The camera really doesn't matter - too much

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Easy Rider
Easy Rider Senior Member • Posts: 7,572
The camera really doesn't matter - too much

So I've used 5 cameras for street since 2000.

1. Pentax K-1000 and some horrid Centon rip off lens. Photos came out okay but you get what the printer decides the photo should look like and meh I prefer digital for 35mm / small format. They look soft compared to my digital shots.

2. Lumix DMC LZ-1.

3. Nikon D5300 and kit lens and then 17-50mm F2,8 EX DC OS HSM.

4. FujiFilm X-100 T.

5. Most current and only camera - Canon 100D and mostly 24mm F2.8 STM Pancake. I have a 50mm F1.8 also for portraits but I dislike the perspective very much. I'll likely get the 40mm Pancake as second candid portrait lens only, I'd prefer a 35mm but they cost a bomb.

3, 4, 5 the photos all look pretty much the same in terms of IQ. There really is nothing in it. 3 and 4 slightly better than 5 at ISO 6400 but not enough to really matter, don't let the DXO scores figure in too much....

2, not quite as good, dynamic range poor so lots of blown highlights, but not terrible.

My current camera - except for 1 - is the cheapest. It makes really good photos.

£275 with the mint condition body and brand new 24mm F2.8 prime lens (white box.)

The only thing important I'd say is how the camera handles for you. For me I shoot RAW and single shot, single servo, and matrix / evaluative, (sometimes spot for highlights and high contrast) and Auto WB. So FPS does not really matter. AF reliability does matter and so far I'd say 2, 4 and 5 were the best, Nikon Kit lens bit unreliable fro AF as was the Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 and the 35mm F1.8G was terrible, great, even stunning IQ but terrible AF, worst of the lot. The Fuji, Lumix and Canon are excellent in terms of AF reliability. EVF / OVF I can use either. LCD I cannot use for composing street for the life of me even though when I only had 2, I managed, but not now. I also do not like long sticky outy lenses, hence the X-100 T and now the 100d with pancake lens after getting sick of the size of the D5300 and 17-50mm F2.8.

Primes give you less work to do in post as colour saturation is better and they are of course a bit sharper usually and tend to have better AF (IME.)

I'd say quick start up and shot to shot time and decent battery life and basic easy to use controls at hand are the most important to me. I mostly shoot in Manual, auto ISO up to 6400 with min 1/125 for moving people. Canon 100d doesn't let me do this so I just use A mode and only over to S mode when dark when I need to specify my shutter speed to make sure I can get 1/125. It lets me use auto ISO in M as well but it's easier to use A or S really.

I also had a Sony RX100 III and it had as good IQ as the APS-C cameras even in low light but was horrid to operate. H.O.R.R.ID.

My point is, it's hard to buy a bad camera for street in terms of IQ but easy to buy a bad one in terms of how it feels to you and functions,.

Again important to me

Decent DR, reliable and fast enough AF lock on, fast start up and shot to shot, can get small, fast lenses for it, Reliable AWB and easy to use by memory and feel rather than having to fumble, look in menus or even at the camera, one hand operation should be easy and second nature.

Also I like gear that can take a tumble and bumps and rain.

Fuji was not good for this and had to be repaired 2 times after 2 small falls. Nikon and Canon even though not top end, take bumps and falls in their stride and even though not waterproof, can take rain no problems, though of course I would not advise it. But yeah I use mine in rain and they manage fine, just dry em off with your shirt or whatever.

Oh and i use ACR last version so has to be a slightly older camera up to about 2015 as I'm a tightwad so don't want to shell out for new software when ACR and CS6 and NIK collection do everything I need.

My 16MP, 18MP AND 24mp cameras all put out street shots that can be printed out at half a meter by a foot at 300 DPI / PPI which is way enough but they can be a lot bigger like a meter at the long edge if you drop it down to 250 - and even larger at 200 DPI which as we are not doing landscapes is also fine. Actually they'll print very big at 150 DPI and still look very good if you use a good lens, not that most f us would want to print that big, but you could.

I have prints from the 6MP Lumix with it's tiny sensor that still look good at 150 PPI at about A3 and they were taken at night.

Just my thoughts and experience, is all subjective.

Kit lenses are also fine and indeed give very good IQ.

Just with a prime you tend to get more reliable and faster AF (though I am talking from experiencing 2014 DSLR kit lenses, the new stepper motor ones for DSLR and m/less camera ones are much better) and a bit more clarity / acuity and less grain when you peep - if you peep. And IME less work in post as clarity, saturation and contrast is usually better.

Oh I also borrowed FF cameras a Canon 6D and 5D II when at college with 35mm F2 IS prime (very nice lens) and the shots were literally no better in terms of IQ or print size than my APS-C cameras. Just bigger and heavier.

I also just use center AF point and shoot or half press and recompose 99.9 % of the time so again fancy AF not important really for me personally.

One of the other most important things for me is being able to lock AE and recompose.  It's hard to find a camera where this is not easy to do and most have a button for it.  I would not have a camera where I could not do this fast.

 Easy Rider's gear list:Easy Rider's gear list
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Canon EF-S 24mm F2.8 STM Adobe Photoshop CS6 extended Adobe Camera Raw 7
Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) Nikon D5300 Sony RX100 III
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