Camera Size and Client Psychology

Jaguar hood ornament

If you hired a professional photographer, for a wedding, a corporate event, a family portrait, then you would expect the pro to arrive holding a substantially sized camera, yes? Of course, one of the massive lumps that tower over ‘consumer’ cameras, need two hands too operate and give all long-term Shooters bad backs, bad shoulders, and a deteriorating posture.

If the average top end camera weighs roughly 3lb, or one and a half bags of sugar, plus a lens that weighs coming on for another 1lb, then we can often be hoiking the equivalent of two bags of sugar about in our hands, not too mention the weight of the rest of the kit in you bag you carry.

So, if you could buy a camera system that will perform as well as a DSLR but at a fraction of the size and weight, it would be a positive move, yes? Or would your clients feel shortchanged seeing you pull a camera from your bag that was more or less the same size as the consumer DSLR they bought from the High Street for a couple of hundred quid, regardless of the fact that the body and lens combo could well be £2,000 or £3,000 worth of investment. More than a lot of people will spend on their car.

The psychology of ‘camera prowess’ is not too be taken lightly. If someone does not know much about photography, nor cares to, then ‘the bigger the better’ as far as the look of professional work tools are concerned.

Recent advances in digital technology have seen a new breed of camera developed. The Mirrorless class of cameras would seem to be the answer to many an aching photographer’s prayers. Small and lightweight but with a performance that is starting too equal the traditional workhorses of photography, with top grade lenses to match, how could you not want too ‘upgrade’ too a smaller working body but retain the high quality of image capture that your work depends upon?

Personally, I feel that the mirrorless camera needs another generation before it will be totally viable as the primary work tool, but the day when it can seriously rival a DSLR in performance—primarily in image quality, but also how easy and intuitive it is too use as well as how well it takes the knocks that a working day can bring to your kit—is not too far away now.

A few of my contemporaries have bought Mirrorless kit and are using it in parallel with their DSLR kit as a ‘transition’ into the new generation of digital cameras. Some have even ditched the use of DSLR kit on a daily basis to concentrate on a working combination of Mirrorless and Medium Format cameras (even bigger and heavier than DSLR kit) with great success.

Personally, I would love to ditch the size and weight that my daily bag encompasses when fully loaded, and my elbow begs me too do so regularly. But for the near future at least I will be sticking to my heavy, bulky, D800.

Size isn’t everything but maybe as far as clients are concerned that ‘Psychology of Camera Size’ barrier will still be staying erect for the foreseeable.