Professional photography depends on the photographer, not on the camera. The statement might be true to some extent, yet we cannot ignore the process of choosing the correct camera. The majority of photographers depend on their device's performance. Therefore, they opt for a camera that will provide the best images as per their project. However, it is easier said than done. In a state where cameras have flooded the entire market, confusion is rampant.
With the rapid advent of technology, photographers have not been able to keep up with their gear. Some people might even call it an over-saturated skill domain or an overly confusing profession. It is time that they get a definitive guide to choose the best camera for photography for serious ventures.
Kool Stories is here to simplify the process of camera shopping. In addition, we want to address real issues faced by modern photographers.
Before anything else, you must know about your options. You have to pick the right camera type, or all the technical knowledge will be of no help.
Types of Cameras
Four types of cameras dominate the market. Mostly, professional photographers carry an extra camera as insurance. However, we recommend the use of two camera types for work flexibility and image dynamics. All of these gadgets are good cameras for photography.
DSLR or digital single-lens reflex cameras are equally popular among casual and professional photographers. You can choose between an entry-level camera with a large sensor or a high-end technical masterpiece with lightning speed and clarity. You should buy a DSLR if you are more concerned about image quality. A midrange DSLR will be good enough for most of your shoots unless you have to use telephoto lenses. Also, go for a DSLR if you rely heavily on battery performance.
You might not want to bother a DSLR if there is no room for extra bulk. Being bigger and heavier, they do not provide any special assistance in video shoots too. A camera with a flip screen can come in handy in such situations.
Conclusion: Everything said and done, DSLRs are perfect for serious photography projects.
Mirrorless cameras comfort the median range of photography. These cameras don't have a mirror and no optical viewfinder. They provide sharp image quality, extensive creative tools, and fast performance. Their compact and lightweight design make them popular among photographers. The EVF (electric viewfinder) and the LCD screen always function in live mode.
You can use Panasonic and Olympus in harmony as both of them employ the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) format. On the other hand, Fujifilm lovers have to adjust to the APS- C sensor while Sony users enjoy the best of both worlds. It is because they come with both APS-C and 35 mm full-frame sensors. Nikon and Canon have tried to disrupt Sony's market but have not made a dent in its reputation.
A mirrorless camera with a 20-megapixel resolution is fine for travel photographers with mid-range projects but, you will have to spend a lot of money to get the sharpest image possible. (Around $3,000)
There are no substantial disadvantages of mirrorless cameras apart from battery life and lens compatibility.
Conclusion: Both mirrorless Cameras and DSLR's can give you equally stunning images. Their usage is a matter of subjectivity.
A Point-and-shoot camera is popular among budding photographers due to its affordability, ease of use, and automatic controls. They are also a good option as a side camera to capture BTS footage or for capturing extra film. These cameras work perfectly with adventure sports and travel vlogging.
You cannot change the lens in such cameras. However, this is also their USP. Their popularity has decreased because of mobile phone. It doesn't mean that a professional should rely on a mobile camera. Buy a camera with a 1-inch sensor that ranges between $500 to $1500.
Conclusion: You can carry these cameras as accessories. However, expensive point–and–shoot camera are professional cameras for beginners.
A camera like GoPro has revolutionized photography. They are waterproof, rugged, small, lightweight, and very handy. They are usually used for videography but can also capture extreme photographs. You can also shoot 4k videos with a realistic FPV angle.
They capture an image with a fish-eye lens that twists and bends the photograph from its side. As a result, the picture quality is inferior to other cameras with no scope for manual focus.
Conclusion: Use action cameras for generating FPV footage and extreme videography.
Now that you are acquainted with the different types of cameras you can buy, here are the things to know before buying a camera.
Things to Know Before Buying a Camera
Here are a few important things to keep in mind before choosing the right camera.
Know your needs
Before buying a camera, you should have a clear objective for its usage. There is no fun in handling a gigantic set-up to shoot modest pre-wedding pictures. Buy a camera that fits your needs and purpose. Professional photography depends a lot on the usage of the right device. Use a camera that fits in best according to the shoot, conditions, and client needs.
Always choose a camera with efficient AF functionality to capture fast movements. The camera will provide sharp images if it is also capable of continuous shooting. If you are aiming to print your snaps, then choose a camera with more than 20 megapixels. In any other case, do not get impressed by megapixels as cameras depend on the size of the image sensor.
If you plan to shoot the night sky, opt for a full-frame camera with higher ISO capabilities. Anything above 1600 ISO is perfect for low-light photography. However, you will have to compromise on image quality.
Credit: Karen Oddoye
Choose the right size
Cameras come in all sizes and weight categories. So it is possible to take the exact picture from two different DSLRs with minimal to no technical changes. However, camera size and weight will heavily impact your work in the field. For example, a travel photographer will need a handy camera, while a fashion photographer will go for a heavy set-up with big tripods. So be an intelligent photographer, don't let camera weight put you down.
Know your budget
Everything boils down to money. Photography ventures depend a lot on the kind of money you possess. The right amount of money can buy you expensive lenses, sturdy tripods, fabulous applications, and much more. Sadly, the case is the opposite for most of us. We should choose a camera that gives us the best possible footage with our financial constraints. You will have to spend more than $500 to buy a camera with decent image quality.
Remember, never go overboard with your budget unless it is your last photograph.
Know your lenses
Professional photography demands the use of interchangeable lenses. Carry lenses that fit with your camera. Typically, two components from different brands do not work together. The choice of lenses will depend on your project. Choose a lens smartly as a camera with an unlike focal length will provide you with zero value. Also, make sure your camera has enough technical prospects to support a lens. Take note of the aperture, zoom, focus shift, crop factor, etc.
Credit: Karen Oddoye
Never ignore the numbers
Occasionally, a photographer will have to indulge in videography. The art of capturing awe-inspiring videos depends a lot on numbers. You should invest in a camera that allows you to shoot more than 60fps without butchering the resolution. Image stabilization can also become a big hurdle. Your camera must record 4k over 24fps. An external mic input and HDMI output will come in handy.
Keep track of these features
Battery life should be of foremost consideration. Few brands are infamous for their unflattering battery performance. A rotating screen will be a boon when you operate in tight spots. Dual memory card slots are a must for professional photographers. You will not like to miss a worthy moment due to lack of space. The camera must provide RAW files for editing solutions. NFC, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi will allow you to give instant reviews to your photographs.
Having the right camera does no assure you that any picture you take will turn out to be a masterpiece. However, these handy photography tips can definitely help you with the technicalities of photography.
We often ask ourselves- what are good cameras for photography? It is easy to get baffled while choosing the perfect camera. Excessive information can sometimes become a hassle. You can take great pictures from any camera. Most of us get caught up in technical arguments and create a miscalculated approach towards photography. Photography is a skill mastered with time and experience. Keep experimenting until you find your style.
PS- Photographers should get over the phase of being fanboys.
If you wish to consult professional photographers worldwide, we present to you Kool Stories. Download the online skill learning app now to pose any Query and showcase your stunning photography skills to photographers worldwide.
Frequently Asked Queries
Q1. Is a high megapixel camera better?
More Megapixels DOES NOT mean better quality photos! Up to a certain point, megapixels do matter. But the reason for which they vary is that higher megapixel cameras are designed to give the ability to enlarge and crop pictures without individual pixels becoming visible. So, higher megapixel count doesn't always guarantee better pictures. Higher-megapixel sensors are not always of better quality.
Q2. What is the most expensive camera in the world?
As of 2021, Phase One XF IQ4 150MP is the most expensive camera in the market today with a price of $49000.Whereas, Leica 0-series that has been a part of Leica Camera AG,1923 has been sold for $2.97M making it the most expensive vintage camera in the world.
Q3. What camera should a professional photographers use?
A camera should feature over 30MP, staggering autofocus, 4K video recording, great ISO sensitivity, excellent frame rates, and lots of other characteristics for a professional photographer. A digital single-lens reflex camera is the best option. A photograph taken on a DSLR almost always turns out better than one taken on a compact digital camera at any comparative megapixel resolution.
Q4. How many megapixels do you really need?
If you are a professional photographer, you will need a camera of 20+ megapixels. Still, if you are a person who enjoys photography, a 12-megapixel camera will be enough for you to click high-quality digital pictures and allow you to print the standard print size.
Q5. What type of camera is best for photography?
A photography camera should possess good picture quality, build quality, shooting speed, and a vast dynamic range. For that, Sony, Nixon, and Canon remain on top.