What camera should I buy?

what camera should I buy infographic
Click here for full resolution

I have the answer for you right here, only partially tongue in cheek… πŸ™‚

And if you need a more detailed, considered list, try my Recommended Gear List. Education though, we have in plentiful supply on the Teaching Video Store here. MT

On a more serious note, there’s a special offer going on with the Nikon D750 and excellent all-round AFS 24-120/4 VR lens (I have both) at B&H – $600 off to a total just below $3,000; you can get that here. The Pentax 645Z is also back in stock.


  1. You should pin this to your site’s sidebar, right on top of the recommended gear list. πŸ™‚

  2. Reblogged this on lisette0999.

  3. When I’m not writing blogs I sell cameras to earn a living, and I LOVE this!

  4. Jorge Balarin says:

    : )

  5. Ming…This is hysterical but pretty accurate at the same time. Wonderful! A couple of Otuses? I have the 55. Do you really think there is a need for both? I’m no lens aficionado, but is seems like 55 and 85 are not that far apart. I feel ridicule coming from other posters already by saying that. However, considering the cost of owning both……??

  6. Haha! πŸ˜„
    Yup, keeps coming back to education…just a question of what is the best kind? Reading books, studying photographs, taking courses, mentoring, video instructionals, email courses with a good tutor πŸ˜‰, or whatever you can afford. Education can be as expensive, or even more so, than equipment.
    But I’m surely saving up my bucks for education, as I reached equipment sufficiency (or indeed exceeded it) long ago. πŸ˜ƒ
    Off to Penang for my big 50th birthday this weekend, for my wife it’s a welcome break from work, for me a glorious weekend of setting myself photographic challenges (fully sanctioned by my understanding wife, who knows what kind of holiday I enjoy, and it doesn’t involve idling around on beaches πŸ˜‰) She’s actually challenging me..she gets the RX100, I use my Sony a5000 with my 3 lenses, and we’ll see who gets the best shots, lol!
    Time to explore what I’ve learned from the many articles on this site…πŸ˜‰β˜ΊοΈ
    Fun chart to read in humour. Heh!

  7. Bill Allsopp Photography says:

    I have got lost on that route-map many a time, oh deary me….

  8. Amateur, yes i shoot, “everything else”, print sometimes, moderate weight =
    “DSLR and a couple of Otuses”. LOL – $10k prerequisite, no big deal.

  9. So you’re saying that if I sell my kidneys and get a Phase One, I will win?

  10. Comprehensive chart, but with one option missing: the “you shouldn’t be allowed near a camera” option πŸ™‚

    And what about the “my friends say I take amazing pictures with my iPhone and I should be a pro, what camera should I get” brigade? That’s a big target market you’re missing out on there!

  11. Best post EVAR.

    Thanks for the laugh.


  12. Thanks Ming! I needed this laugh today & this is so true!

  13. I hope you will consider adding an additional consideration: what camera to buy when I want to LEARN photography? My findings are:
    Optical viewfinder, so that I see what my eyes see, not the prettified jpeg version.
    0.94x magnification (on apsc sensor) or higher , so that everything looks as big as my eyes see them.
    Pentaprism, so that everything is as bright as my eyes see them.
    Shutter button slanted/angled, positioned on the handgrip, so that pressing it becomes a fluid motion, instead of the jerky one when the shutter button is on top of the camera body.
    Deep handgrip, so that the camera becomes an extension of our hands, instead of a toy.
    Ample space on the bottom of lens to have our whole left palm rest on it.
    Mechanical zoom lens, so that the lens stays on the same focal length for as many months as we want; imperative so that we learn to frame before we put the camera into our eyes.
    Good 6400 iso performance, so that we can continue to shoot indoors after dark. Coupled with good AF after dark performance, so that we don’t fight against the camera.
    All exposure and white balance buttons on the body, instead of in menus, so that we operate the camera in our sleep. The point of learning photography is to learn to operate our cameras and then forget about them. As photography is about composition coupled with light, nothing else.

    When I got my first dslr, it was like coming home. Everything made sense, my fingers went to the correct buttons instinctively. It was a zen experience. For the first 3 years, I had stubbornly stuck with small compacts, because I wanted to have the camera always in my pocket; I thought this was the way to learn photography. I was wrong. I learned photography with my first dslr. I wondered why that was, and came to the conclusion that it was the points I listed above.

  14. brilliant

  15. Dirk De Paepe says:

    Pretty comprehensive schedule.
    But apparently, I must be a freak, since I find myself nowhere in it. And neither is my camera choice. So at least, that makes sense…

  16. And there you have it. Stop worrying about equipment and go take pictures. Actually, go take pictures mindfully. But beware of education. It may tell you things you don’t want to know. Just as light makes the picture, enlightenment makes the photographer.

    Touche, Mssr. Thein.

  17. I got ‘buy M4/3’, which is interesting as I have two E-M10’s and an IR converted GF5 which are my most used cameras. The chart doesn’t lie! πŸ™‚ Nicely done Ming!

  18. Ming. You did NOT Β© and sign the flowdiagram. May we assume you are releasing it into the wild as Copyright Unrestricted?
    I shall attribute it to you unless you site an alternate author. Thnx DUDE for a WickedArse chart!! Spot on!


    Additionally, Ming is just simply too famous and active on the social media front (flickr, twitter etc.) and showing too impressive results with his work….so everybody (interested in photography at least!!) knows him and so they gonna ask him….”which camera should I buy ???”
    Ming, I guess thats the or one price you have to pay as a dark/down side of your social media activities, certain “famousness/popularity” and being succesful in what youre doing/in your profession…;) But its better than the other way around – not being known and having no success……living completely social isolated…..

    Sometimes advantages can be simultaneously disadvantages too!
    While getting some advantages/benefits, they include the apperance of disadvantages (pressure, paparazzi whatever…) at the same time or as a consequence of the former.

    Ask Avril Ming she will probably confirm this…..and you made an attempt to talk to her….;)

  20. John Weeks says:

    Some truth…some chuckles…what could be better! Great chart…

  21. Ron Scubadiver says:

    For me the arrow points to “go crazy” or Holga or the void.

  22. This flow chart is awesome! So much painful thruth in it, I love it!

  23. Brilliant! And like all things brilliant, there’s more than a grain of truth in it πŸ™‚

  24. This is yours, Ming! Right on the friction’ money! Both hilarious and true!!

  25. Kristian Wannebo says:

    Aah, wonderful!

    And then there are us enthusiasts meandering lost in your labyrinth looking for the middleground of our own personal ideal camera, although we know it doesn’t exist …

    The Swedish cartoonist Oskar Andersson ( OA ) had the right idea, although it was about cars, not cameras…


  26. Why must this matter handled so complicated?

  27. I wonder why you have a Nokon d750 when you have other similar but better cameras like the d810

  28. Guy Incognito says:


    Do you even print bro?

    • No, I just transfer the images to paper with a few billion dots of ink.

      • Guy Incognito says:

        Hehe sorry… Humour can be lost in text. The ‘do you print?’ node reminded me of the meme ‘do you even lift?’…. Then again, perhaps i failed to see the wit in your reply!? Hehe… Could be the makings of a t-shirt (front/back)

  29. I’ve been down a number of these paths I’m afraid to admit. I’m pretty sure I’ll never feel I have it quite right – GAS is, I confess, part of it. But I agree wholeheartedly about education – your seminars and school included, to which I would add books, and visiting exhibitions of art of photographs.
    I think we could all have fun doing one of these diagrams in our lines of work. Great fun!!

  30. LOL – LOVE it! Perfect response!

  31. Doh! I fear that’s for me. I asked that dreaded question.


  1. […] [insert piece of equipment] should I buy? Is “x” good?” There is this answer, and then there is the real reason why I hate these questions. It’s because the question […]

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