Why You Need an Everyday Camera

As someone who has had a passion for photography from a very young age, I would have loved nothing more than to have been able to carry a camera with me everyday while I was growing up. The memories I would have today would no doubt be ones I either relish having or cringe at looking back now!

The simple fact was that it used film, so it was more of a hindrance than a help. I didn’t have the money at that age to develop my under or overexposed images!

How About in Today's World?

If we fast-forward to today, we all have a camera with us everyday now in the form of our phones. These cameras are much easier and cost-effective to use. However, given that they are a phone, they lack, in my opinion, the tactile and emotional connection that a dedicated camera can bring!

In this video, Rick Bebbington discusses how having a dedicated everyday camera with you can help you fall back in love with photography or even deepen your love for it!

Rick's everyday job revolves around photography and videography. However, by having his Fujifilm X100V with him at all times, it allows him to have his own special moments connecting with either the landscape or people, and use this tool as he wishes!

Form Factor

The form factor of this camera suits his needs. It is considerably lighter and less cumbersome than having to drag a camera bag with you, and then fuss around to get your camera out of the bag to capture a fleeting moment - which, as many of us know, is often gone by the time we do!

This camera has its flaws and benefits, and while it may not be the right camera for everyone, it has certainly become the camera of choice for many!

Do you have an everyday camera? Do you see merits in having one, or are you looking for a way to reconnect with the joy of photography?

Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below!

Darren Spoonley's picture

Darren J. Spoonley, is an Ireland-based outdoor photographer, Podcaster, Videographer & Educator with a passion for capturing the beauty of our world.

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perhaps that's why you need one with you :-)

I'm sure it can be for some, but not me.

If I don't take a dedicated camera out with me, and rely on my phone, I simply forget about taking photos. I'm not even thinking about photography or keeping an eye for potential images.

I bought a little Panasonic 1" superzoom earlier this year for this exact reason. I came home from trip to Bristol with hardly any photos on my phone, and there was a lot to see and capture. There was no intent in my photos, I just wasn't in the right mindset to capture images and my phone largely stayed in my pocket.

I've just this week taken delivery of an iPhone 15 Pro - my first "Pro" monikered iPhone. Photographically, it's a huge step up from my iPhone 11 (which captured quite usable images). But I reckon I'll still fall into the same trap and forget it's in my pocket.

My every day camera is a Fuji X70. It's light, unobtrusive and easy to use.
Apart from that, Fuji colours straight ouf of camera are just great. Most phones still struggle with AWB and colour accuracy (especially my Samsung S23).

I agree with the AWB of phones plus they also “process” the image for you, the main difference for me would be the tactile experience of viewfinder and physical shutter button that a camera can give ! Seems the Fuji is the camera for the job for you too

My everyday camera is an iPhone -- despite the claims of some, it IS a camera. For everyday shots it gives me most of what I'd want, and I do use it. I'd be happy to have a 'true' camera around every day but that, for the work I do, isn't practical. So smartphone it is.

As the old phrase goes the best camera is the one you have with you :-) interesting too that you say you would be happy to have a true camera around too, is it the action of framing the shot with it or the images that it would produce that attract you ?

These comments appear to be more focused on the physical aspects of capturing images. That is fine, but it does not always align with the photographer's intent. When Ansel Adams was asked what was the most essential part of his creative process, he replied, "the 12" behind the viewfinder".

Again, this is personal intent, but if technical precision/correctness is what you are looking for, these comments can be appropriate. However, if one is striving for something different [mood, beauty, uniqueness, personal stories, etc.], I feel broader perspectives are essential. I do not get hung up on "better is the enemy of good enough," and I capture multiple different images and decide after the fact which is the optimal one for what I want at that time and place [this is one of the top reasons digital can offer meaningful advantages over film].

I do not get caught waiting for the optimum time, situation, or equipment - shoot, shoot, and shoot. The best camera [or even the phone that also captures images] is always the one you have with you - 80% of something is better than 100% of nothing!

Just one person's opinion!

Vince Higbee

Valid points for sure Vince, and I find it interesting your reference to Ansel, as it would seem the very act of going thru the motions of taking the shot hood more appeal than just having an image provided by a phone as such ! Many times I have gone with my camera and even without getting a banger image I felt fulfilled just by the act of using it ! Would that be the same for you ?

You do know that Adams, when it became available, carried a Polaroid instamatic camera so that he could take preliminary shots?

Indeed he was friends with Edwin Land

Correct! He did! When I was a kid growing up in Carmel Ca, I witnessed Ansel take and sell a Polaroid image at a gallery. I believe it was at the Weston gallery… He was a great guy…

Olympus Pen E-P5 with 20mm lens. Fits in the jacket pocket no problem

I always carry a Sony a5000 in my coat pocket when I travel. APS C and weighs like 250g. The photos aren't perfect, but are certainly better than my phone!

That seems like a great choice for sure

Hi! I'm new here and to photography overall, how does one quantify an everday camera? Affordable? Simple?

Personally I would think both plus one that suits your needs more so

Thank you!

For years my everyday camera was a double-stroke Leica M3 with a (crappy) 50mm f/1.5 Summarit. I found the camera and lens in the basement of my parents’ house - they had been my grandfather’s, purchased in Heidelberg in 1954. That camera accompanied me through high school and into college. Part-time work at a camera store during high school taught me to develop black and white film and make wet darkroom prints. Most of my earnings went back to the store as I bought chemicals, paper and equipment.

Fast-forward to the present day almost 55 years later, and I’m still carrying a Leica M camera, a digital M10-R now, usually with a Voigtlander 28/2 or APO 35/2 lens mounted. The Leica’s manual rangefinder focusing and window viewfinder plus years of practice cause me to very much shoot with intention. I use a Spider holster and on-camera adapter to carry it, and usually have one additional lens in a case on the belt. This works for capturing ordinary and not-so-ordinary moments during my day. The Spider holster keeps the weight off my shoulders and bad back.

Yes, I also carry a cellphone, but the (shaky) two-handed stance holding it out in front of me to shoot usually results in poorly-framed, less-than-sharp images. I prefer a real camera with a viewfinder, whether it’s my Leica M for everyday life, travel and street shooting or a mirrorless camera for night sky / lightpainting, active dog and mountain bike sports, or wildlife. Using a viewfinder gives me three points of contact for more camera stability - my two hands and my forehead.

One prime lens attached with maybe another prime lens carried teaches you to find a piece of something suggesting the whole instead of a kitchen sink composition. Sometimes I just want a 75mm or 90mm focal length to pick out details or isolate with narrow depth of field. Other times I’ll use a 28mm or 35mm stopped down for more depth of field if I’m shooting wiggly dogs at play or people on the street.

I usually go out with a camera. I feel underdressed without it.