The photographer chooses the subject from many possibilities, capturing it in just the right light and shadow, at the perfect angle, and in the ideal frame. These elements come together for only an instant, so the photographer must work carefully but quickly.
A camera gives permanent life to these fleeting instants, capturing not only the objective facts but also the meaning and subjective emotions associated with them. For nearly two centuries, photographers have worked to preserve the objective and subjective with greater accuracy and fidelity, and camera makers have crafted more and more sophisticated instruments with which to accomplish these objectives.
In recent years, it’s become more and more difficult to choose a digital camera from the many available options. But no matter how complex cameras become, the essence of photography remains the same: capturing the image as it exists in the photographer’s imagination. The two parts of the camera essential to this task are the lens and the image sensor.
In the era of film, photographers made fine adjustments to their cameras and played with the difference between films, aiming for different colors and levels of exposure and graininess as the mood suited them. In the digital era, however, although the consistency of cameras has increased, their individuality has tended to diminish, making the photographer’s choice of instrument more difficult.
The image sensor is the key to taking a more individualistic digital photograph. To choose the best camera, a photographer must understand the differences between the image sensors available, selecting the one that offers the greatest precision and best image quality.
Then, armed with the image sensor that matches his or her photographic vision, a photographer may select and deploy a variety of lenses that complement the sensor. The camera system that best empowers the dedicated photographer’s ideal approach today is the Sigma digital single-lens reflex camera.