Choosing a Camera - Joe Knapman Photography

Choosing a Camera

Choosing the right camera system for you...

Probably the second most common question I get, after "where should I go on Safari?" is: "What Camera is best or should I buy for wildlife?". I wish there was a simple answer.

Photographers are a funny bunch, some are amazingly open and helpful, but more often extremely loyal to a brand and can be very cliquey. Most brands are very capable systems, and to some point they are correct when they say mine is best. Canon and Nikon have for a long time held the market share in digital photography, and are the strongest in the DSLR market. Mirrorless is in recent years starting to take a strong bite out of this market. With Olympus, panasonic and Sony all being aggressive. 

Along with "hey what lens was that taken with?" and "your photos are lovely - you must have a really good/expensive camera!", the decision on a camera system should be considered on the following:

What is your budget ? You probably already have a camera in your phone... from £50 point and shoot to the bank busting Canon 1DX Mkii (circa £5,000 for the body), camera prices range to the extreme. More are the lenses. Wildlife photography tends to push towards the longer length lenses and faster lenses. So basic "kit" or entry lenses may be a few hundred pounds to the +£10,000 Nikon 600mm f4E FL ED VR AF-S Lens. Now most people start with a body and one or two lenses, over time though the desire to move up and add can drive the costs significantly higher that the initial investment.

What is your experience ? Typically photographers and equipment is classified in four categories - Entry Level, Enthusiast, ProSumer and Professional. personally you should consider your experience more around - Beginner, Better, Good. If you are experienced, understand photography and want to improve and stretch yourself, an entry level camera is probably not the best fit for you. On the other hand the professional ranges may be overkill, if you are not likely to take advantages of the features and capabilities.

How often will you use the camera?

How much time will you spend processing or editing your photographs ?

Do you expect to shoot mostly wildlife or other styles such as street, weddings, portraits and landscapes ?

Do you want to make money ?

Practical considerations ?

Mirrorless

DSLR

Other Systems

Photography is more than the equipment

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