. Well let's look at that for just a minute. As an example of compromise and how we might alternatively managed the exceptions if we don't have a high megapixel camera for example so the theory of having a high megapixel camera is that we wanna make really big prints but of course if you WanNa make really big prints you need a really big printer and so there's costs involved. They're not just for the high megapixel camera but for the printer and the paper and ink in its CETERA. Now maybe you you'll use a service so you don't have to own the printer but let's set that aside for now because it has its own sort of mathematics involved in it. Let's just assume that you WANNA make your own prince so you need a big printer so the opportunity cost of having the need to make really big prince. Is You have to spend money on a big printer which means you don't have that money available for travel for lenses for paying for models or whatever else you have to sacrifice in order to buy the printer so let. Let's look at a few of these numbers just for grins. And by the way I know numbers are hard to follow in an audio podcast. But I'll try to do my best to make it simple. Let's look at for example. Epson printers in their list price so seventeen inch printers run between twelve hundred and two thousand dollars. How many mega pixels do you have to have to use these seventeen inch printers to make say a Standard Sixteen by twenty print at two hundred and forty? Ppi well you need a whopping eighteen mega pixels? That's it anything over eighteen mega pixels. If all you'RE GONNA make is sixteen by twenty prints is really not necessary unless you do a lot of cropping and things like that and obviously if you buy a seventeen inch printer you don't intend on making any images bigger than sixteen by twenty so you really don't need anything bigger than eighteen megapixel unless you wanNA printed a little higher resolution like three hundred or three sixty or something like that which I'll get to a just a minute. Let's say you WANNA make even bigger prince so you invest somewhere between twenty three hundred and forty seven hundred dollars which probably more than you paid for your camera on a twenty four inch printer. Now you can make twenty by twenty four inch standard size photographic prints at two hundred forty P P I. How many mega pixels will you'll need? Well you'll need twenty eight Megapixel for twenty by twenty four inch print. That's it so why spend the money for the sixty year one hundred megapixel high resolution camera unless there's some other reason than a large print but let's say you're interested in really pushing the envelope so you step up to a forty four inch printer and all? That's involved with that in terms of paper sizes and Matt Sizes and frames and Cetera. So you have a forty four inch printer and you paid somewhere between five thousand and thirteen thousand dollars for it. You are serious about this right so now you can make a thirty by forty inch print at two hundred and forty. Ppi You will need a sixty nine megapixel image for thirty by forty inch print. Okay so now you can sort of justify those high megapixel cameras because you need sixty nine megapixel but wait a minute. The reason you buy a forty four inch printer and all that's required to make it successful including the camera is because you are in pursuit of excellence. You're really pushing the envelope. You WanNa make print that is so outstanding that it's beyond technical question whatsoever which means you probably won't want to print a two hundred and forty. Ppi because a print it three hundred PPI or maybe even some people say three hundred and sixty PPI is microscopically better. And that's what you're interested in pursuing is the microscopically better. Well what do you need in order to make a thirty by forty inch print at say three hundred sixty PPI? Well if you work out the math you need a three hundred eleven megapixel camera which doesn't exist. And as a matter of fact your sixty or seventy megapixel high resolution full frame camera isn't even close to providing that kind of resolution which means that it will require some sort of compromise and the compromise might be that you have to do some stitching multiple exposures piece them all together to make the three hundred eleven megapixel file or you have to print at a lower. Ppi on your forty four inch printer to get your thirty by forty inch. Print and this is the nugget of the issue the requirement for some sort of compromise. I would propose to you that. All of photography is some sort of compromise and with that in mind than the fear of missing out takes on a different kind of reality. It's it's not really sane to be worried about the fear of missing out. It seems to me the more reasonable policy. The more reasonable strategy is to figure out what the exceptions are and try to manage those so if we thought through our choice of equipment sufficiently. I think it's fair to say that our choice will be made based on the fact that it serves us well for what ninety or ninety five percent of the pictures we WANNA make in my case. That's micro four thirds and it's perfect for my needs. That is to say probably covers ninety percent of the photographs that I wanna make in the size that I wanna make it okay. Fine but what about the exceptions? I'm obviously compromised with that camera. And it sensor size in its resolution in etc and there are some exceptions that are going to crop up that that Kamara's gonna be a problem for me. So what about that five or ten percent of the time when? That camera is not sufficient. What do I do then? Well seems like two choices. I can either forget about those images and just don't make them and concentrate on the ninety or ninety five percent of the images. I can make with my camera and be perfectly happy with it or I can figure out ways to manage the exceptions and develop reasonable work arounds.