Tools or Toys? Micro-Four Thirds Cameras vs. DSLRs [Podcast]

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This is a mashup episode of the Improve Photography Podcast, the Digital Photo Experience, and The Digital Story Podcasts.  In this episode, the joint group discusses micro four-thirds and other compact cameras and whether or not they are a viable alternative for photographers.

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Guide to Episode 22

[5:10] Rick Sammon  Rick says that he is really impressed by the new compact camera options.  He mentions the Canon Powershot SX30is as an amazing example of a compact camera with fantastic functionality.  He even wrote a book about compact cameras.

[7:30]  Jim Harmer Jim says that the compact cameras are a great innovation for when they fit a certain need, but that he does roll his eyes when he hears other photographers online famously saying that they are dumping DSLRs just to get a headline.  He says that compact cameras are a valuable innovation, but that it makes little sense to dump the DSLR when it is the best tool for the job.

[13:00] Juan Pons Juan says he has owned many compact cameras over the years, but most of them are collecting dust on his shelf because he either uses his iPhone when it is convenient or a DSLR when he wants the best image quality.  Juan says that he really enjoys the GoPro Hero 3 camera, though.  He is amazed at the image quality and uses it for an action cam, for underwater photography, and other specialized situations.

[13:10]  Derrick Story Derrick mentions that he recently wrote a book called iPad for Digital Photographers.  NOTE FROM JIM: You guys gotta go check out his book.  Derrick has worked out a very nice workflow for the iPad in digital photography.  

[14:10] Dustin Olsen Dustin mentioned that he enjoys using his iPhone for behind the scenes photos during a photoshoot that he can share on Facebook, but doesn't find much use for the micro four-thirds cameras since they aren't pocketable.

[16:30] Jim Harmer Jim mentions that sometimes compact cameras are a BETTER tool than a DSLR.  One example is when we were in Oregon shooting waterfalls and we could take quick behind the scenes panoramas with the iPhone's new sweep panorama feature.

[19:10] Juan Pons Juan says that photographers have become extreme pixel peepers.  If we would all step back just slightly from image quality, we would have a lot of new tools like compact cameras available to us.

[21:00] Rick Sammon  Rick mentions a quote from his father, “If you notice the noise in a photo, it's a boring photo.”

[27:00] Tool or Toy?

Jim says one compact camera that he has NOT been impressed with is the Canon SL1.

Juan says he thinks the GoPro Hero 3 is definitely a tool and not a toy.

Dustin nominates the photo editing apps as being toys.  He hasn't yet seen one that is anything close to a replacement to Photoshop.

Derrick says that his nomination is the Toshiba Flashair card.  It is an SD card that is used to connect the iPad to a DSLR camera.  Jim mentions that he uses the Eye-fi card for the same thing and uses it so he can get a full-screen preview of his photos on the iPad.

Thanks everyone for listening to the podcast today.  We'll be showing the last of the three photography mashup episodes later this week and then will get right back to our normal podcasting schedule next week.

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