What is the best camera for me?

August 19, 2016

The Best Camera Is the One You Use

I recently took a trip to New York City. My cousin, a New York City native, rushed us first timers around all the neighborhoods he could in a 4-day time span. I brought two cameras-my Nikon D750 with a Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and a small Olympus point and shoot film camera that was given to me. Now I know what you’re thinking, why are you shooting that cheap Ford truck of a camera when you have a perfectly good Mercedes Convertible? Let me explain…

My favorite type of photography is street photography and portraits. Walking around the streets in an unknown and very busy city, I felt uncomfortable taking around my fancy Mercedes. To me, my Nikon D750 looked like a target in terms of theft. I’m not a very intimidating person (in my opinion) so in my mind, I pictured a whole mugging scenario with my Nikon and Sigma lens gone and being out of a lot of money. The little Olympus still let me get good quality photos and still looked inconspicuous to robbers.

When walking around for hours at a time, it’s almost a no-brainer to want a lighter camera, and a cheap one is even better. I can just throw my Olympus in my purse and like the old Ford truck that it is and I probably put some dents in the body. My Nikon D750 on the other hand, is cautiously carried in a big, padded Domke bag which isn’t the easiest to take on the streets and gets pretty heavy after a while. I had the sore shoulders to prove it.

When photographing strangers with a smaller camera, I’ve noticed that they tend to be less intimidated when taking their photo. In a perfect world, I would have a digital high-end point and shoot camera or even a mirrorless camera to tote around so I’d have the same effect. But yet again in a perfect world, I would have a lot of money to also not be bothered if that also became stolen. I would also not feel comfortable throwing that nice of a camera in my purse.

So why even bring my Nikon D750? Well, like listening to vinyl in opposition to MP3’s, being in the digital age is a lot more convenient when actually taking the photos. I can change my “film speed” or ISO from picture to picture rather than shoot a whole roll of film at one speed and hope the lighting doesn’t change where I’m at. The Nikon D750 has amazing ISO capabilities, which are what originally drew me to the camera. Finding a roll of film above 400 speed, although doable, is rare. I can also take more that 24-36 pictures at incredibly fast speeds and pick out which photo I like instantly. I have that instant gratification. The Nikon also has built in Wi-Fi so I can post photos directly to Facebook and reassure my mother that I’m safe and having fun in NYC.

Overall, I think there are pros and cons to using both film and digital and there will always be the classic debate on which is better. For me, I have not been able to recreate the look of film with my subpar photo editing skills (I see a
with Tom Tussey in my future) and I will probably always shoot film. I believe there is a time and place for me in which type of camera I’ll be using, film or digital. I love shooting both and honestly can’t tell you which one is better. What I do know is the best type of camera you have is the one that you are taking pictures with.


By Katelyn Jennings, Ellisville, MO Store


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