My Primary Camera
My primary camera is a Nikon D800E – with a full-frame 36 megapixel sensor. While Nikon’s are my favorite cameras, I think everyone has their own criteria for what makes a camera their best choice. In that sense, when you find a camera that has the ergonomics that work for you, the Menu arrangement that makes the most sense and has a line-up of lenses that meet your needs – then you’ve found the best camera choice for what you do.
When choosing a camera the first thing to do is decide what you plan to do with your images. What you plan to do with your images will determine everything from the camera body you need to the mix of lenses you need to acquire. It is important to realize that your choice of cameras should go well beyond the quantity of megapixels to subjects like ISO-range, shutter speeds, aperture-range and weight. Even if you are printing out 24×36″ image prints, you can do that with cameras offering well under 24 megapixels if you have the right combination of other features. That’s likely to mean less cost to own and weight to carry around. Think about the new mirrorless cameras and their 40+ megapixel sensors in full format frames – and if you can find one with the lenses you need, you can skip the heavier and costlier cameras from the top DSLR manufacturers.
So, it’s important to know what you want out of a camera before you put too much into it. In my case I choose the D800E because of the slight clarity it gave to an image when printing large-format prints. If I were printing prints that ranged up to 16″x20″s going with the D800 would have worked just fine. But my goals are to print images that run several feet high by several feet long and that small bit of extra sharpness in the D800E makes that a viable option. Especially since I am now combining the D800E with Really Right Stuff L-Brackets and Multi-Row Pano Rails so I can stitch images together into large prints on a variety of surfaces.
Don’t rush into that next purchase – and check out some of the great sites that review the latest gear and get a good sense of what each camera can do. I can recommend checking out the Luminous-Landscape as it has both great written and video reviews of photography gear and I visit it a lot.