Listing image data?

Hi everyone,

I was just wondering why is that everyone, including myself, still list the camera they use in their pertinent image data? Is the camera really pertinent data, especially in this day and time? Before posting this question I asked the site owner, David, what he thought. He thought it is just out of habit but thought it would be interesting to put it out there. What do you think? Is it really relevant?

By camera data (Nikon, Cannon) etc., I agree not necessary.
I do like to know lens info, Shutter speed, iso, and F stop because I like to know how images were shot,
gives me a good idea of the light and the processing.

Habit I guess. The data is irrelevant for most viewers. Only the image really matters in most circumstances.

While I agree that camera data are in some way “irrelevant”, I find that, nevertheless, I want to know.

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Harley, If sites like this are not about anybody learning anything, just looking at pretty images, I guess I thought it was about more than that…
I have learned a lot and still learn a lot looking at the data…
I like to know the data from wildlife or birds because I know how far away they were, I know how big the crop is, what the best gear is for autofocus, etc.
That is not irrelevant to me.
I just purchased a Macro lens, I like to know what gear people use for that.
In even Landscape, I like to know settings people use for night images, etc.
That is how I learned, I don’t really know why others would not want to know this info?

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That makes sense Dan. I never look at it, but certainly others may find it quite useful.

But some of the best images aren’t very pretty. :slight_smile:

Sometimes the information is useful about gear to help understand the parameters the photographer found themselves in. i.e. using a crop sensor camera can help put in context the field of view of a lens versus the same lens on a full frame camera. Still doesn’t answer all of the variables, but it doesn’t hurt to know. ISO, Aperture, Shutter speed are useful mostly for seeing what settings were used to capture the image. Sometimes, great choices, other times, terrible choices.

In terms of thinking it provides info on “the best gear for autofocus”… I don’t buy it. Nearly any camera system is more than capable of autofocus that is excellent assuming the photographer knows how to use it.

I also don’t think Harley said anything about “just looking at pretty images”. The site is FAR more than that. Gear is one piece of the puzzle, but far from the reason an image is successful or not. Just finished teaching one of my annual classes last night and shared this quote from Ansel:

“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs”

hnmmm… And Ansel didn’t even have autofocus…:grinning:

I don’t think the gear in general and the camera in particular is irrelevant. If nothing else, when I was getting started in this avocation, I was looking a lot at what kind of gear the people whose work I admired were using. It’s pretty much how I chose the equipment I’ve purchased right up to the present time.

An example of that was when Sigma and Tamron came out with their 150-600 mm zooms a few years ago. The prevailing wisdom at the time would have led one to believe that no serious avian or wildlife photographer would use such a thing. It didn’t take all that many images from the earliest adopters that there might be something worthwhile in these lenses. After getting mine and posting lots of images using it, I received quite a few emails from other NPN avian photographers about it.

Yes, you can certainly take good images with any modern camera, but if you’re into Avian photography and looking to upgrade, would you buy a 7D Mark II or a 6D? If no one bothered to post their camera model, how would you know that most avian photographers use the former and almost none use the 6D?

Mac or PC. Vanilla or Chocolate. Ford or Chevy (Toyota if you ask me). I don’t think the camera is important at all…it’s just the tool you’ve chosen. And It all comes down to preference, and what works for you. This is just me experience, but knowing what camera a photographer was using opened a whole new world.

When I started getting into landscape photography I had know idea what I was doing…at all. It was embarrassing. It didn’t take me long to figure out I couldn’t simply point my camera at a scene, and walk away with something good. There are some photographers who can do that, but I couldn’t. And it was very frustrating. What was I doing wrong? Was it my camera? Maybe…but maybe not.

I started out trying to find other photographers who used Nikon cameras. My thinking was that they would have insight into what worked for them, and I could simply reproduce that. This helped, but I knew there was more to it. Dialing in ISO 100 at F8 might work for a lot of photographs, but why? And when it didn’t work…why not?

The more research I did the more I realized the camera wasn’t the problem…it was how I was using it. And what limitations did my camera have that might be holding me back. This introduced me to exposure bracketing, Luminosity Masks, focus stacking…the list goes on and on. I got there because I looked for other photographers using a specific camera.

I’ve never used Canon, Sony, Fujifilm, ect. I’ve only ever known Nikon. It helped, at least for me, to find someone who was much better at shooting Nikon than I was, and learn from them. Once I knew how to better use the tool I had…the camera “brand” wasn’t important at all. I’m now more confidant that I could take any camera out to the field, and apply what I’d learned to my ISO, aperture, shooting mode, you name it, and walk away with a much better photograph.

Knowing that @Ben_Horne shoots with an 8x10 might be important to someone looking for more information about shooting on film. Knowing that @Dan_Ballard shoots with Sony, and @Sarah_Marino has experience with the Canon EOS R would probably benefit a lot of photographers looking to go mirrorless.

For me, I like knowing why a photographer uses a specific tool. I do a lot of hiking and backpacking, and I kind of wish I had gone with the Sony a7r II over the D810 just because of the weight difference. But at the time, I didn’t know any photographers using the Sony…I knew Nikon…so I went with what I was comfortable with. Now, that’s changed a lot. Technology has changed a lot, and if I could afford it—and my wife wouldn’t kill me—I’d probably switch to mirrorless.

So, yeah. For me, the camera info was actually very helpful. There you go…my two cents.

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I think meta data can be miss leading.
I cannot think of the last pretty landscape with nice light that I went to photograph that I did not take multiple exposures to cover the dynamic range of the scene, focus stack, get different perspectives, etc…
The final resulting image is often a blend in some way of those. Sometimes it is not and I just use 1 frame.
But anytime I have blended or do any sort of pano stitching I assume any metadata is pulled just from one of them and could actually be quite off from how the photo looks if it pulls the meta data from a really short shutter speed higher ISO I used because some reeds were blowing in the wind on my base ISO long exposure, etc…
So what number can be trusted: F stop, shutter speed, ISO, focal length, etc… ; really none of it

I learn from the data and like people to include it.
I look for people using the same camera, or camera and lens, and always look at the settings. I’ve communicated privately with the people about some of the settings or issues and have always come away with more ideas or knowledge.
This is especially true for newer lenses and cameras.

I agree that brands don’t really matter but I do wish to know whether crop sensor or full frame, the percentage of frame size, and perhaps the pixel packing configuration. I have two crop sensor cameras; one is twenty MP and the other is twenty six MP. The level of noise differs between the two. So despite the fact that brand doesn’t matter as most modern DSLRs or mirror less are fully capable, knowing the brand and model of the camera provides a lot of information in the fewest words.

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I really appreciate seeing the data. I learn so much from it. And it doesn’t take me long to include it, so why not do it, even the type of camera, for all the positive reasons stated above but also for brevity of information. I really don’t want to say full frame camera with x number of megapixels or whatever.
The lens information is equally important, and as others have said, it is sometimes helpful to know you had that lens on a full frame or cropped sensor.

I agree with settings and lens focal length.

Thanks for responding.

“It is not doing the thing we like to do, but liking the thing we have to do, that makes life blessed.”


Data like f stop, shutter speed, iso, focal length, and even lens yes but specific camera in my opinion not necessary, unless you are using a camera such as large format or even medium format and then only so reader/viewer can extrapolate lens to his or her specific format because my assumption is most are using some form of 35mm format. I would even say whether hand held or on a tripod.

In this specific scenario I would agree. However, if you are posting a pano or a blended image don’t you acknowledge it as such?

I would think crop sensor or full format would suffice.

In my experience some of the best images I have made were done before I had the distraction of understanding the relationship of f-stop to ss to iso, when I used my old film point and shoot with only focus adjustment for depth of field. But also so were most of the worst images taken back then too because I didn’t understand the relationship of the elements of exposure. So, IMHO camera maker and model is irrelevant. I remember when I learned to work in a dark room I don’t recall anyone asking what camera I used or me asking them. Posting the camera make and model with pertinent image data reminds of the person who sees an image they like and saying to the maker “wow, that’s a really good picture, what camera do you use?” Really!

On the contrary, in my mind you just proved the point that the specific camera model and maker is largely irrelevant (I’m not a pixel peeper). And even with lens maker can be irrelevant given proper technique and an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of a given lens.

No when I post an image anywhere I would rarely discuss the processing.
Doing so takes away from the visual presentation in my opinion and anything else I want to say and have people read. If someone asks then yes I would state it was blended from multiple exposes, focus stacked or whatever.

If posting an image for critique to other photographers or if I have specific questions about whether the processing looks good or not, than of course I would initially disclose that information.
I am not currently selling anything to other photographers though, so maybe I have a different outlook on it, then others who are.