How to Choose a Camera

Whether you are a professional photographer, an amateur, or somewhere in between, you have a multitude of choices when it comes to choosing a new camera. From digital SLR cameras to mirrorless systems to point and shoots, virtually every camera records images with amazing quality and accuracy. Technology is so advanced today that there really is no such thing as a bad camera anymore.

So how do you choose? Camera manufacturers advertise a plethora of specifications for you to compare. Sensor size, megapixels, frames per second, ISO sensitivity, maximum resolution, auto-focus points, bit depth, sync speed, and the list goes on. The truth, however, is that most of these specifications really don't matter much, if at all.

Sure, certain cameras are better at certain jobs. If you want to shoot fast-action sports then you need a certain type of camera and lens. But for most people, any camera will get the job done. So back to the question then, how do you choose?

Before I made my most recent camera purchase in July of last year, I wasn't sure what I wanted. I already owned three very capable cameras, but I wanted something different. Perhaps a camera that felt more comfortable and intuitive to me when shooting on the street. I read reviews and tested cameras in stores. I even bought and returned several impressive cameras before finally finding the perfect camera for me.

The camera I chose doesn't have the most megapixels or the highest frames per second. In fact, if you compare its specifications to most cameras in its class it appears absolutely average. So how did I choose?

I chose a camera that inspires me to make photographs. It's less about specs and more about how I feel when I hold the camera in my hands. It feels right, like an extension of my personality. The vintage design provides external dials and switches for every setting important to me, which allows me to understand how the camera is operating without ever looking at a menu system. This prompts me to think about what I want the camera to do before pressing the shutter release button. It makes me want to go out and shoot and it helps me become a better photographer.

I'm not saying that my choice is the perfect camera for everyone. Not at all. But when choosing a camera I suggest putting the specifications aside and finding one that just feels right to you. The choice you eventually make may surprise you.