The right now or the right camera?

Its my turn (Dave) to share my thoughts, first though a bit about me.

My background isn't strictly equine related, my parents rode while we lived in South Africa and I was left to play at the stables. I grew up with a fascination of wildlife spending many weeks in the Kruger National Park and hunting down chongololo (a millipede) In my garden. In school I developed a passion for photography, this developed in to moving imagery through university with me ending up as a freelance camera operator.

I ended up meeting Sam on a beach on a Scottish Hebridean Isle, Tiree. Not as romantic as it sounds, it was cold and wet, we were covering a windsurfing event for the same client with a different remit. Sam had noticed I was using a DSLR on a particular occasion and came over to ask about it. A friend of his had been producing high end tourism pieces with similar kit, he was intrigued by the results you could get from such a ‘small’ camera. 

On that job I was also using a Sony PMW 500, a more traditional looking broadcast camera. So why was i using the Canon 5D ll on this occasion? Well in short its about using the right camera for the right job.

Im not going to make this a technical blog because frankly too many numbers, facts and figures bores me. 

I am asked often about what camera to buy, both by people entering the stills world and motion picture. The questions are always about the camera very infrequently do I get asked about the glass that is going on the camera. 

When capturing an image, motion or still, the very first thing the light you are recording hits is your lens, your lens/glass will define its journey. You can pick your favourite camera, sort the one with the best specs, choose the one that shot the latest blockbuster, if you put a milk bottle on any of those your going to end up with a poor image. Good glass will carry you far.

Choosing the right camera to buy can be an incredibly tough decision, how do you choose the right one?

Many people in the industry get frustrated with the amount of money they spend hiring cameras, however with the vast array of cameras out there all with different qualities it becomes an expensive hobby to own them all. Hiring is often the way to getting the best camera for the job.

Hiring though isn't always the most cost effective way, it pushes rates up and leaves less room for manoeuvre. Owning the kit is better for the business, what camera will work for the business is a very important question to ask yourself. Is choosing the latest camera on the market the right choice? Do we chase technology and get a camera that has a longer shelf life? 

Im all in favour of pushing technology and striving to achieve a better image, new cameras, new glass and new gadgets are the very reason we have been able to achieve the shots that ten years ago would have been out of budget for most.

My thoughts are that you choose you kit that will suit your clients, and hire in for those jobs that require something else. Only the individual or the company will know what suits their needs, that wont always be the latest camera to hit the shelves. The influences on what you chose will be as wide and varied as the cameras out there to chose from.