The best camera to buy. Ever.

eye-to-eye with a lens

eye-to-eye with a lens

Because I’m often seen as a photographer, my friends sometimes ask me what can be done to improve their photos. And if their questions are about what equipment to buy, I often steer them first toward the debate regarding “photography = science + art.”

For those who haven’t heard that one, photography is a balance between two parts, science and art. The science : light, equipment, and mechanics. The art: composition, timing, light, balance and contrast, and story. My point? Too often, people concentrate on the science, that is, the equipment. The ones who concentrate on the science (the equipment) and fail at the art have $3,000 of equipment but display forgettable photos that look like mud. In contrast, the ones who concentrate on the art, but can only afford a $100 point-and-shoot often have photos that spark conversation!

Before I answer their equipment questions, I play art games. I ask them to place five objects in an arrangement and discuss it, or find two existing alternative backgrounds in a crowded scene, or identify three ways to improve a shot, or describe a photograph’s story using three words (and “very nice picture” doesn’t count).

But, if my friends don’t learn from that adventure, and continue to ask about camera equipment (flash units, tripods, lenses, camera bodies, brands, and other purchases), I now have the perfect answer.

Here are THE definitive answers to all your photographic equipment questions.
(source: a brilliant blog post at

Which lens is best to have on hand?

The one at home.

Which camera is best?

The model a step up from the one you just bought.

When will the right camera for you be available?

Probably next year.

When will it be affordable?

When it is obsolete.

What camera do ‘fools’ buy?


Should you shoot RAW?

No! Shoot jpeg and get it right the first time you moron.

Should you shoot jpeg?

No! Sliders and presets and curves! Shoot RAW you moron.

Where does no one want to be?

In front of a computer.

Where does everyone want to be?

Out shooting.



How much light is there?

Not enough.

What must the light be?


What must the colour balance be?


What must the subject matter be?


What do adjustments make your photograph?

More interesting.

What must the background be?

Blown out.

What must the flash be?


What’s the meaning of it all?

Self-redemption through an endless stream of pouty self-portraits on Flickr. Also weddings.

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