“It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Just like in the Indiana Jones movie, the perfect camera has become the Holy Grail for Photographers and seems to be just as elusive.
Sometimes people ask me, what camera do you use, what lens do you recommend? My answer is the one that suits you best. The Leica seems to be the Holy Grail of cameras but just because you buy a Leica doesn’t necessarily mean you will take better photos..There is no such thing as the Perfect Camera. Just the one that feels right for you..
Personally I go into a shop and play with the cameras before I buy and get a feel for the ease of use. Are the dials logical and accessible? Does the camera allow you to shoot Aperture/Shutter Priority? Is it easy to hold? Is it heavy? Is it light? Is the auto focus quick enough? I prefer a fast lens, f1.8 is wonderful for low light and night-time photography. But how do you choose between 18mm 35mm and 55mm. Again personal preference. If you are an extrovert you may prefer a wide-angle/fish eye lens and if you are an introvert you may prefer a telephoto lens. Personally I prefer the 55mm because it gets me a bit closer to my subjects without having to get too close.
The mirrorless camera systems are unobtrusive and light. I decided on a Sony A7 and a Fuji XT-10. However a DSLR or a compact camera even an iPhone will serve you just as well. Developing your eye is far more important. I have seen plenty of images taken on iPhones that are technically as good as a camera. Learn your camera so you don’t need to constantly be checking the settings, shoot in Auto or Semi automatic modes. Use Aperture priority or Shutter Priority modes. There are many high quality tutorials on Youtube that will assist you with the specific models.
So my advice is to play with the camera, rent or borrow if you can before you buy and to follow your own instincts. Of course if you are going to outlay money on a new camera system get as much feedback as possible. What are it’s flaws or what bugs people about them. For me, its the loud shutter in the Sony A7, it can give you away at 20 paces. However, the quality far outweighs this drawback. Sony have just released a quieter body but at considerably more expense.
What camera system/ Lens do you prefer?