What new camera should I buy?

By technical editor Matt Allard:

The blog world and Twittersphere are inundated every day with long running discussions about why one camera sucks and why another is better. With the almost daily announcements of cameras these days I thought it was time to answer the question: Which one should I buy?

I’m going to give you the simple answer. 

Drum roll please…………….

The camera to buy is the one you like using, the one you’re comfortable with and the one that is in your budget. Go with what YOU want to buy and not what someone else thinks you should get. Don’t listen to all the bloggers and guys on Twitter trying to tell you what’s right. Make your own educated decision. You don’t go on Twitter to ask what car you should get or for that matter what pair of shoes you should buy, so why should you do the same just because it is a camera?

Sure it is good to read reviews and discuss specifications, but ultimately YOU are the one who is going to be using the camera. Specs are not everything (though they are important). What is more important is: Do you like the look of that camera’s image? Is it in your budget? Do you like what it offers feature-wise? Does it work for what YOU need it for?

This is not rocket science, yet we still get caught up in these seemingly never-ending debates. I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to having these long debates and discussions on Twitter and online.

At the end of the day I buy the camera I want to use, not one that somebody tells me I should buy. I’m extremely happy with what I’m using and people can tear my camera-buying decisions to shreds for all I care.  I bought my cameras because I liked the images they produced and they did what I needed them to do at a price I could afford.  I recently ordered a Blackmagic Cinema Camera and people have asked me why. Answer: Because I wanted one.

Not everyone is the same and what one person thinks looks good another person thinks looks bad. Camera images are no different to art – it is all subjective.  Too many people want to just say they like a particular camera because someone they admire online likes it.  Don’t be afraid to say “Hey, I like how this camera looks and it works well for me.”  One person’s trash is another’s treasure.  There are lots of opinions out there but the one that counts the most is your own.

You don’t have to justify your camera purchase to anyone (well, maybe your partner). Be proud of what you have bought and use it to the best of your ability. At the end of the day, if you don’t like it, you can always sell it. It’s not a tattoo. You’re not stuck with it for life.

Go with your gut and make an educated decision. The camera isn’t going to give you joy and happiness. What will are the stories and pictures you capture.

Keep shooting and stop complaining.

About Matthew Allard, Aljazeera Senior Field Cameraman, Kuala Lumpur:
Matt has been a Camera/Editor in TV news for more 20 years, previously working for both Channel 9 and Channel 10 in Australia. Twice Network Ten Australia’s cameraman of the year as well as being a Walkley Finalist for outstanding camerawork in 2006 (for coverage of the Cronulla Race Riots) and a Logie Finalist for outstanding news coverage 2006 (Bali 9). He is a multiple ACS (Australian Cinematographers Society) award winner. His Sword Maker story that was shot on a 7D won the prestigious Neil Davis International News Golden Tripod at the 2011 ACS Awards. He has covered news events in more than 35 countries, from major sporting events to terrorist bombings. Based out of the Kuala Lumpur broadcast centre in Malaysia he is an avid user and follower of new technology, shooting stories on HD broadcast cameras, the Sony F3 as well as new Canon DSLRs.


Posted on August 31st, 2012 by Matthew Allard | Category: DSLR video news |

One response to "What new camera should I buy?"

  1. Paul H Says:
    September 6th, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    My question to this posting would be, what camera should I buy if I’m shooting broadcast documentary work? With all the restrictions on bitrate and color space by the networks, but with them allowing in DSLR footage anyway, what is the proper way to go? Does one need to spend 15k on a C300 to get broadcasted on a national network or can you get by with a 5d Mk III?

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