Why “the best camera is the one you have on you” is wrong

Deeped Strandh
2 min readJan 5, 2023

You’ve probably heard the saying “the best camera is the one you have with you.” It’s supposed to mean that it doesn’t matter what kind of camera you have, as long as you have one on hand to capture the moment. But is this really true? Especially when it comes to street photography?

In street photography, it’s often best to be as low-key as possible so you can capture candid and spontaneous moments. A small, unassuming camera like a smartphone or compact point-and-shoot can help you blend in and avoid drawing attention. However, even a smartphone or a big, pro-grade camera can still stand out and potentially annoy or creep people out. It’s not uncommon for photographers, especially those using larger cameras or those who are perceived as more professional, to be met with suspicion or hostility when taking photos in public places.

Using a smartphone or mobile device as a camera may also be perceived as more intrusive or stalking-like by some people, especially if the photographer is using the device in a way that is perceived as surreptitious or sneaky. It is important for photographers to be aware of how their actions may be perceived by others, and to respect the privacy and boundaries of their subjects.

On the other hand, certain cameras can be better for certain situations. For example, a camera with a fast lens and a high-quality sensor may do better in low light and produce sharper, more detailed images. And a camera with manual controls and a range of settings can give you more creative options.

So, the “best camera” thing isn’t quite cut and dry. Different cameras have different strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to you to decide what works best for your needs and goals, and what’s least likely to make people around you uncomfortable. It’s also important to be aware of your surroundings and the feelings of your subjects and to get permission if necessary. And don’t forget to check local laws and regulations on photography in public places.

(In cooperation with Chat GPT)

Photo by ASHUTOSH CHAUDHARI on Unsplash

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Deeped Strandh

Social media strategist for more than a decade. Photographer on my spare time.