The Right Tool For The Job

To drive a nail into a piece of wood, you use a hammer.  To drill a hole, you use a drill.  To cut a piece of wood, you use a saw.  Life is made much easier for oneself when the right tool is used for a particular job.

Owning plenty of tools myself, i can do an abundance of different jobs with ease because i have access to the proper tools.  Stress is taken out of my life when i am able to effectively, precisely & easily accomplish a task without having to try and make my tool do something that it was not designed to do.

Cameras are tools as well and using the right camera for the job at hand, is very important.  I am not sure that there is one camera that is capable of doing everything perfectly, just like there is not one tool that can do everything.

When you go out and purchase a camera, you need to know what it’s capabilities are and what you are wanting to take photos of.  With that knowledge, you have to match the camera up to your needs.

“Goddamn f**king camera! What a piece of sh*t!”:

There is no shortage of disgruntled people who purchase cameras, only to find out that the camera does not meet their “expectations”.  With all their disappointment, frustration and bitterness, they head off to their computer and get onto as many camera forums as possible in order to spread their negativity about the camera.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have those other people who will never be pleased and always seem to think that they can design cameras much better then companies who have been doing it for 80 years.

When i first got into the X system, i was forever reading people’s complaints about the X cameras, mostly that they were slow compared to their DSLRs.  It’s no secret that when the X series was first introduced to the world with the X100, there was a plethora of problems that Fuji had to face.  It was a brand-new camera system from the ground up and people did not miss an opportunity to put it down due to it’s teething problems.

Deciding on my first X camera, i did extensive research on both the X-E1 and the XP1.  I read the reviews, watched the videos and read as many spec sheets as i could.  I knew what i was getting into and it was not another DSLR.

The DSLR tool:

A DSLR is like a Swiss army knife.  It can do many things well, but somewhat fails at others because of the fact that it is designed to do so many things.  For instance, a DSLR is not the best kind of camera to take with you if you are going to do serious street work.  It’s big, heavy and it stands out.  Lift a big DSLR up to your face and people notice.

Furthermore, it is not an ideal camera to use when photographing a ceremony that calls for silence, such as a baptism, exchanging of vows or any other ceremony inside a church.  The shutter box mechanism inside a DSLR makes it noisy with that mechanical movement of parts.

Therefore, if you were going to do a lot of street photography, the better option would probably be an X system camera, which is far more discreet, compact & light.  It will also give you superb IQ with it’s APS-C X Trans sensor.

In regards to ceremonies that require silence and which will not tolerate any sort of noise, an X camera – specifically an X100(s) or an X10/20 – will beat a DSLR hands down.  These cameras have a leaf shutter and are silent.  When using my X10, the only way that i know that i have taken a photo, is the fact that i know i have depressed the shutter button all the way down.  I don’t hear any mechanical noise whatsoever.

The above examples are just a few from many examples that could be discussed.  The point is, each camera has it’s strengths and it’s weaknesses.  There is no “perfect” camera that can do everything.  Furthermore, you can not expect one camera system to do exactly what another camera system does.  This all goes back the concept of the “right tool”.

A circular saw and a jigsaw can both cut sheets of plywood.  Though, you can rip through a sheet of plywood much faster with a circular saw then with a jigsaw.  On the other hand, a jigsaw is far more capable of cutting out a circle shaped piece of plywood then a circular saw is.  The right tool for the right job.

A Nikon D4 and my XP1 are both capable of taking photos with great IQ.  Though, if i were to be sent to Sochi to take photos of the fast action sports taking place, i would not think twice about taking a Nikon D4 to do the job.  Sorry, but the XP1 was just not made to be a sports/action camera.

Don’t get me wrong, you can capture sports and action with an XP1, but it takes much more effort, patience & time to do so.  Using a D4 which has sports/action photography in it’s genes, 11FPS and gobs of buffer, is a no brainer & the obvious choice.  The right tool for the job.

Before ordering the latest camera solely because it is the flavor of the month, make sure that the “tool” that you are buying will do the job(s) that you will demand of it.  There is no sense in spending thousands of dollars without knowing what you are really getting into, only to bitch about it afterwards.  It is just not logical to do so in this day and age.

There are plenty of reviews out there, written or in video format, that will detail what the strengths & weaknesses of any given camera are.  Please spare us the bitter reviews by doing your homework first.

First and foremost though, the comparing of the X system to DSLRs has to stop.  They are two different camera systems, two different tools, that are geared to two different market segments within the photographic world.

A camera is not a camera.  Getting up on ones soap box and complaining about how slow an X camera is compared to your D800, is futile.  You might as well compare a Bosch power drill to a hand powered drill.  It makes about the same amount of sense.

Choose wisely & happy shooting

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6 thoughts on “The Right Tool For The Job

  1. Words of wisdom. I just wished there would be more people knowing about these facts. That would reduce the number of extremely stupid posts and comments in the forums radically.

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    1. I think many people buy a camera because it is the “in” thing at the moment. But, they don’t do enough research to make sure it will suit all their needs. Thanks for the comment

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      1. Absolutely. And of course, the camera companies do their part to create those “gear crazes”. In a rapidly changing market they just have to, to survive.
        Thank you for that thoughtful post.

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    1. Thank you. It really is all about using the right tool. As i said, a camera is not a camera. People need to understand that most cameras will not do everything and that they need to choose the one that will fit the style of photography that they do.

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