The Best Camera

I get asked a lot which camera is the best camera. Frankly, I'm not really the right person to answer such a question. I don't even know if there is anyone who can answer such a question. It's similar to asking "Which is the best car?", or "Which is the best computer?". To answer the questions, you always have to consider the following points:

  1. Your budget. How much money are you willing to spend?
  2. Your requirements: What features does the equipment HAVE to have?

Seems simple, right? Not so fast.

For computers, I often hear the rule: "Buy the most expensive computer you can afford." But even that isn't easy to determine. What if your budget tops out at $ 2,000, but for a mere $ 50 more you could get that bigger graphics card? Would you not go for it? But then, what do you have a budget for, if you don't stick to it? It's the same problem with the requirements. Especially if you are new to photography, do you even know what your requirements are? Let's face it: We've all seen the beautiful images taken by professional or passionate photographers whose life long quest is to produce the most stunning images possible. We are talking about professionals and amateurs who have spent hundreds, thousands of hours researching not only their equipment but also their methods, who worked hard to learn skills and improve upon them constantly. Even if you go and buy that same camera that awesome photographer owns who you admire so much, chances are that you may not be able to produce the same kind of images. Take me, for example: I am drooling after certain images and I know they have been taken with a Leica... but I know that buying a Leica will not make it possible for me to bring the same kind of images to the table. (Mostly because I am not willing to forgo autofocus, but that's a different story altogether.) HOWEVER I am convinced that by not owning a Leica with a Noctilux lens, even after learning the proper method, I will never be able to produce the same images, because I don't have the proper equipment.

The camera doesn't make the photographer. True statement. But I also believe that if you have a certain type of images in mind, without the proper equipment, you will not be able to achieve that type of photography. 

If you are coming from a point & shoot camera, and you are dreaming of pictures with background blurriness (aka, bokeh), then you will want to look at DSLR cameras and prime lense (lenses with an aperture of f2.8 or less - the smaller the number, the better). The first time you will take a picture with that combination, you will not stop ooohing and aaahing because you can't believe the beauty of the image you just took. At least, that's what happened to me when I made the switch. And I shot in full automatic. So, if you consider that I had just put down my point and shoot and then literally, 2 minutes later, I pick up my DSLR and produce a great image, I will tell you that the difference between those two pictures wasn't the photographer, but the equipment. 

So, to a budding photographer, what would I recommend doing?

Browse images. Research photographers. Find out what they are using. Ask questions. Look at the EXIF information of images online, if you can find it. On G+ for example, under image details you are often able to see what camera the photographer used, and which settings (ISO, aperture, etc.). Ask more questions. Watch how-to videos on YouTube. Read reviews. Look at sample images on camera websites. Ask even more questions. Consider how much money you are willing to spend, now, and possibly - if the hobby keeps you interested -  in the future. And then buy the camera you fancy the most. Because I don't care what anyone else tells you, you don't buy a camera just based on specs. You don't make that decision exclusively with your head. You consider all the options, the budget, the pros and the cons, and then you always, ALWAYS buy a camera with the heart. A camera you chose with your heart will be the one you are going take with you. A camera you chose with your heart will not disappoint you. And you'll be able to forgive her, even if the results she produced aren't exactly what you were going for. Then, and only then, you can take your photography to the next level. When you have complete trust in your camera, when you defend her from the nay-sayers, when you give her always another chance, and other try, another picture, without ever giving up on her. 

A camera, you choose with your heart. Kinda like a spouse.

Happy shooting!