Lazy bones: I’ll let Ming Thein recommend a camera for you

When I’m out and about with my cameras or on any given day sitting around my house, I get the following question about once a week:

“What kind of camera should I buy?” 

It is one of the most difficult questions, because lots of people — more people than you might understand — think that having an expensive camera equals great photos.

I’ve been shooting with manual SLR cameras since I was a teen, and I can fuck up a photo, an easy photo, as good as any novice.

A nice camera can get a great shot. A nice camera can also get a putrid shot.

A cheap camera can get a beautiful photo, too.

Well, Malaysian photographer has tackled this question with amazing precision. And I’m going to point you toward his blog to read for yourselves what camera to buy.

Here are his thoughts on camera systems Part 1, Part 2 and also his recommendations for a compact camera.

If I were to respond to his recommendations, Nikon would be the first choice in terms of professional cameras that are stealing attention away from medium format.

Second, Canon. He’s not a fan of Canon, which is my everyday camera of choice.

Full frame is highly recommended.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised with his recommendations for the Olympus OM-D. And when it comes to compact, he’s a big fan of the Sony RX100

If I were to get the “What kind of camera” question today, I would tell someone to google Ming Thein’s blog and read up on his site.

Unfortunately, there’s just not “right” answer. And even when I’m confident about one camera, it’s because I am somewhat more confident with my ability to shoot. The average user needs to know that photography is an art. It’s not easy.

It’s not as easy as you might think anyway. So after you buy that recommended camera, prepare yourself for some hours of practice.

Take a class.

And practice some more.

Do you want one of my cameras?

This is likely not the place to sell my camera, but I’m going to throw it out there. I’m selling my Canon 7D.

The package, if bought new would be over $2750. I’m looking for $1500.

I use it so very little and I’m hoping to replace it with a 5D Mark III.

So if you’re in the market, email me here. Let’s talk business and stuff.

I’d probably limit the sale to a domestic buyer.


Sweet! I got my 7D back.

Some of you may have read that my backup camera body, a Canon 7D, died in transit on our way to Bali.

When I pulled the camera out to use one day, it wouldn’t turn on. I was pretty upset.

For one, I was considering only bringing that camera body, and not both. The 7D not as good of a camera as my Canon 5D Mark II, but it’s pretty great. It has a built in flash (the 5D does not), which makes it a little more versatile in some situations. And if all my equipment got lost or stolen, I wouldn’t have to replace everything.

But I’m glad I brought both. Even though the 7D became two pounds of dead weight.

I take it back, I brought lenses for it that I wouldn’t have brought for my 5D, so it became about ten pounds of dead weight.

After getting home and checking the warranty, the camera was exactly a year old. I was worried that Canon wouldn’t honor the warranty.

But they did. They fixed it pretty quickly, and now I have my backup camera in full working order … just in time for Luis V.’s wedding in March.

In related news, here’s some test footage between the new Canon C300 and the Canon 5D Mark II. The C300 is supposedly positioning itself to revolutionize digital filmmaking.


I’m personally hoping my ship will come in before the Canon EOS-1D X is released.

If I get my hands on that one, I’m inviting all of you over for a big photoshoot. Nudes are optional. And I promise to give you at least one sweet shot of yourself. 🙂

Wow! Photos taken at night will beguile you

Reading Gizmodo this morning, I saw a link for 175 photos taken at night. Shooting in darkness isn’t easy, and I admire several of these shots.

Here are a couple that stood out.

I live in the midwest and it just so happens that, on the night of the full moon, January 20, we received a very heavy snow storm(9in where I live). The most unfortunate part about this snow storm was that you could not see the full moon at all and it really didn’t help that the wind chill was 0 degrees, there was snow flying all over the place, and my equipment was getting all wet. So I decided to take this shot from my back door, I had my lens hood on and that was filled with snow even from inside the house. Overall it was a terrible night(based on the complaining I did in the previous sentences) and this was the best that I could get while being snowed in and having limited resources. Canon EOS 20D, Canon 28-70L, ISO 200, 55mm, 25.0s, f/6.3.
-George Westlake

So I live in Puerto Rico, where there is beach everywhere. I was at a friends house and i explained the challenge to them they liked it so bad that we all went to the beach to take some pics, I Had my Canon T2i, with a 24-70 F2.8, and a Slik Tripod, the settings were Iso 400, F 8, Shutter 302 secs. and at 24mm. I did several pictures of 8 guys playing soccer, standing there for 5 mins!! but this one was the more sharp! It was really Fun.
-Juan Lizarzaburo