Testing and buying a camera


Having finished an online photography course, I may need to upgrade from my combination of iPhone X / GoPro Hero7 Black for landscape photography.

I'm trying to monetize my Instagram, via good content and automation - free hotel stays while on the road mainly.

Ideally I want to test a range of cameras in a landscape setting, get all of the images on a file and compare the quality to figure out the optimal level of quality against funds invested.
I may attend a photography club and ask people with the same shot on the same day to send me the file - do you guys have a better method to figure out the optimal level of camera to buy?

Also, is Amazon the cheapest place you guys recommend to buy a camera or am I missing a trick?

FWIW, I'm looking at getting a full sensor mirrorless camera - Sony A7R would be bottom of the range here.
Lens is more important than camera.

Figure out a way to rent and test several lenses. Don't be put off by older glass. I love to put Soviet glass on top of modern camera bodies. The heft and bokeh of certain lenses will help your work stand out.

Youtube reviews can guide you.

B&H Photo in NY (if you live in North America) is the best place to buy. If you live in Europe, you could check for used equipment escrow auctions. I haven't been there in many years, but that is how I bought the best equipment when I lived there.


I've been shooting for over a decade and have used everything, 4x5 film, medium format film, 35mm, all the current brands of digital cameras. It isn't all about megapixels anymore, every camera from the last 10 years is going to have enough pixels especially for primarily online viewing. From what I've seen with modern cameras, Fuji has the best colors and dynamic range, not necessarily the most dynamic range, but the way the sensors handle color and light is just the most pleasing to my eye. Canon is a close second. Nikon and Sony produce a colder image straight out of camera, lots of dynamic range.

Really any of these cameras are going to be more then capable enough. With raw editing you can accomplish anything you want. The limiting factor will be the shooters abilities and lenses.

I've been shooting with nothing but the Fuji X100 series cameras for the last 3 years or so. I love the simplicity of it. One camera one lens, and 35mm is about as all purpose of a focal length as you can find. I'm thinking about picking up one of the high end point and shoots that Canon and Sony have been putting out over the last few years. Something like an rx100 is very appealing for general content creation for people who travel for long periods of time.


Get the best camera system as soon as you can. Obviously a Phase One is overkill to start with, but get either Nikon, Canon or LUMIX. Contrary to what others might say about not needing megapixels, you do. Get as many as you can. This will increase your exposure stops each way and also give you the ability to edit shadows etc in RAW images. The body is more important than the lens, but don’t skimp on that either. Buy a fixed prime 24mm and a fixed prime 70mm. If you’re shootings landscapes the tripod will massively sharpen your shots. Get a good one! Your settings should be ISO 100 F8 and have the camera set to Aperture Priority to work out the perfect exposure for you. Welcome to the craft!


Gold Member
For what you are trying to do you will probably be better off with two cameras. The FujiX100 as mentioned above, and then perhaps a full frame camera with a high quality 24mm, 35mm or even a 50mm prime lens for the landscapes. Any full frame camera will give you a great dynamic range in the RAW image so you can get a lot of life out of one good image. If you are automating your instagram, you will want as many images as possible in the system. I have been using ND filters lately for some added images to a single session.

I used Canon and Mamyia for close to 20 years, but now I shoot mainly a Sony a7ii and a Lumix GX85, with an old Canon G1X that still takes great snaps and shoots RAW. The Sony really got me back into photography after a few years of not being inspired. I really love the Sony. What really did it for me was putting on an old manual 50mm 1.4 lens and just shooting dark and moody city snaps. With the Sony ISO being crisp as hell at high ISO, the 1.4 lens, there are so many city shots that would otherwise be hard to get. Seems any ambient light gets grabbed by the Sony sensor.

I shoot mostly in the studio now so I am feeling its about time to get a real high quality lens finally. Something auto focus and sharp. I will rent a few 85mm and see what I like. I might just be happy with a $800 Rokinon and not bother with a G series lens!