Recently, a few people have come up to me asking me about taking street photographs and more specifically, what kind of camera is best for street. Being straight up, this question is easy to answer. Some good options for you are: Fujifilm X100, Ricoh Digital GRD IV and the Olympus OM-D. Any one of those will do great. But is buying a camera ever really that easy?
I've been shooting street now for just over 2.5 years, and i've learned a few things (especially when it comes to gear). And from that time, I think I can safely say that I have some solid advice for someone who is new to photography or street photography looking to get a new camera. It can be broken down to 2 main points.
1 ) Just use the gear you already have. The only required equipment that is needed for street photography is a camera, a fresh set of eyes and comfortable shoes. Thats it. The camera that you already own is perfectly fine for street work. You can shoot with a 5D MKIII, a lomo cam or an iPhone. Whatever it is you have, use it. Shoot with it. Just think of the camera as a general tool. Its the end result (your photograph) is what is important. Same can be said about your lens. If you only have a 50mm f/1.8, use it, and then dont worry to much about anything else except shooting. Its true that you can achieve different effects and results with different focal lengths, but I am really strong on the stance of 'one body, one lens'. Be super familiar with what you have. Learn it like the back of your hand and your photographs will improve. Set this challenge for yourself the next time you want to buy a new camera: Mount your current camera body with one lens (If you have a zoom, tape it down to a certain focal length so you cant zoom in and out). Only shoot with that set up and nothing else for 6 months (or a year if you can). Force yourself to be creative with the restrictions you've given yourself. I promise you will see an improvement over time. Just stick with it. Which leads me to my next point. While you are doing this challenge and you still feel like you want a new camera, you can do this...
2 ) Save your money and buy the O-N-E camera that you will love and use forever. As photographers, its so easy to fall in love with multiple cameras. But honestly, in the end, does having 12 different cameras make you a better photographer? How often will you be putting all cameras to use? My advice is to save that money and put it into one camera that will be your pride and joy. Something that you want to have in your hands daily. Something that just motivates you to get out there and shoot and shoot and shoot. For me, it was getting a Leica. It took me some time, but I saved some money, and I got one. I've been using it faithfully for just over 10 months now and I absolutely love it. And I can honestly say that I havent had and any desire to get anything since. Once you are able to buy the camera of your dreams, your desire to consume other cameras will disappear. If you are a camera collector, then this blog post isn't really for you. But my point is, buy one camera and one lens, then enjoy the fact that you can shoot free or any distractions and focus of creating beautiful images.