What camera should I buy? 5 things to look for

More like 5 aspects and not  5 features

After all these years working on my photography technique, doing reviews, and making mistakes, I can up with five features to always look for in a camera. I really wanted to try to just look at what would be the most important aspects of any new camera. Be it DSLR, mirrorless, compact, professional or amateur, it would be good to just answer 5 simple questions to make the right choice in your personal photographic gear choice.

These 5 points not only have to do with camera specifications but also with a cameras vibe. After all, what is most important is that your experience of taking photos, processing them, and being proud of what you have done is enjoyable.

The 5 features to always look for in a camera are

  1. Great optics
  2. Good ergonomics
  3. Expandability to fit you
  4. Magic and excitement
  5. A matched brand philosophy


1) Great optics

No matter how good a processor in a camera is, how many camera features or how well rated your camera, if it does not have a great lens on it it is not good. I say this a great deal but an excellent camera with a crappy lens is just you taking high resolution images of terrible light. The lens really is the bottelneck of any and all cameras. If you decide to get a compact camera, a larger DSLR or a flashy mirrorless camera, make sure that the lens (or lens availability) on that camera is good.

Portrait of woman looking away

Photo taken with the Cano6D and a Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART lens

2) Good ergonomics

Each camera manufacturer has a way of placing buttons and dials on their camera equipment. Your main interface with the camera is with your eyes and hands. Because you will have to take photos without looking at the camera, all button, dial placement, menu system and surface feel has to be to your particular taste. Each manufacturer has a different way of approaching ergonomics. Make sure you pick the camera that has the right feel for you.

3) Expandability

Make sure that whatever camera you buy will work with where you are going to go in the future. Look at where you see yourself one year from now. Will this be a serious hobbie? Will this be a profession for you? Things like camera specifications, accessory availability and lens choices will be affected by this reflection.

For example) If you see yourself wanting to get into sports photography into the future, you might want to prioritize burst rate of your camera (How many frames per second). If you see yourself doing landscape photography in the future, you might want to make sure tht you have a camera with wide angle lens possibilities.

car in the streets of new york

Photo tken with the Fujifilm X-T30 and the Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0

4) Magic

As crazy as this aspect is, to me, if a camera feels “cool” to you is super important. A camera has to make you feel excited about getting out and shooting photos. Does just the actual feel and look of the camera make you want to pick it up? Never ignore this aspect because no camera is any good if you do not actually pick it up to use it.

5) Does the cameras brand philosophy fit with you?

Remember that each brand has a way of making a camera. Each brand approaches what they see as important to a photographer. Possibly the easiest way to see if a brand fits with your way of looking at photography is to just go to each camera manufacturer’s product page. It sounds a tad superficial but even how the company looks at what their advantages are as a manufacturer will let you know about what aspects of a photographer’s workflow they prioritize.

Find out the other side ofthe coin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *