Alan's Blog



A Camera for all Purposes?

I sometimes despair when I read the various photographic magazines and websites that produce headlines such as:

Best camera for children
Best camera for travelling
Best camera for beginners
Best camera for …………  you name it!

Of course, I realise there are specialised cameras, such as for underwater use or slow-motion, however, none of these would be included in any of the above topics.

For example:

Why do children need a camera specially designed for them to use?

Our son, JP, started photography just before he was 3 years old. He used my rather heavy Canon EOS 5D – a seriously advanced camera which many professional photographers use. Of course, he doesn't know anything about how to 'set-up' the camera (and still doesn't at age 16), but it can be used as a point and shoot camera to great effect.

The photographs below were taken about 2 weeks before JP's third birthday - using my full-frame DSLR camera.


An example of JP's early photography is shown on the left, taken when he was less than three years and a month old. All I had to do to present this image was a minor amount of cropping to get rid of some of the background. Any photographer would be pleased with this result regardless of age. JP did struggle with the weight at times but it didn't stop him taking good photographs.

At the age of 5, I bought JP his own DSLR camera which was much lighter in weight than mine. The photograph below is completely uncropped and shows what he could do at such a young age. He and I went out together with our cameras and he came home with the best photograph - considerably better than any I'd taken. I might add that his picture taking was completely unsupervised by myself. Since then, JP has shown his creative talent many times, taking photographs that I would never even think of taking.


When it comes to travelling; why would I need a special camera for that purpose? Of course, my camera and lenses are heavy, but they are very robust and produce very high-quality images – far better than most, if not all, cameras designed with travellers in mind. On the bicycle ride through seven countries over five weeks I made with JP (refer to URL: Cycling by the River Rhine: Day One – Wednesday 27 July 2016 ( we each took our DSLR cameras plus two lenses for JP and one for me. JP also took his GoPro camera. No problems. I might add that we also took a full-size laptop computer with an external HDD on our bicycles – along with all our camping gear and clothes etc. Why would we need a camera that is supposed to be designed for travellers?

So, what is the best camera for you to use? I hear you ask. The answer really is quite simple. Any camera (and lens combination) that does what you want it to do and produces the photographs you like and enjoy is the right camera for you. It doesn't matter if you are a child or a grandparent, if your camera does what you ask of it, what more do you need? It doesn't matter if you're using a telephone, an action camera or a heavy large format camera. Use what you like and enjoy your photography. It's the pictures that matter, not the camera.