22 Nov 2010, 11:42pm


“What’s a good camera?”

Here’s a question I hear a lot.  People find out that I’m a photographer and one of the first things they say to me is usually, “Oh, I want to get a new camera.  What’s a good one?” 

I usually follow with, “Well, what do you want to do with it?” 

“Take good pictures!”

Most people think you need a “good camera” to take “good pictures”.  For the most part, it’s true!  If you want good looking pictures get a good camera.  But, you don’t really need a DSLR or “one-of-those-big-ass-cameras-like-yours”.  Famed photographer Chase Jarvis did a whole series with just his iPhone!  Photographers of the past used to use this ancient and odd technology called “film”.  They didn’t even have an LCD screen in the back!

A lot of people seemed disappointed at me when I steer them away from DSLRs to look at good compacts like a Canon G11.  With today’s technology, compact cameras have gone a long way from being the simple “point+shoot”.  I personally use a Panasonic LX5 for everyday shooting.  It has everything I need, manual control settings, good lens, good sensor.

Like most photographers, I used to lug around my Canon 7D everywhere (not saying most photographers carry a 7D, but you get my drift).  Thing gets heavy!  I don’t want to be lugging around a big ass camera with lenses and a speedlight all day long.  Sure, my images might be sharp with dynamic colours and contrast, but look at it this way:

Who are you shooting for?  Yourself?  Friends?  Family?  Strangers?  Are you going to be printing these images in anything larger than an 8×12?  You probably won’t be printing at all!  Best bet, these images are going on Facebook, sent in an e-mail or printed on 4×6’s for your photo albums. 

Do you need the big sensor and sharp lenses?  Not really.  You really won’t notice when you look at a web sized image or a small print.

Why do I shoot with a DSLR?  Control and quality.

How do I make my images look “good”?  Hell if I know!  I don’t think they’re that great, but I still like them enough.  But, seriously.  If you want to know how to make good photos you have to learn some photography and fine art.  Exposure, composition, lighting, all that stuff makes a good photograph.  It takes time to make a good image.

Great post, and it is very true! I want a Canon G11 myself.. Drool

Favourite post so far! I agree!! I use a Canon G11…:P…I’m glad I went with a fancy point and shoot first…:P..


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