The Camera Matters.

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
howardroark
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Re: The Camera Matters.
In reply to skanter, 7 months ago

skanter wrote:

While the premise of the OP's post is somewhat dubious IMO - who really thinks the camera doesn't matter, and what does that mean, anyway? Of course it matters, without it there would be no photography. I think this thread has offered some interesting thoughts, however.

Exactly!  What does that even mean?  And yet some people say it as though they mean it literally and then in discussion you find out they really do mean that they think the camera must only exist in some form and that other than the fact that it exists and must be adjusted to take a picture it should basically be ignored.

I'm usually in the camp that says gear is overemphasized over talent, eye,  creativity, and hard work. But as was mentioned, the FIT is more important than quality of gear. For most people, the iphone is a better fit than a 5D3.

Gear certainly is overemphasized here on a gear site.  I'm not sure the posts around here are representative of what one feels about their art necessarily, but it is obvious that there are some people who only care about their gear and don't pay much attention to improving their artistic skills.

Besides specific situations, i.e. fast action sports, birding, huge prints, I think that most modern cameras and lenses are good enough for general photography. A good photographer will take good photos with most cameras, a bad one will take lousy photos with the same gear. The camera needs to fit the photographers skills, subjects and shooting style.

Exactly.  I've owned cameras and lenses that were miserable to use.  There were times that I didn't even want to try to get a shot because I knew chances were good I wouldn't get the shot and that likelihood was more depressing than not even trying.

I've owned many cameras over a period of 50 years. Luckily, the technology and my skills have increased at a similar rate, and accordingly most of my cameras and lenses have been good fits.

And despite your above average ability to adapt there are still certain things you prefer and that make the mechanical processes involved in photography more pleasant for you.  If you read much from iPhone shooters or self-professed artists you will see people who have either lost their perspective or never had it.  Those are the mindsets I was addressing.  If someone really does seem to believe the only important consideration is the photographer's talent and not the photographer's psyche and preferences when it comes to gear then I wanted to attempt to dispell that dubious way of thinking.

This type of discussion reminds me of the strong opinions some people have about JPEG and RAW files.  No, I don't want to get into it, but I want to make a point.  The argument that JPEG is really good, perfect for some situations, and has advantages and that those points make RAW meaningless is an equally self-centered approach to take.  The fact that RAW has different properties that give it advantages over JPEG files depending on what the photographer wants or how much and what type of post processing he plans on doing is important.  If one thing is good why is another thing therefore not good?  That's exactly the type of position some people take.  So JPEG works for you and is great and that means I'm not supposed to like or use RAW?  These are very self-centered, egocentric mindsets that don't help anyone.  Explaining differences, advantages and disadvantages, and reminding someone that other issues like composition and art still matter will allow people to use their own judgement about what is good for them.

Sam K., NYC

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