Review the Reviewer!
Review the Reviewer!
There is, as you might expect, a mountain of online advice, guidance, hints, tips, reviews, etc on every possible aspect of photography. I have my own favourites and I will cover them in a later post, but today, I just need to point out a flaw with all that online advice.
All that advice is written by a human being with their own opinion.
Let me explain.
I am - mostly - a concert & theatre photographer. So my nirvana is a camera that has superb ability to focus near-instantly in low light conditions and has extremely good high ISO performance. Those two key features govern my choice of camera. So, at the moment, I am wedded to my (relatively large & relatively heavy) DSLRs.
A landscape photographer will crave megapixels. A 24 megapixel sensor, a 36 MP or a 50 MP? More megapixels, typically, means more detail (when matched to a high-quality lens) and landscape photographers crave detail. (How do you know you are a landscape photographer and not just someone who takes landscapes? Firstly, you get up hours before dawn to drive to a location to get 'the shot'. Secondly, you always shoot using a tripod. So as I don't do either, I am a Landscape lightweight!)
A wildlife or sports photographer will want long reach and a high frames-per-second rate. So might prefer a smaller sensor size - APS-C or compact system camera - which (it's a physics thing) - gives more magnification for a given lens length. But the trade-off is the smaller sensor will not be as good at low light, say, as a full-frame sensor.
A wedding photographer might prefer the light-weight and small size of a mirrorless system. And one real advantage I look longingly at in mirrorless cameras is the ability to have a completely silent shutter. (There are times in my concert & theatre work when I wish my big & bulky DSLR had a quieter shutter - but I love its ability to practically focus in the dark and its superb low light ability.)
Film? Yes. Film. There is a core of enthusiasts who lovingly use film SLRs and produce superb results.
And there are medium format camera users, who despite having to be a champion weight-lifter to transport their camera, just love it.
So, before you read that review, just take a moment to read the reviewers bio (most reviewers will give a little 3 or 4 sentence biography on themselves.) And just bear that in mind as you read the review. A good reviewer will argue the pros & cons of all systems and not be - overly - biased to their own system. If the answer is always a DSLR or always a mirrorless - then just be wary.
Given an infinite budget I would have:
1 - a 2 or 3 body DSLR full-frame system for concert & theatre photography
2 - a 2 or 3 body DSLR APS-C sensor system for sports, wildlife & aviation photography
3 - a 2 or 3 body mirrorless system (Fuji - your mirrorless cameras are works of art......) for wedding photography
4 - a drone - just because I want one
5 - and a small truck to carry all of the above
But until then, I will use my DSLRs - full-frame (concert & theatre) and APS-C sensor (sports, wildlife & aviation).
BUT WHAT IS MY OTHER CRITERION?
Weight! You may not think it, but the weight of your camera & lens is a major factor. From experience I know that I can carry a DSLR (about 750g to 1 kg) and a lens (say 1 kg) pretty much all day. If I am really serious I use a double-shoulder harness with a DSLR (750g to 1 kg) plus long telephoto (1kg plus) on one shoulder ad a DSLR (750g to 1 kg) with medium zoom (1kg plus) on the other. And I can wear this all day. (I do look a bit of an eejit whilst wearing the harness but one needs to suffer for one's art!)
But even I look at wedding photographers who use lightweight mirrorless cameras and prime lenses and I think - yep - that is just soooooooo light - with a degree of envy.
Even I, if I am 'Dog Walking with camera', will take a lighter lens (say a 500g to 1kg lens) rather than a heavier 1.5kg plus.
Those of you who use compact system cameras / mirrorless will just laugh at me carrying such a load of gear - and you are right! But for me, at the moment, DSLRs are the best compromise for my kind of photography.
So, bear that in mind when you read my advice!
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