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Recommended Cameras

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Serious DSLR Camera    People Camera    Pocket Camera   Underwater   

Nikon Lenses    Canon Lenses    Flash    Tripods     Bags

Costlier Cameras      Film Cameras    Flashlight    Gifts

Filters      Straps     Flashlights      Labs

Carry Less    Assembling a System


Best Cameras for Landscapes, for Sports, for People & etc. This page covers the best cameras overall for general use. Best Cameras suggests the best cameras by specific kinds of shooting.

Best Gifts for Photographers


June 2019   Better Pictures   Canon   Sony   Nikon   Fuji   LEICA   Zeiss   Hasselblad   All Reviews


The Best Camera for Most Things

Nikon D3400

Nikon D3400 and included 18-55mm VR AF-P.

what camera do i suggest for my friends and family when they ask? what's the best camera that can handle every kind of photo situation, but still lightweight and at a low price?

The Nikon D3500 is the ticket. (Last year's Nikon D3400 is mostly the same, and the previous Nikon D3300 is also the same camera, without Bluetooth but with a slightly more powerful flash. All are excellent.)

You can pay a lot more, but no camera does anything significantly better than the D3500 for most people's photography. Especially if you have kids in sports, a DSLR like the D3500 is a huge step up from a point-and-shoot or iPhone because it can zoom-in (especially with a telephoto zoom lens) and focus fast enough to track all the action.

You can pay more for fancier cameras I use for my more serious work, but the pictures are the same. You're paying more for more dedicated controls to make setting the camera easier for experts, for tougher build quality for people who abuse their cameras all day, every day for a living and for extra features most people don't understand and are only useful in special situations. Expensive cameras make it easier for experts to adjust advanced settings and may offer some odd features few people understand, but the results ultimately are the same. The extra cost and size, weight and expense are to make it more fun for people who shoot all day, not for picture quality.

No camera takes better pictures than a D3500. The reason guys like me pay more for fancier cameras isn't for better pictures; it's for more controls and options that let us few who actually know how to use all these controls to get to them faster. The D3500 has the same adjustments, just that you'll more often have to use a menu to set them instead of a knob or button. If you shoot all day every day as I do, it's worth it, otherwise, there's no reason to pay more since most people have no idea what these other settings do.

Sure, you can buy fancier DSLRs, but you don't need to unless you want to. The D3500 is the most basic DSLR sold today, and is all I'd ever need. Sure, feel free to pay more as I'll expand below (and many people do), but you're only buying more durability or convenience, not better pictures. Better pictures come from knowing how to take better pictures, not from a better camera.


Other Inexpensive Great Cameras

Canon SL2

Canon EOS SL2 with Canon 18-55mm IS STM. .

If prefer Canon, the Canon SL2 and Rebel T6 are equally excellent amd inexpensive. The differences between these are more a matter of which fits your hands better or which has controls or menus that you personally might find more convenient. Canon has much better customer support. I prefer the D3500, but if you're already shooting Canon, the SL2 or T6 is just as fantastic for a very low price. Each are as good; the Canon T6 is the least expensive while the Canon SL2 is newer, smaller and weighs less.


Sony A6000

Sony A6000 and PZ 16-50mm OSS. .

Also consider the Sony A6000 as a small, inexpensive and high-performance camera. It's a little smaller, but costs more and has less battery life. An advantage of the Sony is that as a mirrorless camera you can seen playback through the viewfinder, and even set menus and zoom-in, all thought the finder in broad daylight.


The Rest of My Recommendations Below

I start with normal camera recommendations for normal people who just want great pictures, then get to suggestions for dedicated photographers, and end with great gift suggestions.

click the links (or photos) for detailed individual reviews.

If you find this page helpful, you can help me keep helping you by using these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Most of these places ship internationally, and if you are outside the USA, even has a calculator which shows the final, total cost to-your-door including taxes, shipping and duties before you complete the order.

i've been buying my own gear from and since the mid-1970s and have had nothing but great service and the lowest prices, which is why i recommend them so highly. using these links costs you nothing (and probably saves you money), gets you the same great service i've enjoyed myself, and most importantly, is what helps me keep adding to this website for everyone's benefit.

Cameras have nothing to do with taking great pictures. To take great pictures, you have to know How to Take Great Pictures亲友益阳棋牌歪. If you know what you're doing, all a better camera does is make it easier, faster and more convenient to take great pictures.

The pictures you take depend on you, not on your camera. Just as your signature is uniquely your own no matter what sort of pen you use, it's the same with pictures and cameras. If you want to take better pictures, your efforts are better spent learning how to take better pictures亲友益阳棋牌歪, not in buying new cameras.


Best Serious Cameras (DSLRs)       top

dslrs, digital single-lens-reflex cameras, are the best camera for shooting action and motion. for news, sports and action, it's always an slr.

Nikon D7200

Nikon D7200 and 58mm f/1.2 Noct-NIKKOR.

If you're the sort of person who's an accomplished photographer and reads this site everyday, then you'll appreciate the many extra external controls of the Nikon D7200. The D7500 is the same thing, just newer and more expensive for the same thing, The D7500 adds Bluetooth but takes away compatibly with old lenses as I show here, takes away some resolution and the second card slot of the D7200, so I'd get the D7200 instead of the D7500.

The Nikon D7200 is better than anything else if you really know what you're doing, but bigger, more confusing and more expensive if you're not an expert. The photos are the same.

See Is It Worth It, which says that if you have the money, sure, go for the D7200, but if you don't, then don't worry and you'll LOVE the less expensive cameras. The biggest differences among these cameras is not technical picture quality (the pictures from these cameras are indistinguishable from each other), but how many knobs and buttons they have to allow skilled and experienced photographers to adjust the things that most people don't even understand. A more expensive camera does not take better pictures!

if you have the money, then the benefit of the d7200 is that it does everything just a little bit better. it is more pleasant to use because it has a bigger, brighter viewfinder, and everything works a little faster and more smoothly.

亲友益阳棋牌歪 the difference between the d7200 and less expensive cameras is mostly in how pleasant it is to hold, to own, to use and to shoot.

I cover the larger Nikon D750 and other even more expensive DSLRs under more costly cameras. These are for special purposes; the D7200 is the best you can get overall, and the less expensive Nikon DSLRs like the D5600 that adds a swivel LCD screen are no slouch either.


Flash    more flash suggestions

While you're saving all this money over more expensive cameras, I suggest getting the Nikon SB-400 miniature external flash ($175 used). The D3500 and D7200 have built-in flashes, but this tiny external flash gives a lot more range, and most importantly, saves the camera's batteries and亲友益阳棋牌歪 lets you shoot a lot faster because it recharges almost instantly after each shot. In-camera flashes drain the camera's battery and can take a long time to recycle after each shot.

more flash suggestions


Lenses    more lens suggestions

For most things, the 18-55mm DX AFP VR included with the D3500 is all you'll ever need.

The best telephoto lens for sports, head-shot portraits and distant subjects is the new 70-300mm AFP VR DX. It's ultra sharp and focuses almost instantly. A less expensive choice would be a used Nikon 55-200mm VR.

If you want a do-everything lens that replaces both the 18-55mm DX AFP VR and the 70-300mm AFP VR DX, the 18-300mm is fantastic. The advantage of the 18-300mm is that you never have to change lenses, however the 18-55mm DX AFP VR and the 70-300mm AFP VR DX autofocus faster. I've shot billboards for McDonald's with an older version of the 18-300mm, and they put it on a billboard, so no worries about optics on any of these. All can take awesome pictures if you know what you're doing.

For low-light, no-flash shooting, I use the Nikon 35mm f1.8亲友益阳棋牌歪 lens (about $197) instead. It's what I use most of the time. I zoom with my feet, and prefer its low-light abilities compared to a zoom.

For action and indoor sports, full-time pros use the exotic huge 70-200mm f/2.8 VR FL mostly because it can take more of a beating, and it lets them shoot in dimmer light than the other lenses.

If you need wider than the excellent 18-55mm VR lens lens, the Nikon 10-20mm is a fantastic performer at a bargain price, but you have to know How to Use Ultrawide Lenses.

more lens suggestions


Best for People, Family & Travel    top

Fuji X100F

Fujifilm X100F. (16.6 oz./470g with lens, battery and card, ). enlarge.

For carrying everywhere, for photographing people under any and every available lighting condition, for silent shooting and for macro, there is no camera that compares with the Fuji X100F. It's what I carry everywhere with my family. It's not as good as the Nikon D3500 for sports (no zoom) and not as good for landscapes (colors optimized for people, not landscapes), but for people photos in any light, the tiny X100F is extraordinary.

亲友益阳棋牌歪the x100f is also the very best camera available for new families, travel and vacation photography. it's best for families and people because of its unique ability to get great skin tones in any light, and great for travel because it's a full-featured camera in a very small package.

The X100F is the smallest and lightest serious camera available (half the weight of a LEICA and a fraction of the size and weight of a pro DSLR), and also gives the best results for people pictures under every sort of crazy light you'll find people being people. Its low-light, auto fill-flash, auto ISO, auto WB and color rendition under difficult conditions is far better than any of my Canons, Sonys, Nikons or LEICAs. Yes, I can get the same results after fiddling with my Nikon or Canon or LEICA for half an hour, but the Fuji X100F always nails the first shot in difficult light all by itself without fiddling, when means the Fuji gets my shot while I'd still be fiddling with one of the other cameras.

No camera captures life like the Fuji X100F, and it's so easy to carry everywhere around your neck since it's even smaller and lighter than the Nikon D3500.

All the pros I've talked to prefer their X100F to the LEICAs they used to shoot for reportage photography. The Fuji X100F is over 60 years ahead of the LEICA M10. The LEICA is great for nature and landscapes as I suggest below, but for the people shots that LEICA used to do best, today it's Fuji.

Last year's Fuji X100T is the same, minus a few pixels and with no nifty digital zoom feature. The older Fuji X100S lacks the very helpful facial recognition feature and has no silent electronic shutter. The oldest Fuji X100亲友益阳棋牌歪 is 80% as good as the X100S, just slower. If money matters, get a leftover or used older model; they all make the same great pictures, but may take longer doing it.


World's Best Pocket Camera       top

Sony RX100 Mark VI

Sony RX100 Mark VI with its finder popped-up. bigger.

New as of 2018, the RX100 Mark VI is head and shoulders above other pocket cameras because it works essentially instantly, it has a zoom lens with a huge range and its pictures look fantastic.

See its review亲友益阳棋牌歪; it's extraordinary.

This Sony has a much smaller sensor than most of the other cameras on this page and therefore it's picture quality isn't quite as good if you need to make 3-foot-wide prints or shoot in darkness, but otherwise for every other use its pictures look fantastic亲友益阳棋牌歪, especially for photos of places and things — and it's smaller than every other camera here.

The Nikon and Canon cameras look great for everything, while the Fujifilm X100F is optimized for people photos. The Fujifilm X100F亲友益阳棋牌歪 is a somewhat bigger camera with a bigger sensor that goes around your neck and has a faster lens than this Sony (fixed f/2 versus a variable zoom that's usually about f/4), while this little Sony excels for fast autofocus and brilliant colors for photos of places and things.

take the fuji for better results in low light, or take the sony if you need a zoom lens and are shooting in better light.

The earlier RX100 Mark V, Sony RX 100 Mk IV and RX 100 Mk III are also excellent, with a lens better for use in no light but doesn't zoom anywhere near as close. See my reviews at those links and All Sony Cameras Compared for the specifics.


Best Underwater Camera       top

Olympus TG-4

Olympus TG-4亲友益阳棋牌歪 (rated waterproof to 50'/15m, 25~100mm eq. f/2~4.9 zoom, 8.6 oz./243 g. with battery and card, ).

The TG-4 is a great little camera for stills and video in or out of the water. It takes abuse like a champ. The new model is the TG-5.


Flash       top

Nikon SB400

Nikon SB-400, about $175.


亲友益阳棋牌歪built-in flashes are excellent, but can't be pointed to bounce off the ceiling to improve your indoor photos. i own more expensive flashes, but i almost always use my sb-400 instead.

亲友益阳棋牌歪even if you don't bounce it, the sb-400 lets you shoot faster since it recharges much faster than the built-in flash. i use my sb-400 even on my more expensive nikons. it's that good.

If you want a larger flash to get more range or to bounce sideways, the Nikon SB-700亲友益阳棋牌歪 is my favorite. It's still reasonably sized.

The huge SB-5000 is too big unless you really need all that power as a full-time journalist or or sports shooter.



For Canon, my favorite daily-use flash is the small 320EX, or the older Canon 220EX.

If you want a larger flash to get more range, the Canon 430EX II亲友益阳棋牌歪 is my favorite. It's smaller and easier-to-use than bigger flashes and just works great.

The huge Canon 600EX RT is intended for full-time journalist or wedding shooters who use several of them in multiple portable flash setups.


Straps       top

i never use the strap that comes with the camera.

See Straps for strap suggestions.


Tripods       top

Complete Tripod & Head Sets

With a digital camera with Image Stabilization or VR, there's no need for a tripod. I only use a tripod for very long time exposures made at low ISOs.

my recommendation on tripods is not to bother with one, or if you must, get something so small and light that you won't mind carrying it. even if it seems wiggly, it's still good enough to hold your camera so long as you're not trying to wiggle it while you're taking the picture. so long as it's strong enough to hold up your camera, it's strong enough. a tripod left behind because you don't want to carry it is just getting in the way.

When I do use a tripod, I use the lightest one I can find, a $55 which I always carry in my trunk. It's all-metal, and lighter than any of the far more expensive brands that advertise like crazy, only 2.5 pounds total for head and legs. Companies that spend money on advertising and sponsoring big-name photographers亲友益阳棋牌歪 aren't spending that money on making me a better tripod, so I'll stick with Dolica where we get a much better tripod for less money. (When looking at more expensive tripods, remember that the dollar and weight specifications are usually only for a head or for the legs sold separately.)

the has padded, adjustable-angle legs with rubber feet and or spikes, and includes a ball-head with a quick-release, a compass, a level, a center column with hook, and a nice padded shoulder-strap case in its low price!

亲友益阳棋牌歪the is a complete system, complete with loads of nice extras (like the case) usually sold separately with more heavily-advertised brands.

my is all i usually carry with me, and i use it with its included head. no, it's not the sturdiest if i'm going to bang on it during exposure, but i don't jiggle the camera while shooting and this way i need not lug a heavier tripod. done.

亲友益阳棋牌歪the key is to have a tripod light enough and in a convenient case so that we'll actually take it out and use it. heavy brand-name tripods left back in your trunk, home or hotel are useless. it's easy to throw the padded dolica case over my shoulder when the light fades so i have the tripod with me.

亲友益阳棋牌歪you don't need to spend more on a tripod, but go ahead if you prefer. unlike digital cameras, tripods last a lifetime. the first cheap tripod my dad bought me when i was 11 years old still works great, and my exotic french-made gitzo g1227 carbon fibre i bought in 1995 for $500 for just the legs also continues to work flawlessly every day. don't skimp on a tripod; just don't think that paying more takes better pictures. get what you want and it will serve you a long time.


Tripod Heads

the comes with a head. when you buy fancy tripods they usually come as just legs, and you have to buy a head to go with them separately.

亲友益阳棋牌歪tripod heads and legs all interchange between brands. they all use ⅜′ × 16 tpi threads regardless of how big or small.

Not a bargain, but I love my . Quick releases are a pain; I prefer the instant access and simplicity of my MagicBall and its thumbscrew. I use it for traveling light.

i use a huge on my big gitzo g1227 in the studio and with huge telephoto lenses for its ability to point and level precisely, and to get exact framing. i use a for all my serious photography.


Mini Tripods

I don't bring tripods on vacation because I'm trying to relax and have fun. I shoot every day, so on vacation I take as little as possible, and as I said above, I rarely need a tripod.

i do however always throw a tiny tripod in my bag just in case:

Tropical Storm, Bahamas

Tropical Storm, Bahamas. bigger.

If I hadn't brought along a mini tripod on vacation, I'd have missed this shot which graces my home page as one of my greatest works of all time. This is one of many one-second exposures made to catch a random thunderbolt and be long enough to expose the sky and foreground properly.

If all I'm bringing is a Pocket Camera亲友益阳棋牌歪 I'll bring my . It lives in my suitcase all year and I forget it's there until it saves the day (or night).

If I'm taking a big camera on vacation, I'll bring my amazing little Oben CTT-1000 that weighs less than a pound and does everything. I leave my Oben CTT-1000 in my camera bag all the time just in case.


Filters       top

亲友益阳棋牌歪i prefer to leave a on every lens to protect it from damage.

I rarely carry a graduated neutral-density filter亲友益阳棋牌歪, which I use only for shooting into adverse light like a sunrise or sunset where I'm trying to hold detail in both the bright sky and dark foreground.

I rarely use a polarizer, and when I do, it's to cut through long-distance haze. The best polarizers on Earth are the Hoya Polarizers, which come in many different versions.

I prefer the Tiffen HT graduated filters. They are also expensive, but I'm still using the Tiffen grads I bought back in the 1990s as well.

filters last forever; don't be cheap.

More at Filters.


Advanced Lenses         top

Low-Light   Far-Away   Wide-Angles   Do-It-All   

DX Dream Team

FX Lenses

you can stop here. you don't need any more lenses. the lens that came with your camera is all you really need.

The Nikon D3500, its kit lens, and maybe a separate flash, are all anyone really needs for anything. If you want to go whole-hog, I see no reason ever to need to buy anything other than the DX Dream Team lenses.

I go on vacations for a week at a time with my D7200, one lens and an SB-400 flash, and never miss anything. In fact, I love not having to carry more gear!

亲友益阳棋牌歪if you have special needs, or need a lens for a camera which sells without a lens, keep reading.

Long term, it's always better to spend money on lenses instead of digital cameras. Any of these lenses will work great on any fancier camera. Cameras drop in price and go obsolete every year, while lenses can stay current for decades, and their prices usually go up.


Low-Light without Flash       top

Nikon 35mm f/1.8

Nikon 35mm f/1.8 AF-S (52mm filters, 6.95 oz./197.0g, about $197).

The fast f/1.8 aperture of this $197 lens lets it capture three times as much light as any $1,800 f/2.8 zoom, and five to ten times as much light as any other more reasonable zoom lens. Not bad for $197!

i usually use just this lens all day instead of a zoom because it lets me shoot indoors without flash, without a problem! if i need to shoot closer or father away, i simply move forward or back.

because it gathers so much more light than zoom lenses, my cameras don't have to shoot at such a high iso or slow shutter speed, so i can take great photos in bad light.

I'd suggest everyone who shoots indoors or in dim light get one of these lenses, since its a wonderful lens with a wonderful price. It works on all DX cameras.


Far-Away Things       top

An 18-55mm VR II and imagination is all anyone needs to make great portraits亲友益阳棋牌歪. Imagination is the important part, with which any lens will do, and without imagination, any lens will make awful portraits.

the only reason for longer lenses is if you can't get close enough, like to kids on stage or playing sports on the field.

The new Nikon 70-300mm VR DX AFP亲友益阳棋牌歪 is the state-of-the art, and reasonably priced. This 70-300mm lens is ultrasharp and focuses super fast. You can't beat it:

Nikon 70-300mm VR DX AFP 亲友益阳棋牌歪(58mm filters, 14.5 oz./412g, 3.7'/1.1m close-focus, .)


If you really want to get serious for indoor sports and theater, the world's standard professional telephoto zoom is the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 FL亲友益阳棋牌歪. It works in much lower light than the 70-300mm VR above. It works flawlessly on less expensive cameras.


Nikon 70-200mm VR II

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 FL (metal 77mm filter thread, 50.3 oz./1,425g with tripod collar, 3.6'/1.1m close-focus, .)

You're paying much more because this fully professional lens because it's built like a tank, and also because it is much more sensitive to light for indoor shooting. For use outdoors the Nikon 70-300mm VR DX AFP takes the same pictures for a fraction of the price so long as you don't abuse it.


Nikon 28-300mm VR

Nikon 28-300mm VR.

For FX digital and 35mm film, my 28-300mm VR replaces all the other lenses I used to use.


Wide Angles: Getting Closer       top

I'm a sucker for ultra-wide lenses, but they take a lot of skill to use properly.

亲友益阳棋牌歪ultra-wide lenses are not for "getting it all in." they are for letting you get closer and thus creating stronger images.

For FX and 35mm cameras, the Nikon 16-35mm is the world standard for ultrawide performance.

If an 18-55mm lens isn't wide enough, my favorite for all Nikon DX camera is Nikon's 10-20mm DX. It's inexpensive and a great performer

Nikon 10-20mm

Nikon 10-20mm DX亲友益阳棋牌歪 (72mm filters, 8.0 oz./227g, 0.7'/0.22m close focus. ).


Nikon 16-35mm

Nikon 16-35mm FX (77mm filters, 23.9 oz./678g. ).


Do-Everything Lenses       top

For day-to-day use, I prefer the 50mm f/1.8 for my 35mm and FX cameras, and either that or the 35mm f/1.8 DX lens for my DX cameras. I move a few steps to frame my photo, and Voilà, perfect pictures. I carry these small lenses when I'm spending more time carrying my camera than using it.

most people want one lens to do everything, and nikon makes the best of these:

Nikon 18-200mm VR II

Nikon 18-300mm VR DX (67mm filters, 19.4 oz./550g, 1.6'/0.5m close focus. )


Nikon 28-300mm VR

Nikon 28-300mm FX VR (77mm filters, 28.1 oz./796g. ).

For FX and 35mm cameras, Nikon's 28-300mm VR亲友益阳棋牌歪 does everything except for action in low-light or crazy-wide angles. The 28-300 also covers every reasonable focal length, has vibration-reduction so you can forget the tripod, and you can get instant manual-focus override just by flipping the focus ring.

with the 28-300mm vr, i can dump all my other lenses into the lake; the 28-300 is perfect for 99% of what i do on serious photo outings on full-frame. the tiny 50mm f/1.8 is what i prefer to carry day-to-day, and the 28-300 is the ticket for serious all-day shooting.


More Nikon Lenses       top

I have pages and pages devoted to Nikon lens reviews亲友益阳棋牌歪 and suggestions.

for fx and film, nikon has made fantastic lenses ever since the 1950s, many of which are available for almost free, used.

See Recommended Nikon FX lenses, the Nikon FX Dream Team, Nikon D3 Lens Suggestions, and Nikon FX Cheapskate Lenses亲友益阳棋牌歪 for suggestions.


Canon Lenses       top

Canon lens reviews

亲友益阳棋牌歪canon makes a zillion lenses, but i only use a couple for my full-frame canon cameras. (i prefer the nikons for small-format (dx) digital.)

When photographing my family, I use a 50mm f/1.8 STM (or 50mm f/1.2 L), and that's it: just one lens, period.

If out on a dedicated photo trip, instead I bring one wide lens and one亲友益阳棋牌歪 tele zoom, and that's it!

My favorite wide lens for Canon full-frame is the 16-35mm f/4 IS L, which is ideal for nature, interiors and landscapes. I use the 16-35mm f/2.8L III亲友益阳棋牌歪 in the rare cases I shoot low-light sports or action.

Lower-cost options for Canon full frame are the 17-40mm f/4 L (for light weight and bargain price) or the Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM亲友益阳棋牌歪 for smallest size and low price.

My favorite reasonably priced Canon tele is the new 70-300mm IS USM II. It is extremely sharp and focuses instantly. It's a superior lens at a very reasonable price.

I do this for a living every day so lens price doesn't matter to me. If you want the very best regardless of price or weight, then I love my Canon 100-400mm L IS II亲友益阳棋牌歪. It's ultra sharp, extremely well made, and has great image stabilization for hand-held shots in the dark. It's the word's best professional tele zoom.

i don't use 70-200 f/2.8 tele zooms; they have a very limited long range and i don't need f/2.8 since i'm shooting digital. f/2.8 was for 35mm film or very low light; the higher iso speeds of digital make carrying all that weight for one extra stop foolish. i get even more defocus at 400mm and f/5.6 than 200mm at f/2.8; focal length is more important than f/stop for shallow depth of field.

The 70-300mm IS USM II is just as sharp and weighs and costs much less than the 100-400mm; I bought my 100-400mm before the 70-300 came out. The biggest difference is that the 70-300mm is mostly plastic doesn't focus as close as the larger and mostly metal 100-400mm. The 100-400mm focuses so close it replaces a macro lens.

That's it. I put the camera around my neck and the second lens in my pocket. See also Carry Less.

See also Assembling a System.


Costlier options       top

No one, not even me who uses his cameras all day long, needs anything better than a D3500.

I own fancier cameras because they make it even easier to do fringe-element things, like burn away at 10 frames per second for sports or photograph birds a half-mile away under moonlight. No one needs this, but if you have the cash or use cameras so much that even little improvements are appreciated, go for it. See also Is It Worth It.


Canon 5D Mk IV & 5DS R       top

Canon 5D Mark IV

Canon 5D Mark IV.


Canon 5D Mark IV

Canon 5DS R.

The Canon 5D Mark IV and 5DS/R are the world's best DSLRs. I report on every camera, and when I actually need great photos, I grab my 5DS/R. The 5DS/R excels for high resolution, while the 5D Mark IV runs faster and still has more than enough resolution for anything.

I love my 5DS/R over all my Nikons and LEICAs because it handles and feels so much better. My images always look great, and the 5DS/R always feels fantastic in my hands. Not only does the 5DS/R feel better, it always takes fewer clicks to set what I want, it shoots more quietly, and while its LCD seems the same on paper, in reality it's actually much bigger than on my Nikons — and the Auto Brightness control of my 5DS/R works great in every light.

The 5DS/R replaces the 5D Mark III which replaced the 5D Mark II which replaced the original 5D which was introduced in 2005. The original 5D was the king of landscape and nature photography, and to be honest, if you can , it's a bigger pain to use with a dreadful LCD, but also gives spectacular results.

If money matters, many people prefer the Canon 6D II亲友益阳棋牌歪, which removes some features but costs much less.


Nikon D750       top

Nikon D750

Nikon D750.

The Nikon D750 is a super bargain today. It's a full-frame version of the D7200亲友益阳棋牌歪. It's a bargain because it's been out a while, so it's discounted. Don't wait for a new version, because the only difference a new version is likely to have is to add Bluetooth, remove compatibility with older lenses, lower flash power and raise the price.

The D750 is the better model of the D610亲友益阳棋牌歪, and oddly the D750 sells for less today. Don't wonder, just get a D750 while they're so inexpensive.

honestly, the biggest difference between full-frame (fx) and the smaller aps-c (dx) sensors is that full-frame cameras have bigger viewfinders and less depth-of-field the pictures are as good; the difference being that you get more depth-of-field with dx, or more subject isolation (narrower depth of field) with full frame.


Film Cameras       top

How to Shoot Film

Why We Love Film

Real RAW

How to Get Digital Files from Film

ever since dslrs got to 24 mp i have shot very little 35mm film. unless i'm projecting film slides with a film projector or doing optical darkroom printing i don't use the 35mm anymore. if i'm doing any part of the process in the digital domain i lose so much in scanning that i'm better off shooting in digital in the first place, so my 35mm suggestions are for the truly affected who insist on shooting 35mm just because that's what they like.

If you want real quality, step up to medium or large film formats. Today I love my Hasselblad system亲友益阳棋牌歪 above all others.

亲友益阳棋牌歪here are some of my favorites. prices are without lenses, and these are best available used at as most are no longer available new.


Nikon F6       top

Nikon F6

Nikon F6 (2004-today) with Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-D. .

The F6 weighs and costs much less than a D5.

Other favorite Nikon 35mm cameras available used are the Nikon FA, the indomitable Nikon F4 and Nikon F5. The Nikon N75亲友益阳棋牌歪 is a fly-weight, high performance AF camera.


LEICA M3       top


LEICA M3 (1954-1967) with LEICA SUMMILUX 50mm f/1.4.

The 1950s LEICA M3 is still the world's best 35mm camera. I use mine with the LEICAMETER, , a few filters (yellow, orange, red and green) and I'm good!


Hasselblad 503 CX       top

Hasselblad 503 CX

Hasselblad 503 CX (1988-1992). About (cubical body only), or about as shown with 80mm f/2.8 CF lens, A12 back亲友益阳棋牌歪 and waist-level finder. As shown without lens: about $800.

hasselblad has been the top professional camera since the 1960s. even today in 2016 pros wished they could afford a , the same as they've wished for over 50 years.

all hasselblad slrs are superb. i love my 503 cx because it's the least expensive hasselblad new enough to have the super-bright acute-matte screen. it's new enough that any you buy will probably work perfectly without needing service, and old enough to be inexpensive.

All Hasselblads are pretty much the same; the older 500 C/M is just about the same thing, but with a much darker screen. By the time you replace the dark screen of the 500 C/M so you can see what you're doing, you may as well just get a 503 CX.

I'd also suggest a PME metered prism finder, which lets you see the image as you expect in an SLR. As shown above with a waist-level finder, you have to look down to see a reversed image, exactly as on a TLR. Get the PME and you'll love it.


Nikon FM3A


Nikon FM3a

Nikon FM3A (2001-2006) with Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AI-s. .

Nikon's FM3A is an absolutely brilliant camera.

it just shoots, with no backtalk.


Nikon FE       top

Nikon FE

Nikon FE (1978-1983) with Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AI-s. .

The Nikon FE is 99% the same as the FM3a, for a lot less money.


Canon AE-1 Program: $50 w/Lens       top

Canon AE-1 Program

Canon AE-1 Program (1981-) and Canon FD 50mm f/1.8.

The Canon AE-1 Program is one of my very favorite manual-focus Canon FD cameras, and it sells used for next to nothing. Everything on it just works, as opposed to more expensive Canons, like the New F-1, that cost a lot more and do a lot less.


LEICA M7: $5,000       top


LEICA M7 ( new or about if you know how to win at eBay) with 50mm f/2 SUMMICRON.

The LEICA M7 (2002-today) is a rangefinder version of the Nikon FE that uses Leica's superior lenses亲友益阳棋牌歪. These superior LEICA lenses let it make sharper images than from SLR cameras.

亲友益阳棋牌歪another reason to use the leica is that it and its lenses are much smaller and lighter than slrs. for instance, most leica lenses take tiny 39mm filters!


Mamiya 7: $3,900       top

Mamiya 7

Mamiya 7 body (shot with an FD-88)

The Mamiya 7, along with its sister the Mamiya 6亲友益阳棋牌歪, is the world's best camera, period.

it is super-easy to hold, shoot, and carry the complete system in the field.

It also offers the world's highest hand-holdable technical image quality. Shooting 6x7cm medium-format film, this lightweight interchangeable-lens rangefinder camera is the same or smaller in size and weight than 35mm SLRs and DSLRs, while offering far superior image quality and more convenient size and weight.

Its 70 x 56mm images are over double the area of the largest medium-format digital sensors.

The Mamiya 7's lenses are spectacular and beyond comparison. They are as good as LEICA, but for a format with over four times the image area of full-frame 35mm.

all this, and easy to carry and shoot hand-held = the world's best camera.


Tachihara 4x5:" $700       top

tachihara 4x5 camera

The Tachihara is a lightweight wooden 4x5" camera.

亲友益阳棋牌歪it has been one of the most popular cameras for decades for serious landscape and outdoor photography because of its ultra light weight, ability to fold up about as big as a book, its ample set of movements, and great screen.

it has recently been discontinued; i need to test some newer cameras to give personal recommendations, however i suspect that the $990 is also excellent, and built a lot tougher out of metal. the tachihara usually doesn't survive falling off a tripod in the wind.

亲友益阳棋牌歪of course you can go whole-hog and buy the classic of classics, the timeless . i also use a 1956 linhof technika iv which is the same thing, but i grew tired of carrying the weight. even though the light tachihara feels flimsy, its results are what get published every month in your landscape calendars and seen on gallery walls.


Best Gifts for Photographers       top


Help me help you         top

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The biggest help is when you use any of these links when you get anything. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. eBay is always a gamble, but all the other places always have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.

If you find this page as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.

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thanks for reading!



Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.


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20 june 2019, december 2018 -> olden tymes

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