What camera should I buy?

My friends always ask me : Marc, what camera should I buy?

I see them expecting me to provide just a name with 2 lenses and that’s it. As I take a little moment to think, their look changes and turns from  “come-on-tell-me!” to “what-is-wrong-with-my-question?”.
And then I tell them:” Why do you want to buy a camera?”

It’s an old salesman trick : answer a question with a question. It provoques a little introspection. But what am I supposed to say ? It really depends on what you want to shoot.

You like to click every time you see something you like: go for a smartphone
You like composition in Architecture but it has to go fast : go for a smartphone
You like some quick macro : go for a smartphone
You love the polaroid feel : go for a smartphone (or get a polaroid !)

Now if you like to take control over your camera, your composition and make decision about how light should be caught in the picture, get a real camera (fuji, sony, nikon, canon…).

A this point, my friends ask me: “And how many pixels?”
This when you see how powerful marketing is.
I ask them again something :” Mate, will you print your pictures, and if yes will you make posters?”
Usually they say no.

And here is my point : “buddy, what you want is a point and shoot that make some great pictures. Use the smartphone you already have in your pocket. Get Snapseed, it’s free and edit your pics with it!”
They are very surprised.
They were all expecting me to tell them to break their savings and to run to Mediamarkt, Saturne, B&H, Darty… And I advice them not to. Well, although it was good news because they will save a lot, they look a little disappointed. They will get over it.

Fuji EX1

 

The shot above was shot last weekend. My Fuji was on the table. We were outside in the shade. Don’t ask me for F-stops or shutter speed. This was shot with a cheap smartphone (Medion P-5001 ; I bet you never heard of it). In this case, I uploaded the pictures and edited this one with TOPAZ-Filters. Now, take a calculator :

$ 300,–  (Topaz Bundle when you use coupons)
$ 170,– (Medion P-5001)
= $ 470,– !

Now, I could have done an equivalent shot with:

$ 2.000,– (D700, now discontinued)
$ 1.793,– (100mm Zeiss, Macro)
$ 300,– (Topaz as written below)
= $ 3.093,–  (D700 can be found at € 1.8700,– in Austria, other rates taken from Topaz website and from B&H online shop)

Equivalent does not mean “the same”. The thing is I am much more versatile with the second kit. But my purpose here is just to show you may be not versatile, but still you can nail the shot with a a low budget smartphone.

.

Shot in Vienna 2 weeks ago. Again with my Medion Smartphone. This time I only used snapseed to edit the shot. Is it a great picture? Well, it’s more than OK. Now, honestly, could you say wether it was shot with a d700, d90, d80, Sony a99 or Fuji Ex1 ?

Your eye matters, and what you do with it.

But let’s come back to the non-answered question above: “No, pixels don’t matter.”
My smartphone only has 5MP. Which is obviously more than enough.

This post is, from now on, my best answer to my friends : you matter, not your cam.

More to come…

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