Why the camera you use (probably) doesn’t matter.

We live in a world where we want, want, want, and this goes for photographers as much as anyone else. However, the fact is, your latest camera you have just bought, really didn’t matter to your photography as much as you hoped. Here’s why…

First of all, if you’re a professional photographer, this doesn’t apply to you, as you need a very specific tool for the job. However, if you’re not making money from your camera, it’s a very different story.

If you’ve bought a mirrorless camera in the last 7 or 8 years, you’ll have advances in autofocus that’s for sure, but everything else will pretty much be the same. If you’re a landscape photographer (the ones who seem to be prime candidates for extreme camera purchases), then of course autofocus doesn’t matter as much to those who photograph wildlife.

So, why doesn’t your camera matter?

Think about what you do with your photos. The vast majority of you will share your images to social media or place the images on your website. You’ll do nothing else with your images, other than perhaps print the odd print.

I think the above says it all really, however there’s more. Dynamic range is not as important as all cameras are more than capable these days, megapixels are not important as you’re generally displaying your work on tiny screens, sensor size is not important as anyone who’s used many sensors will understand, colour science isn’t important if you shoot raw. Your images are being scrolled past and get a fraction of a second viewing. They could have been taken on a mobile phone and not a single person would know.

Even if you’re printing your images, a huge percentage of wedding, events and landscape prints and canvases are printed from mobile phones these days, and are of outstanding quality. Printing your own images you’ll know that even your old cameras photos looked stunning at A3 and A2 sizes. And how big exactly are you going to print for your home or the odd print for friends or your limited sales?

So why do we buy new cameras?

Your camera really doesn’t matter. But it makes you feel good. It’s that infamous “Gear Acquisition Syndrome” raising it’s head.

In reality, we know that it won’t improve our image quality, but it can help you get your specific job done.

I think the fact that so many long time medium format and full frame users swap out to APS-C and micro four thirds cameras and never look back speaks volumes.

After all, when you’re only sharing your work on social media, your website or limited printing, these people who have swapped out know there’ll be little to no change, plus they get the added benefit of lighter and smaller kit, so they can enjoy their photography more.

Conclusion

It’s so easy to be locked in a bubble as an amateur photographer and chase what some YouTubers and magazines say is the current best of the best equipment. It’s so easy to pixel-peep and look for inadequacies such as noise, chromatic aberrations, sharpness and other characteristics that generally can’t be seen without studying your image. It’s so easy to put yourself on a pedestal because you’ve won a competition, sold a photograph or had a million likes on social media, but the reality is, other people using far less advanced equipment than you have had the exact same praise.

Photography is never about the equipment you use, if it was, we would be using Sony’s for our autofocus needs, or Fujifilm medium format for excellent low light and dynamic range, or Canons for the colour science, or whatever it is a particular camera is renowned for.

Your camera doesn’t matter, only your skills behind that camera. Concentrate on capturing the moment, capturing the composition or capturing the vibes of whatever you are photographing.

Finally, think about so the time you’ve spent looking at images online or in magazines, and think to yourself, without the camera being listed, works for really have known what camera and lens was being used?

P.S. If you just want to buy what ever you want, that doesn’t matter either!

Published by Mark G.Adams

Fujifilm Documentary Photographer & Blogger.

12 thoughts on “Why the camera you use (probably) doesn’t matter.

  1. YouTube is full of videos with titles like, “Is camera X still valid in 2022?” And camera X is all of 3 years old. These crack me up.

    Of all the brands, it seems like Fujifilm has a higher percentage of users that experiment with earlier models, not ironically but for the look that the earlier sensors give. I have a couple of X trans 4 models, but love the output from my X-E2s and its X trans 2 sensor.

    Chasing the new shiny models might not be as important as getting out and actually using what you have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, just get out and take photographs! Some I know have spent a fortune on the latest cameras and you really can’t see a difference from when they were using their old cameras many years ago.

      Like

  2. Well written article Mark.
    And I agree that many photographers among us are misled
    by what influencers and the market are trying to force on us.
    I don’t participate in that myself, I’m just testing cameras and lenses, cough cough 🙂
    Well, actually I do it too, but probably in the wrong direction, I mostly buy old material.
    Anyway, it’s true that those super technological and super mega sensors do not provide any added value for most of us – unless you indeed have to live off your camera – and even then, if they are really professionals, then they don’t need that high-tech camera either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m seeing more and more people buying newer and more expensive cameras, yet nothing changes when they post their images! I like using all sorts of cameras, but nobody knows which image is from which camera!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t buy new until my camera dies, or is so long in the tooth I fear it will die any moment. I’m still shooting with my X-T3, and Nikon D810 and I have a Nikon Df that I use sparingly to keep the shutter count down, but when I think about it that’s silly I should use it more. I just want it to last and be in pristine condition forever. I love that camera!

    Now my D810 is getting old so I am thinking about my next camera and I may just stick to the DSLR and go for one of the last remaining new D850’s before they’re gone!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Mark, you’re absolutely right.

    I’ve seen fabulous pictures taken and all kinds of equipment from older iPhones to the latest tech. The image is generally all down to the photographer’s eye and experience, not the specific camera.

    I changed recently from a DSLR to the Fujifilm X100v. I changed because the large DSLR put me off going out with a camera due to its size and lack of discretion. Aside from what I think is a faulty glitch. I’m enjoying the camera and taken it with me nearly everywhere. If I do have a faulty unit, I’ll be changing again to one without a fault. But hopefully that will do for years to come.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. At random some shots are smeared or digitally pixelated. Only appears with jpegs. RAWs are ok except for the jpeg thumbnail/preview. Have sent samples to Fujifilm today. Otherwise I love the x100v.

        Liked by 1 person

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