I’ve been a Canon man for a good number of years and of course once you begin to build a collection of equipment it does make it more difficult to change. These days things are changing and a number of camera models are able to utilise 3rd party lenses maintaining autofocus via a host of adaptors.
Which digital camera should I buy?
There is no single camera that does everything and those looking to make a purchase need to think primarily about what they will be using the camera for. The best camera for shooting landscapes is never the best camera for shooting sports, weddings or slipping into a pocket for portability.
You have to match a camera to your direct requirements. What will you be shooting?
These days the internet is full of lots of wonderful reviews and information but you have to consider, who is giving the review and where their priorities lie. The only way to really compare the best lenses, or the best bodies is to make direct scientific comparisons. This is very tricky unless you operate in a studio environment. I’ve been impressed with the Nikon D800E over recent months and the Sony A7R looks to be an interesting, flexible piece of kit. Will they do everything better than the Canon 5D MK III I use on a daily basis? No they won’t do everything better but as is always the case, one camera will edge another in certain areas. It is very much down to what you shoot.
The reality is that sometimes reviews are conducted by the same website but not by the same photographer and not in the same environment. The issue with reviews is that people are all clambering for the same limelight when they review a product. Some look to review to find fault, others are blinkered to the obvious limitations of the products. Read a few reviews of the same product and you will see good old ‘subjectivity’ rearing its ugly head.
The same goes for lenses, tripods, radio triggers, lighting, software ad infinitum. You could create the most stable tripod in the world but you might not want to carry it up a mountain with you. You could create the lightest, most collapsible tripod in the world but if I wanted tack sharp photos on a breezy day I’d give it a miss.
As photographers we always have a wish list, the industry churns out product after product and it pays these days not to be first in line. I prefer to wait and allow others to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of new products. Too often these days camera are rushed out with issues like the recent light leaks, firmware issues or simple technology held back. I’ve been a little disappointed with some of Canon’s recent offerings. Really because I’m a Landscape Photographer and there are certain things like dynamic range and resolution that others are currently doing better. I’m now waiting to see what they bring out next. The competition is certainly hotting up and with cameras like the Sony A7R flexible enough to make use of my existing lenses via adaptors, it makes you sit up and take notice. The reality though is that the camera takes the picture but you have to make the picture. Great images can be created with any camera. If you want a motor drive that can throw out 10 fps then you are limited to those cameras that can achieve this.
Trials Without The Tribulations
If you plan on purchasing a ‘prosumer’ DSLR or investing a fair amount in a camera then it makes sense to have trialled the camera before buying. If you are not lucky enough to have access to the desired model then why not consider renting one? Rental firms will rent on a Day or Weekend basis a camera body or kit to allow you to get some hands on experience and really find out if the camera is right for you.
Or perhaps you could book a workshop or tutorial with a professional?
I’ve been happy to offer short courses to familiarise photographers with cameras like the Canon 5d MK II and III and the 1D series camera. It is a great way to trial a camera and have someone on hand who can show you the ins and outs. It gives you time to relax with the camera and put it through its paces, perhaps also giving you access to a differing range of lenses and filters.
For further information on Camera Familiarisation courses, workshops and tuition check out: http://www.richclarkimages.co.uk/landscape-photography-workshops-in-sussex/