Guest Editorial: What is the Best Camera in the World?
Our friend over at Lightism, Simon Ellingworth, wanted to start a series of guest posts on our site. Sometimes controversial and always interesting and unique, here is the first in the installment.
As a professional photographer I’m frequently asked “what is the best camera in the world?”
Drawing on my extensive experience and research, I’ll reveal the surprising answer…
But first, some myth busting on how many people measure how good a camera is: Since my photography educational site Lightism’s motto is “Buying a better camera won’t make you a better photographer” let me educate you about a very popular myth: that the more mega pixels a camera has the better the camera.
Think of it this way: megapixels are coffee and your computer’s screen is a coffee mug, there is only so much coffee you can fit into your mug no matter how many gallons of coffee you have!
The reality is that the number of megapixels relates to the size of the image the camera produces not the actual quality of the image….so, the question is how many mega pixels do you need?
[Graphic borrowed from this interesting article from one of my favorite web sites: SLR Lounge]
So, now we have considered and hopefully dispelled the way you measure how good a camera is, let’s take a look at some very sexy cameras (without the merest mention of megapixels):
The Leica is a beautiful camera with a range of amazing quality lens…it’s a classic camera and is 100% manual focus.
My Leica and one fixed lens cost me £6,800…second hand!!
It produces images with a wonderful aesthetic you can’t mistake and this was the first ever image I took on mine:
That said, the amazing pictures were punctuated by a series of not so good ones, clients laughed at it when I used it commercially as it looked like an old retro camera hot out of the 1970’s. Unfortunately it also let me down on one occasion (jammed on a shoot (early firmware))…is it the best camera in the world?…probably not, but I did sell it on and made a profit.
Bear with me, I owned this entry level camera for a while that sells for about £500 second hand.
It produced images like these and took the picture of the Leica above.
It was consistent, but it came with a disappointing lens, so I moved up to its professional brother, the Canon 5D Mark II which was circa £3,500 at the time. So great, but clearly not the best in the world.
Stay with me now; it knocks out images like these if you use my blueprint to master iPhoneography:
It’s small, easy to use and fits in your pocket. Best camera in the world? …Its compact and easy to use, but maybe not.
Canon 5D Mark II:
Commercially, this is my main camera and the L series of lens (red stripe on them) are worth the investment. It’s super consistent, easy to use and bullet proof reliable. I love it!
However, it’s already been superseded; it can’t focus in low light and it’s a bit heavy. My chiropractor thinks it’s the best camera in the world, because when I’m not being paid to use it, it spends most of its time in my bag giving me a bad ache!
Clearly no camera is 100% perfect for every situation.
So, in the same way that the answer to the question “what is the fastest car?” is “a hire car”.
The best camera in the world is: the one that you have with you.
More specifically, the one in your hand, turned on ready to use, because if you’re out shooting and your camera is in your bag….you’re not out shooting, you’re talking your camera for a walk!
Do try my 10 FREE simple lessons, experiment and let me know how you get on!