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 My ‘’EFC formula’’ which, if you understood it well, will help you to solve this question by yourself.
In simple words, it is the ‘’light’’, which is a more important factor in any type of photography apart from other factors. A good camera gives access to control the light according to your need or to achieve the 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 what light source you are using for your photography. It may be sunlight, artificial photographic light, or ambiance (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 a good picture is ‘Focus’, yes, when you shoot with any device, you may feel some problems while focusing on the subject, sometime your device camera may create problems with 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 users 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 the viewer’s eyes. Yes, you have a good camera, good exposure, and good focus but if you fail to shoot a picture that is appealing to the eyes, it will spoil your picture. The most important thing to understand is that no camera on the market can help you to compose pictures better, although you can take help from editing software to tweak this problem to some extent it is not guaranteed that you can achieve good results. Composition is the photographer’s own sense, which develops with practice and Time. Total of these three points I called ‘EFC’ where ‘E’ stand for Exposure, ‘F’ stands for Focus and ‘C’ stand for Composition. I think you got my point that by controlling ‘EFC’ better, you can achieve good pictures.
The 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. The better you understand ‘EFC’ the better Photography you can do.
I have explained to you my ‘EFC Formula’ and I hope you understood it very well. Now, again, come to the question – which camera should I buy for myself? 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 your mind even clearer for your decision, I would like to give you some crucial information about Camera purchase, see; any camera has the union of two products, one is camera body and one is Lens. See the example below:
Camera Body and Lens
Camera and Lens attached
In simple words, I would say ‘Lens’ is a much more important tool than a Camera body to produce good images.
So, your question should be like this: which camera body and which Lens I should buy for myself?
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 now 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 lightweight, 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 68, etc.
All these are interchangeable Lens cameras. These are good cameras that 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 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 the same caliber cameras for this category.
Note: All the mentioned cameras of all brands above are to define 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 are also available in the market, I named a few to define the concept.
So, let me explain to you in a specific order –
if you are someone who does photography as a 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 at this stage, buying any DSLR is not recommended by me.
-If you are someone who has achieved good pictures from a 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 your budget. Put your choice of the camera then on ‘EFC formula’ and make your decision.
-If you are someone who has a basic or entry-level DSLR / Mirrorless and has 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 a good Lens here will dramatically level up your photography.
A good lens may dramatically improve your photography
-If you are someone who has a decent Camera body and a decent Lens, have good sense and a collection of good pictures in your 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 allows 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 for yourself.
-If you are someone who takes photography very seriously, is keen to grow, and want to make it a career and currently have a 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 that improves your photography, it is a sense of photography, light, composition, knowledge, learning ability, practice a lot, patience and an eagle eye, the sum of these things make you a better photographer. So test yourself and be ready for this challenging career.
Which brand is best? Put your desired camera on 'EFC Test' and compare yourself which one is helping you take control of exposure, focus and composition? Then make your mind and invest accordingly.
For any question in mind – ask me. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographer | Filmmaker | Entrepreneur
Note: All the information given in this Blog post is the knowledge of Javed Hussain acquired in his 16 Years long career span.
Javed Hussain is a New Delhi; India based a national & international experienced freelance photographer and an award winning short filmmaker.