The practical photographers guide to camera equipment


Dan Jurak, a landscape photographer whose blog I have subscribed to, has written a very interesting article today: The practical photographers guide to camera equipment or… putting the cart before the horse

It’s easy to fall into the hype that newer is better that often isn’t the case. When you see a group of photographers lined up with their one thousand dollar carbon fiber tripods, twenty plus megapixel cameras and exotic paraphenalia don’t feel inferior to them because if you know what you’re doing, you’ll probably be doing better than them with your little Rebel or whatever you have.

Don’t be fooled by reading all the photo websites or blogs that tell you or rather tease you with stories of equipment. The bottom line is that it’s all about you. You’re the star when it comes to taking photos, not your gear.


Derby, UK
Ha, yes, it made me laugh.
There's nothing new there though is there? And neither is it camera specific. I know more about cycling than I'm ever likely to about photography and change a few words and the article could have transfered straight over, or golf, or fishing, or any other leisure activity that involves equipment.
I think he's a bit too easily dismissive if the Canon forum photos (Not that I've seen them) Whatever his critique of them may be, the photographers are obviously happy with them. What would the photos be like if they didn't have the best equipment? He says just as good/bad but it's just as likely they wouldn't exist at all. Who doesn't go out and take more photos when they get a new camera?
It also amused me that the image he held up as an example of what could be done on a simpler camera, was processed on some of the most expensive software!
He also misses the point that if people only bought what they needed, that would be the end of large scale development and production. Well, that might be the road to a better World, it'd certainly be a different one.


Newcastle, Australia
Real Name
He also misses the point that if people only bought what they needed, that would be the end of large scale development and production. Well, that might be the road to a better World, it'd certainly be a different one.

OTOH he's reminded me of that very important point... that being that its the photographer and not the gear. I'm not shooting better now that I have a K-5, than I was with my K200D. In fact, many times I have wished I still had it. I *do* shoot better with some of my prime lenses, than Kit lenses, but they worked as well on the K200 as the K-5. He's also reminded me that I am generally not shooting for print - though now that redbubble is doing prints, I may - and that my G11 and GRD3 are perfectly capable for most of what I shoot. I only want the dslr for its DoF capacity and not much else.


I liked that article...

I am not a pro or even a photographer. I am a hobbyist taking photos for my own enjoyment. I like new gear (fancy gear especially). What I am about to say ONLY applies to me an no one else. I think (personal opinion here) a persons skill is the single most important determining factor their ability to do their art. I have only one story and I can draw upon and I do not expect anyone to be able to relate to it but it's all I have. I have been a martial artist for nearly two decades. I have a couple of black belts in three different arts (which by the way are pretty much meaningless) and far more importantly my martial arts training played a big role in my surviving and recovering from cancer so I suppose that I can rightfully claim a certain level of expertise in it.

About fifteen years ago I had the great honor (although it didn't feel like it at the time) of being disarmed and soundly thrashed by a sensei who was armed with a used paper towel tube. Let's just say humiliating does not even begin to cover what that feels like. That experience taught me that your strength comes from your skill and not your gear. I was armed with a wooden knife at the time I met my doom at the hands of an empty roll of Bounty and that sensei went on to disarm two more of my friends before he was done. The cardboard tube was shot by the time he was done but so were we.

Perhaps photography is very different and this is not even remotely applicable but I have learned that my weapons are an extension of my body and it doesn't matter if I am handling a $10K katana (as cool as that would be) or a $2 broom stick. In fact one of my favorite weapons is an old white oak boken that I bought on the internet for $12. I teach it to my students and I try to reinforce it every time we practice.

Again it may mean nothing to anyone and I may be full of it but that is how it has worked out for me.
London UK
Real Name
Dixeyk, That is a great story and does reinforce the fact that the main factor in producing good shots is indeed the person holding the camera. I also think that there are those who take great images of things and those who take great technical images and by that I mean dynamic range, sharpness and all those tricks that make an image look good.

If everyone said to themselves, 'No, I'm going to stick to the camera I have got and make do with that' then I'd be out of a job pretty quick so I'm glad people are still buying gear. I am slowly coming round to making do with what I have but it's hard..... real hard not to buy the latest thing but that's just me. Part of this hobby for me is buying and trying new gear as I get enjoyment from it but it is hard on the bank balance!!


I love getting new gear as much as the next person...maybe more but as you say that gets to be pretty hard on the bank balance. I think I've settled into simply trying to be honest with myself that if I want new gear it's not because it'll make me better but just because I want it. I've made peace with that as a legitimate reason.

Oh and not having disposable income helps. :biggrin:

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