What Kind of Camera?
To me, the best camera is the one you will actually use- if you have a super-expensive, professional camera but you don’t ever pull it out because it’s:
a. too big, too heavy. I’ve literally had backpack straps break, and at one point I could barely move my wrist after shooting all day.
b. too expensive- what if it breaks? I have gotten a lot of sand and water in cameras…and paid for it.
c. a conversation piece- when you whip out a big expensive camera, everyone stares at you and/or wants to ask you about it, meanwhile, you’ve missed the moment.
Then it’s not a good camera.
It’s best to find a balance between a camera that will take good photos and a camera that you can comfortably take with you and pull out any time. If you shoot on manual, like I do, it’s also important to get to know your camera/lens. Once you are used to it, you can change the settings quickly and still capture the moments, and with the look that you want.
At work, I used a Canon Mark 5D for years, and was used to that. It’s pretty much the standard for professional cameras, and the lenses are great. However, it’s so big and heavy that I never wanted to travel with it.
Last year I switched to the Fujifilm X-T1, and for me it is so much better- it’s light, unobtrusive, and takes fantastic photos. I kept seeing people on National Geographic’s instagram using it, so I did some research. It doesn’t have a full-frame sensor and it’s only 16 megapixels, but all around I actually like it more than the much-more-expensive Canon Mark 5D. Fujifilm also released a new model, the X-T2, that looks beyond amazing and is waterproof.
It’s great for traveling because it can sync the photos directly to your phone or iPad. I rarely travel with my laptop, just my phone or iPad, so this feature is priceless for me.
I bought the camera body and the lens separately, and have two lenses that I use for it.
- Zeiss 32mm f/1.8 Touit Series- more portable, perfect for portraits and more close-up shooting.
- Fujinon XF56mmF1.2 R- a little larger but great for getting bokeh on full-body shots. Great for bokeh just all around.
I also use a waterproof casing from Amazon, here. Only costs $45 and works great!