Today's technology is growing at such a rapid rate. At one point, I remember the phrase "Technology doubles every 18 months" being thrown around and though I have no way of proving that for sure I can say that I would not doubt it in even the slightest. Everything is becoming more powerful and in smaller packages. I remember my first computer, which was the nicest thing out at the time in the consumer market, had worse specs than my iPod. Not to even mention the fact that there are now phones that are faster and more capable than even my first laptop which I received as a graduation present in 2007! That's absolutely crazy to me. Just to know that there are more powerful things in smaller packages being made every day. Now, I said all that to say this: Cameras are moving in the same direction. The first professional digital cameras had price tags of thousands and thousands of dollars. With Nikon's first standalone DSLR, the D1, the price was around 5,000 depending on your model and the photos by today's standards could probably be beaten by an iPhone 4. But here is the dilemma. the D1 looks like a professional camera. It's metal body and rugged features makes the thing look like a big mean picture taking machine and if you show up taking photos with something of that size, most people would assume you know what you are doing. But what happens when you show up with something that looks like a toy?
Take this photo for instance, this is a photo taken with a Sony NEX camera system by Mr Trey Ratcliff(www.stuckincustoms.com). He took his NEX system on a helicopter photo tour with the sole purpose of creating professional images to sell on his website. How crazy do you think the pilot think he was for going up with a such a tiny camera?
Today's cameras are continuing to get smaller and smaller with the same amount, if not more, features. Bodies like the XPro-1 and the X-100s by Fujifilm have been proven to produce stellar work by some of the industry's greats. David Hobby and Zack Arias are both very heavy hitters in the photography game that both make their money for producing stellar images with such small tools. The reason why is because they know that the guts inside these small packages have all the pedigree of the large 5 pound metal DSLR thoroughbreds they left at home in the stable. With new cameras being released every day like the Sony A7 and A7r, who is to say that smaller cameras wont be the new professional camera?
Here's the kicker though, with all the innovations in technology, the population in mass has not accepted the fact that bigger does not always mean better. The Sony a7 is a visionary piece of gear that could very well be the first of a new era of cameras to come, but even Sony knows that professionals won't use these cameras in every situation because it is so small. They are now releasing a grip that almost doubles the size of the camera for this reason. Small cameras make people look at you funny when they have given you a large chunk of money at something like a wedding. But everyone wants the retro styled cameras that are inspired by the days of old. The new Olympus cameras look like near replicas of their ancestors at first glance, and the Fuji X series follow the path of the Leica M2.
My point is, where do you quit paying attention to what a camera looks like and more at what it produces? Some of the most amazing work comes from some of the craziest places, so why pay more attention to a camera that looks more expensive? Little cameras are the way of the future so all I say in advice, is be careful as to what you think about how crazy it looks for a grown man shooting professionally with something the smaller than his palm. He might be producing some of the most amazing images and just don't know it. If you have hired a photographer based on the portfolio you have seen, trust that he or she knows that the equipment they show up with will provide the caliber work that you agreed to pay for.
Thanks for reading!