Even Stranger Things on the Internet

In case you haven't yet been hit over the head with mentions of it yet, the latest and greatest thing on the Internet is ChatGPT, an AI-based chat system that will answer pretty much any question you have. So...

ME: What's the best mirrorless camera?

CHATGPT: It's difficult to say which mirrorless camera is the best, as the choice of camera often depends on the individual's needs and preferences. However, some popular mirrorless cameras include the Sony Alpha a7 III, the Fujifilm X-T4, and the Canon EOS R5. These cameras are known for their excellent image quality, fast autofocus, and versatile shooting capabilities. It's a good idea to research and compare different models to find the one that best meets your needs.

Hmm. That's an incomplete list and represents three generations of cameras. Sony is now on the A7 Mark V, and Fujifilm the X-T5. Five brands are left out (Leica, Nikon, OMDS, Panasonic, and Sigma). On the other hand, this advice is no worse than what you'd get from the salesman at your camera store who is getting spiffs from the camera makers ;~).

ME: Are DSLRs dead?

CHATGPT: No, DSLR cameras are not dead. While mirrorless cameras have become increasingly popular in recent years, many photographers still prefer to use DSLR cameras for their superior performance and image quality. Additionally, many professional photographers continue to use DSLR cameras because they are well-suited to a wide range of shooting situations and offer a range of features that are not available on mirrorless cameras. So while mirrorless cameras may be gaining in popularity, DSLR cameras are still very much alive and well.

A lot of you are going to be happy to find out that the latest and greatest Artificial Intelligence agrees with you ;~). The Japanese camera companies, not so much. It's interesting that the answer here uses unspecified claims (e.g. "superior performance"). Just as do many of the posters and commenters on the Internet! 

Note that if you ask CHATGPT to try again with its answer, you get a different response:

CHATGPT: No, DSLR cameras are not dead. Although mirrorless cameras have become increasingly popular in recent years, many photographers still prefer DSLR cameras for their larger sensors, optical viewfinders, and better battery life. DSLR cameras are also often more affordable than their mirrorless counterparts, making them a good option for photographers on a budget. It's likely that DSLR cameras will continue to be used by many photographers for the foreseeable future.

The initial part of the answer is the same, but the reasoning is different (and "larger sensors" is clearly wrong). 

ME: Is Adobe's Creative Cloud a good bargain?

CHATGPT: Adobe's Creative Cloud is a subscription-based service that provides access to a suite of creative tools, including popular applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. For many users, the Creative Cloud is a good value because it offers access to a wide range of high-quality tools and services at a reasonable cost. Additionally, the Creative Cloud allows users to easily access their files and projects from any device, making it a convenient option for those who need to work on the go. However, the Creative Cloud may not be a good value for everyone, so it's important to carefully consider your needs and budget before making a decision.

You might be getting the impression that ChatGTP has a tendency to equivocate. Yes, but... No, maybe... This, though... Way back in the early 1980's I ran a startup developing a game that had an "intelligent" chat engine at its core. We populated the engine with a lot of physics and factual information, but an inclination to turn direct questions back on the user, much like a psychologist might. ChatGPT is a bit more veiled in this, but clearly it doesn't want to be too assertive. 

ME: How do I best set exposure on my camera?

CHATGTP: There are several ways to set exposure on a camera, but one of the most common methods is to use the exposure triangle. The exposure triangle consists of three elements: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. By adjusting these elements, you can control the amount of light that enters the camera and reaches the film or image sensor.

To properly set exposure on your camera, you will need to consider the lighting conditions and the effect you want to achieve with your photograph. In general, a proper exposure will result in an image that is neither too dark nor too bright, but rather has a good balance of highlights, midtones, and shadows.

One way to set exposure is to use your camera's metering system, which measures the light in the scene and suggests an appropriate exposure setting. You can then adjust the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO as needed to achieve the desired effect. Alternatively, you can use the camera's exposure compensation feature to fine-tune the exposure setting.

It's also a good idea to experiment with different exposure settings and to learn how each element of the exposure triangle affects the final image. With practice and experience, you will become better at setting exposure on your camera and creating beautiful, well-exposed photographs.

Nope. As many of us have tried to explain for years, there is no "exposure triangle." ISO is not truly a part of exposure. EXPOSURE = LIGHT filtered by APERTURE filtered by SHUTTER SPEED. Period. End discussion. ISO is a method by which to alter how the camera forms digital numbers from an exposure. It's important to understand the difference, as the consequences of not setting each thing correctly are different, not the same as implied by the "triangle." 

That said, this is a fairly common answer to the question. Just not a fully accurate one.

ME: What's the best autofocus setting to use for birds in flight (BIF)?

CHATGTP: [Long pause] When photographing birds in flight, it's best to use a continuous autofocus (AF) setting, also known as AF-C or AI Servo. This setting allows the camera to continuously adjust the focus as the bird moves, helping to ensure that the bird stays sharp in the frame.

To use continuous autofocus, set your camera to AF-C or AI Servo mode and select a focus point that covers the area where the bird will be flying. It's a good idea to use a single focus point rather than multiple points, as this will give you more control over the focus area. You may also want to use a continuous burst mode to capture several shots in quick succession, which can help increase your chances of getting a sharp image.

In addition to setting the autofocus mode, there are a few other factors to consider when photographing birds in flight. For example, you will need to use a fast shutter speed to freeze the movement of the bird, and you may need to increase the ISO to compensate for the low light. It's also important to use a long lens with a focal length of at least 300mm to get close to the bird and fill the frame with the subject. With the right settings and techniques, you can capture beautiful, sharp images of birds in flight.

Half credit. Focus mode is correct, Autofocus-area mode is incorrect. In particular, many first-time BIFers struggle with using a single focus point, because they can't keep it on the bird in flight, let alone the right part of the bird. To CHATGTP's defense, the actual answer has a strong tendency to change with the camera being used. Even just within the Nikon cameras of the last decade, the answer varies between Group, 3D-Tracking, and Wide-area, with Dynamic-area and Auto-area also sometimes being the best choice. 

I do like that ChatGTP brought up some other factors that come into play (e.g. shutter speed), though it wasn't specific about what to set.

If you'd like to have your own conversation with ChatGTP, you can do so by creating an account on the https://chat.openai.com/chat Web site and then typing away.

Looking for gear-specific information? Check out our other Web sites:
DSLRS: dslrbodies.com | mirrorless: sansmirror.com | Z System: zsystemuser.com | film SLR: filmbodies.com

bythom.com: all text and original images © 2023 Thom Hogan
portions Copyright 1999-2022 Thom Hogan-- All Rights Reserved