For Heaven’s sake…
As a photo enthusiast and long time now amateur user, I spend a lot of (read, way too much) time on internet photography dedicated boards and fora. After over 11 years of forum interaction, I’m still amazed, and now thoroughly annoyed, by the same question coming over, over, and over again. I call it “the forbidden” question. Frankly, I think folks should get a fine for asking !
So, the idiotic, forbidden question goes like this : between X and Y camera, which one takes the best pictures? (remember, next time you dare ask, I sue you). Dumb, heh ? Well, people keep on asking all the time. Duh. This annoys me to no end. SURE, the question might be relevant to *total* newcomers with NO idea or experience whatsoever about cameras and photography, but frankly, once you’ve reached a normal/average level of technical proficiency, and unless you tackle a very specific field of expertise (fast sports come to mind), in the same price range camera X is not gonna do much better over camera Y. 99% of the time, if a given user cannot get satisfying results with one, he’s not gonna do any better with the other.
The amount of “pixel peeping” and hair splitting, not to mention flame wars between loyal fans of different brands is mind boggling in the photo community. So I’ll tell it to you like it is. If you’ve had issues in the past getting the photos you want, and that despite trying a couple of cameras, including something above a basic “point&shoot”, compact model, then you may be better inspired trying to refine your photographic skills, rather than pulling your hair out over x vs. y…
I’ll say it again I’ve shot Fuji, Minolta, Olympus, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Panasonic and now Sony, oh, and lately Samsung (in that particular order, with a lot of going back and forth, buying, selling, re-buying the same thing again, etc), from entry model to pro grade stuff, and absolutely everything in between (cameras manufacturers really live off folks like me). I haven’t found a single brand of camera that couldn’t take decent pictures, and the limiting, or enpowering, factor has *always* been me. Sure, some particular models resonated deeper and better with me (Canon 1DmkII, Nikon D700, Panasonic GX-1, Sony NEX 7, etc) while others left me cold or were donwright disappointing (Canon 40D, Nikon D200, Olympus m4/3 bodies, Samsung NX200…) but I could have taken pictures with ANY of them, if I had to.
One very interesting factor one should pay attention to though, are personal preferences. Make a list of must-have features ; in my case, APS-C or FF sized sensor (which eliminates m4/3 and “large sensor” compacts), Rangefinder for factor, built-in electronic viewfinder, real time live view (exposure feeback on LCD screen or in EVF), bottom hinged tilt screen (*not* articulated to the side), direct access to exposure compensation, easily accessed White Balance settings. Just to name a few. Things I absolutely do NOT need, and don’t give a damn about : any sort of HDR feature, bracketing, time lapse, mobile phone like “applications”, in body stabilization, and a few more.
So do what you need to find the right camera according to your needs, but rest assured that your skill level, just like mine, is most likely to remain the sticking point, whatever gear you buy 😉