The Camera Doesn’t Matter Until It Does

In Cameras, Photography, Techniques, Words by Ben

Does my camera matter? No, the camera doesn’t matter. Well, not as much as it might. Photographers are paid either as camera operators or as artists. The vision is important, and the camera will only change how that vision presents itself. The more you practice, the better you get, and creating photographs is the best way to do so. Instead of thinking about the camera and sharpest lens, comparing reviews, hands-on previews and test charts, just pick up a popular new model (or a popular older model) and just shoot a lot. When the camera matters, you’ll know about it.

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But then sometimes it does matter. Why? Well here are a few reasons why you’d spend thousands on heavy camera gear that will almost certainly only depreciate economically when you could just take a helicopter tour of your city, for example.

  • There’s not ‘enough’ light, for example for music concert photography – you can buy a fast lens with an aperture of f1.4 or a camera that gives amazing results at high ISO sensitivities
  • You need to create enormous prints for billboards or for Fine Art photography – you can invest in a camera with better lenses and more (quality) megapixels such as the Pentax 645D, the Hasselblad H5D or even large format Ebony film cameras
  • You’re creating a beauty portrait – and therefore want to use a longer telephoto lens to compress perspective and give beautiful bokeh in the blurry background
  • You’re photographing a speedboat travelling at 75 knots – so you need a fast f2.8 zoom lens and quick camera to get sharp pictures
  • You like to collect and catalogue – and what better thing than cameras and lenses; subjective, lots of numbers to memorise and even some practical use!

Forget the camera until it matters; just take photos in the meantime.