editor of British Journal of Photography
Digital has totally transformed the photographic industry, mostly for the better. So while it used to take hours or days to get your images back, the process is now pretty much instant. But that's only a small part of the picture. As much as new technologies make it easier than ever to create a good image and then share it with others across the globe, it's not just been a one-way street. If the internet connects us to an extent we could never previously have imagined, photography has given it a human face. Images are our lingua franca - and how we love to communicate.
With this in mind, one problem camera makers have been working on is improving low-light sensitivities, allowing you to now shoot decent, noise-free images at night without a flash. And the latest trend is towards connectivity, adding Wi-Fi to the tool set, along with another feature borrowed from smart phones, the touch screen. Cameras are also getting smaller, especially with the arrival of "mirrorless" models that use an EVF (electronic viewfinder) instead of a traditional pentaprism.
But there lies the rub. For serious photographers, the camera is merely a tool for capturing the picture you perceive in your mind's eye. Looking is key, and EVFs are still clumsy compared to their optical equivalents. Technology has democratised photography, making cameras more versatile and reducing the skill factor required to capture an iconic image. But a camera in itself won't make you a better photographer. It's all about your perspective on your subject. And therefore the best camera is the one that gives you the freedom to express something, not necessarily the one with the newest gadgets. Here are 10 models, both new and old, that I believe are still worth their weight.