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Tuesday, 29 March 2011


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More interesting, and 1/3rd shorter, would have been to answer "No"


With the demise of Contax, the rest is...irrelevant.

I think you over analyzed that Mike.

LOL. A specious answer to an unanswerable question - I like it !

Amen, I cannot understand why brand choice (and subsequently, brand loyalty) is treated such a big deal on the internet. The same people probably walk into the supermarket and buy whatever dish soap is on special offer.

I've been watching reruns of Babylon 5 recently and this reminds me very much of how the Vorlons answer questions, e.g. Confused human: "Do you mean A or B?"; Vorlon: "Yes."

Socratic questioning is a really old concept, but another suggestion for the ultimate answer is almost anything is "Why?".

I thought you'd say No.

Best answer ever!

there is always a charm in something else!!

Something to be said for just getting a camera and going out to shoot, eh.

Absolutely. Got a good laugh out of this, probably because it's so true.

I concur


I think the whole debate should come down to what system do you feel you can use the best to get the images you want to create. They are so very close performance wise. I personally use Canon, never owned one until digital. Learned to use the wheel in the back with my thumb to adjust shutter speed. I picked up a D700 and was lost. Im sure I could get used to the dial difference but I know the Canon so well why bother. I think its best to master what you have instead of chasing the carrot.

Mike --

Precisely. We all get asked this stupid question. I wish that i had thought of your response earlier.

-- gary ray

As long you buy something?

p.s. as long as you use it, I suppose

I started with something else then switched to canon. I think that is what Mike refered to in his scriptures.

I think I would be sorely tempted to say "no" ;)

Yes the answer is no.

Right. The hardware makes the photographer great. HA HA HA! Pfffffft....
All hardware today dwarfs the skill of 90+% of the users.
Look at all the posted crap.



If these two great companies were to merge and produce a single homogenised camera, would this result in posters to most photographic fora having nothing much to say, and instead have to go out and actually take some pictures?

I understand from my source at the negotiating table that the only argument is whether the new camera should be a Ninon or a Cakon.

May be funniest post ever, instead of shortest...

When friends ask me if they should buy a Canon or Nikon, I'm just so relieved they didn't ask me if they should buy a Mac or a PC.

Why be a sheep?
Neither has a stabilised sensor, therefore lenses cost more.
Nikons underexpose and the lens bayonet is "backwards".
Canons bring up the shadows so that results generally look brighter and more cheerful.

Sorry if this comment has been too serious......

Robin (Sony/Minolta owner)

Photography is a three-edged sword.

I prefer ffs myself

Is that light I see at the end of the tunnel?

So I'm 2/3 of the way to doing it right, then (having a Nikon and a "something else" (Olympus) camera).

If I spend the money to add a Canon, and thus have exactly the right hardware, will my pictures be better?

A Cannikonnentaxlbladpus for me!

I find interesting that your shortest post is producing the longest list of Featured Comments.

Actually for years, I have been presenting the same ultimate answer as yours, though the common question I received is often shorter, that is, "Should I buy a Canon, or a Nikon?"

In that the whole thing becomes a little zen.

Reminds me a little of the reputed question number 20 in an Oxford or maybe Cambridge University Philosophy Finals Exam..."Is Question 20 a fair question?" to which one candidate wrote "Yes, if this is a fair answer".
The story ends with the report that the candidate got a First, of course.

Just do it!

neither one nor the other but the opposite

"So I'm 2/3 of the way to doing it right, then (having a Nikon and a 'something else' (Olympus) camera). If I spend the money to add a Canon, and thus have exactly the right hardware, will my pictures be better?"

Hold on there David! The question was an OR choice, not an AND choice.


My answer to that question is "None of the above".

If you are willing to rely on a total stranger to decide which camera you should use, then you should spend your money on more photography lessons instead.

"Or" is convenient, allowing the possibility of "inclusive" or if one wants it. At least, I found it useful for creatively misinterpreting the question. :-)

That is so last century.
Little less conversation, a little more action, please.

Elvis Prestley, circa 1968

Sounds more like Confucius than Lao Tzu.

I'm deeply puzzled, and must say that though I am a regular reader of this blog, I don't really understand what's going on with this post, Mike...
I just can't agree with you on this subject.

The ultimate answer is "42".

Eh, why?

Featured Comment by Patrick Perez: "So you didn't want to recommend the Lamborghini Murcielago?"

Mike replies: I recommend you go with the Ferrari 599."

Oh dear, another tiresome Ferrari/Lamborghini debate! I'll stick w/ my Veyron.


my memory failed me with the reply about the Lambo. Certainly I was referencing your column, but the sad state of my memory is heightened by the fact that I had read the Automobile magazine column before you had posted about it.

I have somewhat expert knowledge of personal computers (and yeoman of photo gear). I HATE getting asked what should I buy questions. I keep promising to myself I'll answer one with words to the effect that "I'll answer xx if I can tell you who to marry". The catch is, I'm not particularly good/knowledgeable at being married!


Recently heard and kind of related...

What is the equation for the optimal number of lenses?

Optimal number = N + 1

Where "N" equals the number of lenses that you currently own.

This is closely linked to the equation for working out the number of lenses you have to buy before you spouse will leave you: -

Separation = S + 1

Where "S" equals the number of lenses you own just before separation occurs. For example, "If you buy one more lens...blah, blah, blah..."

You're in trouble when "N" = "S".

The real answer is "who cares".

The ultimate answer is "42".

Would you bring a Canon, or Nikon, to go hitch hiking in the galaxies?

Mike, your post is a full bodied, mature, meticulous, and wholly meritorious outgrowth of scholarly probing and practical sagacity.

Since stupid questions deserve stupid answers, I'm saying a) it depends, and b) I bought Pentax...

in the words of Rudyard Kipling " if "

As form follows function, camera follows need. Until you know what you want to DO with a camera there can be no answer!

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