Perceptive Photographer #28: Spec sheets don’t matter when buying a camera

Written by Daniel Gregory

I am a Whidbey Island, Wa based fine-art photographer and photographic educator. I am a core faculty member of the Photographic Center Northwest, as well as an instructor for CreateLive and KeblyOne . I also regularly presents at regional and national conferences. I also the host of the weekly podcast The Perceptive Photographer which focuses on the challenges and day-to-day aspects of living as a photographer.

September 21, 2015


I am in the market for a new camera. After several years of shooting one of the most reliable cameras I have owned, I am ready to embrace some new technology. For those of you who don’t know me, I was very much a gear hound in my earlier days. Having well paying jobs afforded me the luxury of upgrading all the time and buying as much gear as I wanted. Of course, none of that gear made me a better photographer. It was the practice and dedication to the craft that made me a better photographer.

When it comes to buying a camera, it is easy to read all the spec sheets and get excited about all the megapixels, dynamic range and frames per second. However, photography is more than spec sheets. Photography is a feeling behind the camera. It is an awareness of what is working and not working with the huge of metal and plastic in your hand. At the end of the day, we should be selecting a camera for how it works in our hand. How the camera is balanced? How are the buttons? Can you work with this camera without it being something you work through but rather work more in partnership with.

As you consider what really matters in your next camera, I think we should focus less on megapixels, mirrors and brands and more on what feels right in the hand.

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