I see a lot of talk these days about which camera to use. I see guys turning themselves inside out on forums, discussing and arguing the minutiae of this camera versus that one. Others buy and sell at the whim and vagaries of the digital market (which changes models almost as much as we change our underwear), and they wonder why they are nearly broke and their photography has not improved.
The above photo is one of my favourites and was taken with my current camera - my Nikon D3X. This is a marvelous high pixel camera that I like so much, and the results from it are so outstanding sometimes, it nearly blows my socks off. Some say to never shoot it above ISO 400, but as you can see in this photo, which was taken at ISO 1600, the results are still very pleasing.
Here's another photo to illustrate a point.
This I think is one of my all time favourite photos. Not just for the look of it, but how I got it and the marvelous day I had exploring on my motorbike the wonderful sights of Sagaing, near Mandalay, Myanmar. I stumbled across a Monastery for nuns or lady Monks. They kindly showed me around and invited me upstairs to look around. While my guide was trying to communicate with me in broken English, I noticed one of the ladies moving toward the window to join her friend. As she approached I sensed something was going to happen, so I grabbed my Fuji X100, lifted it to my eye, and pressed the shutter - the rest is history.
My point is this. The Nikon D3X will blow the little Fuji out of the water, when it comes to resolution, colour fidelity, dynamic range, that 'hidden' factor of a beautiful image that words can't explain. However - in this case - does any of that matter. The fact was that the little Fuji was right there around my neck, it was so quick to grab it, lift it up and hit the shutter - all in the blink of an eye. By the time I had reached for the Black Rapid, found my D3X dangling, and got it ready, the shot would have been missed. More than this though. If I had to choose the camera to take the perfect image with - the best resolution, the best dynamic range, colour rendition etc, of course I would choose the D3X over the Fuji X100. However, at the end of the day when that magic image is on your wall, winning the photo contest, or bracing your website - does it really matter which camera it was taken on.
I have always been a bit of a gear nut as well, fixating on this or that model as the best, buying and selling until my wallet was fatigued, but my photos never improved. Now I don't worry about that, I have two cameras which are really different, but both serve me well, and I just use them to harvest the images that best represent my style, passion and what I stand for. Some of the nicest photos on my website, those that have had nice comments and people enjoy, invariably have been taken on my little Fuji.
I suggest just use what you have at hand. Get out and use that camera to take pictures that surprise and delight, not worrying about its resolution or what other people think of it, or is it the latest model? My hero in photography is Steve Mccurry. I look at his stuff every single day to get more inspiration and to see what he is up to next. If I had to be honest, I am even a bit jealous of his lifestyle. However, one thing I notice in every interview or whatever way he is asked - he cares little for this model or that, or which is the current camera of the month. He obviously has certain technical requirements in a camera, but after that is met, he cares not about models or this one or that. In fact he won't be drawn into a discussion on which camera is best or focus attention on what he is using at the moment. His whole MO is about his images. That's all he cares - his images do the talking, not the camera.
Get out there guys and take that magic picture - using whatever camera you have.
Tell me what you think?