Guide to Cameras

"The most important part of a camera is the 12 inches behind it"

- Ansell Adams

Me & my first Nikon in Sri Lanka 2015

All too often we hear, "wow that's a really nice photo, you must have a very expensive camera". If you would like to irritate any photographer, I suggest you continue with this line of conversation. If you do not want to annoy photographers, then you have to realise this statement is utter rubbish. I, like many other professional photographers, do possess at least 1 nice camera, however the correlation between the two is often at times marginal - some of the images on this page I took with a camera that you can buy now second hand for less than most basic smartphones. Take it a step further,  some of the most iconic photographs of all time such as Afghan girl  and Tank Man  were taken with film cameras (Nikon FM2 and FE2 respectively) which can be picked up for less £200. In more recent times the award winning film Meru, the iconic mountaineering film and predecessor to Free Solo was almost entirely filmed on the Canon 5D II which is about £300 now (in early 2020).

Camera attachmemnt in Malaysian Borneo 2013

The best way to think of cameras are as a tool. Many photographers do indeed get very attached to their gear and there are endless websites dedicated to reviews and discussing various bits of equipment. However, in the end when a beautiful photo is taken, nobody can or will criticise the tool that was used to take it. The most appropriate analogy I can think of if the racing car analogy - if I was placed in a formula one car to drive around Silverstone and the current F1 champion was placed in any old 2-litre hatchback, it is likely he would beat me. because I would not know how to drive it properly. No matter how technically advanced the tool is, it is useless if you do not know how to use it. So in case I haven't made the point clear enough, no matter how much people and photographers obsess over gear - more expensive does not mean better.  You can produce stunning images for comparatively very little nowadays and the law of diminishing returns applies here.

I mean then converse is also true - cameras such as the Leica M3  that was used to take The Terror of War can't be found than for less than 1000 big ones, but that's because they have become collectables and began to reflect the representation of the era of that camera rather than the photographic ability itself.

For more details you can see types of camera and then if you just want to go ahead and get advice on what to buy, go to which camera should I buy.

Zain Sheikh
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