Most photographers, especially the big-shot professionals, are very selective and even grandiose with their gear, but here's why having a casual and compact camera for everyday use is a great idea.
For most of our lives as photographers, we almost always are in pursuit of the best gear. Any reader of this site would know how much camera technology has been progressing this year more than any other. But why on earth would a professional photographer be seeking a small camera when everyone is going for the big guns?
The Actual "Need"
Ever since I started writing for Fstoppers about half a year ago, I've reviewed quite a number of cameras and related accessories. In order for our articles to be effective and worth your time, we always have to provide attractive visuals to keep your eyes entertained while you go through our babbling. For gear reviews, I always try and make it a point to take decent product photos of whatever I am reviewing, but I really usually don't feel like setting up my gear just for those. So, that's why I decided and convinced myself that purchasing a small camera would be reasonable. But of course, I didn't want to spend too much on such.
I wanted something that would fit my pocket but still take decent quality photos. Choosing between a Canon G7X series camera, a Fujifilm X100 variant, and a Sony RX100, I found that the latter best fit what I was looking for. It's small and could fit my pocket, has a decent electronic viewfinder, and has pretty good range. I chose the third generation variant since it was the first among the line that had an EVF and was therefore the cheapest.
The Added Benefit
As I got acquainted with the nice compact camera, I found myself bringing it anywhere and everywhere I went. Previously, the role of the everyday camera belonged to my smartphone, but I have to admit that I've always wanted something that could zoom in even just a bit without wasting good resolution.
Professionally, I am an architectural photographer. And like most photographers, I go through my bouts of self-doubt, which is why I have actively been seeking ways to improve my vision and shoot more creatively than I have done in the past. The fact that I live in a developing city gave me access to a pretty good collection of test subjects even as I go through my daily routine. This newfound habit actually bore fruit to two direct benefits. First is that I now relatively enjoy running even the most boring errands, and second is that I get to train my eyes to find potentially unique angles.
Just in Case
In the short period of time that I've had this camera in my pocket, I've also found it very handy for situations where I didn't expect to be shooting something significant, but actually was. I recently went on a trip with circumstances that really would not allow me to carry my gear. Given the kind of photography that I'm passionate about, that can be quite a painful experience. Having a small and casual camera in my pocket every time I found something interesting to photograph was absolutely a delight. Having been able to carefully choose the camera that deserved the throne that is my sweaty pocket, I was able to rest assured that the photos of my random finds were of decent quality, at least good enough for me to work with.
Photography as a Lifestyle
I probably don't speak for everyone who reads this, but I believe that I'm not the only one who would call photography a lifestyle over a hobby or a profession. I'm not one of those people who do those one-photo-per-day challenges, but I certainly am one who would always be on the look-out for something nice and unique to photograph. A few years back, I was one of those eager photographers who would bring their gear literally anywhere. Nowadays, I don't always have that energy. So, having a capable camera always within reach is a delight. Having it on hand allows me to capture any moment I would want to, though with relatively more limitations, and lets me train my eyes for future projects.