Since I started street photography I have gone through many different cameras and it’s taken me this long to find the perfect one. I thought I would write this blog post to help people when choosing the right camera for street photography and my hope is it might stop you from making the same mistakes I did and in the process stop you from wasting money and your valuable time.
I have changed my camera many times over the past 6 years. I started my trip through the digital world of photography with the Nikon D300, then I moved onto the Fuji X100 (loved this camera), then back to Nikon and before moving to Fujifilm (which I’ve been using for the past 2 years) I tried Canon, Olympus and Leica. Why have I got through so many cameras? Well, first off it’s not easy finding a camera that you can get comfortable with straight away! Even if you are lucky enough to find a camera that you do find comfortable, it’s not to say that you won’t start looking for a new camera almost straight away (come on, we all do it!) it’s human nature to keep looking forward for the latest and greatest – hoping that we find something that is even better and more comfortable than what we have. That mythical magic bullet that will make us an awesome photographer.
Street Photography with the Sony HDR-AS20 Action Cam
Recently I decided to try something alternative with my street photography. I’m finding that the more different cameras I shoot with, the more I learn about photography and the more I broaden my skills and experience. So far my street photography has been focused on shooting with dedicated cameras – namely DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. I haven’t yet tried my hand at street photography with a smartphone, although I intend to.
Those of you who are familiar with our street hunt videos will be aware that we shoot our videos by mounting ‘action cams’ in a rig on the hotshoes of our cameras. The weapon of choice for both Spyros Papaspyropoulos and myself is two variants of the Sony HDR-AS Action Cam. This is essentially Sony’s rival to the GoPro. They offer 1080p HD video as well as absolutely essential (for our videos) image stabilisation. I used the Sony a couple of times for still photos on the beach and in the pool, and I was pretty impressed with the image quality from the 11.9MP Exmor sensor, as well as the effects from the super wide angle lens. I decided that this, combined with the action cam’s tiny size, might make for an interesting combination on the streets. So I tried using the Sony HDR-AS20 action cam for street photography. Here’s what I learned: