What Cameras are About


I have used several cameras in the past decades. My first one was a Pentax Spotmatic, which I got passed on from my father, followed by a Yashika. I then bought the EOS 100 as first camera by my own money, got into digital with the EOS 30D, followed by the 50D and then the 5DM2. All of those cameras convinced me in particular because of their ergonomic setup. They were tools that just could be used in a very intuitive way – at least for me. I never got used to the Nikon interface. There have been several compact cameras as well, but that’s another story. 

Now, it seems I have come full circle, using the Fuji X-T1, which – though it is a completely different animal – reminds me a lot of my old Spotmatic. This camera made me get away from my full frame 5D Mark II – which is a good camera, no doubt about that – but the X-T1 just feels to be the better tool for me. The results are absolutely satisfying to me. 

But what matters most is that the shooting experience is wonderful. It just feels right. And maybe that is what using cameras is about: not so much the specifications, but they way they feel. From that perspective, cameras are indeed to a certain extend custom made things. The whole discussion if Sony is better than Canon or some Nikon is obsolete.  

You have to find your camera. Like Harry Potter had to find his wand. 

It doesn’t matter that much what the specs are, but what the camera feels like for you. And maybe that is the reason why we should support local camera stores much more. How would you check the overall camera look and feel if you cannot take it into you hand and feel what it is doing? 

You could also say that the online stores are stealing something from you, that the estimated saving of money never can compensate for: The chance to choose the right tool right away.  

And this is what cameras are about: being the right tool for you. Being and extension of yourself and to some way also an expression of yourself. Like a craftsman or a painter chooses his hammer or his pencil, the photographer chooses his camera. Not for what the company promises, but for what it is to her or him. 




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