Posted by: David Vernon | September 17, 2008

What camera should I buy?

No Way OutI used to argue that I had no life so therefore I had plenty of time to read all the photography blogs that I currently read on a daily basis. In retrospect I now thing I have a life, but it’s a life all about photography so somehow all the blogs fit. I may need professional help.

The photography blogosphere is abuzz today. All the major camera manufacturers love September in even-numbered years. That’s the time for the bi-annual Photokina show in Germany. Photokina is probably the largest camera show on the planet – attracting all kinds of photo geeks and gearheads from around the world. It’s kind of one of photography’s own personal Meccas. Camera (and less specifically gear) manufacturers see this as a great opportunity to announce all the new home-runs in their lineups – so they can be seen as premiering at the big show. So just yesterday Canon announced it’s three-years in the waiting successor to the very popular 5D – the 5D Mark II. And just a few days ago, Nikon made their own announcement of the D90. Both are unique because they’re still cameras that can also shoot high-def video to some degree. And with the blogs buzzing, you see the brand nuts start to come out. The “Canon kicks Nikon’s rear” group, and the “Nikon Rulez over Canon” group, and the “Pentax has more letters then either Nikon or Canon” group. Well – you get the idea. Terry White, writing on his own Technology Blog, has a good piece about this epidemic today (the opening graph – the rest is about the NEW CAMERA).

Now personally, I’m a bit of a gearhead too but one thing this blog is not about – unless you have specific questions – is brand-specific gear. Currently I’m shooting Nikon. When I dabbled for awhile as a commercial photographer, I shot only Canon. I have two film cameras – and guess what – they’re both Pentax. I even hold a soft spot in my heart for my first digital – a Sony 3.1MP Point-and-Shoot. The bottom line nowadays is this: pretty much any Digital SLR (DSLR) you buy today kicks total butt. It’s capable of producing mind-blowingly good stuff – sharp, and low on noise. So when you ask “Hey – what kind of camera should I buy?” my answer is almost always going to simply be “Yes.” You see – it just doesn’t matter. If you’ve got an investment in lenses for a particular camera mount, then that’s probably the biggest determiner to what body you buy. If you’re starting fresh – then it just doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. While Nikon and Canon dominate the pro-end of the DSLR market, you can add Sony, Pentax, and a few others to the prosumer and consumer lines available today. And they’re all good. No, really. They are all good.

The competition is so tight in fact right now that new camera bodies and lenses are coming out constantly. If you’re into point-and-shoots, I swear it feels like someone is announcing a new camera EVERY DAY. The choices in DLSRs are quite varied as well and between all the major players, we can find a camera that fits every niche. So if you want some advice on buying a camera – just ask. After I say “Yes”, I’ll probably ask one or two more questions, but there’s always going to be a good camera at the right price waiting at the end of the line.

So bring your “what camera body” questions. Add your “what lens next” questions. I’m full of two things: opinions and hot-air. I can offer professional help. No – the other kind.


  1. I agree with Yes! I’ve already accumulated a silly amount of gear for a relatively new shooter, but one thing is for certain, you always want more. Why, I don’t know. What I do know is that Dave is always there to bounce my – what do I need for gear in this situation – type of questions off of.

    He really does have excellent knowledge of the product out there and if in doubt he knows just where to look (one of those many photoblogs he reads).

    So I say bombared him with gear-head questions, he loves it.

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