One of the most common questions I get and find online is what is the best camera for… Portraits? Weddings? Sports? Macro? etc. I think you get the picture. Ok, I feel you’re anticipation for my answer so here it is… There is not one Best Camera. The fact of the matter is that all digital cameras today are pretty darn good for how most people will use them. Granted some cameras are better in certain specific areas than others, but there is no one best camera. In this post, I want to cover areas I feel important and not recommend brands, or cover the technical gobilty goop.
If you’re serious about photography, there is one type of camera you should consider as your first choice. Interchangeable lens cameras, better known as DSLR and mirrorless. These cameras are great because they allow more flexibility, control, and creativity. You can also find a really good camera for any budget or style of photography. The best camera has nothing to do with price, it’s simply the camera that feels best in your hands and the ease of use to you. I feel these two things are the most important when choosing a camera.
How a camera feels, its layout and ease of use are very important. You want a camera that feels natural in your hands, that’s easy to learn where the buttons and functions are, and that you can operate without feeling lost. The more natural the camera feels, the more you’ll use it and the less frustration you’ll have with it. Modern digital cameras are very complicated compared to film cameras. Digital cameras have tons of menus, options, and settings. Some cameras are more user-friendly when it comes to navigating all those choices. I highly suggest going to a camera shop and actually getting your hands on a few different cameras to help you find the one that feels best to you. Don’t underestimate the importance here. The wrong decision may leave you frustrated and money spent on a camera that’s not getting used.
Another major consideration is what type of photography will the camera predominately be used for? Most cameras are designed to be good at everything, but as mentioned earlier some cameras are better in certain areas. If you want a better camera to take pictures of the children and an all-around anything camera. The good news is any DSLR or mirrorless will be a good choice. You don’t have to break the bank, there are really good options under $500.
So you have a specific genre of photography that’s going to rule out most of the budget options. Maybe you are interested in wildlife photography. With wildlife photography, you want a camera that has high burst rates, fast buffers, and excellent focus tracking features. For beginning wildlife photographers you’re going to have a very low keeper rate without these 3 features.
As I mentioned earlier, all modern cameras are good. To find the best camera for you, look for one with the features you’ll need the most. No one brand is better than another, so don’t rule out a camera because of the brand if it has the features you need most. The camera isn’t as important as the quality of the lens you will use. Top-of-the-line expensive cameras are only as good as the lens. Less expensive lower-end cameras with a high-quality lens will always outperform the alternative.
I like to say that once you choose a camera you marry into that brand. What I mean is each brand has its own lens and accessories. Once you start building a system it’s very expensive to change to another brand. Once you’re married into a brand, you can upgrade your camera and still use the lenses you have. Another reason to buy the best lenses you can afford is you don’t have to replace them for the most part. You may use a lens on several upgraded cameras, thus saving money in the long run.
Today most manufacturers are moving to mirrorless cameras. I’m often asked, which is best DSLR or mirrorless. If you look at the overall quality, they are pretty much equal. The truth is manufacturers have pushed the technical limits on digital cameras and small gains in technology come at a much higher cost. Camera sales have steadily been declining over the last several years because the new cameras were not offering enough in new features or advances to make upgrading worth the cost. This is the major reason manufacturers are pushing mirrorless. They not only get to sell you a new camera, but your existing equipment has to be replaced as well. So the question comes down to whether you want the latest and greatest thing out there, or a great camera that offers much more bang for the buck in value?
There are countless articles on the Internet on which camera to buy. There are tons of reviews on brands, models, specs, performance, etc. All that information often leads to more questions than answers. The purpose of this post is simply an overview of cameras and a few things to keep in mind when considering a new purchase. My main points are that all new digital cameras are really good. Make your purchase on how the camera feels in your hands. What you will mostly use the camera for and that it has the features you’ll need. Marry the brand you choose, it will save lots of money over the years.
Hopefully, you find this article useful.