I think it’s interesting seeing that there are two different, very different ways to look at photography. It might depend on the goal, for example, photo or video, since video is an essential feature for today’s digital cameras. But also something else; maybe where you drive your inspiration from.
Casey Neistat mainly personifies the first group. You search for the balance between the best available quality from your gear with price and accessibility. Here we have quotes like “gear doesn’t matter,” “the best camera is the one you have on you,” and such. This means you buy the gear you need, but it’s a tool and as good (and expensive) that you can smash it if required for the shot. I think a lot of YouTubers prefer this.
The other group is more photographers that also are videographers. But also Evan Ranft and, in many ways also, Peter McKinnon and the others in the Dopesquad. Here we see a lot of gear, and the choice of equipment is often well thought out, and a camera is more than a tool but an extension of your creativity; sometimes also, the better it is, the more challenging your creativity. Of course, this is best quoted from GxAce, who means that cameras are important for the features and how they are designed.
I think both are important, and as a pro-am photographer, it’s always hard to decide on the balance. I love to photograph landscapes, concerts and street-photo, which means that I have to balance the need for a sturdy, high-quality camera and a plethora of possibilities of glasses with the requirement of something light, fast and useable for daily shooting in an urban context. And in the same time, camera systems allow me to expand my photographic style challenge and inspire me to take photos.
So my future setup will continue to be a DSLR (Canon) with the holy trinity of zoom lenses, with two statics for portraits. And then a point-and-shoot camera for street photos and a more versatile way of taking landscapes for ideas and tests. I will hunt for a Fujifilm X100V even if I got the money for the Leica Q2; I mean, come on…
So how about the iPhone? My iPhone is still the camera I take many photos with; some of my best images are taken on an iPhone. With proRAW, it is so damn good. And it’s always on me. I started taking pictures more seriously by deciding only to take photos with the phone. But… even if computational photography becomes more and more like the DSLR, and the lenses are as good as the cheaper ones from Canons and Nikons, it’s still not the whole feeling of depth and structure. But it’s also not perfect for the street photo, which probably is more surprising. The thing is that people are less annoyed if you come with a point-and-shoot and photograph them in the context than if you do it with an iPhone. Probably due to the feeling that everyone can take a photo with a phone, but you are a photographer if you have a camera. And the third negative thing is using iPhone as a camera mainly for the street but also at other times: it’s a bit longer to get started. I have tried to use all thinkable ways to increase the start of the camera app via different customizing, but it’s always a bit slower from “let’s take the picture” to “the picture’s taken.
What’s your take on this? Please leave a comment in the comment section.