Cameras? Which one?

The market for cameras today is vast. There are so many out there, spread across so many sensor sizes sporting herds of pixels. I don't get asked so much anymore about which camera someone should buy. Maybe thats because people who know me know I am a "Fuji Guy" but I was a "Nikon Guy" prior and I got asked then. Maybe its because I write about my Fuji cameras more than I did my Nikons? That is the crux of why I left Nikon, for me there was nothing much new to write about - no real innovation during my tenure with the iconic brand. Probably though, its because everyone has a camera in their phone, so they have their camera needs covered. Yep, and pigs can fly. 

I have owned many cameras over the years. Without getting into film cameras, I've owned/shot with Olympus M4/3's, Panasonic M4/3's Canon/Nikon/Pentax/Sony APS-C and full frame sensor cameras and the somewhat affordable Pentax 645z when it was the only thing besides Phase One and Hasselblad offering a larger sensor. I've also used many smaller point and shoots which definitely have their place in the world along with the growing market of 1" sensor cameras. This new breed of 1" sensor based cameras are really good and offerings are fantastic. They are fixed lens, some with zooms, but they fit in your pocket and offer excellent image quality. 

You won't like this if you are looking for a camera but you can take your pick. They are all very good, and infinitely better than any phone camera. All I can add is if you invest in one, then please, please invest in the time to learn how to use it. Learn more than how to turn it on. Learn its controls and practice then learn how and what to point it at. Keep learning. Thats photography. 

If you take to photography, you will start to find preferences. Right now there are cameras claiming to be the best ever (yes, this happens every year) offering more dynamic range, more ISO sensitivity and more of everything, and all of it is more than you need to take a world class picture. Let that sink in. When you get to a certain place in your photography you will know how to use the camera you have and what it does and the next "best ever" won't matter. At a certain point just a combination of small features and upgrades that aren't sexy enough to make the best ever club will matter. To you. This is why I use and prefer the cameras I use. They fit me. The same as they fit my style of shooting. Other styles of photography will fit other people. And they will use their gear to make it work for them. Don't ask me what settings I use, they probably won't work for you. Right now, in the portrait world, people flock to this "look" shot with wide open apertures, you have seen it. Its got a slightly faded look, dreamy like, background all blurry and out of focus and some subject in focus surrounded by grass, trees, or often nothing else but them. Its in demand by Mom's, its classic I guess but it makes me want to puke. I was doing this four or five years ago. I never want to stagnate as a photographer to where I'm churning out the same pictures. All. The. Time. Yes, I will shoot those shots at times, because the surroundings or situation demands it but it is not the only thing I do. So I have lenses that work beyond f/1.2 or f/1.4 and they shoot in many angles of view - wide, mid and telephoto. I can match them with my cameras which offer the possibility to shoot in a variety of situations and a variety of subjects. 

So the bottom line is get a camera if you are so inclined. Start to learn it and what to do with it. May be you only want to shoot birds. Cool. Get a good APS-C body and a longer telephoto, zoom or prime. Like a 100-400mm. Birds really need 400mm minimum. Perhaps a 1.4x tele converter once you learn the basics. This rig can handle some sports too. Want to shoot bugs or flowers then get any camera with a decent macro lens in its lineup. Hate carrying stuff around? Check out the Olympus M4/3's body and lens family. If you view work on a screen and don't print much beyond 8x10, you get more than enough image to work with in a nice smaller camera to carry around. The camera you have with you is the best one you have. So get something that fits you. Hopefully its not just your phone. 

Stay creative people. Photography is a lot of fun if you let it be. 



Wally KilburgComment