Missing the mark

Your article in the January 2004 issue of Vision Systems Design was not only wide of the mark, it was bordering on rude, and it was certainly condescending.

Your article in the January 2004 issue of Vision Systems Design was not only wide of the mark, it was bordering on rude, and it was certainly condescending. At the very least, you missed the mark.

You were asked about cameras by two colleagues. You then 'proferred' a particular one, based on your requirements and your standards and your preferences. You made the fatal mistake of attitude you later attribute to Circuit City and its ilk—you answered a question that wasn't asked, or, to be more correct, you didn't ask any at all. You didn't ask what they wanted the cameras for, nor the circumstances they'd be used for.

This is what leads to one-shot customers and not genuine repeat business, and it is ultimately costly. Loyalty to a service provider, or brand, over a period is priceless. The line taken in your article is the very antithesis of that and the bane of all those in sales who do genuinely try to inculcate brand/provider loyalty.

In addition, I disagree with some of your comments on the merit of 3-Mpixel cameras. Most people only look at pictures at 6 × 4 in. In a conventional film camera, there are usually as many 'bad' pictures as good ones, and, similarly, the printing process is as much a cause of bad prints than anything the camera user or camera is responsible for. So, ultimately digital pictures cost you less for number of prints printed, which means that for most people, 3 Mpixels makes good sense and will do nicely.

Ms. Bush and Ms. Leger, enjoy your new-found 'toy.' I like mine so much I sold off all my 35-mm SLR gear, and my picture quality is good enough for printing in high-quality magazines or on a four-color web press.

John Moylan
www.caulfieldindustrial.ie


I helped MegaVision sell their digital cameras back when they would bring $25,000 from end users, would take only product (still) shots, and required three passes of the R, G, B filter wheel. Sometime around 2000 or so, I was interested in the Olympus E10 with 3 Mpixels. The Olympus 2100 had only 2.1 Mpixels in the sensor, but it had a 10X zoom roughly equivalent to my 28–300-mm zoom on my Minolta 35-mm film camera. I could frame most shots without changing my position and get a good-quality image.

Since then, I've watched the densities of digital devices soar to 4 Mpixels in the cheaper digital cameras, but only occasionally do I find the 10X optical zoom.

So there are limits to the zoom-to-pixel-density equation. But better designers seem to know this, and the cameras with 10X zoom and 3 Mpixels or better are out there, at very enticing prices.

Digital is convenient, and quick shooting is generally better than swapping lenses. The case for digital photography is compelling, and as a consumer with a choice, I've made mine. My film cameras are mostly shelf-bound these days.

Tom Seitzler
seitzler@svinet.com

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