We live in an age of technical precision. Almost everything is machine made, carefully calibrated to almost perfection. Designed and manufactured with the highest level of detail. More so when it comes to Electronics and Gadgets.(Even foods!). So how do you choose the best camera? its more personal and logical than you think!

I get these questions a lot and I am sure a lot of photographers share the same view.

What is the best camera?
Which camera should I buy for •••• Budget?
Which camera gives the best image quality?

for an easy comparison, lets compare this to vehicles. Like vehicles have categories, so does cameras. There is a sport, SUV, MUV etc. Cameras have DSLR (Crop / Full Frame), Mirrorless, Medium Format etc.

Most of the people asking these questions are the ones who mostly are planning to buy a new camera. So they are mostly dealing and confused in the consumer market of cameras. Not speciality cameras like Medium Format. Just like you won’t learn to drive on a Ferrari. (Though you possibly can. Anyone remember the video where he crashes La Ferrari?!)

When comparing cameras in the same category, its like comparing cars of the same category. Like comparing BMW to Mercedes of a similar class. Both being absolute examples of engineering and electronics brilliance and epitome of mechanics. So is the case with cameras, all the cameras in the similar category are equally brilliant and able to make absolutely sharp and technically perfect photographs.

And just like there will be lovers of both BMW & Mercedes, There will be lovers of Canon & Nikon. or recently Fuji & Sony & Pentax and so on. The answer to the question “which is the best camera?”, in this age, is dependent more on emotion, brain and heart than by comparing spec sheets and technical abilities. It is more a personal choice than ever before as these cameras come in all sizes, shapes, design and aesthetics.

However I’d like to write down some points below which will help you choose a camera that suits you and what you want to do with it.

Budget

Set a budget. Keep a tight range. lets say 20-25K. The larger this range, the more products you are introducing and hence more confusion. Toughest I know 😛

The more expensive, the better is not always true. It depends on the features of the camera as to why it might be more expensive than a model that gives equally good picture quality. Features like wifi, GPS, etc. which may or may not be of use to you. That only you can decide.

Service

You need to check the service centres in your area. The more, the better. Cameras being an electronic and mechanical tool, will need service. And the amounts of service centres in your area will give a good idea about the presence and service of a manufacturer. For example Pentax’s service is very poor in India.

Rentals / Availability

Just like service centres, there will be times when you need to rent cameras / lenses. Hence its a good practice to check what is majorly available for rent in your area.

For example I use Nikon and in my area Nikon Lenses are a bit tough to find on rent. Compared to how readily available the Canon lenses are and this causes a lot of limitations sometimes.

Seconds Market

Do research on how the seconds market is in your area/city/country. As there will be times when you want to upgrade your equipment and being able to easily sell your old equipment helps a lot.

Feel and design

Lastly, go to a store and handle the cameras you are considering. Feel the cameras, take some photos, use them, and there will be one which will speak to you (ME!). That is the best camera for you

PS : As said before, all cameras are capable of giving equally good image quality. In such scenario, its not always the wisest choice to be unique in the points written above. It is generally a good idea to stay in the market you are in, use the cameras and equipment used around you, so you can easily find spares, service and sell easily when you have to. Rather be unique in your Work and Art. Of course you can choose to be unique in your equipment too, but remember it will cause you extra phone calls, shippings, expenses and overall problems. Cost of being Unique! (Also paracetamols I suppose)

Let me know in the comments if I missed anything and if this helped you. Have a great day!