The Many Moods of Cameras

This post is going to be a little bit different than some of the previous ones. This time I want to take a quick look at gear. If you’re in the market for a camera it can be overwhelming. While I can’t tell you what camera you should or shouldn't buy, I thought that it might be kind of fun to give a little insight into how I choose what camera I'm going to use based on how I'm feeling or what I'm photographing.

Canon 5d Mark III Portrait

Canon 5d Mark III

Let’s start with the big gun. Most of my professional work is done with a Canon 5d Mark III. This camera is a tank. That’s one thing that I love about it. It has been everywhere with me over the last few years, and it is no worse for wear. The low-light capabilities are great which means I never struggle when the availability of light is less than optimal. I remember the first night with the camera I went to shoot a concert that a buddy of mine was drumming in. Wearily, I bumped the ISO to 12,800 and started snapping away. A quick look at the LCD screen solidified that I had made the right choice. The autofocus is superb. I’ve even used it to track downhill skateboarders during a race in Colorado. What I'm getting at is that this camera is flawless to me. I've never run into a single issue with it since I've been using it. That's why when I’m in the mood for something that will not let me down, and I need to put in a serious amount of work this is my go-to camera.

Fujifilm X-E2 Portrait

Fujifilm X-E2

Next up is my second most used camera. As much as I love my 5d, that reliability comes at a cost. That cost is sore shoulders and a sore back after using it for an entire day. I run around a lot in my free-time, and I always try to carry a camera with me. Since I wanted something a little lighter I started looking into mirrorless cameras. That’s when I came across my next baby, the Fujifilm X-E2. Not only do I find this camera aesthetically pleasing, but I hardly feel it when I have it slung over my shoulder. Ahhhh, what a relief it is. The funny thing is that I don’t feel like I sacrificed very much at all. The low-light capabilities can’t be pushed as far, but they’re still much better than those of the t2i I started with. I haven’t run into a situation yet where I have been let down by this camera. For walks with my fiancé, family dinners, or hanging out with my buddies, this camera is perfect. I’m in the process of throwing together a post all about this camera because I use it so often. When I’m in a relaxed mood and I care more about the memories being made instead of how technically perfect I can make each photo, this is the camera that I use. 

Rolleiflex Portrait

Rolleiflex 2.8e

Last but not least is something a little bit different. This well-engineered piece of photographic machinery is my Rolleiflex. I’m not even going to bother comparing any aspect of this camera to the two others. It’s special in its very own way.  There’s something fun about shooting film, and there’s something even more fun about shooting film on a twin lens reflex camera from the early 1960s. Looking down through the top of the camera into the waist level viewfinder to adjust the frame evokes a certain type of awe from me every time that I do it. When I’m feeling burnt out and like I need a change of pace this is my go-to camera. 

I'm always focused on taking the best possible photograph, but how I go about that is entirely different on each of these cameras. Sometimes it's good to slow down, relax and focus on the task at hand until you get a result while other times you've just got to go at it non-stop until you get to that result. Each of these cameras allows me to do this in varying degrees until I achieve an outcome that I'm happy with. This is important to me because it mixes everything up and allows me to continue to create the best work that I can.