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View Full Version : Article on rumour site re. m4/3rds v. FF


David Morison
5th November 2013, 08:00 PM
Interesting article here:

http://lindsaydobsonphotography.com/blog/micro-four-thirds-vs-full-frame/

So many are now coming around to this way of thinking.

David

StephenL
5th November 2013, 08:51 PM
What a well-balanced article. Thanks for sharing.

banjukes
5th November 2013, 09:49 PM
Very Interesting article.

Grumpy Hec
6th November 2013, 08:12 AM
Thanks for that link. An excellent pragmatic and well considered article.

Hec

Iansky
6th November 2013, 09:02 AM
A great article and so are her others all making a good read and unbiased view on formats from a working professionals point of view.

I heard Damian McGillicuddy once say words to the effect that "Full frame is a digital unit designed to fit and conform to the original 35mm format and meet customer expectations, 4/3 and Mu43 is a format that has been designed and built from the gound up as a new innovative system.

How true and any camera is after all a tool, it is the person operating it that makes it dance to their tune and people are judged on results not on equipment!

Batman
6th November 2013, 09:21 AM
Lindsay Dobson's articles are well worth a reed. They offer really well balanced views. Thanks for posting the link.

Rawcoll
6th November 2013, 09:49 AM
A good natured and well balanced view on the FF "debate". Thanks for the link. It's sad that some folk have to be so vitriolic in their posts though, and the absence of that is the good thing about this forum.

I don't quite see this doctrinal need for FF; horses for courses I say. I'm more than content with what MFT can achieve; far more than I can achieve with it if truth be told.

Another blog on the subject, by Thom Hogan, I found worth a read:
http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/the-full-frame-debate.html

OlyPaul
6th November 2013, 10:41 AM
Good article, Lindsey has always gives a balanced view and as keen portrait and animal photographer myself I have been following her for some time.

Zuiko
6th November 2013, 05:33 PM
I like the way she backs up her statements with example photographs to demonstrate what she means. :)

Lindsay D
6th November 2013, 07:28 PM
Can I just say how much I appreciate the kind comments in this thread. As some of you can imagine, I have needed to don some body armour in order to withstand the onslaught my articles have provoked. When I wrote them, it was in response to the many requests I'd had to talk about my equipment choices, and specifically why I don't really need to bother with my full frame kit anymore. I had absolutely no idea that the articles would prove contentious, until I read more about the subject on DPR, where the depth of feeling became very obvious.

What is hard to understand is some of the vitriol - we're just talking about cameras after all, and it seems so strange that one person's choices may be seen as in some way threatening. It's also amazing to see the extent to which my words have been twisted or completely reinvented in some of the discussions I've encountered. Some of the urban myths are also hard to fathom - I've received e-mails informing me that I cannot possibly be a bone fide professional, otherwise I would not be using Micro 4/3 cameras. I have also been accused of taking payment for my "propaganda". It's very hard for me to get my head around some of this! I have no interest in what other people shoot with, it's of no consequence, what is interesting instead are the photographs and the philosophy behind them. Of course many of the negative responders don't appear to take any photographs themselves, and some of them quite clearly have never used a modern Micro 4/3 camera.

Sorry for the rant - but I feel safe enough here to open up!

I'll look forward to reading around this forum and hopefully getting to know the contributors.

Kind regards
Lindsay

StephenL
6th November 2013, 07:44 PM
Thanks for joining us. I look forward to more contributions from you, not to mention help!

Lindsay D
6th November 2013, 07:47 PM
Delighted to help if I can Stephen :)

Zuiko
6th November 2013, 07:52 PM
Can I just say how much I appreciate the kind comments in this thread. As some of you can imagine, I have needed to don some body armour in order to withstand the onslaught my articles have provoked. When I wrote them, it was in response to the many requests I'd had to talk about my equipment choices, and specifically why I don't really need to bother with my full frame kit anymore. I had absolutely no idea that the articles would prove contentious, until I read more about the subject on DPR, where the depth of feeling became very obvious.

What is hard to understand is some of the vitriol - we're just talking about cameras after all, and it seems so strange that one person's choices may be seen as in some way threatening. It's also amazing to see the extent to which my words have been twisted or completely reinvented in some of the discussions I've encountered. Some of the urban myths are also hard to fathom - I've received e-mails informing me that I cannot possibly be a bone fide professional, otherwise I would not be using Micro 4/3 cameras. I have also been accused of taking payment for my "propaganda". It's very hard for me to get my head around some of this! I have no interest in what other people shoot with, it's of no consequence, what is interesting instead are the photographs and the philosophy behind them. Of course many of the negative responders don't appear to take any photographs themselves, and some of them quite clearly have never used a modern Micro 4/3 camera.

Sorry for the rant - but I feel safe enough here to open up!

I'll look forward to reading around this forum and hopefully getting to know the contributors.

Kind regards
Lindsay

Hi Lindsay, and welcome!

Like you I find it hard to understand why people get so uptight about choice of camera. OK, we are a brand specific site so the onus is very much on Olympus but the main advantage is that we have built a pool of knowledge and experience that helps us individually to obtain the answer to problems with our kit and learn how to get the best out of it for its intended purpose, taking photographs. We also have an extensive equipment hire service.

However, the main thing that defines us all is that we are photographers and whilst we have our fair share of gear related threads (particularly when a new camera appears) we probably have a higher ratio of picture threads than many other sites.

I hope you enjoy your time here and I know that there is much we can learn from you. You are welcome to add a link to your website/blog in your signature line if you wish. Meanwhile, if you need any help navigating the site just ask. :)

Kami
6th November 2013, 07:58 PM
Ugh ! Fancy using 4/3, m4/3. Wouldn't touch that small, noisy sensor-size with a bargepole. ;-)

Lindsay D
6th November 2013, 07:59 PM
Thank you for the warm welcome John - this site has a lovely feel to it. I'll look forward to learning from the contributors and offering my own thoughts as well. Good to know about the hire service too.

Lindsay D
6th November 2013, 08:04 PM
Ugh ! Fancy using 4/3, m4/3. Wouldn't touch that small, noisy sensor-size with a bargepole. ;-)

You cheeky thing! :p

Lindsay D
6th November 2013, 09:39 PM
You are welcome to add a link to your website/blog in your signature line if you wish. Meanwhile, if you need any help navigating the site just ask. :)

Hi John, I've just tried to add a signature but I don't have the option in my settings. I'm guessing I would need to be a member for a probationary period first?

David M
6th November 2013, 11:21 PM
Some of you may remember my foray with FF. I shot it for 5 weeks, the first week was a test, the last four weeks because my 4/3 kit was on a different continent. What's the point in a FF sensor if the lenses aren't good enough for it.

Zuiko
6th November 2013, 11:28 PM
Hi John, I've just tried to add a signature but I don't have the option in my settings. I'm guessing I would need to be a member for a probationary period first?

Ah, sorry Lindsay I forgot - you need six posts (it gives us a fighting chance of weeding out the spammers).

David Morison
6th November 2013, 11:33 PM
Welcome Lindsay, it's great to have a clear-thinking professional joining our forum.

Some of you may remember my foray with FF. I shot it for 5 weeks, the first week was a test, the last four weeks because my 4/3 kit was on a different continent. What's the point in a FF sensor if the lenses aren't good enough for it.

But some of the lenses designed for FF are excellent when used on m4/3, especially for wildlife when the extra reach counts. With the increasing availability of Speedboosters for m4/3 we could be reaping huge rewards.

David

PeterBirder
7th November 2013, 12:01 AM
A warm welcome Lindsay.

I enjoyed your very well considered blog enormously and am sure any contributions you make here will be greatly appreciated. This is indeed a very friendly group and all the members I have met in person (at some of the informal meet ups that are organised from time to time) as well as online have been great folks.

I'm sure you'll feel at home here.

Regards. *chr

Otto
7th November 2013, 12:14 AM
Hi Lindsay

I enjoyed reading your blog posts, you make some very clear and sensible points. I fear that as in so many walks of life there are a lot of "mine's better than yours" types about, who are best ignored. For a professional it's the end result that matters, not the means to that end. As Bert Hardy famously said at a dinner party, "this is a lovely meal, you must have a very good oven" :). I've not been here long myself but have found it a very welcoming and friendly place and I'm sure you will find the same :).

byegad
7th November 2013, 07:50 AM
Excellent articles. Thank you Lindsay for writing them and for joining us on this forum.

The fairly large Photo-group I belong to has the usual good natured Canon - Nikon wars along with the odd Pentax user and several Bridge camera users, most of whom aspire to one of the above! I'm the only m4/3 user, as far as I know. They are supportive towards me and in some cases interested in m4/3 but I strongly suspect that they are waiting for me to 'see sense' and join one of the FF brigades.

We had a Professional Photographer as speaker in the summer who uses a mix of FF and micro4/3 cameras in his working life. Now Lindsay publicly 'breaks ranks' and the newest Olympus and Panasonic bodies get ever closer to the bells and whistles of a FF DSLR. Maybe the 'End is Nigh!' for FF, but I doubt it. However I think we will see the hobby gain another friendly faction and m4/3 will be that faction.

jmunkki
7th November 2013, 09:09 AM
Camera wars (and FF vs. FT) remind me a lot of the PC vs. Mac wars that used to rage. I think when people invest a lot of money on something, they have a very strong urge to justify that they made the right purchase. Some of those people find this justification through elimination: they declare that their choice was the only right choice and that everyone else is wrong.

I have been using digital cameras for over 15 years and the technology has come a long way since then. My first digital camera was a Nikon, but I've had Agfa, Nikon, Canon, Panasonic etc cameras along the way. Some of my favorite photos were taken on the Coolpix 950 and 990 (2 and 3 megapixels). In most conditions, the Olympus E-520 has been everything I need. The excellent Zuiko 12-60 zoom lens was the reason I bought that camera. The E-M1 will allow me to keep on using that lens while extending low light capabilities and potentially making the pictures even sharper.

The Agfa ePhoto 1280, 1680 and Nikon Coolpix 950 and 990 taught me the value of having a tilting LCD. I wear glasses, so thew viewfinder on the E-520 has been troublesome at times and the live view on that camera has extremely poor focusing. It will be nice to be able to use an electronic viewfinder again.

Zuiko
7th November 2013, 09:23 AM
Excellent articles. Thank you Lindsay for writing them and for joining us on this forum.

The fairly large Photo-group I belong to has the usual good natured Canon - Nikon wars along with the odd Pentax user and several Bridge camera users, most of whom aspire to one of the above! I'm the only m4/3 user, as far as I know. They are supportive towards me and in some cases interested in m4/3 but I strongly suspect that they are waiting for me to 'see sense' and join one of the FF brigades.

We had a Professional Photographer as speaker in the summer who uses a mix of FF and micro4/3 cameras in his working life. Now Lindsay publicly 'breaks ranks' and the newest Olympus and Panasonic bodies get ever closer to the bells and whistles of a FF DSLR. Maybe the 'End is Nigh!' for FF, but I doubt it. However I think we will see the hobby gain another friendly faction and m4/3 will be that faction.

I've no wish to see the demise of Full Frame or DSLRs in general, just would like better recognition for MFT as a valid alternative, which is already happening and gaining pace. I suspect you won't be the only MFT user in your club for long!

Jim Ford
7th November 2013, 09:58 AM
If you want detail in images, 35mm is too small - as is medium format, half and full plate!

Many years ago I was at the Kodak museum in Wealdstone (gone now?). There were huge Victorian contact prints IIRC 20x16. The resolution of the finest detail was astonishing!

Jim

Lindsay D
7th November 2013, 10:07 AM
Thank you all SO much for the kind welcome - and no profanity or insults in sight - I'll have to get used to that! :)

Yes, the "passion" with which the full frame brigade defend their corner is quite extraordinary - and utterly unnecessary. I'm concluding the whole thing is probably about ego, and perhaps a degree of resentment when good results are achieved using a 'small' camera. There seems to be little credence given to the experience of the person behind it. I have to say that saddens me, nobody seems to care about skill or knowledge anymore.

I remember, not so long ago, when the Canon 20D was released and was lauded as the ultimate wedding and portrait camera. We managed to do our work very well. But just now I'm getting hit by e-mails telling me that no self-respecting professional would use a Micro 4/3 camera, because apparently it lacks dynamic range and noise control. Statements like this are laughable. I can look around the walls of my viewing room which are covered with large prints, some of them many years old, made with cameras which would be considered silly today. But I don't recall being told back then that I was shortchanging my subjects. And to this day I still occasionally use my 40D because to me it represents a lovely basic DSLR with great IQ (and 10MP - shock). Of course, if I confessed that elsewhere I'd be hammered - because it isn't the latest full frame body therefore I cannot be a bone fide photographer. :rolleyes:

I only use my full frame 'pro' equipment on rare occasions, usually for very accurate pinpoint focus when taking pictures of distant wildlife.

Some of the arguments I hear in certain places really are quite extraordinary.

Overnight I've had a number of e-mails from individuals telling me that I'm the only photographer they've accounted who can take good pictures with Micro 4/3 camera. That kind of nonsense leaves me speechless, they obviously haven't come across anything other than the hobbyist brigade on their favoured forum. I've also had e-mails from professionals who have thanked me for "coming out" because they are (understandably) have decided not to because of the likely consequences. What a sad world we live in. My mouth has got me into trouble on multiple occasions and it's unlikely I'm going to change any time soon.

Zuiko
7th November 2013, 10:20 AM
If you want detail in images, 35mm is too small - as is medium format, half and full plate!

Many years ago I was at the Kodak museum in Wealdstone (gone now?). There were huge Victorian contact prints IIRC 20x16. The resolution of the finest detail was astonishing!

Jim

Format size is all relative. I find it somewhat ironic that when using film I "upgraded" to Medium Format because I no longer considered the 135 format to be high enough quality for my needs, yet here I am using a digital sensor approximately 1/4 the size of Full Frame! Why didn't I subsequently progress from medium to large format? Because I found 120 was good enough, just as I now find Four Thirds good enough. We all have our own levels.

David Morison
7th November 2013, 10:26 AM
I still have A3+ prints on my walls that were taken ten years ago on my then Leica Digilux 2, which had a 5 mpx small sensor, and they still please me with the detail they display.

David

Ross the fiddler
7th November 2013, 10:38 AM
G'day Lindsay. It's good to have you on here & good on you & thanks 'for coming out' & writing your blog article & addendum on this subject. It's a bit sad with some people's twisted attitudes towards you & us being just for the gear chosen to use.

Hope to see more of your comments (& photos?) on here.

*chr

Otto
7th November 2013, 11:14 AM
Quality of formats is a tricky subject. Years ago I made a b+w print from a negative and wanted to reprint it. It was a very sharp and detailed print so I searched through my medium format negs, only to discover it was 35mm APX25 taken on my OM-4! That said the quality I get from my E-M5 is at least as good, probably better, from a "half frame" sensor.

Simon
7th November 2013, 12:08 PM
Lindsay said: "Yes, the "passion" with which the full frame brigade defend their corner is quite extraordinary - and utterly unnecessary. I'm concluding the whole thing is probably about ego, and perhaps a degree of resentment when good results are achieved using a 'small' camera. There seems to be little credence given to the experience of the person behind it. I have to say that saddens me, nobody seems to care about skill or knowledge anymore."


I am very impressed with Lindsay’s photography (and a little in awe of her portrait skills, tbh), and also her courage to stick to her head above the parapet. Its interesting that Lindsay mentioned the ‘egos’ of people who take to parading their opposition to her use of m 4/3.
My day job is teaching psychology and sociology to undergraduates, so I thought I’d add to the mix a social psychologist’s two-penneth worth of reflection.
Social Psychologists have several popular theories about why people discriminate and the effects that this has. Tajfel and Turner (1979), for example, proposed social identity theory which argues that people’s individual self-esteem becomes bound-up with the fortunes of the group to which they belong. This has the effect of depersonalising others in out-groups, which become a threat. Lindsay would be an obvious target for those who identify with their manufacturer groups, because her obvious skills as a photographer threaten their self-esteem by way of the group identity (you challenge me, you challenge us all). Nobody likes to be made a monkey-of, but this could be borne in private. Yet Lindsey’s work and disclosure threaten the group identity which is far more serious because it cannot be so easily repaired or patched over as a private challenge can. The categorisation which T % T say inevitably happens when groups compare with others can result in such defensive projections as dismissive and insulting comments (this last part borrowed from psychoanalytical theory); attempts to repair a threatened social identity. All of which illustrates the danger of constructing our identities around the status of objects – these change and we close ranks to cope with this threat. In an increasingly public arena, T & T would claim that our social identities come to dominate our sense of self-worth, and that this is often at the expense of our own self-esteem.
All of which goes to redefine the obvious (a great skill of psychologists!) that the pleasure we get from the hobby we choose should always be central to our motivation to go and take pictures. Lindsay needs to choose the most appropriate equipment for her work, which has no relevance to others, except that they could learn from her if they didn’t see her as a threat to their carefully constructed social identities. ‘Camera wars’ may occupy some people, but they have nothing to add to the quality of Lindsay’s work.
Apologies if the jargon was *zzz.
Simon.

srtgray
7th November 2013, 12:27 PM
It's very hard for me to get my head around some of this! I have no interest in what other people shoot with, it's of no consequence, what is interesting instead are the photographs and the philosophy behind them. Of course many of the negative responders don't appear to take any photographs themselves, and some of them quite clearly have never used a modern Micro 4/3 camera.

I fully agree with this. I teach a Food Photography course, and the only "camera" I can guarantee my students have is an iPad - because they are furnished by the college. Consequently my entire focus of the course is in framing and story-telling, and making the most of available light. Those who have other cameras obviously have more options, but it really is the eye behind the view finder that makes the difference.

I enjoyed the articles, and hearing your PoV. Sorry that others elsewhere couldn't take the same attitude.

Lindsay D
7th November 2013, 01:10 PM
Simon, I found it very interesting to learn about some of the psychology behind this kind of behaviour. I have absolutely seen a pack mentality descend at times on certain fora. Sometimes it just takes one or two vocal respondents to boost the others into joining in the bashing.

And I think the main thing at play here is the anonymity which the Internet provides. It's so easy to be whoever you wish to be, with very little consequence. I do think the Internet can bring out the very worst in some people. I can't remember the exact name of the studies I'm thinking of, but Simon will know - I think the experiments were done in the late 1970s or perhaps the early 1980s. Anyway, a sample of individuals (thought to represent a normal population distribution) were asked to volunteer. The study consisted of some of the people being given positions of responsibility or authority (Group A), and the other half of the group assuming a passive role, sometimes play-acting as prisoners in a mockup jail scenario. It was specifically the first group, those "in charge" who were scrutinised. After a certain period of time some of these volunteers began to exhibit behavioural changes, such as developing a swagger, becoming less polite to the "captives". Taking things to the next stage, Group A were given the task of administering electric shocks to Group B, all of this was done anonymously and was carried out behind a two-way mirror. It appeared that a consistent proportion exhibited narcissistic behaviour (with some of them even exhibiting psychotic behaviour) and began to relish the fact that they were allowed to dish out punishment to the others. Under normal conditions these traits may never become obvious, but when given the chance these people chose to abandon the normal conventions of society and felt free to indulge their unpleasant side, because they enjoyed it, and they knew there would be no consequences.

The Internet is a wonderful thing, but it can be a double-edged sword.

Lindsay D
7th November 2013, 01:11 PM
Thomas, I think your approach to teaching food photography is fantastic - the students have to use whatever equipment is available and therefore learn the value of good technique and lighting. I try to do the same, but with some of them I'm fighting a losing battle, I am of course speaking of those who come to me tooled up with all the latest full frame gadgetry and who feel it unnecessary to learn good basic camera craft. Sigh.

Zuiko
7th November 2013, 10:57 PM
Simon and Lindsay make very interesting comments about psychology and the Internet. Photography forums can be bad enough but many comments to news stories posted on Yahoo are truly shocking and it is extremely concerning that people can even think that way, even if they are trolling. At its best Humanity represents a cultured, socially refined and highly intellectial species capable of great scientific and technical achievements and artistic triumphs; at it's worst it is a cesspit of despair, obsessive greed (for both wealth and power) and unbelievable cruelty. How could the same species that produced the creative genius of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Einstein also be responsible for the Holocaust?

The Internet encompasses the whole range of Human opinions, emotions and capabilities, from the saintly to the satanic, from the barbaric to the artistic. You would at least expect photography forums to be more artistic than barbaric but the fact that many aren't demonstartes the power of the pack mentality combined with anonymity. We cannot completely shield ourselves from the raging storm but we can resolve to maintain this small oasis of the E-Group as a shining beacon in the darkness! (Always end a piece like this with a good range of metaphors! :D)

Simon
8th November 2013, 10:10 AM
Lindsay and John, you describe what psychologists call 'de-individuation theories' of group behaviour; that is, we lose our sense of individual responsibility when we partake in certain group behaviour, and you are quite right that anonymity is a factor in this (there are others, such as levels of arousal, group cohesion and social context). The classic study Lindsay alludes to is Zimbardo's 'prison' experiment Stanford prison experiment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, in which Zimbardo showed that the situation of a 'prison' (it was a mock up, but run as a prison would be) itself is enough to cause this 'loss of self' to such an extent that the depersonalisation that happens when groups confront each other (prisoners and guards in this case) can easily become dehumanisation and lead to appalling acts of cruelty. The very idea that the power of the situation itself causes such effects challenges our individualistic belief in our own dispositions as basically 'good' people. Zimbardo argues that you just need to change the circumstances (include all the social factors above) and we'd ALL become dehumanised too - this is why the study had (and still has) such profound impact. It has been challenged, replicated etc., but that's for another discussion, perhaps.
Social psychologists also want to know why some group behaviour can have the opposite effect - the vast majority of contribution to this forum, for example, is helpful, supportive and genuinely builds a community around a common interest. This is where social identity theory (mentioned in my last post) is useful; it can help explain the positive effects as well. Instead of a 'loss of self' through anonymity etc, this idea suggests that in some circumstances we shift to a group identity where we can take on the values of the group; in effect what this forum manages to achieve is to RE-personalise a technical and impersonal exchange system, so that even though you probably won't meet, the group identity is enough to help build your self-esteem. That even applies to members such as myself who do a lot of lurking, but not too much contributing.

Why factors such as anonymity can lead to such irrational and dehumanising behaviour for the sake of group status and personal gratification is one subject social psychologists do still struggle to understand, particularly the idea that people become aroused by cruelty to others. Most psych theories have yet to address this side of it adequately (which is why I mentioned psychoanalysis too; a largely discredited paradigm which at least tries to address irrational and compulsive behaviour).

John, I think I might be your friend forever, as the subject of my PhD dissertation was the construction of everyday language through systems of metaphor and how this shapes our understanding of risk behaviour!

Being an oasis in a sea of suspicion and discontent (perhaps) is a great thing, and this forum's status for members is in no small part down to the work of people like yourself.
Simon.

Zuiko
8th November 2013, 10:33 AM
Lindsay and John, you describe what psychologists call 'de-individuation theories' of group behaviour; that is, we lose our sense of individual responsibility when we partake in certain group behaviour, and you are quite right that anonymity is a factor in this (there are others, such as levels of arousal, group cohesion and social context). The classic study Lindsay alludes to is Zimbardo's 'prison' experiment Stanford prison experiment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment), in which Zimbardo showed that the situation of a 'prison' (it was a mock up, but run as a prison would be) itself is enough to cause this 'loss of self' to such an extent that the depersonalisation that happens when groups confront each other (prisoners and guards in this case) can easily become dehumanisation and lead to appalling acts of cruelty. The very idea that the power of the situation itself causes such effects challenges our individualistic belief in our own dispositions as basically 'good' people. Zimbardo argues that you just need to change the circumstances (include all the social factors above) and we'd ALL become dehumanised too - this is why the study had (and still has) such profound impact. It has been challenged, replicated etc., but that's for another discussion, perhaps.
Social psychologists also want to know why some group behaviour can have the opposite effect - the vast majority of contribution to this forum, for example, is helpful, supportive and genuinely builds a community around a common interest. This is where social identity theory (mentioned in my last post) is useful; it can help explain the positive effects as well. Instead of a 'loss of self' through anonymity etc, this idea suggests that in some circumstances we shift to a group identity where we can take on the values of the group; in effect what this forum manages to achieve is to RE-personalise a technical and impersonal exchange system, so that even though you probably won't meet, the group identity is enough to help build your self-esteem. That even applies to members such as myself who do a lot of lurking, but not too much contributing.

Why factors such as anonymity can lead to such irrational and dehumanising behaviour for the sake of group status and personal gratification is one subject social psychologists do still struggle to understand, particularly the idea that people become aroused by cruelty to others. Most psych theories have yet to address this side of it adequately (which is why I mentioned psychoanalysis too; a largely discredited paradigm which at least tries to address irrational and compulsive behaviour).

John, I think I might be your friend forever, as the subject of my PhD dissertation was the construction of everyday language through systems of metaphor and how this shapes our understanding of risk behaviour!

Being an oasis in a sea of suspicion and discontent (perhaps) is a great thing, and this forum's status for members is in no small part down to the work of people like yourself.
Simon.

Thanks Simon, your input has really helped me to understand why, in certain situations, seemingly ordinary and reasonable people are capable of the most brutal of behaviour. It seems there is a lot more to it than, "I was only following orders."

It also explains why this forum propogates the opposite effect, of group politeness, friendship and positive bonding. This is in no small part due to the principles established by Ian and it is no coincidence that the same spirit prevails on all his forums.

Lindsay D
8th November 2013, 12:14 PM
Yes, that's the study I was thinking of Simon, thank you for setting out the findings, which I actually find quite frightening. This is a subject I am quite interested in, because I have seen this kind of thing in action. Nearly 2 years ago I reviewed a small Fuji camera, not a professional machine, just one targeted at hobbyists. I was impressed with the camera and in many ways it reinvigorated my interest in casual travel photography. Then one evening I noticed thousands of hits on my Blog, where I'd written the review. They were all coming from the Finepix forum at DPR.

When I clicked through to view the discussion I was completely horrified. I was being attacked, vilified, slandered. I was being accused of taking payment from Fuji, of fabricating my results, of using a different camera, of lying. It was endless. They say that you cope with a situation much better when you understand the rationale behind it, but here's the thing - to this day I have never understood any of it. The vitriol snowballed and became out and out hatred. It later transpired that there was an active anti--Fuji movement at that time, very vocal on that particular forum. There may even be a political basis for it. But I was bombarded with hate mail and my website was attacked twice and brought down - not an easy feat given the precautions I have in place. The effect on my business was measurable, I had to deal with clients who could not access their viewing galleries and the inevitable lost business due to downtime. In addition I had to halt everything else I was working on in order to deal with the situation. I was unwell at the time but the stress of the attacks tipped the balance the wrong way and I ended up in hospital. I was getting dire anonymous warnings from well-wishers telling me to watch my back at all times, and also from prominent photographers who had been attacked in a similar way when they had talked about the same camera.

The whole thing was utterly awful. What was amazing is the fact that the moderators on the forum in question did nothing to intervene - and my pleas to them were completely ignored. In the end some of the more helpful participants got together and petitioned the site owner to remove the thread, after it reached several pages and had been referenced all over the Internet.

On a positive note this did also bring some wonderful people to my defence, who I'm still friends with. But I cannot get my head around the brutality of the attack, and how sustained it was. And for what? A stupid camera.

After that I said I wouldn't review any more pieces of equipment but I'm a great believer in having a voice so I gradually started to talk about my work again. When I published my Micro 4/3 versus full frame article, it never occurred to me that it would kick-off (though thankfully nowhere near as badly as before) because what I was saying was simple common sense and had surely been said before many times. I do have a thick skin, but the fear of my business being targeted again is always with me.

There was a slightly chilling remark on another forum yesterday where one commentator said that I wouldn't last 5 minutes if they got hold of me.

I must say this forum is a breath of fresh air and I want to say thank you again to everyone here for treating me so nicely.

StephenL
8th November 2013, 12:33 PM
Well, you're amongst friends here! The worst we get is a disagreement whether m4/3 can shoot birds in flight as well as regular 4/3! As you say, a camera is just a tool, a means to an end.

Simon
8th November 2013, 04:17 PM
Yes, that's the study I was thinking of Simon, thank you for setting out the findings, which I actually find quite frightening. This is a subject I am quite interested in, because I have seen this kind of thing in action. Nearly 2 years ago I reviewed a small Fuji camera, not a professional machine, just one targeted at hobbyists. I was impressed with the camera and in many ways it reinvigorated my interest in casual travel photography. Then one evening I noticed thousands of hits on my Blog, where I'd written the review. They were all coming from the Finepix forum at DPR.

When I clicked through to view the discussion I was completely horrified. I was being attacked, vilified, slandered. I was being accused of taking payment from Fuji, of fabricating my results, of using a different camera, of lying. It was endless. They say that you cope with a situation much better when you understand the rationale behind it, but here's the thing - to this day I have never understood any of it. The vitriol snowballed and became out and out hatred. It later transpired that there was an active anti--Fuji movement at that time, very vocal on that particular forum. There may even be a political basis for it. But I was bombarded with hate mail and my website was attacked twice and brought down - not an easy feat given the precautions I have in place. The effect on my business was measurable, I had to deal with clients who could not access their viewing galleries and the inevitable lost business due to downtime. In addition I had to halt everything else I was working on in order to deal with the situation. I was unwell at the time but the stress of the attacks tipped the balance the wrong way and I ended up in hospital. I was getting dire anonymous warnings from well-wishers telling me to watch my back at all times, and also from prominent photographers who had been attacked in a similar way when they had talked about the same camera.

The whole thing was utterly awful. What was amazing is the fact that the moderators on the forum in question did nothing to intervene - and my pleas to them were completely ignored. In the end some of the more helpful participants got together and petitioned the site owner to remove the thread, after it reached several pages and had been referenced all over the Internet.

On a positive note this did also bring some wonderful people to my defence, who I'm still friends with. But I cannot get my head around the brutality of the attack, and how sustained it was. And for what? A stupid camera.

After that I said I wouldn't review any more pieces of equipment but I'm a great believer in having a voice so I gradually started to talk about my work again. When I published my Micro 4/3 versus full frame article, it never occurred to me that it would kick-off (though thankfully nowhere near as badly as before) because what I was saying was simple common sense and had surely been said before many times. I do have a thick skin, but the fear of my business being targeted again is always with me.

There was a slightly chilling remark on another forum yesterday where one commentator said that I wouldn't last 5 minutes if they got hold of me.

I must say this forum is a breath of fresh air and I want to say thank you again to everyone here for treating me so nicely.

Your awful experience seems to be a very good example of how people can easily slide into a sinister form of behaviour over what turns out to be virtually nothing. Its, as you say, a 'stupid camera'. The boundary between depersonalisation and dehumanisation can be frighteningly blurred for many people with seemingly, so little motivation. Psychologists study these kinds of phenomena, but as for doing something about them... However thank goodness the internet does allow us to form positive communities too, like this one. :)
I think my 'two-penneth' worth has probably run out now!
Simon.