The best camera - Dreamstime

Sometimes people ask me about which camera I think is the best (No, i'm not an expert). Well, the way I see it, there is really no such thing. Yes, there are cameras that can put out good or bad images, but that is in image quality terms. Give a bad camera to someone that knows photography and has a clear idea of what he/she wants to show and then you are going to get some great photos. They will even use the camera's shortcoming to make an even stronger image. Give the best camera you can to someone that just knows how to push the buttons and you won't be getting anything more than what you would've get if you've given your run-of-the-mill compact, set on full auto.

So my answer can go two ways. First, the best camera is the one that you'd feel most comfortable holding and using, the one you'd actually want to bring with you everywhere you go and want to use. Some like the grip from a Nikon, others like the menu of a Canon. It doesn't really matter what you have if you don't feel like taking it with you. It won't be of any use even if it is one of those €5000 cameras and you don't have it along.

The second thing I say to people is “The camera closer to you. Physically...”

Ideally the camera you are most comfortable using (meaning that you know your way around the menu and settings) should be the one closer to you. You are bringing it along with you, aren't you? Even to the toilet... Anyway, chances are that a picture taking device is close to you. Your phone, a friend's phone (ask for permission!!), a tablet (though you'd look a bit funny)... If there is a scene you want to snap and you already know how to frame it, then all you need is a device to make it into a photo. Just set it on auto if you are not familiar with the device and if the outcome is not exactly what you want you can tweak it later (colour/brightness. If you screw the perspective, that's it :P) . The current generation of smart phones usually utilizes some nice camera sensors. Sure they are not as good as the ones in a dedicated camera (be it compact or DSLR or what-ever-camera) but they are more than enough. There are even people making money by having exhibitions with photographs taken with phones.

An expensive camera like a 5D MkIII or a D800, has a lot of potential and “power”, but the ones making money out of photos buy them because they know how to use all that fine control it gives them, they know how to use that tool box to their advantage. If someone - that has an idea in their head - doesn't know how to use all that extra control then the camera gets in the way.

So what I'm trying to say is that it doesn't matter if you don't have fastest DSLR or the most expensive compact. It’s you that is making the scene; the camera is just taking it. Sure I’d love a 5D MKIII, but the results will be the same for the most part with what I’m getting now with my 450D. Megapixels don't play a big role anymore as you could print 8MP photos into A4 paper and they would still look good. Instead, find a suitable camera for you by testing them in the store (and that doesn't mean that it’s going to be the best and most expensive) and try to make interesting photos by framing, colours, angles... but that is a story for another time.

Photo credits: George Panayiotou.

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July 20, 2012

Egomezta

I totally agree with you, thanks for sharing.

July 18, 2012

Chanevy

@Peanutroaster You mean it was wrong that I spent a couple million for that miracle working paint brush? Drat :-)

July 17, 2012

Midou3

sometimes it is more about lenses, high quality filters and tripod, not the body itself.

July 17, 2012

Georgecy

@Mike: Perhaps i should have stated it more carefully. Indeed images taken with a phone won't pass the review, i was just saying that someone shouldn't snob a camera if it is not a pro camera.

I'd like to come work for your agency if possible :P.
I had some clients here that when i tried to explain about the printing, i got a "Oh its fine, we will print the sign 1:10".

Had to look at how many cm are in 17", yeah 43CM is double the A4

July 17, 2012

Mike2focus

I agree with you, George, 100% that someone with a mediocre camera that has a creative eye and great post-production skills will sell more images than someone with a top-of-the-line camera that has no creativity and has weak post-production skills. This is a very valid point and should give a lot of motivation to photographers that don't have their dream camera yet.

But I can't believe that a camera phone of any kind has the quality to get a photo past the DT reviewers. I just had a friend send me a few photos taken with his new iPhone, and yes the photos look pretty darn good... until you zoom in at 100%. Even these new iPhone photos have a lot of noise and artifacts. No way they'd get approved here at DT. But maybe you're referring to a phone I've never heard of, so maybe you could clarify this point with specific devices?!

Secondly, megapixels do matter to us working in an ad agency that does a lot of high-end print work. A beautiful 8 mega pixel photo would never work on a two page spread where you need 300 pixels per inch at 17 inches wide. And when I have to work on a sign project the pixel requirements can get even tougher. Actually image size makes or breaks a lot of our purchase decisions here at the agency.

Just my two cents...

July 17, 2012

Peanutroaster

I agree completely. The camera is just a tool. Its not a photographer in a box. Give someone the most expensive paint brush in the world and it won't make them Picasso. After reaching the minimum technical requirements to overcome rejections based on say poor lens quality, its up to the creativity, skill and desire of the photographer.

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