Should we open up the forum to cameras of all types and sizes?

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Amin Sabet, Aug 26, 2014.

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  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    Years ago when I started blogging, it seemed like advanced compacts were a dying breed. Canon dropped RAW from their Powershot G line, the 2/3" sensor bridge cameras were no more, and it seemed like the industry had decided that all photography enthusiasts wanted were big, black DSLRs. In that climate, I was very enthusiastic about every development in the world of smaller cameras.

    How things have changed! We're now spoiled for choice with advanced smaller cameras of all kinds. Now that this has all come to pass, I'm not sure there is a reason to limit the forum to smaller cameras. In a way, we were carrying the torch for small cameras, but now it seems like an unnecessary limitation. We've got a wonderful community, and our members like all kinds of cameras, so maybe we should open it up fully to all kinds of cameras, similar to other sites like GetDPI and FredMiranda.

    What do you think? And just as an aside, this is not, at all, about how to best create revenue. These sites are as much a labour of love as they have ever been. As long as they pay for their own costs, that's enough revenue for me. Just interested to know whether others feel that opening up the site would make it a better place to spend discuss gear and share photography with one another.
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  2. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I'd imagine that the more different types of camera the site covers, the more frenzied and interminable the debates about vanishingly small technical differences will become.

    My indifference to gear these days makes me pretty much an outlier here anyway, of course, and I'm sure many others would welcome such an outcome.

    Of course a forum is not a democracy, and it is something of a living organism, so you must develop it as you see fit, Amin!
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  3. john m flores

    john m flores All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    Interesting idea. I could see it evolve to include a type of photographer and not just the type of camera that they carry. One thing that this group has that is lacking in others is consideration-in both the taking of a photo and the discussion of it. One possible name - Slow Camera. The name is an echo of the slow food movement.
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  4. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    I'm for it. This is a very civilized place to hang out with lots of knowledgeable people who share information with kindness and who can (when needed) disagree without rancor. What's not to like?

    Possibly all that would be needed would be a new category under gear forums for various types of DSLRs.

    Cheers, Jock
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  5. ReD

    ReD Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    For me its simply about photography - its a pity some have become reticent or not think it appropriate in posting DSLR stuff here & have decided to move away. Sort of self censorship.

    I'm all in favour of a broad church - I think I will learn more as a result.
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  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I'm all in favor, but I can't separate out my own self-interest from more objective thoughts about what might be better for the site long term. I'm shooting mostly with a full frame DSLR these days. I like it here and like the people here, so I'd like it expanded so I'd be more comfortable going forward sharing images and ideas the whatnot. OTOH, I'll probably still do that anyway, just not as much. I can't really say what would be better for the site over the longer term, though - I can see arguments on both sides of it...

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  7. Nuskyn

    Nuskyn Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    @Gelderland - the Netherlands
    I liked the concept about small underestimated camera's a lot, but i know that you have to move on...

    I'll stay ! :thumbup:
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  8. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    The truth is, our conversations already include larger cameras like Pentax DSLRs, the Pentax K-01, the Fuji X line and Olympus OM-Ds. While smaller than many DSLRs, they're not compact in the sense of the word used when this site was created. So we're kind of there already. If you'd like to try it, Amin, you'd have my support. Serious Compacts, to me, is sort of home base for Amin's sites. One can discuss a lot here and branch out to one of the others for a more-specialized approach.
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  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    Luke started this dialogue by PMing me something along those lines, not necessarily saying we should open it all up, but starting the discussion. I do think the time is right for the discussion.
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  10. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    sounds good to me
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  11. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    hehe is there possibly a connection between Luke's PM and his recent return to a heavy dSLR habit? :biggrin:

    anyhoo, my first post might make it appear that I'm agin the idea, but I'm not, I just have a view about one of the potential outcomes. (the saintly Mr. Flores has another. With a bit of luck he's more right than I am.)
    • Like Like x 4
  12. nippa

    nippa Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    The standout feature of this forum as John suggested above is the civility of its participants .
    As we already discuss full frame cameras perhaps the notion of "compact" is being stretched so , yes , why not broaden things out?

    You provide a great service Amin , thankyou.
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  13. ReD

    ReD Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    It appears the days of compact cameras - by this I mean pocketable - are numbered

    For instance Fuji only have 4 models on offer with the F series withdrawn completely

    Not sure about other manuf's but they do seem to have got bigger within a year or so.
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  14. As has been said by others, in a way seriouscompacts is already kind of there. I don't think anyone would mind an additional forum being added.

    I also appreciate the civility and friendliness. Folks here have always been open to all kinds of cameras (and more importantly open to new members too).

    Personally, I'd prefer the main focus to remain on compacts(ish)... I kind of like a forum where you don't have to feel "ashamed" if you "only" shoot with a "lowly compact" ;-)
    This forum has always been very good about this though, so I'm not really worried - even if the "big boys" are invited over :)
    • Like Like x 6
  15. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    I was covered by the "small DSLR" section that already exists here. What prompted my instigation of the discussion was a recent thread where Boid mentioned he wished he could post his Nikon full frame shots here. And later on Ray pointed out that he will still occasionally be posting here, but not as often and I realized that we were losing good images by not allowing all cameras to be shared here. I wasn't sure if the gear talk was necessary, but definitely felt like image sharing would certainly make the forum better.

    And maybe with more camera-agnostic image threads, people will (more often) seize upon the notion that the camera is the least important variable in the imaging chain.
    • Like Like x 8
  16. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    It's funny; I have usually been interested to know what camera/lens took a particular photo, but ultimately I don't care. For instance, I no longer find myself drawn to the camera specific image threads because you could merge all the Sony, Fuji, Micro 4/3, Ricoh, Samsung, etc threads into one and be more likely to group images based on who took them rather than what camera took them. I think that what I am saying is that if seriouscompacts was to open the door to larger cameras it should be more than just a single "DSLR Image Thread".

    I find that brand and format based trolling and bullying on camera forums to be largely ineffective these days since enough photographic evidence exists to counter it, so I don't feel that users of big bodied, big sensored DSLRs are suddenly going to be over-running the place and lording it up over anyone else. The potential for a larger user base would be a good thing to add more variety to the site and to encourage that I do feel that consideration of employing a less restrictive (reactive rather than proactive) moderation policy would also help such that debates are allowed to run (within reason, of course).
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  17. ivoire

    ivoire All-Pro

    Dec 3, 2011
    chicago burbs
    Sounds good to me. I'm always interested in "other gear" and it would be good to see and hear what others like, use and why.
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  18. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I'm not at all sure that a less proactive moderation policy would be helpful, but perhaps Nic could outline why he thinks that?

    If the site is likely to grow in volume however I would like some more control over how and what content I view - in particular there re plugins that allow users to exclude entire subforums from view, and another that allows users to set an entire thread on "ignore"
    • Like Like x 3
  19. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Hanging out on the Nikon FX forum on DPR, the brand/format superiority is somewhat amusing. I think it used to be that DSLRs were just plain better, partly operationally and partially because it was about the only way to get an APS or larger sensor. Now there are PLENTY of options for getting optically great APS setups that are operationally good enough for MOST users. Full frame is still mostly a DSLR game, because only Sony has made an effort at mirrorless full frame yet and it doesn't have enough lenses to offer a full-blown alternative. Yet. It'll happen soon enough, but it hasn't happened yet. Which is what moved me to go to Nikon DSLR - I fell totally in love with what I could do with full frame sensors via the RX1 and DSLRs, for now, are still the way to get a full frame sensor with a variety of native AF lenses. I've always been happy enough with the performance characteristics of mirrorless, so that aspect of DSLR shooting isn't a big deal to me.

    So now the brand and format bullies are pretty much down to performance based stuff like burst rates and tracking AF. Because that's all that's left, for as long as it lasts before mirrorless catches up there too. There's a growing acceptance that an APS sensor is gonna look equally good regardless of whether it's in a DSLR or a mirrorless camera. And that day will come with full frame soon enough, once there are enough mirrorless options out there. But it's amazing how absolutely critical stuff like burst rate and tracking AF have gotten on those DSLR forums - how could anyone get by with mirrorless tracking? Yeah, the burst rates are HIGHER, but you can't AF or see what you're shooting between shots so how could you ever have a camera like that?!?!? Well, I guess that's a legit concern for some number of sports and wildlife photographers, but I suspect it's not for a huge percentage of DSLR users. It's not for me. I find the Df and D610 AF as good as anything I've used and the best I've ever tried at tracking AF (particularly in burst mode), but the AF systems in these cameras are routinely demonized as far below the minimum necessary by those using the more robust AF systems in the higher end D4 and D800 series cameras. There's also an amazing amount of "EVF's suck and will NEVER equal a good OVF" type of sentiment, but more and more people who have tried recent EVFs are now coming around to "they're not quite as good as an OVF for some things but they're BETTER than an OVF for others". There's less and less "I don't want to look at a tiny little TV" type of stuff, but you can still find it.

    The bottom line is that people just want to love their gear and feel like its the best there is, even if it's only the best for them. For me, full frame is now my addiction - I really do like it better whether I "NEED" it or not. And for now DSLRs are the only way to get a really decent system together for this, if you want auto-focus in most or all of your lenses. At some point, there will be enough choices of mirrorless full frame gear that I'll probably move back over if there's any real advantage (proably size and weight related) to doing so. I don't know if that'll be the case - bodies are and will be smaller but unless the lenses are too the body size doesn't matter that much to me. So time will tell. And maybe APS will get SOOOOO good that I'll get over this full frame bug that's bit me. But for now, it's full frame DSLR for me.

    And yet, I'm still dedicated to keeping it as compact as I can. I mostly shoot with small primes, for example, and that keeps a Df system pretty close to a Fuji APS system in terms of size and weight. So I still look at it as a damn serious compact, just a bit more emphasis on serious and a little bit less on compact... I know there are at least a few others around here who are shooting partly or mostly with DSLRs, even full frame ones. I hope there will continue to be room here for this part of our hobbies...

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  20. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    It's definitely the right time for the debate. I'd like to think that we can be a broad church without losing our uniqueness. I think "serious compact" is as much a state of mind as a state of being. As I look at my current lineup of cameras I have five in regular use that are "full frame" - a Leica M2, a Leica IID, a Minox GT-E, an Olympus Mju-2 and an OM2 Spot Program. They are all "serious" and most are "compact" by any standard. The OM2 is a full-frame SLR but is undoubtedly smaller than my X-T1 with grip...


    The Serious Compact thing (my capitals) is our USP, or unique selling point. It's why people come here IN THE FIRST INSTANCE. I came here first of all because I bought a Ricoh GXR with an M module and I wanted to know more and share more than I could on the LUF. Other people do similar. If you look at people's first posts they join because they have a serious compact "problem" with which they seek help and advice, or because they want to share the pleasure of ownership WITH OTHER LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE. I think we dilute this at our peril. That doesn't mean we should ban imagery from, and discussion of, other cameras, other formats, but I think we should fully consider the consequences before we open Pandora's gadget bag.

    Consider this. If we "let in" "full-frame" DSLRs do we stop there? What about the Leica S? The Pentax 645? Phase backs? Or let's go the other way - many portable telephones today have "decent" photo capabilities - are they "serious"? They are certainly "compact".

    I am playing Devil's Advocate here, of course. There is no right answer, but there are a number of answers that I fear may either alienate existing members or attract new members that may not share the same world view. I can open a browser and find dozens of fora dedicated to DSLRs, both specific marques and in general, and indeed to general photography and all flavours thereto, but ones dedicated to Serious Compacts are few and very far between.

    One more thing... John's concept of "Slow Photography", like The Slow Food Movement, has a lot going for it. In a similar vein, I'd suggest "light photography", or more properly, "travelling light". I feel that many of us - myself included - have come to Serious Compact ownership (and membership) as part of a journey involving a desire to downsize, declutter and arrive at high quality photography in a small package.

    Sound familiar? Remember Oskar Barnack and the first Leica. I think he would understand the motivation behind, and approve of what we have here today. I think he might question the wisdom of diluting why we came here in the first place. I think he would question what the Hell benefit the M typ.240 of today is to a photographer who wanted to travel light, but that is another debate for another day...

    This is just my personal opinion, mod hat off. Feel free to disagree, but please continue the debate (in our usual civilised manner) so that all viewpoints and opinions can be considered before an eventual decision is made.
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