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The Great Camera Challenge 2013

The Great Camera Challenge was a fun and thought-provoking project for 2013 that saw 12 nature photographers use a budget camera for a month each throughout the year.

We often get asked about camera specification and how much you should spend on equipment. There seems to be a perception that you can’t take a good picture without an expensive camera and that you’ll never take a bad picture if you spend a lot of money on equipment. We know equipment needs can change as your photography does, but we want to encourage people to get started without being daunted by the expense and to emphasise the importance of developing creativity and understanding good composition. We’ve always believed that the photographer is the most important part of the “kit”, so we thought we’d see what would happen if we bought a budget camera and let professional photographers loose on it!

We set ourselves the challenge of looking for a camera that would deliver a reasonable size of image and have some flexible features like zoom, macro etc., but that could be easily bought from a high street store for only £50 including delivery. We bought the Nikon L25 camera for only £39.99 including delivery and added a hard case for £4.75 and an SD card for £4.50. All for under our budget!

Each participating photographer was assigned a month in the year in which to use the camera before it was passed on to the next photographer. The challenge was to see what 12 talented professional photographers made of using a budget end camera across a range of subjects, conditions and styles. It wasn't about reviewing this particular camera model, rather it was an opportunity to see how entry-level equipment can perform and to see how much a good picture depends on technical specification and how much on “a good eye”.

It is said that if you want to get something done, ask a busy person. Well, all our 12 photographers are certainly busy people, so we were incredibly grateful to them all for demonstrating such enthusiasm for the idea. Taking up The Great Camera Challenge 2013 were:

January - Marcus Conway
February - Neil McIntyre
March - Allan Pollok-Morris
April - Peter Cairns
May - Niall Irvine
June - Ron McCombe
July - Andy Hall
August - Niall Benvie
September - Chris Townsend
October - Lorne Gill
November - Iain Sarjeant
December - Charlie Phillips

The photographers all took their images in Scotland but they were not limited to any specific subject. Each photographer submitted at least one image that is displayed here on the website along with a report. The images also formed a digital display on tour with the Scottish Nature Photography Awards exhibition in 2014.

To view images and thoughts from the photographers click here

View the technical specification of the Nikon L25 camera