Which camera should I buy for photography?

Which camera should I buy? Cameras are stupid!

But which camera should I buy? Indeed: cameras are stupid. They are equipped with all kinds of functions, but they don't even know what we are photographing. So it's not the technology that's important, but the person. Tips for the right camera and focus:

This article, “Which Camera Should I Buy? Cameras are stupid! " was published for you in July 2018 and revised in April 2021.

Photographic know-how - the photographer takes the photo

Let's bridle the horse from the other side. I am convinced that a good amateur photographer or photographer will take better photos with a smartphone than a beginner with no design skills with a Nikon D810 or Canon 1Dx Mark II. These last two top cameras are just as stupid as a smartphone. The Canon and Nikon digital cameras can do all sorts of things, but they don't know what we want to photograph, how we want to photograph it or how a good photo is taken. This is precisely why the question arises:

Why a good camera? And which camera should I buy?

People keep saying: "Boh, what a great camera!" You meet a professional photographer with a large reflex camera and thick lens and assume with the statement that the camera takes or improves the photo. What nonsense! Every good cook conjures up a better menu in a 20 or 50 year old pan than an unskilled amateur with one of these expensive kitchen mixers.

In other words, as a professional, I would certainly be great at exposing wedding photos with an iPhone, while the guy from the cheese counter would totally screw it up with his new SLR camera. And yet we keep talking about camera technology, cars, horsepower and acceleration. What nonsense that is, at least for beginners in photography. Of course that's a great topic: this camera has these functions, this one has those. But: no camera is perfect. Maybe close to perfect, but never quite perfect.

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Canon EOS 80D DSLR digital camera incl.EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM lens (24.2 megapixels, 7.7 cm (3 inch) display, DIGIC 6 image processor, NFC and WLAN, full HD), black at Amazon
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Cameras are stupid and never perfect

A Nikon D850 is not a very good camera for street photography. A Fujifilm X-T2 is not a very good camera for wildlife photography. A Fujifilm GFX 50S is not a sports camera. One camera is never the right one for everything. We can talk about this for a long time.

But we can also talk about the photos instead, which are neglected in all the gossip about technology. Perhaps it is also much more interesting to analyze why this or that camera is bought. Does it have to do with the massive advertising that the camera manufacturer is running? Or does it have to do with the commission for the seller? I claim that 95% of all cameras are not sold because of the intrinsic values ​​and knowledge of the buyer, but for completely different reasons. Maybe because the seller favors this camera. Or because the camera looks great?

Good reasons for good cameras

A good reason for a good camera can be that the camera supports me well in my work. There are certain requirements for cameras for certain photo tasks. Other good reasons for expensive cameras can be:

  • a good image result
  • high resolution for exhibitions
  • Fast series picture function for sports photography or wildlife photography
  • better colors for great portrait photos

In my opinion, there are even good reasons to buy a fancy camera. The design of a camera has to inspire us when we take photos. Only a beautiful camera can make me so ecstatic that I immediately want to take pictures with it.

Emotions when buying a camera

Let's just not believe that buying a camera is reason-driven! Buying a camera has little to do with reason, just as little as buying a car, otherwise Alfa Romeo would not sell any more cars because, in my opinion, the carts do not have a reputation for being particularly reliable.

Buying a camera is emotionally driven. The “want to have”, wanting to expose beautiful photos with the camera, the design, whether the camera sits comfortably in the hand, the advertising, the statement of the seller are reasons for our purchase. I contend that few people don't buy your camera for emotional reasons. Most people want to have the best camera in the world. Very few do not want to buy the best technical device, the best pan, the best car.

Example: who doesn't want to have a TESLA in their garage at the moment? The cart does not require fuel, is supposedly environmentally friendly, looks damn good and is extremely good on the move. In addition there is the idea of ​​what the neighbor would do for greedy eyes. If you buy a good racing bike and put it next to it, nobody will be interested in the racing bike, although it is much better for the body, mind and environmental protection.

Which camera should I buy?

It's similar when buying a camera. Personally, I don't care what it says on the camera. I would never buy the 1Dx Mark XYZ from Canon because it is too heavy for me. I could also mask off all the brand symbols and do without anyone looking at the names. I was a wedding photographer with two EOS 5D Mark IIs for eight years and took better photos than the wealthy wedding guest who had just bought a Mark IV and was in full auto mode.

So that it is immediately clear: I grant the camera manufacturers their sales, I grant every wealthy amateur photographer their best camera. I am not envious. I'm just saying that we are all on the wrong track when it comes to tech debates. To prove that, here is my offer: I will take pictures of your wedding for free with an iPhone (2 hours of photography). You only pay the journey (50km around Grefrath are free, 100km maximum distance) and agree to the publication of the photos on this and another website.

To get right up front, whatever you think, I'll keep writing and enjoying myself about stupid camera technology. The editors of * fotowissen will continue to talk about photos and discuss them constructively. Because:

Photography should be about the photo!

Please buy the camera that you like and make you happy. This is what the hobby photography is all about: your luck.

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© Peter Roskothen is a professional photographer, photo trainer, photo journalist - cameras are stupid - which camera should I buy?