We don't want to have people asking what specific camera or brand is best for a particular role, however we still get a lot of this kind of question. I'm wondering if perhaps that is because they don't get sufficient guidance from the Ask/Don't Ask page to understand how to best ask that kind of a question.

Is there some way we could phrase the concept and add it to the Ask section that would concisely describe that it is ok to ask what a camera needs to support to accomplish a given goal? I'm struggling to think of a good phrasing that gets it across clearly and concisely so that someone new to photography and Stack Exchange could understand how to ask.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, how about throwing out your initial thoughts in an answer. We can then work it and refine it to something that fits the need you describe. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Jan 29, 2014 at 3:39

2 Answers 2


Features needed for a camera/lens to get a particular type of shot

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, like this a lot. It moves the question from "should I buy <this camera> or <that camera>?" to a (more) timeless "what do I need to look for on the spec sheet?". \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall Mod
    Feb 2, 2014 at 22:45

Maybe we should define generic roles. Something along the line of a few use cases, basically answering: "What do you want to create photos of?" Or "What photos?" or something like that.

  • Walkaround/tourist?
  • Studio?
  • Landscape?
  • Astronomy?
  • .. your ideas?

Also the level:

  • Novice?
  • Intermediate?
  • Semi-pro?
  • Pro? (I would not put pro here because they are more focused and probably will ask more specific questions).
  • ... your ideas?

And the budget

  • Budget 1
  • Budget 2
  • ... etc.

The reason why: people who ask this type of question have no clue how to ask more precisely. Any generic starting point or initial advice allows them to start their research from that. So if they get an advice on a camera, they can study that, do comparison to nearby cameras, ask around, etc. They have been given a starting point for future improvement.

E.g. if someone says he wants to learn to fly, probably he will just be lost between the non-so-informative sites. He has a budget, has a plan with that flying, so he needs just to know that he probably should fly a gliderplane, at club ABC, and the relevant cost is X. Now, he can study that offering, ask about THAT offering, use Q&A more effectively, he can call them, learn about their approach. He can also look them up and their competitors, etc. He will have more and more scope, and more and more specialized search. Eventually he will have enough data to make a quality decision.

And creating simple roles for photographers would do the same. It is not a fit-for-all definitely, but good stabs at the right direction.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Where would we put these roles? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Feb 5, 2014 at 8:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Next to the "Ask/Don't Ask" links, in the help center maybe? But it can be just as well a self-answered Q&A others can reference in later answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – TFuto
    Feb 5, 2014 at 11:33

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