Why having the right camera equipment is important – or is it?
I’ve eaten at lots of good or great restaurants (I’ve eaten at some pretty ordinary ones too but that is a story for another day).
And not once has it occurred to me to think that the equipment in the Chef’s kitchen must be fantastic!
I appreciate the fact that it’s the chef or chefs that created this meal that I found so enjoyable.
From the start of the dish to sourcing and delivery of raw materials to preparation, the cooking and assembling the meal, dishing the meal onto a plate and finally the delivery to your table, it just happens.
But nowhere on this path do we even consider what equipment they are using.
We trust that their systems in place will deliver to us their creation.
They may well have used the latest pan or cooker or have a great point of sale tablet.
They might well have great knives, to die for ovens or the latest work stations.
We, as the consumer, don’t care as long as the food has got to us in the time expected and is good or even great.
Why then as a photographer, Do I often have people say “WOW! You must have a great (or expensive) camera” when they look at my work.
As if it was the equipment that made the images that are they impressed by.
The best camera is the one you have with you.
If you’ve only got one device with you that can take photos whether it’s a phone or a DSLR – then that’s what you’ve got – period.
You can take great images with pretty much anything provided you know how.
Having an expensive camera is not directly proportional to the quality of the image.
I’ve heard it said amongst winemakers that you can make bad wine from great fruit but you can’t make a great wine from poor fruit regardless of the shiny expensive equipment you might have in the winery.
But, you can make great wine from great fruit without having the latest, greatest and most expensive equipment.
Well the same applies to a camera if you have good technique, a good eye and skill then you can make great images with any camera.
Even Stock agencies now accept images taken by mobile phones such as the iPhone or Samsung S series.
The reality is that the vast majority of ‘photographers’, who don’t rely on their cameras for use in specific genres, a simple, usable and light camera is more than enough when you know how to use it.
You see, even with all the right kit it’s easy to take an average photo.
Here’s an example of 2 images I took on a polar bear trip.
The fuzzy out of focus badly composed image on the right was taken with a Canon 5D Mk 11 with a pro 100-400mm telephoto lens.
The one on the left was taken with a soon to be traded in HTC one XL smartphone.
On both I was in the right place at the right time and for the first one I had all the time in the world but still managed to stuff it up.
You can take great photos with anything you just need to know the limitations of the camera you have.
Let’s take smartphone cameras.
Smartphone cameras struggle to take images that will blur or freeze motion.
They are hopeless in low light unless you have a tripod (and even then, it depends on the brand). Despite smartphone manufacturers best efforts phone they still can’t get the same bokeh that a camera with a interchangeable lens can.
It’s physics after all. But eventually smartphones will be able to provide the flexibility and quality of larger cameras.
But a DSLR or Mirrorless camera , can do all these things but you can’t carry it in a pocket or small bag
So, you play to its strengths not it’s weakness.
Use a smartphone for still shots in good light that don’t need that bokeh effect and you’ll have as good as image as you can get based on your ability.
So, there you have it.
Hopefully that helps you realise that you don’t need the latest and greatest camera to take some really good images for your marketing
They are some of the benefits you can get with right equipment. But to reiterate the image is only as good as the person with who has their finger on the shutter button.
To use another analogy, are drivers of Mercedes, Rolls Royce or Porsche cars any better drivers than you or me (assuming you are not one of them)? I think not.
I would be interested in your opinion.
Do you agree?
Did this help you gain some confidence in what camera you have?
Post your comments below