The best camera is the one you have with you, blah, blah, blah. I know we’ve all heard that statement before. I didn’t think too much about it until recently. When I started getting into photography I was focused on which camera was best. But really, what is best? Is it fastest, lightest, most megapixels? If you listen to what people are saying on the internet you might think the best camera is a Canon Mark II or a Leica or a Hasselblad. Well, I have to admit Leicas do look damn good, but who can afford over $5k just for a body. Too bad my grandparents didn’t have one in the family that could have been passed down to me.
As I started to figure out what I liked, I noticed some people took great photos no matter where they were or what they used. I realized that some iPhone photos taken while moving on a bike were way better than I could even hope to achieve.
This got me thinking: maybe it’s the person not the camera. I know, you are saying “no shit,” but it took me a little while to realize that buying a fancier camera wouldn’t help me take better photos -- a Leica would make me look cool though.
Once I got this through my thick head I realized it’s about finding what you like and getting out and seeing interesting stuff. If you just sit inside and cruise the internet you will never take a good picture.
I’ve figured out that I like black and white wide-angle photography. My current camera of choice is a Fuji X100. It’s small and quiet, which are two of the most important things to me. Carrying around tons of lenses doesn’t appeal to me even if it offers a bit more flexibility. I’ll just zoom with my feet. This works well for street and landscapes but it makes it difficult when I’m trying to capture cycling images. That just makes it more of a challenge.
The moral of the story is get out, live life and put yourself in places that are beautiful. If you do that you will be able to capture the moment with whatever camera you have on you. On my ride yesterday the fog was dancing with the mountains. Without my iPhone I wouldn’t have been able to capture the moment. While it may not be perfect or able to be blown up to billboard size they are good and will remind me of the moment.