Camera Choice

By Andrew Hudson Published: June 7, 2011 Updated: May 17, 2017

Your first decision is a camera. Black is usually a good color. After that things get more complicated.

Certainly you should get a camera that you feel comfortable with, that you feel you can understand and work with. But what else do you need from your camera?

Let’s look at this from the perspective of our customer. What does your customer want from your camera?

A microstock agency wants:

  • Image size
  • Sharp pictures
  • Low noise

Image Size

Over 4MP. Most cameras offer more than four megapixels these days so you should be OK there. Bigger file sizes usually sell for more money, so a larger “MP” number will help.


Designers insist on using only photos that are very sharp. So microstock agencies will reject your photos if they are not exactly in focus.

A key determination of sharpness is not so much the camera as the lens. You want good quality, well-made lenses. For this reason, most professional photographer use “SLR” cameras. “Single-Lens Reflex” system usually offers interchangeable lenses, often of high optical quality. It’s the range of lenses that attract many photographers to major-name SLR cameras.

Sharp lenses are not necessarily the expensive “fast” lenses; ones with low aperture numbers such as f1.2. You can save money by getting “slower” lense (with higher f-numbers) as you generally don’t need a large aperture. What you do need is good quality glass and sharp optics.


Noise is the blocks you can sometimes see on photos taken in poor and dim light. To avoid this, you want lots of light and a camera that can shoot at a low ISO.

Newer DSLR camera with large sensors often have the lowest noise. Check online for camera enthusiasts who have posted comparative photos.

“Noise tends to become more problematic in an image as pixel sizes decrease on a sensor, so try to choose the best camera that you can afford with the best sensor available to minimize noise.”

Usually when we reject images for focus, it is because of one of three main problems

  • The image is out of focus in general — it appears soft or even blurry.
  • The camera moved during the exposure.
  • There is focus, but It’s on the wrong place in the image.


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