Every time somebody ask me a photography related question - it’s always about the gear. I have never been asked "Have you read the new issue of Schwarz/Weiss (A famous German photography magazine only focussing on black and white photography. (What are you still doing here?) Or, did you buy that Magnum Contact Sheet?”- no. It’s always “What lens should I get? Which camera is the best one for landscape (believe me - people actually do ask me that).” So here is my answer. I do admit I also have a slight case of gear acquisition syndrome, but remember this is not about me, this is about you. And the difference between you and me is, well I am a weird little Chinese guy, but also I know what I want in life and you obviously don’t, because who else would read this?
To be clear, I don’t blame you if you ask me what gear to buy. Rather I’ll blame it on the so called pros (Northtrup-I am looking at you!) and the camera manufacturers and their sometimes ridiculous physic bending ads. It creates so much unnecessary confusion and makes an entry in photography really difficult at times. I believe this guide does not only work for photography, but in fact, in our now capitalistic chaos (healthy competition is actually good), can be applied to basically any craft.
Canon or Nikon
So you want to start with photography, but have no idea with who of those two big DSLR companies you should go with? Let me tell you, there are indeed more than those two to consider, but that doesn’t make your life easier - does it? Many people choose between Canon and Nikon, but does it surprise you if I tell you that the amount of money those company pay for mainstream advertisement do not coherent necessarily with the quality of the product? If it’s THAT good, you don’t need to sell it - it will sell itself. But don’t worry, I will make your life easier again in just a second. I tend to scare people first, create a bit of excitement in my blogposts.
Deciding on what gear you buy, is not a decision that somebody can take off your hands quite literally. You want to know, how I bought my first DSLR? My first camera? I went to the store and held every and each of them for 5 minutes in my hands and ran around. Despite the store clerk trying to sell me Nikon, because they were better at that time, I went with a Canon 7D. Ok, I have to admit that I still went with a Canon and it sounds quite hypocritical - yes it does so what? The camera should suit you, not some random guy on the internet (like me). Some people buy their gear based on spec sheets. Buying a camera is not like buying PC components that you will not see or move 99% of the time. A camera is something you will have to carry around and the more places the better. If you get the 20 pound Hellokitty MK II with 80 megapixels and 24fps and a 50mm f1.1, would you be happy to take it with you everywhere you go?
But it really doesn’t matter what you get.
You are probably wondering, why I wasted so much time then on the first paragraphs - me too. If you started reading this article wanting to get an answer, which camera you should get, the rule of thumb here is, any camera will do - don’t get the cheapest one from the line and don’t care too much about the megapixels. You should be set now.
You ask, how I came up with this magic rule?
Well, most often or not, people that ask me those questions are just starting in photography and just becoming enthusiasts. The more you advance your own photography, the more complicated your questions become and you start to know what you actually want. There comes a moment of realisation, where you outgrow your camera. Where you know, the particular things you are trying to accomplish can not be done with the equipment on hand. (Remember a real pro can take a good shot with almost any camera). Most often or not by then you will already know what equipment you are missing and what you need to buy. Todays imaging technology is so advanced that your average smartphone exceeds what DSLR could do just 6-8 years ago - crazy!
Getting into a new hobby is always overwhelming at first, but you have to start somewhere. You will make mistakes (also investment-wise), but you will learn and better your craft by making mistakes. You don’t want to see my first 10000 photographies. If you are not familiar with any photography related terms, there are plenty of guides just one click away - that’s how i learned. I won’t be doing a post on that - only if there is overwhelming request. But I think my handful of clever readers, if there are even any, will find there way on the internet. Happy Shooting guys!