Which camera should I buy?

If you’re interested in photography and have been frequenting online community sites/pages related to photography, you probably know the patterns and trends that the discussions and newbie questions there follow.

The most common and frequent question I guess would be “which camera should I buy?”. There’s nothing wrong per se with the question. It is quite valid a question. But of course photography is a unique skill, which (much like graphic design or sound editing or even the poor keyboard player in the band), has this nagging and insurmountable issue that for many outsiders, the photographer’s skill is non-existent or not as important as the tools (read hardware/software) they use. In light of this, insiders tend to get irritated with this question assuming that by just buying “the best” camera the person asking the question intends to become a master. Moreover the way this question is often asked and discussed by the person asking the question reminds one quite often of the frame of mind of a car buyer – he’s probably looking at mileage, comfort, style etc. rather than seeing the purchase as a means of expression.

Enough of serious talk. In fact it is much more serious than the nature of what follows. With the context set firmly in place, I’d like to present the most typical answers that this question gets. Enjoy 🙂

typical answer 1
I own XXX, and I’m happy with it, therefore XXX has to be the best choice ever. Go for XXX. I’ll accompany you to the market if you do. And I’ll hug you for it.

typical answer 2
Buy the cheapest available camera, and save for good lenses. Lenses make the photograph, not the camera body.

typical answer 3
Don’t bother with brands and models. Buy any one. It’s the 12 inches behind the camera that counts.

typical answer 3a
Don’t bother with brands and models. Buy any one. People can take amazing shots even with a P&S, even with a Cybershot/Powershot/Coolpix, even with a Motorola L6 camera!

typical answer 4 (generally a response to typical answer 2)
But the cheapest available camera has serious compatibility issues with most lenses. What’s the use of buying the camera and saving for the lenses if all you can use then are exorbitantly expensive lenses?

typical answer 5
<Link to an older thread asking the same question the 1000346th time>

typical answer 5a
Why don’t people go through older threads before asking???

typical answer 6
This community is a treasure trove of information, and is an indispensible tool for so many of… (copy-paste the same copy for the community from a previous thread)…. I appreciate your question, but did you know that (shock of shocks!!!) you can search for the information you want here, and all you wanted to know about what you want to know is just one click away? <Link to search query in that forum that says “best new camera”>

typical answer 7
Nikon rules.

typical answer 8
No. Canon rocks.

typical answer 9
Haha! All NGC/sports/fashion photographers use Nikon.

typical answer 9b
Haha! All NGC/sports/fashion photographers use Canon.

typical answer 9p
Have you checked out my one camera per brand shootout where Pentax’s base model (only model actually) kicks Nikon & Canon’s sorry a$$?

typical answer 9o
But I thought Olympus was good so I bought a E420!

typical answer 9o[ii]
I liked the photographs I clicked using my Olympus mju (especially the one of my dog chasing a shoeflower), so I bought a E410!

typical answer 10
Olympus/Pentax/Canon/Nikon fanboy!!

typical answer 11
Don’t listen to these idiots. Buy a H3D-II. 50 megapixels baby! (droools)

typical answer 12a
My daddy, the rich man that he is, gifted me a pro-level camera belonging to XYZ brand, so though XYZ brand rocks, the cheaper cameras of XYZ brand are crap and those using such cameras are morons. Don’t ask me why. I just know. Remember I’m using the expensive camera here?

typical answer 12b
I am a pro photographer (read, I get paid to click photographs) and I have the most expensive camera XYZ produces, so though XYZ brand rocks, the cheaper cameras of XYZ brand are crap and those using such cameras are morons. Don’t ask me why. I just know. Remember I’m using the expensive camera here?

typical answer 12c
I work for a Dubai seth where I get paid in millions of dollars every month and with all that overflowing cash I bought myself the most expensive XYZ camera in the market, so though XYZ brand rocks, the cheaper cameras of XYZ brand are crap and those using such cameras are morons. Don’t ask me why. I just know. Remember I’m using the expensive camera here?

This piece was written for one of those online photography forums, so a couple of these might not make sense to everyone at first, because they might be specific to certain people I have interacted with on that forum.

Ek Vodka with Coke!?

Saw Dev D. Liked it. Loved it, in fact.

The only thing I could not understand were the drinking habits of sadda Dev. He lives in the UK the major part of his life, and he picks up a habit of drinking Vodka only. Vodka the beginners’/connoisseur’ spirit. Indian kids who start drinking start with Vodka. Mainly because it’s tasteless, so get high without having to bear with the strange tastes of other liquors – after all those are acquired tastes – and does not smell when you go home. For connoisseurs, Vodka (alongside white Rum) is the base of many cocktails. I would have thought the hero of the movie, phoren return that he is, would have more refined drinking preferences. He instead chooses to guzzle Vodka neat – not even with a green chilli.

And when he’s not drinking Vodka neat, he’s mixing it with Thums Up or Coke. Did you hear that? Vodka with a cola! Whatever happened to the lime twist, good ol’ Sprite or a simple lime wedgie with Vodka?

Good thing he did not ask for “Bacardi ka Vodka”.

On another line of thought, are there any purist Bengalis out there who are offended by the portrayal of Paro and Debdash, by the maligning of the ‘pure love’ between them and the ‘pure lust, err… love’ that Chandramukhi had towards Debdash? Why aren’t we seeing any theatres being ransacked, any viewers being bullied (on the lines of Mangalore et al). For that matter, where are the fans of Shah Rukh, Madhuri, Aishwarya or Sanjay Leela Bhansali who would get offended by the hedonistic take on Sharatbabu’s most popular story outside of Bengal?

Recycled: Spooky?

Surrounded by the dilemmas of whether recycling my blog posts from my older blog here is inherently good or evil, I post this. Good, because it’s recycling. Because, let’s face it, recycling is good. Right? Bad because it wastes pixels. The content is already on the old blog, why post it here again? Well, while the dilemma continues, you can proceed to enjoy the following.

… you wake from a bone-chilling nightmare, to find yourself sleeping on the middle berth of a sleeper compartment on a train from Howrah. Still shivering under the nightmare’s effect, you try to wake someone up so that atleast the fear can be reduced if the dream can’t be shared, but no one wants to be bothered at this hour.

You sit for some minutes trying to figure out the storyline of the nightmare or trying to forget the gory details… when you hear nature’s call. Time to go to the loo. So you step down, and head towards the end of the coach, counting the number of compartments you cross in the way so that you return to your own berth… 1… 2… 3… 4… 5.

After answering the call, you return the same way… 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… and the berth you were sleeping in seems to be occupied… you move closer to wake him up, when you notice the person’s face… and you realise… it is YOUR body!!!


It’s Complicated

freshen upMe: So this Facebook thing of yours. You’re no longer single, it’s now complex, eh?

Mandrake: Not complex. Complicated.

Me: Aaah! Because in complex situations, there are imaginary people in the equation?

Mandrake: Yes, and there is no ‘I’ in W-E or R-E-A-L.

Me: And ‘I’ am alone and lonely in complex situations.

Mandrake: And when ‘I’ meet another ‘I’, things cease being imaginary, and it’s no more complex.

Me: We’re so smart!

Mandrake: We should publish this.

Me: Stop dreaming.

Inspired by a tea-time conversation with my friend Mandar.

Random musings from a class… guess which one

“Depreciation, block of assets, purchase value, residual value, scrap value, kick-ud the bucket of the beenis… I wish you could able to understand.”
“Don’t you need to make an adjustment.”<- this is NOT a question. Now with all these ever-increasing acronyms denoting various forms or levels of profit thrown at us everyday, I have decided to coin the mother of all profit acronyms, the ultimate profit acronym… PBCODIT: Profit before CoGS, Operating Expenses, Depreciation, Interest and Taxes… go figure. feeling amortized,

This was a post I had written over four years ago in the earlier version of my blog. Though it’s more like an IIM Indore internal thing, I still enjoyed reading it again today.

Bad 2009

The year couldn’t have had a worse start. Truly.

When I started writing this post I was going to talk about JPG magazine closing down because of lack of sustaining funds. And I kept thinking if such a reaction is worth it. I mean so many things could have happened that could be worse than a favourite and inspiring magazine closing down.

And while I was thinking of that, I got a SMS from a friend, telling us that another friend has passed away.

It was in the papers. I wish I believed in souls, the afterlife and prayers so I could speak to Nikhil and pray for his soul.

Now this year has officially started on a very bad note.

I already cannot tolerate people who drive without caring for their or other people’s lives. They’ve given me another reason today.

I can’t think of words to tag this post with.