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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