Welcome to our blog, where we dive into the age-old debate: does photography gear really matter? Photography has come a long way since its inception, and technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. With the vast array of cameras, lenses, and accessories available today, it’s easy to get caught up in the gear frenzy. However, many argue that it’s not the equipment that makes a great photograph, but rather the skill, creativity, and vision of the photographer behind the lens. In this blog, we will explore both sides of the argument, seeking to answer the eternal question: is gear the key to stunning photography, or is it all about the photographer’s talent?
Does Photography Gear Matter? 🤔 (What Do You Think?)
What is up people Dunna here! It is a beautiful Wednesday morning, and I actually mean that sincerely. Spring is finally coming around up here in Canada. I went for a walk this morning with my wife, and it was nice. Anyway, the last couple of videos that I made have been kind of based around photography gear. I got a new camera recently, so I’ve been really excited about all that stuff. I made a video about getting the new camera, I made a video about some accessories that I like for it, and then last week, I made a video that was all about the best lenses for that camera. And because of those videos, a lot of people have been asking me questions on Instagram DMs and on the comments of the videos about gear and stuff. We’ve been having a lot of really cool conversations. I love talking about that kind of stuff, all the tech that goes around it. But it has started to kind of bring up a couple of things about people and the way that they approach gear and how much does it really make a difference. So, I’m here today to talk about my personal opinion on the question: Does photography gear matter? And the short answer is yes… but no… let me explain.
Does Photography Gear Matter?
This is a bit of a loaded question because I think there are a lot of things that need to be considered, and so I want to break it down into a couple of parts. But before I get into that, I want to talk about when I was first starting getting into photography and videography, and I started watching Casey Neistat vlogs. And there was one thing that he said about gear that really stuck out to me. If you’ve ever heard anyone speak on this topic, you’ve probably heard the saying, “The best camera is the one you have on you.” And this is referring to the fact that most of us nowadays have a super-powerful camera right in our pocket that we literally carry around with us all the time.
But Casey kind of took that to the next level and described it as, “Always use the very best camera you have at your disposal.” So right now, I’m shooting this on my big camera. This is the best I have right now. But when I’m out running in the morning and I want to film my runs, the best I have is my cell phone. And I think this applies not only to physically being able to carry the camera, but in certain situations, it just makes sense to film with your phone because that’ll be easier. But I think it also applies to, let’s say, budget, for example. Not everybody can afford to buy a $6,000 Canon DSLR, and sometimes they already have the phone. Maybe it just makes sense to shoot with the phone because that’s literally all they have.
But the question of the day is not what the best camera is, does photography gear matter? The first point that I want to make on this and one of the reasons why I say yes, it does matter, is that there is actually a minimum amount of equipment that you need to shoot photos or videos. If you think about 10, 15 years ago, not everybody had a digital camera on them or had a nice camera that they could go out and shoot things with. So, we can kind of take that for granted nowadays because most of us have our phones on us, and they all have cameras in them. But generally, what you’re going to need is something to shoot with, something to edit with if you want to edit, and something to post with because generally, if you’re creating content, you’re going to want to put it somewhere. So, in that sense, I say yes, photography gear does matter because if you don’t have that, you can’t do anything. But that’s pretty base-level, I think pretty much everybody understands that part of it.
Does Having Better Photography Gear Make You a Better Photographer?
This is where it gets a little bit more complicated in my mind. I want you to imagine for a second being in a plane. Now, a plane technically is a piece of equipment that will allow you to fly. However, if you don’t have an understanding of the controls of the plane, do you think that you’re gonna get up off the ground? Probably not. That is a lot of buttons, a lot of knobs. If you don’t know what you’re doing with it, first of all, you’re probably not even going to be able to get the thing started by yourself. Second of all, if you do manage to get the thing moving, you’re not going to be able to get it up off the ground. And if you do get it up off the ground, you’re probably gonna crash it. And I think cameras are kind of the same, without the public danger. A camera technically allows you to take a photo or a video or whatever it happens to be. But if you don’t understand the principles and you don’t understand how to use that camera, then what good does it do?
I shoot on a Sony a6500. It’s a mirrorless camera, and I’ve done a lot of research on all the settings and that kind of stuff. But if you handed me a RED camera or any kind of film camera or anything like that, I would have no idea what I’m doing. I wouldn’t be able to shoot a video on it. Think about it like this. You generally understand how a car works, but when you hop in somebody else’s car and try to drive it, all the buttons and stuff are all in weird places, windshield wipers are in a different place, and you don’t know where the gear shift is, is it automatic, is it a standard? So even though you know how to drive a car, you might not know how to drive that specific car, you might not know all the controls of it, all the options it has. So, in that sense, as much as more expensive gear and gear with more options might actually give better quality, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be able to make a better product on it unless you actually know that gear really well. So again, gear does matter. It gives you more options, it gives you higher quality, that kind of stuff. But if you don’t understand how to use it, it’s not gonna do you any good.
The Importance of Understanding Photography and Videography
But the second point that I want to make is the complete opposite, reverse of that. Take someone who really understands photography and videography and lighting and all of those kinds of things based around these visual mediums, and hand them an iPhone, and they can make a feature-length film. A great example of this is the movie that just came out called “Unsane.” It was completely shot on an iPhone. That kind of blows my mind a little bit. Now, granted, on a technical level, if you’re looking at pixels, an iPhone is not going to shoot as nice as an Arri or a RED camera or whatever. But this is where the argument comes in when people say, “Stop worrying so much about gear. Your gear doesn’t matter.” Because if you truly understand what you’re shooting and that photography and videography are about the stories that you’re capturing and not necessarily about the quality of the image, you can still make great content with lower quality gear.
Now, again, I’m not a believer that gear doesn’t matter at all. I have seen the progression of even upgrading from my Sony a6000 to my Sony a6500 and how the quality has stepped up. I’m able to do more with it. But if you…
Frequently Asked Questions: Does Photography Gear Matter?
1. What is photography gear?
Photography gear refers to the equipment and tools used by photographers to capture images, such as cameras, lenses, tripods, filters, lighting equipment, and other accessories.
2. Does photography gear really make a difference?
Yes, photography gear does matter to some extent. High-quality cameras and lenses can produce sharper images, capture more details, and provide better low-light performance. However, gear is just a tool, and the skills and creativity of the photographer play a significant role in the final outcome.
3. Can I take good photos without expensive gear?
Absolutely! While expensive gear can enhance the technical aspects of photography, creativity, composition, and understanding of light are equally important. Many professional photographers have produced stunning images using entry-level cameras or even smartphones.
4. When should I invest in better photography gear?
If you are starting to feel limited by your current gear’s capabilities, such as low image quality, limited lens options, or inadequate performance in certain conditions, it might be time to consider upgrading. However, it’s crucial to prioritize learning and improving your skills before investing in expensive gear.
5. What factors should I consider when buying photography gear?
When purchasing photography gear, consider factors like image quality, versatility, durability, budget, and the specific genre of photography you are interested in. Research different models, read reviews, and seek advice from experienced photographers before making a decision.
6. Is it better to buy new or used photography gear?
Both options have their pros and cons. Buying new gear ensures you get the latest technology, warranty, and peace of mind. On the other hand, used gear can be significantly cheaper and might be a good starting point if you’re on a tight budget. Just ensure you thoroughly inspect and test used gear before purchasing.
7. How important is post-processing in photography?
Post-processing plays a crucial role in fine-tuning and enhancing images. While a good photograph straight out of the camera is ideal, post-processing allows photographers to adjust exposure, colors, contrast, and other elements to achieve the desired effect. It can significantly impact the final result, regardless of the gear used.
Remember, while photography gear can certainly make a difference in the technical aspects of capturing images, the photographer’s skill, creativity, and vision are fundamental to creating memorable photographs. Experiment, learn, and most importantly, enjoy the process!
I hope you find useful my article Does Photography Gear Matter? 🤔 (What Do You Think?), I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.
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