John Masters

The Best Camera

John MastersBecause I own my fair share of cameras a certain question seems to pop up from time to time. The scenario usually involves a friend who is looking to buy a camera or upgrade.  The question is what is the best camera I can get for x amount of dollars.  In the early 2000’s when I was contemplating the switch to digital I used to entertain the question, because I was also asking myself the same question.  There were so many choices and I anguished over the decision I had made, and often wondered if I had “made the right choice”.  Then in 2006 disillusioned by the digital rendition of black and white, I switched back to film and in doing so went on a spending spree.  Essentially buying most of the film cameras I wanted as a young man.  I dabbled in Leica, Hasselblad, and Contax to name a few.  Since then I have settled down to be a hybrid shooter.  I shoot film or digital when the mood and situation suits me.  After selling off most of my gear save for the one I used the most I learned something.  The camera just doesn’t really matter that much.  The lens is important yes, I do agree with that and being a Libra aesthetics are important factor for me as well.  But in all honesty it really doesn’t matter as much to me as it used too.  To coin it perfectly I read a quote somewhere once and it might have come from a photojournalist Barry Staver  but I can’t be certain… but the author of said quote was asked what the best camera is and they replied “the one you have with you”.  That is what I tell people now and it is a rule I live by myself.  A camera is just a tool that allows you to capture your vision.  They all function basically the same with some of the magic on the lens end, but none of it matters if it is sitting in your house when you are out and about.  Now when people ask me what the best camera they should get for the money they have I don’t blow them off with that quote but I do explain that it isn’t something they should worry about.  Do some research find out what the best lens you can afford and get a camera that will hold it and one that appeals to you, purchase it and never look back or worry… oh and make sure you take it with you when you leave the house.

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5 thoughts on “The Best Camera

  1. I hear you… I miss my OM-D simply because of the way it looked, it took me back to the old days of Pentax K1000’s and such… but the thing i miss most about it is the portrait lens that i kept on it, even though i had other lenses. as far as how black and white looks on a digital camera, do you remember ricoh’s GRD? that’s what everyone used it for, black and white street photography. no bokeh tho.

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    1. I have heard a lot of people say they love their OM-D’s – I think you can pick them up pretty cheap but I am not sure these days… I had a Ricoh GR1 and yes that thing was a great camera. It was compact and was excellent travel companion… but I sold it.. that dang thing sold for a lot!

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      1. it was surely my fave camera, that OM-D… i still think about it. I might try and pick one up used one day… i had a Ricoh GRD1, i missed out on the first edition, by a hair.

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