Dear Friends, many people often ask me which camera they should buy for their needs. Some people say they need it for their family outing, travel purpose, some say need for their business product photography, some say for portrait purpose, some need it for their Vlogs, some need it for their videos making purpose etc. Some even ask that which brand is better like Sony, Canon or Nikon or any other.
Here the common thing is that they all want something better than their smart phone result, they say we need a camera which can give us quite good pictures better than smartphone. In extent of this, some say I have a budget of INR 50,000 and this is the limit, beyond it I cannot spend and suggest me any best camera under this amount range. So many people, so many purposes and so many options in the market to choose from, so which one is better for me? That’s the question.
In this post, I would try my best to give you the best answer of this question which can solve your problem.
So let’s start, first of all I would like to clear you that any type of good photography result is a combination of some factors, camera is surely an important one in this line but not the only thing which can give you the best result. Chances are you buy the costlier camera of the planet and produce the worst images out of it and other side you can produce the best images with just a smartphone / pocket camera / cheap DSLR or any other camera. So one and only thing is to achieve good picture is the image sense or sense of photography.
I am going to give you the ‘’EFC formula’’ which, if you understand it well, will help you to solve this question by yourself.
In simple words, it is the ‘’light’’, which is more important factor of any type of photography apart from other factors. A good camera gives access to control the light according to your need or to achieve desired result. In technical terms of photography it is called ‘Exposure’. If you can control the exposure, you can take better pictures.
Note: It is equally important that what light source you are using for your photography? It may be sun light, artificial photographic light or ambience (Room bulb / Tube light etc) light etc. A good camera can give you access to control each source better to adjust the light volume to achieve good images.
Another important factor to achieve good picture is ‘Focus’, yes, when you shoot with any device, you may feel some problem while focusing on the subject, sometime your device camera may create problem into focusing or focus shift again and again or quickly swift which may spoil your image. Again, a good camera gives you more focusing control and may help you to solve this problem. It has good focus features which allow user more power & control to focus better.
Third and last in this row, a very important factor for good photography is ‘Composition’ if I define composition in simple words, it will be like – your clicked picture should be attractive looking or good looking for viewer’s eyes. Yes, you have a good camera, good exposure, good focus but you fail to shoot a picture which is appealing to eyes, it will spoil your picture. Most important thing to understand is that no camera in the market can help you to compose picture better, although you can take help from editing software to tweak this problem to some extent but it is not guaranteed that you can achieve good result. Composition is photographer’s own sense, which develops with practice and Time. Total of these three points I called ‘EFC’ where ‘E’ stand for Exposure, ‘F’ stand for Focus and ‘C’ stand for Composition. I think, you got my point that by controlling ‘EFC’ better, you can achieve good pictures.
Entire world of Photography / Videography revolves around these 3 things – E, F, and C. Any feature or any accessory helps you to control these 3 things directly or indirectly. Better you understand ‘EFC’ the better Photography you can do.
I have been explained you my ‘EFC Formula’ and I hope you understood it very well. Now, again, come to the question – which camera should I buy for me? I would say that now you can put any camera (Smartphone / Point & shoot / DSLR / Mirrorless etc.) to this ‘EFC’ formula test and decide yourself which one is better for you?
‘EFC’ Formula means: Test any camera & Lens which help you control light better, focus better, and compose better. Test any Camera and Lens on this formula and make your decision yourself.
Here, to make you even clearer for your decision, I would like to give you some crucial information about Camera purchase, see; any camera has union of two products, one is camera body and one is Lens. See example below:
In simple words I would say ‘Lens’ is much more important tool than Camera body to produce good images.
So, your question should be like this: which camera body and which Lens I should buy for me?
The moment you change your question this way, your answer starts.
Here, I would also like to explain this important factor about Camera purchase. See, I categorize Cameras into 5 categories:
1st: Just shoot, keep with you always- All good smartphone cameras come into this category.
2nd: Point and shoot cameras or Digital compact cameras – Like
Canon’s power shot camera range:
Nikon’s Coolpix series:
Sony’s Cyber shot series:
Kodak’s PIXPRO series:
All these Point & shoot cameras are light weight, compact, easy to operate and loaded with lots of features.
3rd: Hobbyist / Beginner Cameras: Some DSLR / Mirrorless come into this category, like:
Canons: 2000D, 800D, Nikon’s D3500, And D5600, Sony’s Alpha ILCE Series etc.
All these are interchangeable Lens cameras. These are good cameras give you more control over your photography.
4th: Enthusiast or Semi Pro Level cameras: DSLR / Mirrorless cameras. Canon’s 80D, 90D, M50, R6, Nikon’s D5300, D3500, Sony’s Alpha a ILCE Series etc. come into this category.
All these are very advance and high quality cameras, you can achieve the best images from these.
5th: Serious or Professional Level Cameras: DSLR / Mirrorless cameras. Canon’s EOS 1D, 1D Mark II, R5, Mark IV, Nikon D6, D850, Z7II, Sony A7R, A9 Mark II etc.
All these are very expensive Professional cameras, loaded with wonderful features.
And many other brands make same caliber cameras for this category.
*Note: All the mentioned cameras of all brands above is to define you the concept only, it does not mean I am recommending you to buy any of them, it is purely your choice to buy any camera or not. So many other cameras of these brands also available in the market, I named a few to describe you.
So, let me explain you in specific order – if you are someone who do photography for hobby and want some attention, you should practice with your smartphone only, and you do not need to buy any camera as of now. Go to better places, in good lighting availability areas and shoot a lot and you are done, though after achieving some nice pictures you can level up by purchasing any DSLR / Mirrorless. Note: Without achieving good pictures from your smartphone, buying any DSLR is not recommended by me.
-If you are someone who has been achieved good pictures from smartphone and developed a good photography sense, should definitely go to buy any Point & shoot cameras or good entry level DSLR / Mirrorless cameras whatever fits to your budget. Put your choice of camera then on ‘EFC formula’ and make your decision.
-If you are someone who has a basic or entry level DSLR / Mirrorless and has been taken good command over the camera and now he / she wants to level up, then in such case I would recommend you to buy any good pro Lens, not the camera body and enjoy the upper level of good photography. Buying good Lens here will dramatically level up your photography.
-If you are someone who has a decent Camera body and a decent Lens, have good sense and collection of good pictures in portfolio, in such case I would say be very specific here, think your purpose to upgrade at this stage, you can upgrade the lens only and in some case if your current camera body is not helping you in some features then you can upgrade to semi pro camera set up with good lenses or if your budget allow and if you have any plan to earn through your photography then you should invest in Professional range cameras and lens setup, which one? Again put it on ‘EFC Formula’ and decide yourself.
-If you are someone who takes photography very serious, keen to grow and want to make it a career and currently have good DSLR kit but it’s not fitting to your level now, should definitely go and invest in high end professional range setup.
Again, as a summary I Would remind you that it is not just the camera which improves your photography, it is sense of photography, light, composition, knowledge, learning ability, practice a lot, patience and an eagle eye, sum of these things make you a better photographer. So test yourself and be ready for this challenging career.
For any question in mind – ask me. Email at email@example.com
Photographer | Filmmaker | Entrepreneur
Note: All the information given in this Blog post is the knowledge of Javed Hussain acquired in his 14 Years long career span.
Javed Hussain is a New Delhi; India based a national & international experienced freelance photographer and an award winning short filmmaker.