"It's the photographer that takes the photo"

► Facebook post

"PRO TIP: An experienced photographer can take an amazing picture with a low end camera. A non skilled photographer can take a bad picture with an expensive high end camera.

Learn the basics.

*Shutter Speed


*ISO / Film Speed


► My response

True but an experienced / pro photographer can take an even better photo with a high end camera.

Frankly I'm getting a bit tired of this mantra. As a full time professional, nowadays only working with high end gear, I'll explain why, because this mantra is only partially true I found out over the years. I won't consider myself the best photographer ever but I can say this. I started our with a D7200 with a kit lens as well as many others.

Yes. I've made it into my full time profession and I've plenty of skills acquired over time but those skills become useless when trying to mount a very high end lens, like a Nikon 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 (which I own and use a lot) on an entry level camera like, say a Nikon D3200 for example...

Provided that camera will even let it focus at all, the camera is simply not capable of tracking high speed subjects like birds, race cars or soccer players. It will result in almost solely hit and miss'. Also, burst modes will result in a lot of data. Buffer will be full in just a few shots, SD card won't be able to cope with the speeds needed for those kinds of photography at all since XQD or CFExp.B cards are mandatory to keep up with the ultra high read and writes speeds.. and you simply can not hit those FPS speeds needed to capture the right moment at all. It'll come down to plain dumb luck if you actually manage to capture a player when the ball is exactly coming off the bat.

However, mounted on my Z9 though, that lens will definitely achieve a hit rate of 97-99/100 without breaking a sweat, never filling the buffer and still be capable of delivering 30 FPS of 14-bits RAW files at 45.7MP each for as long as 1000 shots in a row.. writing all of those photos away in seconds and being able to AF tack sharp results in every single shot of that entire burst. That's not something I'd see me do with a D3200 simply because it is impossible because the possibilities of the gear are plain and simple: limited.

Lesson here: There are limits to what low end gear is able to cope with or produce, regardless of the level of experience of the photographer. The other way around however is certainly true: don't let someone drive your brand new Ferrari home if they just picked up their driving license from the DMV.

There's a learning curve. Yes image quality is tied to level of skill, but high end gear is just capable of.... more. Low end gear can be a limiting factor and I often found and experienced this to be true during my earlier days. Now I'm using top level gear and I'm an NPS registered photographer with access to all kinds of equipment. I do realise I'm in a very fortunate position because of all that and I'm humbled by that every day since I teach people in courses about how they can get the best out of their own gear. Of course they can have a go at the high end stuff as well and it's always the reaction I'm getting: "Wow, this makes things I often struggle with a lot easier!"

My conclusion is that this mantra certainly is true, but only up to a certain point. Image quality is only a part of the final result. 'Handling' is the next part and that part is very essential in even being able to GET the shot in the first place. And the last part is 'creativity'. THAT is the part that makes one stand out from others, what's makes you unique.

High end gear enables one to shoot at ISO25600 and still produce workable results. It'll enables for insane speeds. Both in AF tracking as well as data processing and user experience, such as instantly changing AF modes without the need of going in the menu, but with a seperate programmable button, because it's there on the higher end bodies. High end gear also aids in producing very stable results and insanely sharp images on an ultra long telephoto prime such as the pinnacle of Nikon engineering: the 800mm f/5.6E lens.

For people who have worked through their learning curve and acquired the knowledge and know-how AND have the budget: an entire world will be unlocked when using high end gear which certainly produces better results. Image quality and handling both are equally important where the first is heavily influenced by the level of skill of the photographer. High end gear is simply better in Handling. That will top it off by enabling things low end gear simply isn't capable of.

To close of: I'd invite you to go to my profile and find my website. If you know what to look for in a photo, there are plenty of examples there of shots I would've not been able to make if it wasn't for high end gear, but you absolutely HAVE to know how to use it and how to put it to your advantage. That's solely by going through your own learning curve and simply learning your gear inside out, running into limits, which validates the switch to better equipment if you want to. Meaning that throwing money at it will most definitely enable you to get better results IF you know what you're doing. You never HAVE to, only if it limits you in doing your job, which over the years in my case was, well... the case. 

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