It's not about the Camera!
Yes, it is...no its not...yes it is...no it's not...
Imagine, we just finished having dinner at your place and it was wonderful company with amazing food. As I go out the door I mention, "You must have a great oven, thank you for the great food!" Has anybody heard of something familiar with photography? When you offer a great image for people they say, "You must have a great camera?"
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah@! ... really?
Obsessed gear freaks are everywhere, including me! I value great quality gear that does the best job possible. Stuff that gives you the edge. But here's the thing. Photography is not about having the most expensive kit. In fact, some of the best images are taken with the most basic kit and works even better. For example street photography. Remember I have said photography is art! and how you choose to do that with the machine you have is up to you. Having said that, equipment is a vital part of the photography equation. Without it, it's pretty hard to create a photographic image!
What's most important is to work with what you have and learn the machine you have. After all, they are just that - a machine!
It is amazing what your brain and eyes can process and it is far superior to any camera no matter how advanced the machine is. Nothing will ever compete in the way you can create images in your brain at lightning speed, adjusting for different light densities, depth of fields, and taking in the amount of information no camera could compete with. So the best camera you have at your disposal is your brain which is a wonderful creation that can master amazing memories. However, cameras are wonderful tools to create images to look back on and catch memories and moments in time.
So it may not all be about the camera, it is in fact partially about the camera and knowing the limitations of your machine, what it can do and how best to use it in different lighting situations. This can be the difference between getting great or poor images.
Lenses: That's what you put on the front or what is probably already inbuilt. The lens is very important as it is the glass receiving the light through it to create the image on your electronic sensor. I would suggest often the lens (or often referred to as glass) is more important, and if you look after your lens they can last you 40 -50 years - a lifetime of photography. if you have a camera with interchangeable lens options, consider investing in these rather than the next flash camera. A prime lens is my favourite, yielding better results, however often far more expensive and less versatile than zooms.
Canon EOS R
It was fun to put this image together. The image is a composite of two photos blended together in post-processing. The combination of the lens and your brain's eye is a key relationship to making great photos. It's about what you see and being able to understand the limitations of your equipment to get the best out of your machinery - camera and lens, to get the best photos.
Taking the time to understand how your machine works is very important. Pick up that manual or download it online and take time to understand what the camera can do. It takes time, and the persistence of going back and forth to trial and error creating images and going through the different features the camera has to offer. You also may want to choose to shoot in either JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) or RAW (Read After Write). I personally shoot in RAW which is an unprocessed image. But what that means is there is more time required to process my images. If you shoot in JPEG then images are processed within the camera. This is great and many professionals use this feature as they have to send images on the spot to clients. So knowing what your camera can do is useful and how you want to process your images may depend on time and other resources you have. The great part in shooting RAW is images are negatives with all information. So you have much more latitude to play whereas JPEGS have been compressed with little after processing latitude. We will discuss this on a later blog though.
Below are four images taken by four different machines. Please be aware I acknowledge this is a very unscientific experiment and I was in a bit of a rush. A few things to bear in mind are;
- Each image was taken with a similar lens - 50mm (Except I misjudged the Olympus TG6).
- They were all taken in programme mode.
- There are differences in colour, vibrance.
- If you blew each up to 200% you would see differences in detail and noise.
- The canon image was shot in a different ratio at full frame.
What's really important, I think, is that each image below is suitable for use on social media whatever machine you have. The key is that the camera sensor is a different size in each machine. And so once you start blowing any of these images above A5 the bigger sensor will win in quality. A larger sensor will also win in low light situations where smaller sensors will possibly suffer increased noise issues. However, with good light, and for social media - any camera wins and it all depends on what you want as your end result.
Note: Noise is referred to when your images look grainy.
Samsung S10 - Cell phone
Canon EOS R
Andy`s Photography Tip: 'It's not about the Camera!'
Photography is art. One of the four facets from my blog on the 8th April is;
1. Know your equipment.
- Spend time to get to know your equipment. Study your manual, play with different settings and evaluate your images. Record your settings to understand your camera in different lighting situations.
- Do not think you need the most expensive kit - you can still produce wonderful images with cameras that do not cost your soul.
- If you have a DSLR camera with an interchangeable lens invest in quality glass.
Please put a comment or emoji below. If you have any questions pop them in the comments box below or send me a video with your questions via Facebook - keep taking photos and get out there!