This question has simplest of answer. You buy the best camera your budget allows you. Simultaneously the dilemma as to how do we know which camera is the best. I shall try explaining and I am sure it will be some help to every individual out there.
The few questions you mush ask yourself before buying a camera:
- Am I doing photography as a hobby or is it my profession?
- What am I going to be clicking, more indoors or outdoors, or more in controlled environment or more adaptive?
- How much money can I afford spending? Or How much money should I be spending?
- Do I have the infrastructure to accommodate my equipment?
As you read your questions will slowly be answered..
The next part is common for both Hobbyists and Professionals:
If you have the money go for a full frame(35mm) camera. The full frame cameras have a brilliant low light(high iso) performance. The 35mm Cmos captures amazing details. So if you are going to be shooting during the night or inside the house full frame camera is a must. I will cover the use of lenses and flash guns in a separate article.
Now if we do buy a crop frame which I insist every hobby photographer should as it will save them a lot of money, we need to keep in mind a few things.
- Crop factor: I shall put it in simple words. The crop frame camera will give us a focal length which is 60% more than that of full frame.
Nikon has crop factor of 1.5x
Canon has crop factor of 1.6x
So whatever focal length you see on the lens or the metadata the actual focal length is when you multiply with the crop factor.
- Nikon till date manufactures and services film camera lenses which fit on any Nikon body. These are basically same lenses(barring some) with a manual aperture ring and manual focusing. They are very good quality and half the cost of the regular(g series) lens. Any Nikon body D90 and above have an internal focusing motor and can focus perfectly. This combination of body and lenses(d series) will give you the maximum benefit when you are considering value for money.
A lot of good manufactures are out there Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus etc.. All have decent cameras and lenses. You just need to consider your budget, the resale value and return to investment(if any).
- The crop factor acts as a big benefit to wildlife photographers. They will get the benefit for zooming. Whereas a full framer will spend another 20k on a tele-converter or lakhs of rupees (you read right) on a higher focal length lens.
This part is for Professional photographers only:
You are not just an artist but also a business man. You need to able to give your clients whatever they ask for. So the money barrier does not apply to you. You buy or rent whatever is needed and you earn back how much ever you have spent.
The use of full frame is of course mandatory. You would not want a semi professional or a hobbyist giving the same quality of image as you. Why I suggest using a Nikon or Canon is because their accessories, repairs and spares are more easily available as compared to the others. Nikon I believe is more sincere to its loyalists as I see there is always a 8k to 25k difference is price of a Nikon and Canon full frame lens when they are of the absolute same quality.
The next factor into consideration is the megapixel battle. This alone cannot be a deciding factor but when deciding this cannon be ignored also. Although very few people will ever print anything bigger than 15x20inces you cannot rule it out completely. The Nikon D810,800E,800 are all 36-megapixel. You will get better cropping ratio. You will get more detail, which is not always a good thing. Even the smallest of mistakes can be unforgiving. The 22-megapixel Canon cameras are also very good. So again it’s a matter of choice. Be smart choose wisely!!
People say there is difference in the skin tone of Canon and Nikon cameras. I believe so to. But is the era of digital editing and digital manipulation it is just a click and drag and you get exactly the same tone. Of better still set the white balance at Kelvin temperature of you liking and you are sorted.
Another reason important to some professionals is if you are into architecture and/or interior photography. Only Nikon and Canon make Perspective control lenses (canon calls it tilt-shift). This is a must in the field. Period. (an explanation might just take over 3 more pages)
The more you invest into your equipment the more will be your cost of usage and maintenance. If you use a high end camera with some to of the line lenses you will be smart enough to know that these need to kept in a digi-cabinet alone to avoid moisture and fungus issues. Once a lens is opened it can never be as good as it was new. You will be getting raw images of 40mb and within a few layers the image becomes 500mg to 1 gb easily. So you will need a computer with a high Ghz processor and sufficient ram. You will need hard cases for travelling long distance, as the risk of damage cannot be takes during a shoot. Pelican and vanguard make these cases and are quite dear. So basically it’s an entire cycle, you don’t invest in one thing but all of it. So it is best to plan in advance to avoid kayos.
U can read about lenses in detail and what you need and should buy in my article about lens.. Hope it was of some help and you enjoyed reading it..