If you’re not a photo-geek or tech-head, stop reading now.  It’s time to nerd out hardcore with some super camera pics and stats.  This is my wishlist of the top five cameras I’ve got to check out before I check out.  They’re in no particular order because, lets be honest, I want them all.

#1. Mamiya 7

source: moonpeak.org

source: moonpeak.org

This is a medium format rangefinder that’s so compact that you can shoot it handheld for street photography.  Besides that, the 6×7 negatives are produced with some of the most spectacularly sharp and vivid lenses known to man.  It’s so good that Ken Rockwell and others call it “the best camera in the world.”  Some say that the best camera is the one you have with you, others will do anything for the very best in image quality.  The Mamiya 7 combines the two.

#2. Yashica Electro 35

I admire early attempts at modern technology.  As beautiful as a smartphone is, I am more inspired by the two high-tech LEDs on the top plate of this compact rangefinder that indicate over- or underexposure.  Besides its retro charm, this little camera is equipped with a legendary 40mm F1.7 lens.  Combine that with a super quiet shutter and aperture priority AE and this is the perfect shooter for city walks, and also a great conversation starter!  I like it in black.

#3. Hasselblad XPAN

Some of the most spectacular nature and landscape photos I’ve ever seen have been produced my a Hasselblad XPAN panoramic camera.  It’s a 35mm film camera that shoots 24x65mm panoramas of incredible quality.  Besides that, it’s a near-pocket-sized rangefinder with Hasselblad glass and build quality.  When a camera this unique is produced by a manufacturer of this caliber, it’s an instant classic.  It would be perfect for landscape and mountain photography, and street photography of course.

#5. Any Pro DSLR

source: thenewcamera.com

source: thenewcamera.com

They really are all the same aren’t they?  I’ve looked at Sony, Canon, and Nikon DSLRs and there is so little difference in features that the competition begins to look silly.  They ought to just merge already.  Regardless of the lack of originality, I long to hear that playing-card-in-my-bicycle-spokes ten frames per second  as some fast sports action plays out in front of me.  Nothing makes you feel more legit than a brick-like DSLR body and a big white lens.

#5. Fujifilm X100s

This is the little camera that’s got pro photographers saying DSLR is dead.  It’s the coolest camera to come out in years and has started a revolution of fixed prime, retro style compacts with incredible image quality.  The hybrid rangefinder system is the most amazing rangefinder innovation since SLR and the ergonomics and controls are perfect for (you guessed it) street photography.  I like the black one cause that’s how I roll: under the radar.

Well there it is!  My top five of all time.  Ok, now that I’ve created my list I see that a pattern has emerged: I like black-bodied rangefinders and compacts with amazing image quality.  Some of these cameras are a little out of my price range but some are very attainable.  Hopefully someday I’ll get a chance to own, borrow, or shoot with each of these incredible tools.  For now I’ll have to just keep shooting on mom’s old Canon SLR which still does everything I need.

I do feel bad for omitting a few cameras that were either too big or too obvious so honourable mention goes to:

Leica M3

Leica M9

Contax G2

Fujifilm X PRO 1

Canon F1n

Hasselblad 500CM

Nikon D800

So was there ever or is there still a camera that you yearned for?  Tell me the story in the comments below?

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