The Photographers Credo

A reminder of what we are and what we want from camera makers

Original: 9/10/2012

I am a photographer.

I expect a camera to take pictures. I expect a camera and its accessories to do that job well, and to do it with consistency. I expect the design of the camera to be focused on taking pictures, and don't care how good the camera looks or whether it is fashionable or not. The primary reason I care about what materials a camera is built from have to do with reliability, protection from the environs and practices in which I use it, and its durability. I expect to be able to control the camera completely and directly while taking pictures, and do not support designs that make me stop taking pictures to change something important.

I expect the company that produces my camera to create it and support it with diligence and attention to quality control and with high consistency between samples. I expect the company that makes my camera to admit to and fix any problems they discover, and to do so without delay. I do not expect to have to disover those problems for the camera maker, but when I do, I expect the company to acknowledge them and fix them not just for me, but for everyone who owns the product. I expect the company producing my camera to provide useful accessories that follow all the same principles I outline above, and to make them available in a timely fashion. I do not expect to shoot forever with one battery or a single lens.

I am a photographer.

I take pictures. My camera is merely a tool I use to accomplish that. I do not worship my tool. I am not committed to always using one particular tool. I will use the best tool available to me to create each of my photographs. My loyalty is not principally to my camera maker, but instead to the photographs and images I wish to create. However, a camera maker who fully caters to my needs will find that I am loyal to them as long as they continue to do so.

I would like my camera to be better integrated into my work flow, helping me automate and simplify my use of my tools. In order for that to happen, the camera maker and I (as well as other photographers) need to have an open and candid dialog; there needs to be a place where I can express my interests and needs for my tool(s), not a voice mail wall and lack of email addresses available for supplying feedback.

I am a photographer.

I am not interested in video, phones, or other non-camera features added to my tool. I tolerate such things only if they don't get in my way and they are necessary for my tool maker to stay in business. I look to technology only if it has a direct impact on making my images better or helping me to more easily create or work with the photos I take.

I evaluate my potential cameras and tools for what they do for me, and in a fairly narrow sense. Do they let me capture the exact moment in time I desire? Do they focus where I want them to and put only the range of things I want in focus within a given DOF calculation I've calculated? Do they allow me to control exposure, white balance, and other core functions the way I need them to? Are the files my camera creates clean and free from artifacts and un-asked for changes? Do all these things happen with consistency? I ask these things and will change tools if I find the answers lacking.

I am a photographer.

I vote with my pocketbook. Given that I make less and less from each image every passing year as market forces propel the average value of images downward, I must vote with my pocketbook. I purchase only those things that let me accomplish what it is I am trying to create. For "casual" images, I have choices other than the tools in which I've invested most, and I'm not afraid to use them. I need my tool to be productive, useful, convenient, consistent, and to not break. And I need that tool to be within a price range I can afford and justify.

Given this credo, I as a photographer give my allegiance only to those companies that fulfill myneeds, and only as long as said companies live up to them.



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