I added a comment on my website the other day that got a bit of interest. I posted "So many cameras, so little time!" One comment I received was that "the best camera is the one you have with you," to which I whole-heartedly agreed. To most photographers seeing something worth capturing, and not having a camera available is a mortal sin. Jay Maisel has the philosophy of always take your camera with you, no matter where you were going because you never knew what might come your way. Danish photographer Thorsten von Overgaard has as his motto, "Always wear a camera." Today, for most people that isn't an issue, but the camera they have with them is usually a cell phone, which, while not perfect, is certainly better than nothing.

My reason for making the post, however, was not to stress always having a camera with you (which I do) but to express how much joy I have in trying different makes and models. Each one is unique, has certain quirks and strengths, and each in their own way is the proper tool for a particular task. I have shot Sony (for a very short time) and Canon for many years before switching over the Nikon, first with DSLR's before making the transltion to mirrorless. During the pandemic however, I had an opportunity to give Hasselblad a try and am currently dabbling in the Lecia ecosystem, although that is more a project for the future, when out of necessity I'll prefer a smaller, lighter camera with smaller, lighter lenses (if only their price tag was smaller and lighter!).

My reason for straying from Nikon has nothing to do with dissatisfaction with their product. I just had entered a mindset where I felt that I had almost become the unnecessary part of the equation. Between the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities both in software and hardware, and the technology of cameras like the Nikon Z9, it seemed like the photographer was only there to depress the shutter release, and surely even that could be automated. With Hasselblad and Leica, I was forced to slow down and take a larger role in the image creation process, something I enjoyed very much.

Each tool is unique, from the ergonomics of the body to the sound of the shutter (even when there is no shutter, as in the Z9, which gives the option of a digitally-created shutter sound). Nothing compares to the clunky sound of the Hasselblad, although at 2.7 frames per second you don't hear it nearly as often as you would with a high-end Canon, Nikon or Sony. The images it creates, however, are exquisite.

Different tools for different purposes, all well suited for what you require and none will let you down as long as you choose well. Maybe the saying should be "The best camera is the one that brings you joy."

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