2010-07-28

A Good Camera

Sometimes, my friends who aren't photo enthusiasts will show me their new digital camera and ask, "Is this a good camera?" I usually reply by asking two questions:

"Does it do what you want?"

"Do you feel comfortable using it?"

If the answers to both questions are "yes", I tell them it's a good camera.

I understand where they're coming from. They're just making sure they didn't get ripped off, or that they didn't end up with substandard equipment. I tell them that megapixels and features aren't as important as being comfortable with your gear, and that the best camera is one the that gets used. I also tell them that more expensive doesn't equate to better pictures.

For example, when I first got into photography I was shooting with a Sony point-and-shoot, a DSC-F828. I had to come up with some clever ways to overcome both my lack of equipment and the limitations of the camera. As a result, some of my best and most creative photos were taken with the Sony. I now shoot with a Canon 5D. In every way it is a far superior camera. However, I miss the forced creativity I had with the Sony.

So, more expensive doesn't mean better photos. However, that doesn't mean that they need to start with an entry level camera, or that they should stick with a point-and-shoot. On the contrary, buying more camera than they need is a good way to "raise the bar", so to speak. But at a certain point it becomes overkill. At my current skill level the 5D is the perfect camera for me. Although I would love to get a Canon 1 series, it's not the camera for me. The 1 series is too big physically and is too much Camera for my needs. It is also way out of my budget.

Which brings me back to the original question. Is the 5D a good camera? Yes, because it does what I want and I feel comfortable using it. The 1D is a great camera, but for me, it's not as good as my 5D.

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