Anyone who owns a camera and uses it with any regularity knows. From casual conversation with a friend to a complete stranger on the street, the question will always come. There is no avoiding it and there is never a good, straight answer beyond, “It depends”. Of course, I am referring to the omnipresent question of the budding photography enthusiast: “Which camera should I buy?”
My Brief Camera History
I learned to love the idea of photography on my father’s Pentax which was already 25 years old when I first picked it up. There was a gap between that and my first digital camera, an unremarkable point-and-shoot. Then, about 2004, I was gifted a Canon EOS Rebel, the original 300D. Things escalated from there. A few years later, I bought a Canon 40D and carried both with me until the Rebel’s shutter mechanism completely broke. My current camera, a Canon 70D, is now an eight-year old body. It has and continues to serve me well.
Everyone likes to have their chosen brand validated, so I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Unless you are a very good photographer with very specific needs, the camera body and it’s brand has very little impact on your images. Yes, a good camera can make your images look better, but a good photographer can make an old, outdated camera shine. Your neighbor’s kid using a modern smartphone can put a lot of amateur photographers to shame if they learn how to use it properly.
So, why did I choose Canon over any other brand? Simple. My best friend, the one I would rely on to help me learn the ropes of digital, had been shooting Canon for a while. It made sense at the time. In my mind, it still does.
Even within a brand, you will find differences from one body to the next. It can take time to adjust to where different controls are located. Probably one of the most important factors for me is how comfortable the camera is in my hand. All else being equal, the grip can make or break my decision on a camera body.
Which Camera Should You Buy?
The most honest answer I can give you: The one that you will actually use.
I have my next camera in mind, but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. After eight years, maybe it would be of interest to get some insight into my thought process. Next week, perhaps.