Personal Top Ten Cameras?

William Lewis

Veteran
Feb 10, 2020
Hayward WI
William Lewis
Inspired by today's post at The Online Photographer...

No particular order, but close to chronological.

1) Canon AE-1P - first camera owned bought at the px
2) Yashica-Mat 124 - non-G, flea market camera
3) Yashica Electro 35 GSN - another flea market gem. hatteries were a pain
4) Canon IVSb - why I love Barnacks
5) Contax II/Kiev 4a - glorious underrated system. The prewar glass ...
6) Leica CL - neat camera, meter never worked but the lenses!
7) Canon 7 - same glass I used on the CL but a better body.
8) Speed Graphic - hand held LF with the 127/4.7 lens. Still have it.
9) Leica IIIf - Oh how I miss this one, especially the Summitar :(
10 Nikon D7100 - where I am at now and loving it.

You?
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
I'm not sure there are ten, but I'll list as many that I have used that I enjoyed.....in no particular order.

Fuji X-100
Fuji X-Pro 1 with 35mm f1.4
Panasonic gf1 with 20mm ( a lot of great photos....but I was shooting more often)
Olympus E-P1 with 17mm (the camera that got me into photography more seriously)
Olympus E-P3 with tilting EVF
Ricoh GXR (I regret selling....I had two, each one with an EVF and prime module attached)
Olympus E-M1 with 12-40 Pro
Pentax k-5iis
Sony RX1 (I miss the output of this camera, but the UI)


and an honorable mention for one I've never owned because it costs more than I want to pay for what I THINK may just be a novelty

Epson R-D1
 

mnhoj

gee aahrr
Jan 27, 2012
Los Angeles
John
1. Nikon D50 - first digital ILC - I was in love.
2. D200/D300 - very nice.
3. D700 - I thought it couldn't get much better.
4. Olympus E-PM1 - first mirrorless - let the games begin.
5. Fuji X-E1 - maybe the worst camera that I loved the most.
6. GR - really liked it, probably will get another one day.
7. A7ii - the best camera that I loved the least.
8. E-M1.2 - features, fit, performance, enjoyability. Top three. It felt underutilized.
9. RP - understated and surprisingly satisfying. Current.
10. Left open - there's another out there just waiting for me.

Honorables - X100F, Coolpix A, 5Dclassic, X-T2, numerous PENs, G85.
 
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MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
Very hard to choose ... I'll do film first, five each for analog and digital ...
  1. Mamiya 6 MF - medium format champion - great handling, superb results, and, by extension, my best film camera. The camera that makes me crave the Fujifilm GFX 50R sometimes, just because that one appears so similar at first sight ...
  2. Leica M4-P - all you need ... and my entry point into Leica M shooting; still my favourite Leica in terms of handling.
  3. Minox 35 GT-E (II) - my EDC before I left photography for almost a decade ... its predecessor, the 35 GT, made me fall in love with the idea of an EDC in the first place.
  4. Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 531/16 - the pinnacle of medium format folders, best portable medium format camera I've ever shot with (in spite of the also wonderful Voigtländer Bessa RF ... - honorable mention here ;)).
  5. Lomo'Instant Automat Glass - gloriously wide lens, really crisp results (for Instax Mini ...); and it's portable, too.
  6. Leica M10 - the decisive step that took the M line back to its roots without sacrificing imaging potential or innovation; my personal benchmark for the best correlation between pleasure and performance. My desert island camera.
  7. Nikon Z6 - the first modern mirrorless that feels just right for me; certainly everything I need, with great handling, very satisfying results and the right line-up strategy (IMHO - YMMV!).
  8. Leica M8 - a charming dinosaur of a digital camera, with very enjoyable handling and results (and pretty inexpensive, too, especially when paired with Voigtländer lenses).
  9. Olympus PEN E-PM1 - made digital photography viable for me - small, competent, fun to use
  10. Ricoh GR - but for the missing viewfinder, almost the successor of the Minox 35 GT-E for me ... until I decided that carrying a bag most of the time was feasible ...
Sorry, a bit more verbose than I first intended it to be, but that's the consequence of letting it simmer for almost a day :)

M.
 

gryphon1911

All-Pro
Feb 6, 2015
Central Ohio, USA
Andrew
Same as William, not in order, but the top most influential for me.

1) Sony Cyber-shot P51 - my first digital camera
2) Nikon N90s - my first SLR - when I started getting more “serious” about photography. I remember I got it, 35-70/3.3-5.6 and an SB-22 flash for $100
3) Nikon D50 - my first DSLR and the camera that helped me start my business.
4) Nikon D700 - my first “full frame” DSLR and one of my favorite low light sports cameras.
5) Nikon D500 - my ultimate sports camera. I’ve yet to meet its equal for the price.
6) Olympus OMD EM5 Mark I - the camera that showed me the benefits of mirrorless and kept me in business during my distal bicep rupture recovery.
7) Fuji X100 - the original X100 still has a place in my heart. The great image rendering and the old school controls are fantastic. Let’s not forget the hybrid viewfinder!
8) Nikon Df - retro goodness with all the modern benefits. Works excellently with all those vintage Nikkors! Don't forget it has a tweaked Nikon D4 sensor in it that is tuned for great low light performance!
9) Fuji XPRO2 - all the awesomeness of the X100 series, but faster and more versatile! Rangefinder styling with the ability to use all the great Fuji glass.
10) Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II - almost got me to jump ship from Nikon DSLRs!! ALMOST! If not for the failings of the AF system in tracking tough subjects (compared to the ease of the Nikon D500) and it struggling to AF with severely backlit subjects - I could be a pro kitted out with some of that FINE Olympus glass like the pro zooms 12-40 and 40-150 f/2.8!
 
Apr 18, 2014
Boston Burbs
David
I'll give it a shot, chronologically (mostly). One problem is there are fewer cameras I've owned that I haven't really like than there are that I have liked.
  1. D70 - My first SLR and and DSLR. I had been considering a high end P&S like the Powershot S50 and Pro1, I bought and returned both. I used the D70 for 3-4 years.
  2. D200 - such a be step up from the D70 and what I had when I started shooting professionally.
  3. Fuji S5 Pro - such incredible color and out of camera jpegs. Too bad it was sooooo slow compare to the D200 it was based on. One of those cameras I still occasionally look at the used prices of.
  4. D700 - It's the one body I actually bought a second of for a backup. Often wish I hadn't "upgraded" these.
  5. E-M5 mkI - A camera I never actually owned :eek:. But just holding in a store every chance I got, it brought me to m43.
  6. E-PM1 - my first m43 camera and the first camera I had shot mainly just for fun in years at the time I got it.
  7. E-M10 mkI - My not my first OMD, but more fun to use than the E-M1 mkI I had before. I bought the E-M1 mkI thinking I'd use it for some event work. I ended up not, so decided I didn't need that much camera.
  8. GX85 - May favorite Panasonic body. I was tempted by the GX9, but they removed the flash power pin :hmmm: so I could no longer use the wonderful little Olympus flash.
  9. Fuji X70 - A camera I don't need anymore, but still think about getting a 3rd third copy.
  10. E-M1 mkII - This was a tough one because I also really like the Pen F. But I don't really have any interest in the E-M1 mkIII, but I would trade the Pen F for mkII with a Phase AF system.
Honorable mention: D300, D800, GM5, LX100, E-P5, E-M5 mkII, & E-X3.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
To my shame I don't think I've owned ten cameras in my life. My journey with photography and gear is barely 5 years in.

Leica M-P 240 is the #1 though.

Leica Q must be #2. The lens, the color, the overall package is just too good.

Fuji X100T has to be then #3. So compact and powerful. This camera has perhaps more soul than Q but overall performance and image output puts this third.


Then there are cameras that are too difficult to place in order and they definitely are not going to be in any top-ten lists as my collection and history accumulates. They are important pieces and milestones of my journey though.

  • Fuji X-T1: so in love with the X100T I wanted to go further with Fuji lenses and for that I needed a MILC. This camera is beautiful and practical but has no soul to it. Add in sticky dials so it wasn't a love affair in the slightest. Sold it very soon after!
  • Pen-F: Not the most beautiful camera in my mind (too cluttered) but this was the "RF-style" M4/3 body I was really looking for. Ultimately the romance wore off and I had to face the fact that this camera and Olympi generally aren't my tools.
  • Fuji X-T3: This follows the same path as the X-T1. Worked way better but perhaps even less soul than X-T1. Now it also found itself in a tricky competition with Leicas.
 
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Apr 18, 2014
Boston Burbs
David
To my shame I don't think I've owned ten cameras in my life. My journey with photography and gear is barely 5 years in.

Leica M-P 240 is the #1 though.

Leica Q must be #2. The lens, the color, the overall package is just too good.....
Ok, I hope you're not looking for sympathy that you haven't owned 10 cameras when the first 2 on your list start with "Leica". :laugh::D

I've owned over 40 different digital camera and a few more than once. None have ever been a Leica. :(
 
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agentlossing

Top Veteran
My count, unless I've missed anything, is about 18 cameras owned, so this list has to contain over half of them - which makes "favorite" a relative term. However, I'll give it a try.

  1. Ricoh GR III - current camera, capabilities versus size is insane. Plus it has a character unlike any other camera, except for a few like the next one on the list.
  2. Ricoh GR II - JPEG modes were a little less subtle, the sensor was lower res, and the high-ISO capabilities weren't great. Yet, even when this camera failed it succeeded in its own way. The colors were unique, the files had "bite" all the way until you started seeing the pixels, and the noise at higher ISO looked so much like film grain when DNGs were processed in a good editing application.
  3. Panasonic GM5 - not the best Micro Four Thirds camera by any means, but it packed so much into a solid, classy little (tiny!) body.
  4. Nikon D40 - my first serious camera, mostly paired with only the Nikkor 50mm f1.8 and no autofocus. I learned a lot on that camera, and took some pretty good pics.
  5. Voigtlander Bessa-T - quirky camera, but small and has infinite coolness factor. I appreciate the meter being visible without the camera at my eye, the reliable build and electronics, and the fact that no one minds me wielding it on the street. And it's a rangefinder!
  6. Olympus E-P1 - I wish I'd gotten this camera back when it was released. When I picked on up, it was already slow and the sensor was old by current standards. But man, the classiness of that body. Paired with the optical VF and the 17mm f2.8 lens in the kit I bought, it sure was sexy.
  7. Ricoh 500G - I love little rangefinders, this one produces such nice results, even if the rangefinder is hard to see in any but the brightest light.
  8. Panasonic GX85 - a quantum leap forward for Panasonic. Though I don't own it any more, it made the great majority of my images for three years. Such nice files, even if the handling and EVF left something to be desired.
  9. Panasonic GX9 - I don't love this camera, but it makes the list because it's even better than the GX85. Better files, EVF is a bit more useful, does everything it's supposed to do really well. But the GR has really overtaken a lot of my day-to-day photography.
  10. Panasonic GX1 - I've owned a lot of Panasonic cameras! The GX1 suffered from shutter shock for sure, and the files really did not look good unless I fiddled with the colors a lot more than I wanted to (retrospect - should have used B&W a lot more than I did back then). But it was such a small, well-made, feature-rich camera for its time.
 

donlaw

Hall of Famer
Sep 14, 2012
Texas
Don
I have had too many to pick from. So my list is limited to ones I would describe as highlights.

1. Nikkormat FTN - first good film camera. Got it in high school and definitely one of the most influential. Still have one.
2. Nikon FE - my second of many Nikon film cameras and my first AE camera
3. Rollei 35SE - my first pocket and compact camera, Still have one of these, great lens, and super design
4. Leica M5 - my first Leica and even though an oddball in the Leica line, very good. Still have this one
5. Contax RTSIII - I tried most of the Contax bodies and many Zeiss lenses. Was really disapointed when they threw in the towel
6. Nikon D300 - At the time is was amazing, it was the DSLR to convinced me to drop film
7. Nikon D700 - my first FF digital and close to perfect, it made me give up DX
8. Nikon D800 - first really high resolution body, but also made me realize some resolution was overkill
9. Olympus EP-5 - really cool design and mature development of the Pen line, sold mine, but then bought another
10. Leica M10P - the ultimate Leica digital design, and still my favorite mirrorless camera
 
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melanieylang

Regular
Sep 18, 2017
  1. Minolta Hi-Matic GF got me started;
  2. Canon T50 stepped me up;
  3. Canon AE-1 Program was getting serious(er);
  4. Nikon Coolpix 4500 was a digital revelation;
  5. Pentax *ist was my first and last DSLR;
  6. Olympus XZ-1 was my first personally chosen camera by me for me;
  7. Olympus E-PL1 launched me into micro four thirds;
  8. Panasonic GX7 solidified my m43 commitment (owned twice);
  9. Fujifilm X10 taught me Fujivoodoo (owned twice);
  10. Fujifilm X30 improved upon the Fuji, with a little less voodoo (owned twice).
 
May 31, 2017
Central Florida
Timothy Williams
1. Nikon Fe , there were box cameras before but this started it all
2. Nikon F 100 I shot some film but business got in the way
3. Pentax K10D, the start of digital
4 Nikon D200 , nuff said
5. Nikon D300 , this one really got me to love photography again. I shot my daughters dance recitals and auto racing. I was in heaven, I thought.
6. Nikon D700. This was heaven. I have kicked my own ass for selling this camera. Hands down my favorite. It got out of the way and let me take images, and it is FF. The beginning of my creative work flow and a load of lenses that I still have.
7. Nikon D7200 I loved this camera. I feel it is a very good sports and wildlife platform. I gave it to my daughter and she still shoots with it.
8. Fuji X-T3, another one that I love. It just does it's job very well. Sports ,landscapes, people it adapts so easily.
9. Fuji X-E3, this is my absolute favorite grab and go camera. It's with me all the time. I shoot anything with it.
10. Nikon Z6, I had the Z7 and traded, both wonderful cameras. I absolutely love the shutter on this camera. It tracks well and the lenses are the best I have ever owned for sharpness.
 
  1. 1974 - Asahi Pentax SP1000 - this one I used a lot and learned a lot from it
  2. 1977 - Minolta XD7 - Never really bonded with that camera
  3. 1983 - Minolta SR-T303b - Bought new in a sale, really liked it from day 1 and it became my main camera
  4. 1994 - Nikon F3 - Sold all my Minolta stuff and started to build a Nikon system
  5. 2005 - Sony DSC-F828 - My first digital camera; broke, otherwise would have kept it
  6. 2006 - Nikon D200 - Really started with digital with this one
  7. 2009 - Panasonic G1 - First mirrorless camera, put an end to focusing misery. No DSLRs for me anymore!
  8. 2012 - Sony NEX-6 - Great results, awful handling
  9. 2013 - Sony A7 - First full-frame camera, got addicted to full-frame
  10. 2020 - Sony A7Rm4 - The latest and greatest
Before owning my own cameras, my dad gave me a number of cameras to work with from his collection. None of them featured a rangefinder and he had an enormous stock of 9 DIN (ISO 6 :eek:) Kodak film intended for making movie copies. Left me frustrated because I had to guess distance with apertures like f/2.8, resulting in many unsharp pictures. Using a Zenit with a Helios 2/58 was a revelation!
 
So you're telling me you went 7 years without any camera purchases 🤯
Errrm... no but I could only list 10 cameras :). I omitted the Sony A7Rm2 which I bought in 2016. But indeed, since going full-frame I have bought relatively few cameras compared to the years before when to me the incentives for upgrading were bigger. And I'm basically a one-camera guy: my camera has to do it all because I don't like to switch cameras or have to decide each time which one to take. At present I own the Sony A7Rm4, my main camera, and the A7 that I didn't sell and which sits semi-permanently on a tripod with a bellows in my table-top studio for photographing lenses and other small stuff.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
Lexington, VA
Steve
10. Pentax SP500
9. Pentax MX
8. Pentax MZ-S
7. Pentax *ist D
6. Olympus E-P1
5. Olympus E-M5
4. Fuji X10
3. Fuji X-H1
2. Sony A7RIII
1. Fuji X100V

The order is a mix of chronological and preference, especially as we move to 1,2, and 3, which are my current working trio. Biggest omissions were the X-T10, T20, and T30 which I really like but are always a secondary body.
 

tonyturley

Legend
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
It's hard for me to pick 10 favorites, as I have flipped cameras so often due to my incessant curiosity to try so many cameras, but here are a few notables:

1. Praktica STL-3 - my first camera of any type. My only camera for almost 20 years before I discovered digital, and discovered the concept of GAS. Still sits on my shelf directly behind me.
2. Sony NEX-5R - my first MILC, and the beast that introduced LBA (Lens Buying Addiction) to my lexicon.
3. Olympus OM-D E-M5 - my first m4/3 camera, of which I have owned 2.
4. Olympus Pen-F - kicking myself a bit for letting this one go. A V2 with weather sealing would be hard to ignore.
5. Fuji X30 - another I should have kept. Kind of loses its luster in low light, but there's a lot to like about this camera.
 

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