While this seems to be a long-standing question with various answers, the debate has never come to a stop. If you are relatively new to photography and are thinking of getting yourself a new camera, you might find yourself torn between the option to buy a better camera body or a better camera lens. So to make this decision easy, let’s break down the importance of the camera and the lens and which is reasonably more important to invest on than the other.
Importance of a Camera Body:
A camera body is most definitely the primary part of photography. Camera’s come in different shapes and sizes among different brands. The main functions of any camera are the resolution of every image, video quality, burst speed and the shutter speed.
- Resolution: The resolution is the number of pixels that the image of every camera will display. Resolutions or pixels differ camera to camera and play a very major role in the quality of your images. Higher the number of pixels in the camera, the better the quality of the image is. The resolution of the camera plays a direct role in the quality of the video simultaneously.
- Burst Speed: The burst speed is the number of images the camera can capture in a second. The burst mode lets you capture a number of images with a single click and gives you the opportunity to choose the image that has been taken with perfect clarity.
- Shutter speed: A camera shutter is a curtain that sits in front of the camera sensor and remains closed until a shot is taken. The shutter speed is referred to the amount of time the camera is exposed to light before a picture is taken. With a good camera lens, when the shutter speed is fast, it freezes the motion completely creating an exceptional shot. But if the speed of the shutter on your camera lens is slow, it blurs the motion and the image.
Importance of a Camera Lens:
While camera’s come with an existing lens, they might not be up to the mark. A good camera lens plays a very important role in the quality of the image. Camera lenses handle functions like the depth of the field, aperture, exposure, vignetting, zooming and the like.
- Aperture: The aperture is a very important element as it determines how the images look and feel. The aperture adds dimension to the shot by blurring the background or by bringing everything into focus. Aperture is a hole (iris) in the lens which lets light travel into the camera body. A good camera lens controls the size of the aperture. The sizes of the aperture are expressed in f-numbers. The small f-numbers mean a large number and the vice versa.
- Depth of the field: The size of the aperture has an influence on the depth of the field. The depth of the field is basically the zone of sharpness in a photo that will appear in focus. In simpler terms, it is the area that appears in front of and behind the subject while taking a shot. So with a smaller aperture, all the foreground and background objects are in focus but simultaneously with a bigger aperture the foreground objects are in focus, blurring the background objects.
- Vignetting: All lenses come in a circular shape. Even though the body of the camera is rectangular in shape while taking an image only the area that is projected in the centre of the lens can be clicked. And due to that, it becomes difficult for light to fill up the edges. With a basic camera lens, there is a slight reduction of exposure causing the edges of the image to darken, calling it vignetting. A good camera lens allows the image to be captured with no light loss.
So, while everyone’s photography style varies from person to person, the answer to the question is both. Both the body and the lens play an equally important role in photography. Portrait photography requires a good camera lens, street photography requires a better camera body and if you are into landscape and nature photography then you require both the lens and the camera. We rest our case by concluding that one can’t function optimally without the other. Let us know what are your views on which is more important.