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Despite the fact that most (if not all) of the most sophisticated and nostalgic of cameras used by famous photographers are more often than not obsolete, there's plenty of upgraded versions and more suitable renditions made for the modern age. They might not be anything like the originals, but they definitely add enhanced looks and better qualities to your photos overall. Plus, it's not just about the photo's end product, because you want to get a camera (especially if you're buying your first camera) that will be operational for a long period of time.
That's not to say that all of the following cameras used by famous photographers are not the same ones used by them, though. Some (and I should stress the word some) are still available today. It's a matter of looking in the right place, but it's also how you want your photos to turn out in the long run. The reason some photographers use outdated equipment, such as the Rolleiflex TLR, is simply because they work better in the long run.
FM2 SLR Focus Film Camera by Nikon
You'd be surprised by how many people use and have used the FM2, since it's not all that special in terms of upgraded systems, lightning speed processing, or even rich contrasts, like most of the modern digital cameras. However, something none of these do have is a bit of nostalgia and an award winning photographer behind their helm.
That's why the Nikon FM2 is among the best cameras used by famous photographers because it's a simple and easy to use device that captures extraordinary photos that look professional every time. It utilizes a SLR manual focus, which gives you a lot more creative freedom to work with your shots, and is reason enough as to why some of the most talented photographers still use it today.
D-Lux (Type 109) Megapixel Digital Camera by Leica
Leica is a well-known camera designer and manufacturer, as both their Leica II and Leica III additions are favored cameras used by famous photographers. One of these individuals was Alfred Eisenstaedt, whose utilization of the Leica III amid the end of the second World War envisioned a place of turmoil and degradation.
As such, their D-Lux is still used by many in the industry today, calling to its superb handling, crystal clear imaging, and the perfect ability to capture a landscape as in some majestic aura unknown to the human eye. You won't need a 50mm lens or any useful camera accessories under $50, since Leica has it all standard.
X-T2 Mirrorless Digital Camera by Fujifilm
Mirrorless cameras are a thing of wonder when used correctly, which sadly is not the case unless you're discussing the best cameras used by famous photographers, because they definitely know what they're doing. As such, the mirrorless X-T2 by Fujifilm makes a fine addition on this list, for the superior style and overall tech it features make it a steal, even though it's over $1,500.
On top of these amazing features, the X-T2 also has a myriad of components, such as the OLED viewfinder, which allows you to check photos as if they were literally in hand and printed, plus the camera also comes stock with a 3-way tilting LCD screen, simplifying all of your hard work.
T5I EOS Rebel DSLR Camera by Canon
BBC's Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Steve Winter, utilizes the Canon Rebel T5I with somewhat of a masterful tactician and imagination. He's keen on having the best lighting and composure in his photographs, for which the Rebel line has been doing for years.
Another reason Canon's T5I is among the most memorable cameras used by famous photographers is its supreme durability. It can take all kinds of damage, whether it be from heightened inclement weather, or even direct damage to the body. Winter has been using his Rebel for years, and he says:
"These cameras have worked flawlessly throughout the most brutal conditions, from minus 50 [degrees Fahrenheit] in the Himalaya to 120 degrees in India. How they continue to function in these extreme conditions never ceases to amaze me!"
D5 DSLR Camera by Nikon
Unfortunately, the D4 (among the most talented cameras used by famous photographers) is obsolete, but there's the upgraded version that brings everything and more to the table, specifically more of those much needed DSLR components.
In addition, the D5 made by Nikon also carries dual XQD slots, which makes saving memory and uploading photos that much easier. You can also expect a 5-image processor, a touchscreen LCD monitor, and a FX-format CMOS sensor, which all only adds to your photographic creativity.
D850 DSLR Camera by Nikon
While National Geographic's Jim Richardson may have (and still does) use a D800E, unfortunately that camera is unavailable and most likely a tad bit outdated, but luckily there's no difference when it comes to the Nikon D850.
Richardson's choice for the 800E was, of course, due to its exceptional image quality. This and much more are available on the D850, which comes with a variety of extras and more sophisticated features. Add to that the fact that it's a DSLR camera, it's no question that Nikon's D850 belongs among the best cameras used by famous photographers.
Alpha A99 II DSLR Camera by Sony
It's not especially preferred by most, since Sony isn't exactly the first company you think of when discussing cameras used by famous photographers, but that's why Mike Yamashita likes the Alpha A99.
Mike's work with National Geographic is proof alone that the A99 is one of the best format cameras and will definitely allow you to become one of the best landscape photographers on Instagram. His thoughts:
"The translucent mirror allows continuous viewing even while shooting last motor-drive sequences."
45DX Field Camera by Wista
You may not readily know the name, but those among the photography world will surely have heard of Erika Larsen. She's keen on utilizing this 4x5 field camera made by Wista. It's obviously nowhere close to contemporary amazement, but it's still among classic cameras used by famous photographers.
It's more of a choice made by street photographers or even a portrait photographer, but there's a wide range of ways one can use the Wista. It's an aesthetic used by a select few, in that this field camera is mostly used in focusing and reversals, since its photos come out rather blended and transfixed. Apart from the fact that it's a heavy and cumbersome piece of equipment to lug around, it's still a valued piece of tech in the photographic world.
D3400 DSLR Camera by Nikon
You can't go wrong with a Nikon, everyone knows this, that's why they have the most cameras used by famous photographers. Similar to the D800E, Nikon's D3400 is a step up from its predecessor, which is the better camera, but that's nothing to fret over. The all new and improved D3400 is not only a superb choice over its older brother, it's also highly versatile for practically any occasion. There's also a great many features on the D3400 that the former had seriously been lacking.
Carsten Peter is a huge advocate of the Nikon D4; his work all around the world is enough proof it's among the most durable cameras used by famous photographers. As for the D3400, these same vast components that made the D4 so beloved is simply made better with various upgrades, like the image processor, for one.
EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Camera by Canon
Used by Amy Toesing to take her fan-favorited full-frame shots all over the world, Canon's EOS 5D is superb, especially since it's a DSLR camera. It's best when used for street photography, kind of like the Leica M3, in that similarly-taken hard grained finishes are what you expect with some of the best cameras used by famous photographers.
Amy's Canon 5D sees a lot of use in a multitude of ways, but most of all she believes the camera is best for comfort and discreet photography. She says:
"The camera fits very well in my hands, and when you're trying to do intimate work, it's pretty low profile. Even though it's not the fastest camera, the files are gorgeous. What good is having the biggest, fastest, highest megapixel camera if you're not able to gain the trust of your subjects?"