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Jeff Lee

3 Years Ago

Love The One You're With....

Your equipment/tools that is. How many times have you said "If I just had this......I could paint better, I could image better"? One of things that were missing on this site as a community is the sharing of how we do what we do, from techniques to uses of specific tools.

I will admit to at times being more of an equipment collector than a photographer/digital artist. Faster computers, better camera, newer lenses but I learned a truth. My photography doesn't really get better with new equipment, it gets better when I know the equipment I have. I have an old Nikon D200 that when I use it is like an extension of me. Yes, it does have some limitations but they don't apply to 95% of things I image, but know the controls and how to use them without thinking is used for every image I take. Do I have newer cameras - yes, but I'm still not at the "oneness" level with them. On average my cameras have had 60K images on them when I've sold them after about 4 years of use (the D200 is an exception as I can't seem to part with it).

My point is that it doesn't matter (especially today) what camera you are using, the way to improve your photography is not by buying something but using what you have until your skills exceed the capabilities of your equipment. A friend once said "you can't buy game" and in art of any type I think that is exceptionally true. The other day I did a test of a $1200 lens and a $400 dollar lens. In still photography for specific images the expensive was better but only at large scale or large F stop images. What really surprised me was that for video the less expensive lens (a 18-250 super zoom) was just as good for in camera video. So the point is, if you know your kit lens well it will produce for you. Things like photo merging for Pano shots means you can use the 17/18mm of your normal kit lens to get a type of wide angle image, that is if you learn how to shoot multiple images and then combine them (and even the "consumer" type of imaging programs can do that well now). You don't need to spend $1000 on a wide angle lens for landscapes if you know and work within the limitations of your equipment.

Share your intimate knowledge of the equipment you use in this thread to help others focus on creativity and not falling to the fallacy of "if only I had" - help them love the one their with:)

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Jane McIlroy

3 Years Ago

While it's true up to a point to say that it doesn't matter what camera you are using, there's also the old saying, "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear". It's always easier if you have the right tools for a job, although the right tools aren't necessarily the most expensive.

If that sounds like me trying to justify the new camera I've just bought, it probably is! ;-)


Roy Erickson

3 Years Ago

You see, the real problem is you equipment KNOWS you disdain it and want new - so you aren't getting good shots! It's like your car - you think it doesn't know when you take it to the mechanic and there it works like a charm - until you get it back home.


Jane McIlroy

3 Years Ago

Maybe I should talk to my camera more, to make sure it feels loved...


Jeff Lee

3 Years Ago

My problem is that it takes me a long time to decided on what I want/need and during the evaluation process my creativity and desire to create has a stroke. I find buying new equipment is the part of photography I hate the most.


My current camera is an 8-year-old, 5mp, Canon superzoom. (Well . . . "super" in it's day.)

We no longer love each other -- at all.

Better hardware won't make you a better artist, but it will help you capture a cleaner, sharper image, and a larger file. I long for these modern-day luxuries! ;-)


Cynthia Decker

3 Years Ago

I recently upgraded my motherboard and processor and I love it so much I'd take it to bed and show it a good time if I could. My old components lie forgotten in a box in the garage, it's like they never existed - even though when they were new they brought me many happy hours creating and rendering.

Sometimes you hit a ceiling with your equipment. You're the best you can be with it. It's producing the best it can with you. An upgrade can open up new possibilities, and show you where old failings were. I think sometimes it can help you become a better artist, but you have to make the effort to expand into your new hardware.

If you've been painting with a round brush for years, just one worn out brush, and then you go out and buy new brushes but you use them to create the same stuff... then what's the point? I think you have to move out of your comfort zone and work right to the technical limit of whatever your vehicle is.


John Crothers

3 Years Ago

The fact is the camera CAN make a big difference. There are things a higher end camera can do that a cheap one can't (bulb mode, high ISO,remote shutter release, etc)

These things can matter. Not to mention the higher resolution of the images.

I started with a Canon SX-20, a $450.00 advanced point and shoot. It was a good camera for what I paid and I was able to get some good shots with it. It was a great first step on my way to the 5d Mark II I have now. But now that I have the Mark II I couldn't go back.

Maybe the 1d would be better but I don't think it would be enough to justify the expense. In the end we have to be able to justify the expense. We can only buy what we can afford. But I would recommend buying the best camera you can afford or, if you're really serious, save up to buy the best camera you can afford.


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