“If I want to play my favorite song, I want to choose my favorite guitar,” says Fujifilm designer Masazumi Imai. “It’s the same with cameras. If I want to take a photograph of something important to me, I want to choose a special product.”

Photography has been around for close to 200 years and, despite the best efforts of innovative startups like Lytro, the basic idea behind a photograph hasn’t changed much. Cameras are a pretty mature technology — even our phones are capable of taking decent pictures nowadays. But that’s not to say that camera design is stagnant, or that the differences in philosophy can’t spark debate as passionate as the rivalry between fans of Fender and Gibson or Ferrari and Lamborghini. For those who treat photography as something more than recording simple snapshots, a favorite camera transcends gadgetry and becomes an extension of the body itself. “Cameras are capturing machines,” says Imai, “but they also express peoples’ minds.”