8) Cool Tools: the Right Camera

camera passportChoosing the right camera is a very personal decision. We recommend trying to find one with high-def 1080 video capabilities and a built-in mic jack into which you can plug a wired or a remote lavaliere mic (essential to bump up the audio quality for videos). If you can find on that carries reasonably well in a jacket pocket, you’ll be doing well. But the secret is to find something that works well for YOU. Pick up a little tripod to stick in your backpack or vest pocket. If you find yourself photographing church services in large (darkened) meeting rooms, you will probably have to carry an external flash too. Nothing beats the Nikon Speedlite series, but the best bet is to get one that syncs with your camera.

There are scads of offerings out there (visit your local camera shop or electronics warehouse to hold and sample the possibilities), but you won’t go wrong with the Fujifilm X100T.


We have a hard time recommending anything outside the Nikon, Canon, or Sony world, but Fuji makes it very difficult not to mention the X100T. It has great picture quality, brilliant resolution, a relatively fast lense, a fast viewfinder, and dramatic images.

If you want to pick up your game with interchangeable lenses but keep things thin and light, the Sony Nex 7 is hard to beat. Learn more at…


The entry level flash would be the HVL- F20AM model, but the HVL-F43M is more powerful and more sophisticated. Read about it here…


2 Responses to 8) Cool Tools: the Right Camera
  1. John Lindner Reply

    About 18 months ago I bought a Canon PowerShot SX700 HS for less than $300 with auto focus, wi fi, 16.1 MP, 1080 video, and an amazing 30X telephoto. But the owner’s guide doesn’t really say how to use all its features, and it sometimes fails to focus properly. I’m still learning how to use it.

  2. Brian Reply

    Great choices above. A few additional thoughts…

    Panasonic has come onto the scene with some very compelling cameras over the past few years. They have approached from the video side of things, where their greatest expertise is, but they offer some fantastic cameras. If you are into video, then absolutely check out the Panasonic GH4 (http://bit.ly/pan-gh4), which shoots stunning photos and (4k) video – arguably the best DSLR-like video camera on the market. At the low end, I love the GX7 (http://amzn.to/1FoTgmp) for around $700 – a VERY capable camera. For those on a budget, the Panasonic Lumix LX7 (http://bit.ly/pan-lx7) for under $400 is an amazing camera with an unprecedented super-fast f/1.4 lens.

    The Sony RX100-III (http://bit.ly/sony-rx100iii) is widely considered the very best point-and-shoot on the market with features & image quality rivaling expensive DSLRs. It runs around $800 but is worth every penny. You can often find deals on the previous versions (also top of their class – the rx100-ii and the original rx100-i).

    I shoot mainly Canon. For a great entry-level DSLR, check out the Canon SL1 (http://bit.ly/can-sl1) for around $550. The older T3i, T4i, and T5i are also great, but a little bulkier. The SL1 is a really nice compact DSLR – you can probably just about fit it in a pocket if you use a pancake lens.

    If you are interested in Canon cameras and prefer point-and-shoot cameras, definitely also check out the G-series of Canon Powershot cameras. The latest version is the G16 (http://bit.ly/can-g16). They are VERY capable cameras with excellent lenses, full manual controls, hot shoe, etc. The latest G16 is around $450, so you can probably find great deals on the older G models.

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