How to Choose the Best Camera for Your Individual Needs as a Photographer

How to Choose the Best Camera for Your Individual Needs as a Photographer

We all know that line: “You’re a photographer. What camera should I get?” It comes with being a professional photographer in any capacity. But my passion lies with being creative, and by my own admission, I'm not the greatest at keeping up with the camera market. Enter Snapsort: the website that for years has helped me find the right camera.

I first came across Snapsort quite a few years ago, but it remains as relevant to me as ever. It’s a site I find myself coming back to, be it purely out of curiosity to see how my camera stands up against newer models or for advice when I’m looking to make a new purchase. Snapsort won’t be winning awards for its website layout anytime soon, but that’s not to say it isn’t straightforward to use. Its minimal design only makes it simple to optimize the site; the first way in which to do so is by searching the market based on your budget. Using a handy slider, you can specify the amount you’re willing to spend before hitting the search button. From here, you can modify a number of variables. More of a Nikon fan? That’s fine, cut Canon from the results. Find it impractical operating a camera with just one memory card slot? Cool, there’s an option to single out models that have several.

Once you’ve narrowed it down and have a few potentials, you can head over to what I find to be the fun part: the Snapsort Compare tool. Here, you can input any two cameras and review their strengths and weaknesses side by side. It’s a tool I’ve found invaluable in eliminating cameras I initially thought right for me. First, you can compare prices, but it’s in the technical data that this tool is handiest.

Snapsort highlights the strengths of each camera, before breaking down each aspect of the two you’re comparing and pitting them side by side. Placing results in a table, it’s easy to compare everything from the focus to the ISO, battery life to the weight of the camera, etc. of both the models you've selected. They even go as far as breaking many of the technical aspects into percentages (“Around 10% better image quality,” “Around 40% more lenses available for this model,” and so on).

If by some miracle, you’re still undecided, Snapsort even have their very own recommendations right here. Have a go and let me know if you found it helpful!

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6 Comments

filmkennedy's picture

Think starting from scratch on choosing a camera system this is a good option. I prefer comparing cameras using dxomark.com

Tom Wiggins's picture

I very much like the compare feature, but there is one thing missing. There needs to be an evaluation of the menu function/general ease operation. I'm teaching basic digital photography to adults. I'm finding given the many different brands and models of camera that the students struggle with finding and disabling many of the auto features now build into the newer camera. Frankly, many of the instruction manuals supplied don't have decent index. Just last week, I had in my class a D7000 and D7200, the student with the D7000 had problems with section of AF point while the D7200 was simply accomplished. Wouldn't you think they would be the same being both D7000 series cameras? No. OK , it's my personal problem dealing with classes with as many as 8-10 student with four different makes and 6 or more different models. But as I said I think the compare is helpful.

Vitaliy Latanskiy's picture

the problem is that no one ever reads a user guide and it sits in a box in a wrapping bag.

Andrew Ashley's picture

Interesting site. I guess the thing with any of these "find the best camera for you" sites is that you come in with your own biases, such as: I need 75 megapixels... really? You do? When things like, gee wiz, I have 10 old Pentax lenses in my attic of all shapes and sizes. It sounds good for someone that is brand new to this whole thing, had no idea what they are talking about when it comes to... oh wait, nope, doesn't work for them either because they don't know what they need, so no way to narrow it down. In this case, phone a friend may be the best option for just about anyone. Or walk into your local camera shop. Or camera club? Or call that creepy uncle that's always taking pictures at family events. But neat site for those of us who already made up our minds and have $10,000+ invested in a set of lenses... :)

Ralph Hightower's picture

I experimented with Snapsort and found it difficult to use. When I was looking to buy a DSLR in 2013, I read camera reviews and specs. While I could've switched to Nikon because my Canon FD lenses are not compatible with their EF mount, I stuck with Canon.
In 2012, I talked my wife out of buying me a DSLR when I found that her budget was a Canon T3i. I figured that this would be the last DSLR that I would own. In 1980, I bought a Canon A-1 that I still use today; in 2013, I bought a New F-1 with the AE Finder FN and AE Motor Drive FN. Paula asked when I mentioned about the F-1 "That's their flagship?" I replied "Yes, for the 80's". She said "Buy it". I can share lenses between the A-1 and F-1 and also have one loaded with B&W and the other with color.
In 2013, at the suggestion of my wife, I started researching DSLR models. I created a spreadsheet of the features that I wanted. Okay, you can call me a Full-Frame bigot, but I've been shooting full frame since 1980. Also, with the respective motor drives on the A-1 and F-1, both could shoot at 6 FPS. The closest match was the Canon 5D III.
Early one December 2013 morning, I saw Paula surfing Amazon and she asked "What do you think about this?" "You buying me a 5D III? She answered "Yes". I said "Great! Let me check B&H". I found a similar package for $500 less.

paul aparycki's picture

If you find yourself constantly coming back to this site, you have a psychological problem.

You have a camera that gives you what you need (and you sound like you have been around the block per se).

Yet you need another ad based voice to tell you to do something else?

You need help.