My friend Nick Quaranto is in the market for a new camera. A few days ago we discussed the pros and cons of various cameras (DSLR, mirrorless, iPhone, etc) in our Campfire chatroom. He was overwhelmed by all the options. Where do you even start?
I asked in our “SvN Post Ideas” Basecamp project, and notified the rest of our company:
What kind of camera do you have? Do you prefer DSLR, Mirrorless, or iPhone? Something else? There are so many options out there it’s overwhelming…
The most popular answer was iPhone. However, some of us are enthusiasts who must capture moments the tiny sensor in the iPhone can’t quite get. Here are the answers I got in Basecamp:
Jamie Dihiansan Fujifilm X100S and Nexus 4
I just got a Fujifilm X100S. I really dig it. Been waiting for a while to get one. I like the fixed focal length (35mm equivalent) and the low-light image quality under high ISO (6400). I also use the Nexus 4 for Instagram, Facebook, casual polaroid type shots.
Mig Reyes Panasonic GF-1 and iPhone
I have a Panasonic GF-1, with the pancake lens. The chip inside the body is fried, so I don’t have a working camera. I’d like to invest in a new body that can still make use of my pancake lens, and would love any suggestions.
So, for now I just use the camera I always have with me; iPhone.
Ryan Singer Nikon D7000
I have a Nikon D7000 w/ a 35mm prime lens, which ends up looking like 50mm because of the D7000’s sensor size. I like the D7000’s high ISO and how optically faithful the 35-50mm range is.
I bring it with me on trips and to major events, but I still find myself leaving it in the bag because I don’t like having it around my neck or in my hand on all time. I inevitably take some photos with my iPhone.
I’m usually disappointed with my iPhone photos when I load them on the computer. The colors and res are sharp, but the wide angle distorts close-up subjects and creates lots of empty space in landscape/scenery shots.
Shaun Hildner Canon 5D Mk II
Canon 5D Mk II on a Redrock Micro Field Cinema Deluxe DSLR Rig with an Ikan 7” monitor and a Rode shotgun mic.
Canon 24-105mm f/4L
Damn right you need all this shit!
Anton Koldaev Canon 7D, GoPro Hero 3, iPhone
I love to capture extreme sport events especially in summer. I have Canon 7D with wide-angle lens and GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition. Unfortunately I don’t always have time for video editing, so most of my videos are in raw format.
The most often used camera is iPhone anyway.
Jason Fried iPhone
The only camera I own is the iPhone 5. It does everything I need it to do, and it’s always with me.
Jonas Downey Nikon D40 and iPhone
I have an old Nikon D40 we still use for special occasions. But I rarely carry it since the iPhone is good enough for most of my Instagrams of pancakes.
Taylor Weibley Canon 5D Mk II and Panasonic TS1
Canon 5D Mk II now that I gave away my T2i to an aspiring photographer. I usually shoot with my f1.4 / 24-105 l glass. I wish I could afford some new prime lenses.
I also have a Panasonic TS1 that I carry on the beach / around the water. It’s “water proof” to 10ft and takes a great photo outdoors.
Jason Zimdars iPhone
My iPhone has the nicest camera I’ve ever owned. I have no need for a stand-alone camera.
Scott Upton Nikon D70s and iPhone
I have a Nikon D70s with a 50mm/f1.8 lens, but I don’t use it as often as I’d like. Despite all the cloud storage options out there, media management still feels like a chore and I usually just fall back to my iPhone + Instagram.
John Williams Canon T1i and Canon Elan7
Lately, I have found myself going back to film. I have a Canon Elan7 that I love. I have been shooting mostly Ilford HP5 400 because it has a nice grain when pushed. I find myself using my 50mm 1.8 EF (held together by electrical tape) or 88mm 1.8 EF most of the time. I like the delay in gratification that I get from film.
As for digital, I have ~3yo Canon T1i. Lugging around the T1i is much easier than my elan7.
Lenses: Canon 50mm 1.8, Canon 85mm 1.8, Canon 135mm 2.8 With Softfocus, Canon 28-105mm 3.5-4.5, Canon 18-85mm 4-5.6
Joan Stewart iPhone and Canon Rebel T2i
My most frequently used camera is my iPhone 4. I have a Canon Rebel T2i that I bought a few years ago to take slightly nicer video.
Javan Makhmali iPhone, 35mm Olympic Sylus Epic, 120mm Rolleiflex
iPhone 5 is the only digital camera I own. By far, all of my favorite pictures that I’ve taken were shot on film. Digital pictures still look so perfectly digital to me. Film has character.
The two film cameras I use are a 35mm Olympic Sylus Epic and an old 120mm Rolleiflex.
Sam Stephenson Leica D-LUX 3 and iPhone
I’m not a photographer and don’t know much about photography. I have a Leica D-LUX 3, which I really like as an object. I generally use it when I need to take a photo for illustrative purposes.
Like others have said, I just use my iPhone’s camera on a daily basis. Usually to capture text that I don’t want to have to type.
Eron Nicholson Canon T4i and GoPro Hero
I have a Canon T4i and a few lenses. I use my 35mm prime, 18-135mm STM and 10-22mm the most.
I recently got a GoPro Hero Black for racing and flying purposes. I also never have enough time to edit the video.
Will Jessop Nikon D40x and iPhone
Nikon D40x with the 18-55mm kit lens + a Nikon prime 35mm lens iPhone 4s. I almost never carry or use my Nikon now, mostly use the iPhone.
Emily Wilder iPhone
After I saw this thread, I went to go look for my camera so I could tell y’all what it is. I couldn’t find it. I shrugged. It’s probably been about a year since I’ve used it anyway.
My iPhone is always with me, so that’s what I take photos with. I don’t think to carry a bulky camera around with me anymore.
Merissa Dawson Canon Rebel T3i and iPhone
I have a Canon Rebel T3i that I got last summer, and I love it! When I’m not using that, I’m using my iPhone.
Jeff Hardy iPhone
I also use my phone for everything these days. Where I’m missing out is in being able to take shots from a distance. I’d love an SLR with a telephoto lens for taking long-range shots of the crazy wildlife I see out here.
David Heinemeier Hansson Fuji X100S, Sony RX-1, iPhone
I’ve been on the Fuji wagon lately as well and just got the X100S. It’s really a great camera and a package that doesn’t feel bothersome to bring along.
80% of my favorite shots from the last five years have been with a 5Dm2/3 + 85mm 1.2L, though. Nothing beats that combination for sheer image quality, especially in portraits. But it’s a beast to lug around, so I never bother taking it anywhere unless the whole point of the expedition is a photo shoot.
I’ve also been using the Sony RX-1 lately. Full-frame in a tiny package. Impressive camera, but I like the feel and the color rendition from the X100S better.
Still also take tons of pictures with the iPhone 5. They look awesome as long as you’re only looking at the on your phone. As soon as you even just transfer them to the retina iPad, they lose a lot of the glamour. Compare them back to back with a “real” camera like the X100S and the 5D and I often regret not getting the shot with one of those.
Jeremy Kemper Sony RX100 I take a camera hiking. I look for something that fits in a pocket without sagging down or snagging on things, doesn’t run out of battery in a week, and takes a flattering photo. Currently using a Sony RX100. Small, lightweight, easy to get great results.
Chris Joyce iPhone and Fuji Finepix S8000fd
I haven’t invested in a new camera for a while as I tend to use my iPhone 4S for the majority of my photo taking. It’s always there in my pocket, it snaps a picture nice and quick and the quality is great.
If we’re on holiday, or at a particular event where I want some better distance shots, I have a Fuji Finepix S8000 fd. It may be time to update that before the next holiday, though.
Michael Berger iPhone
I’m pretty happy with the iPhone 5, but during my trip to Europe last summer I decided that in the future I’d like to have a more substantial camera. I’ll likely go with a Fuji or one of the other mirrorless options.
DHH’s Bonus Tip Corner
These two books are the best I’ve read as a basic introduction to understanding photography. Especially the triangle between ISO-Exposure-Aperture, which are the three key manual controls you get to play with on a “real” camera:
Learning to See Creatively
So, what kind of camera do you have? Do you prefer DSLR, Mirrorless, or iPhone? Something else?