Go to any photography forum or discussion group, and you’ll ultimately end up finding a heated discussion on some silly topic. I don’t know if it never gets old, or if there are just a lot of new photographers who haven’t had the opportunity to participate in these discussions. Either way, it’s almost nonstop. I’ve even seen a few forums that have banned certain discussions because people take it too far.

Here are a few of my favorite pointless discussions complete with my own snide remarks. I try not to take sides in these types of discussions, because it’s just too much effort for what it’s worth.

Film VS Digital

It’s called personal preference! One is not better than the other! Each has it’s own strong points and weak points, and I know a lot of photographers who shoot both. I don’t shoot film (never have), but I’m guessing that if I had started in photography 10 years prior I’d be shooting both.

Canon VS Nikon

Seriously people — they both suck. Get on with your lives and go take some pictures. Just kidding, I love the Canonites and Nikonians. Though it’s curious why they’re the only two groups that have named themselves as if they were residents of a small country. As with film and digital, each has it’s strong points and weak points. I’ve seen amazing photos from both brands, so there must not be a huge difference. I shoot Konica Minolta, so I’m a bit of an outsider on this one.

What Camera Should I Buy?

When you ask this question, you open up the previous two discussions by default — don’t do it! I’ve seen this question asked about 1000 times by unknowing photographers — though it’s an honest mistake. 98% of photographers who answer this question will give you a recommendation for the model or brand of camera they currently use or have previously used. You just end up with two dozen recommendations and an argument over Canon VS Nikon.

Black & White VS Color

Guess what? They’re all photos! What are you arguing about!?! Some photos look good in black & white, while others look good in color. Some photos look good in both, while others don’t look good no matter what you do to them. I like black & white, but I don’t limit myself to producing and enjoying photos of a single color type.

Microstock VS Traditional Stock

Stop whining about microstocks! It’s not the end of the world! If a stock photographer can’t beat the microstocks, maybe it’s time to move on. They’re different markets too (mostly). I tried the microstocks a while back, didn’t like it, and moved on to something else. Now I actually buy from them occasionally when I need an image for the blog (I paid $1 for the image in this post). If I had to pay a couple hundred dollars for a stock photo, I wouldn’t buy any. Bigger companies that have more money than I do, however, know the value of a traditional stock agency and are willing to pay for it.

So go ahead, tell me why I’m wrong and you’re right on these issues — I’m interested to hear it.

Also, what are your favorite pointless discussions in photography?

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I think you may have forgotten about one of the most heated debates… Photoshop or No Photoshop. The debate over the extent which to edit a photo seems to never die particularly with idealists taking their first steps into photography.

May 25, 2007 11:32 am

SHOOT!!! I totally forgot about that one! What was I thinking? Personally, I use Photoshop, but I could care less if anybody else does or doesn’t.

May 25, 2007 4:23 pm

I found nothing wrong with these topics. What’s wrong is that people keep in bringing the same topic over and over again when actually a lot of answers have been published for such query. The answer to all this is for you guys to read and don’t just post into forums about something that’s already been archived. There are lots of stories and topics to discuss so leave the old and answered ones behind. It’s time to talk about something new.

May 26, 2007 1:52 am

Well said — It’s amazing how many times the same topics come up in discussion groups. I started posting to some forums a while back, and after a couple weeks there weren’t many new topics to talk about. It just seemed like different people were asking the same questions over again.

May 26, 2007 8:03 am

Cool post… I hope the Zooomr stock photography deal helps put a middle ground in the cost structure.

May 26, 2007 11:58 am

This is your blog, … and I can’t truly say here in this post as to what makes my butt want to suck a lemon, … so, … :)

One thing that I have adopted that really works well for me, (especially as I get older), and it’s this.

“I truly don’t care what anybody else thinks!”

I’m having my fun now, … as life is way to short for me to worry about pointless twaddle talk!!

I need more coffee!!! LoL!!!

May 26, 2007 8:55 pm

That’s a good stance to take on things — I’m beginning to move in that direction myself.

May 27, 2007 8:51 am

The most common thing I always come up against is Canon Vs Nikon – what irritates me is how people start recommending their brands the moment they know I use a compact and am planning to buy an SLR. Ask them something about their camera and they start praising the brand to the skies! What I really want to know are the flaws, however small and negligible they are. So that I can decide whether the flaws are the kind I can afford to put up with or not. But no, all they do is praising one brand and bashing the other.All this when I don’t even ask for advice on which camera to buy! :-)

May 31, 2007 5:49 am

hmm…I am wondering if Sensor size(APS-C/FF/four-third) is another heated pointless topic.
Or perhaps if higher the MP a camera has to offer, the better?
People in HK care much about these.

May 31, 2007 5:51 am

Wow! The Nikonians and Canonites must be getting more agressive — usually they wait for somebody to pop the “what camera should I buy” question before breaking into battle mode.

It is nice to know the flaws of a camera before buying one, but I’ve found that the best place to find that is usually from a good solid online review site like dpreview.com. They’re usually pretty honest about the ups and downs of a particular camera, and they typically compare cameras against other brands in the same performance class.

May 31, 2007 5:50 am

I’d say the sensor size topic is another semi-pointless topic. There are some actual differences between the sensors, but just like every other topic here, each has it’s positives and negatives. I know I’ll be sticking to APS-C sensors for a while, but only because all my glass is made specifically for that size.

I think the higher MP discussions have been trailing off recently… maybe… at least for the compact camera group. It seems like people are finally becoming a little more aware of the fact that megapixels aren’t everything in a compact camera. Many photographers are on board with this idea, and I think it’s starting to leak into the general public via things like forums and blogs.

I’m sure that it’s still a heated discussion on some levels, though, like on the bigger sensors. I wish people would understand that there are trade-offs to having more pixels packed in the same sized sensor.

May 31, 2007 6:53 am

This is one post that made me laugh… Its funny, how true these arguments are, and how each one of them is truly valid, yet totally pointless after the basics have been established!

Oh, here’s my tuppence… I’ve shot both Canon and Nikon extensively, and they’re totally different both in image response and handling… and they’re both good. Lets hope there’s some peace here for a while…

May 31, 2007 3:45 pm

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