I wonder what happened to ordinary photography? We’ve become fixated on extremes

Canon EOS R5
(Image credit: Canon)

Every photography channel, every online discussion, every camera comparison, news and opinion (well, except this one) seems to be dominated by extremes of features, specifications and benchmarks. It’s as if cameras no longer count unless they are pushing the performance envelope further than ever before. 

We want the best of everything. We want the best mirrorless cameras, the best professional cameras, the best video cameras, the highest resolution cameras and so on. All this is fine if you have a very definite and specific need for these things, but they seem to have become a yardstick for camera quality even when there isn't.

Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux has got to be better than this f/2 Summicron, right? Well it's not better at slipping into a jacket pocket, and unless you're going to shoot at f/1.4 all the time, the Summicron will be doing the same job. (Image credit: Leica)

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com