Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
We're pretty darn spoiled here at the DigitalCameraInfo office. Every few days we get a new shipment of wildly different cameras, and somehow get paid to shoot with them and run experiments. But if we actually had to shell out for our own photography gear, a writer's salary probably wouldn't take us very far, and certainly wouldn't allow for regular upgrades.
We imagine a lot of people are in the same boat. Some photographers go years without adding to their gear, so for this Q&A we decided to take things a step further. We want to know, if you were somehow forced to use one single kit for the rest of your life, what would you choose? Would you stick with a traditional SLR? If so, which lens would you pick? What about a superzoom, or a mirrorless? Could you work with one of those forever?
Read on to find out how our staff would handle the predicament, then give us your solution in the comments below!
TJ Donegan (@tjdonegan): I could retire tomorrow and happily shoot sports and wildlife. So as much as I like the occasional break of testing a smaller mirrorless camera, I will still always prefer a good solid DSLR with a fast telephoto lens. As heavy as it is, I'd be right at home with a semi-pro or professional DSLR with a solid 70-200 f/2.8 lens. It's not the kind of combination you can use for everything, but the shots you do get could all be hung up on the wall.
Jeremy Stamas (@nematode9): I've always enjoyed shooting with classic DSLRs, but I'm the kind of person that too often leaves the bulky camera behind just because I don't want to lug it around all day. For that reason, I'd go with a compact mirrorless camera and a 50mm prime lens. That's a camera I could bring almost anywhere, but it's still large enough to make me feel like I'm taking real photographs (as opposed to snapshots).
Christopher Snow (@BlameSnow): Some SLR with good D-range, plus a wide-angle zoom lens. Oh, and a lightweight tripod. This wouldn't have been the case a few years ago, but perhaps due to working near the city, I've become increasingly attracted to nature and fresh air. I'd head off into the mountains like old Ansel, grow a beard to rival Liam or Jeremy, and find some photogenic trees. I chose this glass primarily for landscapes, but the extra telephoto capability would be enough for occasional macros or portraits.
Liam McCabe (@liammmmccabe): Give me a compact system camera with a pancake lens. Preferably with a beefy pixel count, normal focal length, and a fast aperture. Keep it in a coat pocket, bring it anywhere.
TJ's Girlfriend Libby: "Pancake" lens? "Beefy" pixel count? Liam must be hungry.
Aw. She's so cute. So what do you think? Bulky or pocket-friendly? Versatile or purpose-built? Sound off in the comments below!