Forget technology updates, greater sensor capacity and greater dynamic range. If you could only choose one camera to shoot with for the rest of your photographic life, what would it be?
What camera have you owned or do you still own that just puts the excitement back into your photography. I don’t mean which camera captures the best images by that statement, it’s simply up to the photographer. I mean which camera feels good? The one that makes you think, “what am I going to catch today?” The one that excites you to use it, even if the motivation to shoot for that day is non-existent. We all have a camera like this and whether it’s a distant memory like the good old days, or you still have the camera in your collection, there must be one that resonates with you, shall we say , at a higher level.
It feels like these days, with all the new megapixel sensors and the next big thing in camera technology, we are constantly bombarded with a much-needed scenario to improve our photography. And of course, we all know that is wrong; the camera captures the image, the photographer sees the image first. How the resulting image turns out depends on the photographer’s knowledge and skill of the craft and subject, and no amount of megapixels is going to improve their photography; on the contrary, because the errors will only be amplified.
Technological advances in photography are multiplying at a breakneck pace for leather, which is not a bad thing at all, and welcome to my books. But when is enough, enough? It wasn’t until yesterday, when you’ve finally sorted through your system menus and got to know your camera, that the makers came out with the next best thing. Yes, it’s an upgrade, and yes, it may just do more than the $4,000 camera you bought just 3 months ago.
Honestly, that’s a good thing, and as I mentioned, I welcome it, because progress can certainly only do one thing: provide the photographer with enough technology in their camera to be able to advance their art.
Choose your camera
So, going back to the title of this article, this is the best camera I’ve ever owned: the one on top, the Fujifilm XT-3. If you’ve ever owned one or are currently using one, you might know what I mean. If you’ve never liked and don’t like Fuji, that’s entirely up to you, and below in the poll you can state your favorite brand. I’ll stick to the brands because there are so many cameras out there the poll would be endlessly scrollable, but I’ll get to that later.
The Fuji XT-3 was the camera for me that I didn’t know I needed, and it’s as simple as that. I’m not going to dwell on sensor size, ISO capabilities, or anything to do with the technology in this camera. I’m just going to speak lyrically about the buzz I felt when using the camera. What it was capable of in terms of technology pales in comparison to how it made me feel when using it.
This camera made me want to use it. The aesthetics, the ergonomics, everything was perfect, including the menu, and I was looking for things to photograph. Subjects that I didn’t normally photograph or otherwise interested me in suddenly had a new air of photographic interest and I was looking for ways to capture them so I could just study the resulting image.
Now these images in this article are by no means worth looking at but I remember capturing them all and it was because of the buzz I felt while using the XT-3 . That to me is what photography is; the buzz, the excitement, the whole experience. The camera just felt right in my hands, it again created excitement around photography. Not that I had lost it or maybe I should say that I hadn’t noticed that I had lost some of the excitement. This camera, however, made me notice that I had some.
Trainee without knowing it
To be honest, I didn’t feel good when I found this out because I thought I was progressing and challenging myself at every opportunity. But that hadn’t been the case. I mainly photographed landscapes, except in the studio of course, so I searched for light and composition thinking each time it was an opportunity to experiment and learn something new. But that wasn’t the case as I had unknowingly become stagnant in my approach to photography; shoot, edit, rehearse, no buzz, no experience gained. Even in the studio: light shooting, editing, rehearsal. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved what I was doing and enjoyed every minute, but there was something more missing and I never noticed it, until I shot with the Fujifilm XT-3 .
Skin tones were perfect, details seemed to pop more in landscapes, everything was the same but different; in a better way. I felt excitement when shooting with the camera, the same excitement I remembered when I bought my first camera. Now you could say it’s because a change is as good as a rest and yes that could be it but for me I’ll stick to the fact that the Fujifilm XT-3 is the device photo that I did not know. necessary. It was the camera that brought back the buzz of photography that I didn’t know I was missing.
Like most of us, we have the brands we stick with or move around until we find the camera and system click. In my constant learning cycle, I had the pleasure of using Sony, Fuji, Nikon, and even in 1997 my parents owned the Kodak DC210 that I would sincerely like to still have. More of a nostalgic point of view, as we fondly remember it as the Kodak brick, due to its clunky ergonomics.
My current setup Nikon Z7II is for me due to the long-standing relationship I have with Nikon cameras. I love them and I’m confident that by using them I’ll get the results I’m looking for. This isn’t always the case, however, but the pursuit is definitely worth it.
Unfortunately to buy the Nikon I had to sell the Fuji along with my drone, lenses, kidneys and other items and to be honest I use the word unfortunately lightly as the Nikon Z7 II is a exciting camera to use and produces the results I’m after for my images. I will own another one someday. Not just out of nostalgia, but to start touring with someone again. Maybe in their next incarnation the Fuji XT-5 will be something else, we can only wait and see. One thing I would like to ask, though, if anyone from Fuji is reading this, be sure to post a silver and black model. Yeah, I know that’s just aesthetics, but oh my god, did the XT-3 look that good.
What is your camera?
So which camera do you still have or would you like to still have? I spoke lyrically about the non-tech reasons why I loved the Fuji camera so much, the buzz, the excitement. What is your favorite camera and why?
There is a poll below with the manufacturers but not the models because there would be too many. I would also like to hear in the comments the model and why?