Are new/better cameras overrated?

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
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Trevor Carpenter
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Are new/better cameras overrated?
11 months ago

I’m fascinated by the frenzy that new camera models cause on these forums. Lots of people take better pictures than me and I have been assessing the reasons for that and I have produced the following list.

  1. They are better photographers, understand better than me and apply better than me.
  2. Light. Good pictures invariably mean good light. That doesn't mean bright sunshine , good light comes in many forms and once again the skill of the photographer in interpreting how to use that light is all important. What I do know is that UK Novembers are a downer.
  3. Good glass. Nearly every time I see a wow picture there is a high quality lens involved. As a bird photographer I am always impressed by the Oly 300 f2.8 pictures even when the camera mount isn’t a top of the range model. Some of those elephant sized Canon jobs produce incredible images but usually a high end Camera sits behind it and my envy is tempered because I am never going to carry one of those things around.
  4. PPing. The ability to do even simple PPing means that it is possible to improve a picture often way beyond what the next model of camera will do. Very skilful use of PP can sometimes improve a shot more than even any of the above.
  5. And then we come to the camera. I love those posts where the poster says “I’ve got my new camera and here’s some pictures”. How often do you see those shots and think “well that was a storm in a teacup, I can do much better than that with my existing kit”. I’m not saying that a ‘better’ camera (what is better?) won’t be an improvement but it’s down the list when it comes to actually taking better pictures.

As I see it people take better pictures than me because of points 1-4 and the difference can be significant. Sometimes but by no means all of the time people take better pictures because they have a new/better camera but rarely is the improvement on anything like the scale that 1-4 can achieve.  Have I got this right?

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