What Camera Do Professional Photographers Really Want?

Camera brands are constantly trying to sell up new technology. But, what do professional photographers really want? We have finally made it through a megapixel race and seemingly into an autofocus and mirrorless arms race.

Camera companies sell cameras. It's the business that they are in. I am fully on board with this. They need to show improvements, and that there is a reason for you to buy the latest and greatest camera. There are far more amateur photographers out there than professionals too, which I assume is why a lot of the tech that is being developed by the major brands is suited to this market. 

After finally getting over my anxiety about the gear that I was shooting with, I started to think about exactly what I needed from a camera in the profession that I was working in. I shoot predominantly still life with the occasional portrait work. So, for me, it was resolution, color accuracy, and lens selection. This made choosing a camera pretty straightforward. But then, I started thinking about what other niches might be looking for in the professional world.

I broke the profession of photography down into three groups: first, wedding and event photographers, which would cover anyone who shoots outside of this, but in a similar style, music photographers, for example. Then, I had portrait and lifestyle, which is a lower-action version of weddings and events. And finally, there were still life photographers, which are those of us who shoot things that don't really move. Now, you might find that for your profession, you need some of what wedding gear offers as well as a bit of the lifestyle photographers' requirements. The best thing about our profession is that no two photographers' careers are the same. 

Once I had my groups, I set about asking a lot of professionals their opinions. The feedback that I received was very interesting (to me, anyway). It also makes it very clear that there are really only one or two camera options within each niche once you really break your requirements down to the nuts and bolts of what you do and what you need your gear to do for you. 

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11 Comments

EL PIC's picture

Digital Swinger ..

Scott Choucino's picture

I don’t often lust after gear, but that’s a very pretty set up

Vladimir Vcelar's picture

Now that's sheer pornography!

Matt Williams's picture

That's some nice gear porn

Randy Nicholson's picture

Enjoyable video, thank you

Scott Choucino's picture

Thanks for watching :)

Johnny Rico's picture

Who chargers £50,000 a day?

Scott Choucino's picture

sadly no I haha. I do know people who do though.

Mike Leland's picture

£50,000 isn’t that much for a high demand photographer. I know of several fashion photographers with $250k day rates.

Vladimir Vcelar's picture

What I want:.............everything!
What I need:.............very little
What I can afford:.....even less
What I get:................bwahahahahahaha

I have very stringent requirements as a photojournalist who shoots sports and breaking news images. I need fast and reliable autofocus, excellent low light/high ISO, high fps, wireless connectivity/transfer, excellent build quality, ergonomics and battery life. The only camera's and manufactures that check all of these boxes for me and 99% of my colleagues are the Nikon D4s/D5 and Canon 1DX series. Sony comes close now with their new A9 II and 400mm f2.8, but they still fall short in a few key ways. I'm not here to bash Sony, but I just wouldn't ever consider them, but that may someday change. I prefer the tanks that Nikon and Canon make and always have, eve since film and the F5. I have switched from Canon to Nikon, Nikon to Canon a few times, but never again. I am a Nikon guy now for good, because I realized eventually both are equally great and it's stupid to switch, but 10 years ago that was different. I do have one friend who does what I do, but does it now with Sony, so of course Sony can work, but there is some compromise with build quality, battery life, weather sealing and ergonomics/menus, etc. Speed is the game and I don't mean 20 fps, but it is nice to see the A9 II has improved things a bit.