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Better camera = better pictures?

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by sjt269, 13 May 2006.

  1. sjt269

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Dec 2004

    Posts: 1,991

    Stupid newbie question, but bear with me...

    The majority of photos posted in this forum are done with fancy dSLRs and fancy lenses (I say 'fancy' because I have no idea what any of them actually do), and the majority of photos are really good. So I'm just wondering, how much of this is down to the camera, and how much is down to the photographer? And before I forget, how much of it is down to photoshop-type processing done after the pic is uploaded onto a computer? :confused:

    Obviously I'm not suggesting that buying the most expensive camera will turn an awful photographer into an award winning professional, I'm wondering what people think. And why is a dSLR better than an average camera (by 'average' I mean one that doesn't have interchangeable lenses etc)?

    I feel kinda stupid for having to ask this, but I'm totally confused by most of the jargon used in this bit of the forum, and I suppose I'd better make an effort to understand it all rather than sit here with a puzzled look on my face...all I can do is point and click, and if I'm lucky, I'll get a few good shots. A fancy camera would be a good investment for me, but it's not going to happen for a very long time. ;)

    This is a slightly confused post, reading back on it, but hopefully someone will understand what I'm trying to say. :o

  2. Zheka

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jul 2004

    Posts: 2,206

    Location: UK, West Sussex

  3. sjt269

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Dec 2004

    Posts: 1,991

    But then if your gear has no impact on the pictures you take, why bother buying expensive cameras and lenses? Seems a bit of a circular arguement to me. :o
  4. JBuk


    Joined: 28 Nov 2002

    Posts: 11,021

    Location: Cumbria

    to me a good photo has to be interesting and have some impact. This is all down to the photographer
    expensive gear will help in some aspects , ie better image quality, easier to use, built better, etc etc , but its not going to do any good if the person behind the lens is taking shots that dont appeal
  5. cyKey


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 9,814

    Location: Nr. Liverpewl

    Better gear = a better chance of the photographer creating a good image. That's why we buy more expensive lenses. Sharper images, higher quality for printing, better detail. As for Photoshop, well that's the old more weapons in your arsenal thing. Photoshop is mainly used to take a good photograph and make it better.

    My Canon 10D DSLR broke a few months back and I was left with my Canon A70, Sony Erricson K750i Camera Phone and my Canon EOS50 film SLR. It snowed like it hasn't snowed in years and I was annoyed that I didn't have my DSLR. In the end I decided I didn't need it and went out to Wales with my Canon A70, EOS50 and K750i. I took the following on my K570i and tweaked it with Photoshop to clean up the noise.


    It would be better with a DSLR. The image quality would be better, sharper and it would allow me to print it at A2.

    I also took my A70 to a gig in the hope that I could still pull something off.


    Knowing what my A70 could do I was able to get some good shots and I was able to enhance them in Photoshop by removing a lot of the noise.

    What this proved to me was that in the 2 years of owning a DSLR I'm the one thats learned things and I make the difference, not my equipment. My equipment just makes things easier, sharper, cleaner. It makes it easier to translate concepts to prints.
    Last edited: 13 May 2006
  6. Joe T


    Joined: 1 Apr 2003

    Posts: 11,626

    Location: Northampton

    With my motorsport shots:

    - a long lens = better

    - a faster focusing lens = better

    - better AF in camera = better

    - a sharper lens = better

    However, there is also a decent amount of skill required for motorsport shots.
  7. lukechad


    Joined: 25 May 2004

    Posts: 8,925

    Location: Burton-On-Trent

    Some were very suprised to learn that some pics I posted here came from a compact camera, all I did edit wise was resize and crop. Having the right equipment is nice but lower spec cameras as just as capable of producing good shots.
  8. Cybermyk


    Joined: 31 May 2005

    Posts: 6,850

    Location: Peoples Republik of Teesside

    I agree with the others, better gear helps but the subject is the most important thing.

    This is one of my first digital camera pictures on a fuji mx1200 (1.3mp)


    I love this picture (my middle kid) and I've no doubt that it would have looked even better with a better camera but it's still a good picture (to me anyway :p ).
  9. xolotl

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 9 Nov 2004

    Posts: 2,141


    A good photographer can take good pictures a with a bad camera. Having a better camera just makes taking good pictures easier.
  10. SDK^


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 18,910

    A skilled photographer will know how to get the best of the equipment.
    Give a novice a Canon 1DMKIIn, a 400mm lens, send them off to photograph bikes and they will more than likely come back with some pretty rubbish photos.

    Give a Pro the same gear and they will take some awesome photos.
  11. mctiny


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,067

    Location: cidade maravilhosa

    It`s funny you mention about giving a Pro the same gear as anyone else as on the bbc program "A Digital picture of britain" (aired last year) thats exactly what they did, they had a Camera Phone, Digital Compact and a Full D-SLR, they then gave one to each of the 3 pro's they had and gave them all the same subject/topic and the results were pretty good.

    It seemed that after a while the ones using the Camera phone or Copact would try of things/types of shots to compensate for the lack of "features", over all a very interesting experiment is was. Also gave me some Ideas of how to manipulate ideas (in magazines) that are aimed at the high-end D-SLR'sd out there to use them on my Canon powershot S2 ( an inbetweener).
  12. SDK^


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 18,910

    Yeah I have been watching those programmes.

    One guy was quite annoying, he was coming from a film camera & workflow and kept moaning about a slow shutter response, batteries running out and little control over settings.
    He was only using a basic digi cam and the way he was describing his experience it was like all digi cams were like it :rolleyes:

    I kept thinking – quit moaning and just get on with the job of taking photos
  13. sjt269

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Dec 2004

    Posts: 1,991

    So having better quality gear simply (I presume) educates you more about how cameras work, and allows you to take more adventurous pictures? More adventurous, and of course better quality. :o
  14. SCM


    Joined: 20 Jan 2004

    Posts: 672

    Location: Fife, Scotland/Hell

    You can still end up with bad quality pictures with a good camera as you can with a point and shoot cheap digital camera. I got my 20D in September last year and i am still learning the camera, shooting techniques and composition, will be learning everytime i use the camera as well.

    The one thing about a DSLR is if you are willing to put the work in to learn it properly, know what it can do, the settings and how to get the best out of the lens on the day you will see good results. If you don't put this work in you would be as well just buying and using a digital point and shoot.

    I have seen the improvement in my photos from the early days with the camera from composition, impact of photo, sharpness and from learning how to improve it on the computer. It just takes time and i learn something new each time i use the camera.

  15. Johnny|lucidcomposure


    Joined: 5 Nov 2004

    Posts: 9,303

    Hense the saying. A fool will blame his tools. Batteries run out on mobile phones but I bet he still uses one of them!