I Finally Found the Perfect Camera: The One I Already Own

I finally found the perfect camera. This camera does everything you could ever need or dream of—from capturing the perfect frame and exposure to developing your skill and photographic eye.

I’m not talking about a video or multiple purpose camera that does it all. I’m talking about the perfect stills camera. A camera that helps you composite the frame. It knows the best time to press the shutter button for that perfect image quality. The amazing thing is, and don’t ask me how, but when I use it, it just knows the settings you need automatically. The depth of field, shutter speed, and ISO all sync perfectly.

But the most amazing thing to hear is how affordable it is. Are you ready? Here it is… it’s the camera you already have.

Anticlimactic, I know, but it’s true. The camera you already have is the best tool to capture a moment. Do you really think there is going to be a perfect camera? Do you believe that will ever be obtained? If the perfect camera was ever made, companies would go out of business.

The perfect camera is the one you already have.

Be it cell phone, DSLR, mirrorless, rangefinder, medium, or large format. They all do their job and they all do it well. If you think you need that next whatever to become a better photographer, you will always be running down a never ending rabbit hole.

I’m not here to stop you buying cameras, hell you are the reason the economy is running. But keep this in mind: camera operators care about the gear, artist care about the work.

If you love photographers like Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, etc. do you really think they cared about what gear was coming out next, or is it possible they focused more on the story, the work, the craft? I would put my money on the latter. Sure they had their preferred tools, but that’s just it: a tool. Not a gateway to becoming a better photographer, just a tool.

If we didn’t have the luxury of choice, we would all be better off. We wouldn’t waste our money on gear that later we no longer use, or read reviews that are completely subjective aside from specs.

It took me a few years to come to the realization that gear is secondary. Who’s to say the next whatever is perfect for you? Maybe the best camera is an old Canon AE-1, Kodak brownie, or Leica IIIc. They all do the same thing, and they all do it well: capture a moment. If you still need that extra dynamic range or more pixels to become a better photographer, I’m saddened. We need more artists in this world than technicians.

Perfect photographs do not move the heart, it’s in the imperfections that we see beauty. Using one camera is the starting point to developing your style, vision and artistic voice. Be satisfied with what you already have, because it’s not the camera that makes the photograph great, it’s you.


About the author: A.B Watson is a New Zealand photographer based in Auckland. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. To see more of his work, head over to his website or follow him on Facebook and Instagram. This post was also published here.

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