So here I am, thinking about dropping some hard earned cash on another camera system. I’ve definitely been a sucker for hype and the latest generation of cameras have lured hours of my attention from actual work. Maybe I was going to procrastinate either way, but at the end of this tunnel, I will probably be losing a hefty amount of cash to replace it with several hundred grams of magnesium alloy housing some serious CMOS circuitry.
Photographer or Photo Enthusiast?
As large camera manufacturers start churning out the hype machines, many photo-enthusiasts will start salivating for these new imaging monsters; bigger resolution, better dynamic range, higher sensitivity, faster processing, more connectivity, etc. It’s enough to make you go out and justify maxing out your credit card in order to ignite a spark that hasn’t been lit since the last time you purchased a camera.
But before you do that, you need to ask yourself this question: What do I need this for? It’s pretty simple but for many, this could be like walking through a land mine.
As mirrorless cameras start eating away at DSLR sales worldwide, the old guard of photography; primarily Nikon, Canon and Pentax have been trying to stop the hemorrhaging of their entry level and enthusiast range of cameras.
To this day, nothing excites me more than placing my eye against my Canon 5D Mk III eye piece and seeing a tried and tested system in that reflex but for many, it’s totally unnecessary to carry a bigger, heavier camera all for the sake of that mirror box . You see, many families now want great image quality without carrying the big DSLR, these mirrorless cameras can provide just that but on the other end of the spectrum, enthusiasts might require a sturdier built machine that can withstand nature’s elements.
Which is the Best Camera?
Many people ask that age old question of “Which is the best camera?” Time and time again, enthusiasts will shout out the big brands, stating the image quality is unparalleled but in reality, the best camera is the one on you.
My 5D Mk III is amazing but you won’t see me taking it to the park, photographing my kids or even traveling overseas with it, it’s too big and clunky and I would miss the actual experience before being able to photograph it. This was the exact reason why I bought a mirrorless camera, yes, that’s right, another system. I’m having my cake (DSLR & Mirrorless) and damn straight I’m eating it too.
I had purchased the Fuji X-Pro 1 with the 35mm Fujinon f1.4 as a present to the wife, to encourage her to share my passion but that really didn’t go according to plan. Instead, I ended up falling in love with its sleek retro design and amazing image quality, sure the X-Pro 1 is a tad bit slow and requires you to understand the fundamentals of photography but the user experience makes this one of the most enjoyable pieces of camera gear to date. So much so that this camera is strapped around my body almost all the time, being a perfect accessory to a day out and making sure memories are captured of the day.
Before plunking down serious money ask yourself some really honest questions to these expensive features:
- Do you really need to shoot in the rain? (weatherproof body)
- Do you need to see in the dark with this camera? (High ISO)
- Will either an optical or digital viewfinder enhance your experience, do you even need a viewfinder? (DSLR Vs Mirrorless)
- Do you need ridiculously shallow depth of field? (Full Frame and/or fast lenses)
- Do you actually need a new camera? (No one wants to admit this)
Are you a photo-enthusiast; someone who talks more and takes less or are you a photographer; someone who takes more and talks less? I honestly believe I’m the worse kind which is both!
All these factors add to the price of these cameras so you need to this through. Does owning a professional camera make you a professional? I’ve seen professionals using an Olympus E-M5 and I’ve seen enthusiasts photographing with 5D Mk IIIs and I’ve even admired iPhone Instagram photos. This shows that it’s the photographer and not the camera that produces the results and we really need to take a step back and just enjoy the experience and not just drooling over the gear, all too many times, we fall for the idea of creating amazing images with these cameras instead of going out there and creating amazing photography experiences.