Your camera and lens are just tools to create a photograph. Do not focus on them, just as you don’t focus on a screwdriver while repairing your car. Focus on your goal – a photography. The scenery in front you, people, lights and shadows. The most important part of the photographing process isn’t the gear itself, it’s your eyes and your brain giving you a constructive idea and the will to make it happen.
In street photography, the speed of your action is usually important. People move, scenery changes. Often you will need to shoot now and think later. That’s why you need to know your camera and be comfortable with using it. Use any gear you have (DSLR, mirrorless, cell phone…) and use it as much as you can. That’s the only way to be able to shoot without thinking. Just like you are walking without thinking about where to place your left leg and where the right one. This is why one camera and one lens is not a problem, it is actually a good thing.
After hundreds of photos, some issues will emerge. Only after some photos – a lot of them – you will be able to name those issues. Slow auto focus of your lens, too short or too long focal lenght, not enough sensitivity, too heavy equipment… And you can only solve issues you can name.
Where am I going with this? Don’t buy the priciest camera you can afford straight from the beginning. You won’t be able to understand which camera is the best for you anyhow. And no one else won’t understand it either. Learn to use whatever device you have and later you can decide where to search for a better one. Or you will love using what you have so much you wouldn’t buy anything new. Understand, then buy, not the other way around.
Currently I’m using mirrorless Sony NEX-7 with 32 mm, f/1.8 lens Touit from Zeiss. NEX-7 doesn’t offer sensitivity as the modern full-frame cameras. It only has contrast metering for auto focus, missing phase detection – which makes autofocus slow in some cases. But it’s light, small and quite discrete looking. For people, it’s just as interesting thing to have as an iPhone. Usually, they don’t even notice. If you will ask in some discussion what camera is the best, you will probably come to the conclusion that Canon 1D or similar is the perfect choice. If you buy it, you will never go to take a street photography. It’s a big and heavy beast. It definitely is superior to my NEX-7… in some aspects. However, I wouldn’t like the 1D because it’s not suitable. I would have died in pain after an hour of walking in the city. And everyone would notice me before I would even press the shutter.
Camera is probably the most expensive part of your equipment, but you need to consider other things too. Comfortable shoes for example. Another thing to consider is a software – one to sort and process your photos (btw. I’m using Adobe Lightroom), another one to present your photos to the society (galleries like Flickr, 500px, or even just Facebook). You can choose everything later, but it’s good to have a general idea and keep a consistent concept from the beginning. Even if you change some things later. If you’re not confused, you won’t confuse others. Your friends, your colleagues, even your followers will know for sure where to find your recent work. And they will definitely appreciate it.
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