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By: Hoan K. Trinh

This question has been asked by a million people and it has been answered by roughly the same amount of people.   And you know, all of those answers are right!  All of them!  Why?  Because the answer depend on the circumstances of the person asking the question as there is no definite answer.  So who are the ones asking this “does your camera matter?” question.

1.If you are asking this question because you want to know if you should spend more of your hard earned dollars on the higher end camera for your vacation, the answer is: no, the camera doesn’t matter, your photo would be the same either way.  Just buy the camera that feel good in your hand and it’ll be just fine.

2.If your asking this question because you’re curious as to how those photos on the National Geographic were taken, then the answer is: no, the camera doesn’t matter, it is the photographer’s use of light that created the shot, not the camera.  People tend to get hang up on various specs for cameras and lenses and such but you have to remember that a camera captures light and not create light so it is the use of light that is ultimately being  capture.  Can a higher quality equipment capture more light?  Good questions, more on this in a bit.

3.If you’re a professional photographer looking for philosophical argument, then the answer is: yes, professional grade gears would make your life a heck of a lot easier.  Why?  Because professional grade equipment give you more options as to how can photograph a scene.  Let’s be honest, some scene don’t have a lot of option to began with and as a professional, you can’t just say “Well, that lighting stink, I’m not going to take any photo.”  Read more about what I mean by option below.

So in short, if given perfect lighting, no camera really take better photo than another.  In less than perfect lighting, then professional grade equipment would give the photographer more OPTION to compensate for such imperfections, but the photographer have to be the one doing the compensating.  More option does not mean better image quality or better lighting.  It just mean that the camera will give you more than one method of photographing a certain scene.   Sometimes professional grade equipment can create an image that is difficult if not impossible to create on a lesser camera, however, you cannot said that kind of image would be ideal for every scene.  And to answer the question left in the second scenarios, professional grade equipment can allow more light into the camera by either bumping the ISO sensitivity or opening up the aperture, which is why I said that professional grade equipment can certainly make your life a lot easier.  But there is a difference between the quantity and quality of light but that’s another story and perhaps another blog post.

That’s why I always find it funny when there is a new flagship camera from either Nikon or Canon or whoever else out there and they show you all these stunning images as samples.  What they don’t show you is the ridiculous lighting set up that they have behind every shot……whether it’s the 10 speedlights firing from all directions or having 20 assistants holding a million reflectors, or having all the make up artists that fill in all the shadows and what not on the model’s face before you even touch photoshop.  The point is those lighting set up is what make those images look stunning, not the camera.  With that kind of set up, even a camera phone would have create a pretty decent photo.

Here is a little game for you guys to play just to prove my point a little further.  These photos below are my favorites for one reason or another.  Tell me which one is your favorite and which one do you think have the most expensive set up in term of gears.  I bet the answer won’t be the same.  Two of these photos have the same exact set up gear wise, can anyone tell me which ones?  Which one have the cheapest set up?  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! You would be surprise 🙂









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