What camera do you own? Why did you buy it? Does it do what you want it to do? More importantly, do you LIKE it?

Those were the questions raised at this week’s evening, where a number of members brought in their kit and explained the rationale behind the choices they made. From full frames, to APS-C, Micro Four Thirds, “bridge” cameras, all the way down to the humble “point and shoot” cameras.

Unsurprisingly, the reasons for choosing their cameras were manifold – the need for big pixels for night shots of the Aurora Borealis; the unwillingness to carry around a heavy SLR and associated lenses; the wish to step “up” from a point and shoot to something a little more capable.

Apart from one account of a hastily bought point and shoot (soon replaced with something more suitable), the broad consensus is that the cameras we have do exactly what we want them to – they were selected with care after research. It’s understandable – cameras don’t come cheap. 

Interchangeable lenses, whilst a necessity for some, are an unnecessary burden to others. Why change lenses, when you have a zoom that runs from 20mm-200mm? Why use a wide-angle lens when Lightroom will stitch panoramic shots together for you?

Furthermore, the cameras are certainly not the be-all and end-all. When you buy a camera – you need to consider the accessories that go with it. What lenses do you buy? Do you even need to buy lenses? So the hottest discussion of the evening was not about the cameras themselves, but what came with them. Some of us just needed a pocket to pop the little Panasonics in. Others lugged around a massive holdall with lenses, torches, batteries and filters in it. What bag do you get? How big does it need to be? Are flaps a good thing or not? Should it be flowery? Do you mind a camera strap emblazoned with the manufacturer’s name on it? Most importantly, when you’re out and about for the day, do you have room for your sandwiches?

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