I don’t talk much on gear because there’s really only one simple formula for gear; the best you can afford to take the kind of pictures you want to take. The old wisdom is best and gear will not make you a better photographer. The act and practice of making photographs, coupled with a honest consideration of what it is you want to convey in your photographs will make you a better photographer.
The role of gear is in allowing you the technical ability to make the usage of the gear virtually transparent. That being said I have a way that I shoot when doing street photography that informs the type of gear I carry. I want to travel light, be inconspicuous, shoot quickly, and have easy operation of the camera. Right now for me that means leaving the slrs and dslrs at home and using “the trifecta”.
The LX5 is such a tiny camera that people, if they pay it any mind at all, don’t pay it much mind. Most assume I’m a tourist to the city and I’ve even had people make suggestions about worthwhile things to shoot. It takes some practice to get used to making the focus work for how I shoot but it does have a manual focus ability that allows me to apply a form of zone focusing. The X10 is the newcomer and I really have to say that I love shooting just about everything with it. For street photography it allows me to keep moving, raise the viewfinder to my eye, shoot and continue on. It lends itself to a type of flow that lets me get into a different type of zone. Finally the Holga 135bc is the stalwart workhorse. For ease of function it is the tops. Simplicity is the watchword and I love the images I’ve produced with it. I carry all three cameras in a small slingpack with a lenscloth, extra batteries, and spare cards/film. It’s blissfully minimal.
I shoot pretty much the same with all three. I’ve never ascribed personally to the idea that because I can shoot over a thousand images on a single SD card in an outing that I should. I shoot with digital the same as I shoot with film. I look for the moment and rely on experience and gut feeling working in concert to let me know when to take the shot. It doesn’t always work, but on the average successes outweigh failures.
Mostly this post is me getting in the proper frame of mind for my season of street photography. I plan to make it and portraiture a big part of the rest of the year.