THE BEST CAMERA?
People often ask me about equipment, favorite lenses, and accessories, but I tend to not focus so much on the hardware as I do the image itself. So I tell folks that my favorite camera is the one that closest to me. Not being the most technically-minded photographer you might encounter, I tend to avoid talking about techniques and specific tools of the trade.
For this post, though, I thought I would break with tradition and talk a little bit about the hardware.
As exciting as it is to buy a new piece of gear, it’s always a good idea to do some testing first. Back in 2003 I bought a new Nikon D-100, with a whopping 6 megapixel sensor. Not the biggest/baddest of its day but close, I set out on a pre-dawn trek to put this baby through some rigorous testing. As the sun was just creeping over the Delta trees in the distance, the tule reflections, above, caught my eye. Overall, I was impressed with the technical quality of this and other photographs made that day in the Delta.
Since then I have lost count of the digital cameras I’ve owned, each one offering better and higher resolution than the last.
As a comparison to what I’m using today, my present Nikon D-610 is a full-frame sensor clocking in at 25 megapixels. And it’s not even close to the latest Nikon D-850 with 45 megapixels. Not only does that resolution blow my mind, but shooting as much as I do, I’d need to keep buying ever-larger hard drives to store all those mostly unnecessary megapixels. At least for the type of work I do.
I think I’ll stick with what I have for now because it does the trick for me.
Speaking of the closest camera at hand, in my traveling museum exhibit, “Delta Grandeur”, there is one 16×20 piece that was shot with my cell phone, the photograph below. Why? I had decided to take a little walk to enjoy the wonders of Cosumnes River Preserve while Joanna was painting the gorgeous afternoon with oils on canvas. I left my ‘real gear’ in the car a quarter mile away and my phone was in my pocket. They may be difficult to see online here, but in the distance to the right-of-center near the horizon, you can see a group of ducks taking flight. I must admit, when I enlarged it to 16×20, I was astonished to see them.
The best camera is the one that you have closest to you at the time.
Rich Turner explored, photographed, and aerial photo-mapped Antarctica as a Navy photographer, was a newspaper photojournalist for 19 years, and has operated his own fine art photography studio since 1990. “Delta Grandeur”, his traveling exhibit, is now touring California museums and libraries. His most recent passion is spreading the word far and wide about what an amazing place the Delta and Greater Bay Area is. With the help of very talented writers, artists and photographers, publishing this magazine seems a good way to do that.