The Camera Matters.

Started Sep 17, 2013 | Discussions
rickyred
Regular MemberPosts: 451Gear list
Like?
Re: The Camera Matters.
In reply to howardroark, Sep 18, 2013

I kept wanting to ask this question? How many of you are left handed? How does being a lefty affect the way you handle a camera? For me it really doesn't matter much. The biggest advantage for me would be having my l-hand free to adjust the camera controls.

 rickyred's gear list:rickyred's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Sigma 1.4x EX DG Tele Converter +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
georgemcbay
Junior MemberPosts: 41
Like?
Re: actually, it's the lens.
In reply to Richard Ettinger, Sep 18, 2013

Having just upgraded from a T1i to a 70D but having kept all the same lenses, sometimes the body matters quite a bit.  The autofocus system in the 70D is significantly better in every way than what I was used to with the T1i resulting in a situation where I can get shots (of non-posed people, animals, etc) with the 70D that I likely would have simply missed with the T1i.

Honestly it all matters -- the photographer, the body, the lenses, the subject, the light (which I would argue matters more than the body or the lenses).  Of course, if you give the best gear to a terrible photographer he or she will take terrible pictures with it, the photographer is the bottleneck factor.  But give a better camera body (in terms of better autofocus, better ergonomics, etc) or better lenses to a good photographer and you're likely to get better photos.  Give a shitty camera to a good photographer and you'll get much better photos than an average person would take with that camera, but they are probably not going to be as good as they would if the photographer had better gear (in some cases, technically better gear doesn't really make a difference, in some it does, it is completely dependent upon the artistic style of the photographer and the subject matter).

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
unknown member
(unknown member)
Like?
Re: actually, it's the lens.
In reply to georgemcbay, Sep 18, 2013

georgemcbay wrote:

Having just upgraded from a T1i to a 70D but having kept all the same lenses, sometimes the body matters quite a bit.  The autofocus system in the 70D is significantly better in every way than what I was used to with the T1i resulting in a situation where I can get shots (of non-posed people, animals, etc) with the 70D that I likely would have simply missed with the T1i.

Honestly it all matters -- the photographer, the body, the lenses, the subject, the light (which I would argue matters more than the body or the lenses).

Funny you should mention that.  I was talking with a friend the other day who was on vacation and happened to be at a cathedral looking around when he saw a man standing around with a camera doing nothing.  He was familiar with a local photographer that had taken photographs of other cathedrals in the area and went over to talk to the man with the camera.  Turned out he was the same photographer and my friend said he figured it was a professional or at least a real artist because he was the only one with a camera not taking pictures.  Why?  Because he was waiting for the right light.

Of course, if you give the best gear to a terrible photographer he or she will take terrible pictures with it, the photographer is the bottleneck factor.  But give a better camera body (in terms of better autofocus, better ergonomics, etc) or better lenses to a good photographer and you're likely to get better photos.  Give a shitty camera to a good photographer and you'll get much better photos than an average person would take with that camera, but they are probably not going to be as good as they would if the photographer had better gear (in some cases, technically better gear doesn't really make a difference, in some it does, it is completely dependent upon the artistic style of the photographer and the subject matter).

Perhaps the judgement of the photographer about how to approach a situation in order to produce a shot that matches his creative vision is the most important part.  Artistic talent, or having an "eye" for photography, is very important, but having the experience, knowledge, and skill to conceive of what you want and then finding/manipulating photographic equipment to achieve that is the intersection of talent, skill, experience, and equipment available to achieve one's goal.

 howardroark's gear list:howardroark's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Calliope
Senior MemberPosts: 1,072Gear list
Like?
Re: The Camera Matters.
In reply to howardroark, Sep 18, 2013

howardroark wrote:


I feel the same way about my 7D. It has become such an extension of myself that I almost dread upgrading. Maybe that's why it would take some really compelling features in a Mark II to convince me to spend the money. Not only am I very happy with the output, I'm also very happy with the overall experience of using it.

Could not agree more!

 Calliope's gear list:Calliope's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jonrobertp
Forum ProPosts: 11,257Gear list
Like?
Re: actually, it's the lens.
In reply to howardroark, Sep 18, 2013

And I can drive faster in a powerful sports car.  Yep , it's the car.  Then my limits come up.  Vs driving an old 4-banger sloshbox.

And I wish ppl would stop saying the lens will make all the difference.  'Cause it won't.  Just like new tires will make your car go faster.  duh.

My point ?   I agree w the OP...mostly.

 jonrobertp's gear list:jonrobertp's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V Canon PowerShot G1 X II Canon PowerShot G7 X Canon EOS 70D
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Erik Magnuson
Forum ProPosts: 12,103Gear list
Like?
Re: actually, it's the lens.
In reply to jonrobertp, Sep 18, 2013

jonrobertp wrote:

And I wish ppl would stop saying the lens will make all the difference.

Since no one said it will make all the difference your wish has come true.  Lenses can make a difference from significant (e.g. a holga lens) to imperceptible - just like the differences in cameras.

-- hide signature --

Erik

 Erik Magnuson's gear list:Erik Magnuson's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 450D Sigma SD10 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Nikon D3200 +28 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Erik Magnuson
Forum ProPosts: 12,103Gear list
Like?
Re: actually, it's the lens.
In reply to georgemcbay, Sep 18, 2013

georgemcbay wrote:

The autofocus system in the 70D is significantly better in every way than what I was used to with the T1i resulting in a situation where I can get shots (of non-posed people, animals, etc) with the 70D that I likely would have simply missed with the T1i.

And yet there are likely other shots you have that are indistinguishable between the two bodies.

(in some cases, technically better gear doesn't really make a difference, in some it does, it is completely dependent upon the artistic style of the photographer and the subject matter).

Better gear will usually make it easier to get specific shots that challenge capabilities of lesser gear.  That's why it only matters sometimes.

-- hide signature --

Erik

 Erik Magnuson's gear list:Erik Magnuson's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 450D Sigma SD10 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Nikon D3200 +28 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Erik Magnuson
Forum ProPosts: 12,103Gear list
Like?
It's about process and learning
In reply to howardroark, Sep 18, 2013

The main rationale for the oversimplification is that it's usually more effective for the photographer to upgrade themselves than to upgrade the gear.   All cameras will have limits - part of the process of mastering the craft is to explore those limits and then learn how to work around them.  It can be cheaper in the long run, because when you do upgrade, you know exactly why - as opposed to just spending money and hoping the problem will go away.  You also have the framework for finding and dealing with the new limits.

To digress a bit why are you a photographer in the first place?  A few are actual pros but many amateurs emulate the professional ethos of "have to get the shot."  What is "the shot" and why do you have to get it?

This is why many (even pros in their off-time) have embraced cell phone photography or even lomography.  Precisely because the gear is limited and you will never get "the shot", the pressure is off and the photographer feels free to explore, to experiment, or even to play.  You find there are often other shots.  Of course, you can experiment/play even with the fanciest gear - you just have to fight the feeling that if nothing comes out that the effort (and money spent on the gear) was wasted when you know there are "the shots" out there you could have been getting instead.

Anyway, just an alternate POV on the issue.

-- hide signature --

Erik

 Erik Magnuson's gear list:Erik Magnuson's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 450D Sigma SD10 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Nikon D3200 +28 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
georgemcbay
Junior MemberPosts: 41
Like?
Re: actually, it's the lens.
In reply to Erik Magnuson, Sep 18, 2013

Erik Magnuson wrote:

georgemcbay wrote:

The autofocus system in the 70D is significantly better in every way than what I was used to with the T1i resulting in a situation where I can get shots (of non-posed people, animals, etc) with the 70D that I likely would have simply missed with the T1i.

And yet there are likely other shots you have that are indistinguishable between the two bodies.

Yes this is true.  I'd even go further and say that most shots I have would be about the same between the T1i and the 70D.  But the shots where the faster autofocus matter differ a great deal between having a good shot (on the 70D) and no shot at all (with the T1i).

(in some cases, technically better gear doesn't really make a difference, in some it does, it is completely dependent upon the artistic style of the photographer and the subject matter).

Better gear will usually make it easier to get specific shots that challenge capabilities of lesser gear. That's why it only matters sometimes.

-- hide signature --

Erik

Again, agreed.  It only matters sometimes, but when it does matter it can sometimes be the difference between getting a shot or no shot.   Despite all the replies to this thread I think most people agree with the general premise that while better or shot-specific gear isn't everything and can be worked around to some degree with creativity, when you *do* need the better gear it is nice to have it.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
unknown member
(unknown member)
Like?
Re: It's about process and learning
In reply to Erik Magnuson, Sep 19, 2013

Erik Magnuson wrote:

The main rationale for the oversimplification is that it's usually more effective for the photographer to upgrade themselves than to upgrade the gear. All cameras will have limits - part of the process of mastering the craft is to explore those limits and then learn how to work around them. It can be cheaper in the long run, because when you do upgrade, you know exactly why - as opposed to just spending money and hoping the problem will go away. You also have the framework for finding and dealing with the new limits.

The statement is not only untrue but destructive. Some people may offer advice on a camera that fits someone's needs and then recommend methods for working on one's skills, but to just say that any old camera will do could lead to someone simply owning a digital camera they will never use.

My discussion was not about better gear or worse gear, it was about the right gear, and in that sense I don't think there is much room for disagreement.  There are reasons people choose the gear they choose.  If it makes you feel warm and cozy, imagine only those people who have great talent and the fact that they are very deliberate in their choice of equipment.  Having the right gear in no way detracts from their skill, in fact it compliments it and allows them to fully realize it.  So now instead of "the camera doesn't matter" perhaps it would be more accurate to say "the right camera is the only one that matters."

To digress a bit why are you a photographer in the first place? A few are actual pros but many amateurs emulate the professional ethos of "have to get the shot." What is "the shot" and why do you have to get it?

The same reason you climb the mountain: because it's there. Because that is what I want to do. It is both the beginning and the end, the need and the want, inspiration and creation.

This is why many (even pros in their off-time) have embraced cell phone photography or even lomography. Precisely because the gear is limited and you will never get "the shot", the pressure is off and the photographer feels free to explore, to experiment, or even to play. You find there are often other shots. Of course, you can experiment/play even with the fanciest gear - you just have to fight the feeling that if nothing comes out that the effort (and money spent on the gear) was wasted when you know there are "the shots" out there you could have been getting instead.

Anyway, just an alternate POV on the issue.

-- hide signature --

Erik

 howardroark's gear list:howardroark's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
unknown member
(unknown member)
Like?
Re: actually, it's the lens.
In reply to georgemcbay, Sep 19, 2013

georgemcbay wrote:

Erik Magnuson wrote:

georgemcbay wrote:

The autofocus system in the 70D is significantly better in every way than what I was used to with the T1i resulting in a situation where I can get shots (of non-posed people, animals, etc) with the 70D that I likely would have simply missed with the T1i.

And yet there are likely other shots you have that are indistinguishable between the two bodies.

Yes this is true. I'd even go further and say that most shots I have would be about the same between the T1i and the 70D. But the shots where the faster autofocus matter differ a great deal between having a good shot (on the 70D) and no shot at all (with the T1i).

(in some cases, technically better gear doesn't really make a difference, in some it does, it is completely dependent upon the artistic style of the photographer and the subject matter).

Better gear will usually make it easier to get specific shots that challenge capabilities of lesser gear. That's why it only matters sometimes.

-- hide signature --

Erik

Again, agreed. It only matters sometimes, but when it does matter it can sometimes be the difference between getting a shot or no shot. Despite all the replies to this thread I think most people agree with the general premise that while better or shot-specific gear isn't everything and can be worked around to some degree with creativity, when you *do* need the better gear it is nice to have it.

The camera always matters.  Here's a quick test to prove my hypothesis.  Go out and compose the perfect image, set up your camera on your tripod, and just before you press the shutter release button I kick you camera over onto the ground smashing it into a thousand pieces.  Now here's the test:  take a picture.  You can't?  I guess the camera was kinda important.  I hope you can paint because that's your only option now because I'm going to smash every camera you bring out here.

Anyway, if a camera doesn't fit the photographer then it won't simply matter or not matter, it will stifle creativity or put a stop to it altogether.

 howardroark's gear list:howardroark's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Pritzl
Contributing MemberPosts: 740Gear list
Like?
Re: actually, it's the lens.
In reply to howardroark, Sep 19, 2013

I think that's taking it too far in the other direction. A better camera, at least with regard to the intended application, reduces the obstacles to getting the shot.

Let's take a concrete example: swivel screens. They may not be everyone's cup of tea but after shooting without one for 4 years it tops my wish list. Does this mean there are shots I can't get because I don't have one on my T1i? Probably not... but, lowering the barrier to getting those odd angle shots will encourage me to a) take more of them; and b) focus more on the shot itself rather than how to solve the problem of not having a swivel screen. The end result is possibly more and better shots of that type.

Which brings up an important point. "Better" is now a function of the photographer's intentions.

I have always maintained that the ideal camera is one that gets out of the photographer's way as much as possible allowing one to focus on the art rather than overcoming constraints. Since such a perfect camera does not exist, we all can benefit from using cameras that remove/reduce most of the constraints we personally care about..

 Pritzl's gear list:Pritzl's gear list
Fujifilm X10 Canon EOS 70D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 DX II Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
skanter
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,822Gear list
Like?
Re: The Camera Matters.
In reply to howardroark, Sep 19, 2013

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.

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.

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.

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.

-- hide signature --

Sam K., NYC

 skanter's gear list:skanter's gear list
Canon EOS 60D Canon EOS 70D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM +6 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Erik Magnuson
Forum ProPosts: 12,103Gear list
Like?
Absurdism
In reply to howardroark, Sep 19, 2013

howardroark wrote:

The camera always matters. Here's a quick test to prove my hypothesis. Go out and compose the perfect image, set up your camera on your tripod, and just before you press the shutter release button I kick you camera over onto the ground smashing it into a thousand pieces.

Now in the same scenario, instead of smashing the camera, replace the 70d camera with a 60d camera.  Does which camera matter in this scenario?  If not, how can you says "always"?

We already know that the camera can make zero to infinite difference.  Comparing to no camera or comparing a QVGA CMOS fixed focus cheapie (320x240 w/no controls except the shutter) to a PhaseOne P80 is not very interesting to any photographer. So why waste our time with the obvious answers?

-- hide signature --

Erik

 Erik Magnuson's gear list:Erik Magnuson's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 450D Sigma SD10 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Nikon D3200 +28 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Erik Magnuson
Forum ProPosts: 12,103Gear list
Like?
Re: It's about process and learning
In reply to howardroark, Sep 19, 2013

howardroark wrote:

The statement is not only untrue but destructive.

It's how photography has been taught for decades, so your claims of destructive are patently absurd.

Some people may offer advice on a camera that fits someone's needs and then recommend methods for working on one's skills, but to just say that any old camera will do could lead to someone simply owning a digital camera they will never use.

Any reasonable camera can be used to learn about composition, light, and the joy of photography.

My discussion was not about better gear or worse gear, it was about the right gear,

Right for what purpose is the question.  Some purposes may require specific features but there is a lot of photography that doesn't require much at all other than a lens (or pinhole) and a medium to record light.

So now instead of "the camera doesn't matter" perhaps it would be more accurate to say "the right camera is the only one that matters."

There is no "right" or perfect camera.  There is only not good enough, good enough, and better.

The same reason you climb the mountain: because it's there. Because that is what I want to do. It is both the beginning and the end, the need and the want, inspiration and creation.

And you are unable to be inspired and to create unless you have a camera with specific features?  How sad.

-- hide signature --

Erik

 Erik Magnuson's gear list:Erik Magnuson's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 450D Sigma SD10 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Nikon D3200 +28 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
unknown member
(unknown member)
Like?
Re: Absurdism
In reply to Erik Magnuson, Sep 19, 2013

Erik Magnuson wrote:

howardroark wrote:

The camera always matters. Here's a quick test to prove my hypothesis. Go out and compose the perfect image, set up your camera on your tripod, and just before you press the shutter release button I kick you camera over onto the ground smashing it into a thousand pieces.

Now in the same scenario, instead of smashing the camera, replace the 70d camera with a 60d camera. Does which camera matter in this scenario? If not, how can you says "always"?

If the photographer has the same needs fulfilled then the change may not matter. If the photographer has some issue with the camera that makes it unpleasant to use, less likely to be taken along, or does not have a feature that makes the shot possible then suddenly that camera has become a hindrance rather than help.

Now take that same scenario and replace the camera with one that the photographer hates to use for whatever reason, and not one that is based on laziness or lack of desire to improve one's skill. Possibly even simple preference, but more likely some nagging glitch or annoying aspect of the design.

We already know that the camera can make zero to infinite difference. Comparing to no camera or comparing a QVGA CMOS fixed focus cheapie (320x240 w/no controls except the shutter) to a PhaseOne P80 is not very interesting to any photographer. So why waste our time with the obvious answers?

No, I'm sorry. Zero difference is not an option. You're talking about changing cameras. I'm talking about a camera that is right for the photographer. I'm not making the comparison that you are proposing. Continue arguing your position as long as you desire, but further attempts to obfuscate the issue to continue a non-argument will result in you talking to yourself for a long, long time. The absurdism in my last post is exactly the same absurdism you are using, which is why I used it as an example. If you think any camera is fine, then no camera is too.  Often times the effect is the same.

-- hide signature --

Erik

 howardroark's gear list:howardroark's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
unknown member
(unknown member)
Like?
Re: actually, it's the lens.
In reply to Pritzl, Sep 19, 2013

Pritzl wrote:

I think that's taking it too far in the other direction. A better camera, at least with regard to the intended application, reduces the obstacles to getting the shot.

Let's take a concrete example: swivel screens. They may not be everyone's cup of tea but after shooting without one for 4 years it tops my wish list. Does this mean there are shots I can't get because I don't have one on my T1i? Probably not... but, lowering the barrier to getting those odd angle shots will encourage me to a) take more of them; and b) focus more on the shot itself rather than how to solve the problem of not having a swivel screen. The end result is possibly more and better shots of that type.

Which brings up an important point. "Better" is now a function of the photographer's intentions.

I have always maintained that the ideal camera is one that gets out of the photographer's way as much as possible allowing one to focus on the art rather than overcoming constraints. Since such a perfect camera does not exist, we all can benefit from using cameras that remove/reduce most of the constraints we personally care about..

Agreed.  That's part of my point.

 howardroark's gear list:howardroark's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
unknown member
(unknown member)
Like?
Sad indeed.
In reply to Erik Magnuson, Sep 19, 2013

Erik Magnuson wrote:

howardroark wrote:

The statement is not only untrue but destructive.

It's how photography has been taught for decades, so your claims of destructive are patently absurd.

Technique and composition may not require a lot of discussion about the specific equipment because those are the focus of the learning at that point.  At some point figuring out what camera to use does come in to play.  The fact that people keep taking pictures does not prove or imply in any way that a destructive attitude from certain teachers or experts is useful or that it would lead to the end of the artform.  People would simply find someone who could be more constructive or strike out on their own.  One thing about photographers is they are typically fiercly independent.

Some people may offer advice on a camera that fits someone's needs and then recommend methods for working on one's skills, but to just say that any old camera will do could lead to someone simply owning a digital camera they will never use.

Any reasonable camera can be used to learn about composition, light, and the joy of photography.

Learning concepts and making daily use on a personal and unguided basis are two different things.  I learned on a manual film camera and it was very useful later in my photographic advancement.  I won't pretend that that's the only path to follow.

My discussion was not about better gear or worse gear, it was about the right gear,

Right for what purpose is the question.  Some purposes may require specific features but there is a lot of photography that doesn't require much at all other than a lens (or pinhole) and a medium to record light.

And that's the kind of argument that I was trying to discuss.  Those two extremes don't have any meaningful use to most people, great artists or amateurs.  The fact that those two extremes exist don't disprove the importance, the subtlties, or the human factors that go into choosing and using a particular piece of equipment.  In fact, those extremes prove the importance of everything in the middle:  the purpose and the person and their vision determine what is REQUIRED to get their shot.  Not desired, required.

So now instead of "the camera doesn't matter" perhaps it would be more accurate to say "the right camera is the only one that matters."

There is no "right" or perfect camera.  There is only not good enough, good enough, and better.

The lack of perfection also does not prove the lack of the best camera to match what the photographer needs, wants, or would be most useful in promoting their continued education or artistic production.  You've stated exactly my point...there is such a thing as a better camera, which means the camera itself does have meaning that can not be discounted based on the existence of other meaningful factors.  We don't have to split up 100% between different variables.  It's not camera 50% and composition 50% or some variation.  It is camera 100% and composition 100%.  If you don't care about one then the other doesn't matter.  If you'd read what my post you'd see that I state people with expertise in equipment may be less affected by camera choice because they can adapt their style or they can adapt to the camera itself very quickly, but they still have to work within those confines.  Others may be more easily affected by the idiosyncracies of their equipment through their own psychological leanings or lack of expertise, and that can lead to the camera staying at home and learning coming to a screatching halt.  Maybe learning wouldn't even be coming to an end but simply the pursuit of photography in certain circustances.  For example, if someone's passion was street photography but every time they pointed their EF 600mm attached to a 1D X at someone standing twenty feet away the candid scene was ruined then perhaps they'd quit even trying.  Other much more subtle examples of that exist.

The same reason you climb the mountain: because it's there. Because that is what I want to do. It is both the beginning and the end, the need and the want, inspiration and creation.

And you are unable to be inspired and to create unless you have a camera with specific features?  How sad.

You are intentionally being argumentative and attempting to illicit an emotional reaction in order to continue a pointless line of conversation.  This is why you are on my ignore list and I won't bother reading anything else you have to say.  I've attempted a civil discussion and you aren't capable of that.  How sad.

-- hide signature --

Erik

 howardroark's gear list:howardroark's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
unknown member
(unknown member)
Like?
Re: The Camera Matters.
In reply to skanter, Sep 19, 2013

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

 howardroark's gear list:howardroark's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Erik Magnuson
Forum ProPosts: 12,103Gear list
Like?
Re: Absurdism
In reply to howardroark, Sep 19, 2013

howardroark wrote:

If the photographer has the same needs fulfilled then the change may not matter.

Bingo.

If the photographer has some issue with the camera that makes it unpleasant to use, less likely to be taken along, or does not have a feature that makes the shot possible then suddenly that camera has become a hindrance rather than help.

"Hindrance rather than help" or limiting factor for some photography is a much better way to express the issue.

BTW, again notice the term "the shot".  There is always more potential for photography than just than just "the shot."

No, I'm sorry. Zero difference is not an option. You're talking about changing cameras. I'm talking about a camera that is right for the photographer.

Since most photographers already have a camera, it's the difference of changing cameras that is the issue.

The absurdism in my last post is exactly the same absurdism you are using, which is why I used it as an example.

Exactly: absurd examples (changing almost everything or changing almost nothing) are just specious rhetoric.  We need to move beyond that and define how the camera may or may not make a difference.

If you think any camera is fine, then no camera is too. Often times the effect is the same.

If you don't have a camera at all, then you are not actively doing photography.  I can and have done photography with nothing more than an oatmeal can and a sheet of photosensitive paper - it's a lot better than no camera.  You should try letting go of the gear obsession sometime.

-- hide signature --

Erik

 Erik Magnuson's gear list:Erik Magnuson's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 450D Sigma SD10 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Nikon D3200 +28 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads