The Pro Versus Amateur Photographer Challenge

We've all heard the mantra about how gear doesn't matter (or at least, not to the extent we often like to think it does), but perhaps nowhere does that become more clear than when you give pro and amateur photographers expensive and cheap cameras to illustrate the differences. Check out this great video that pits those combinations against each other! 

Coming to you from Mango Street, this fun video pits pro and amateur photographers against each other using both top-end professional equipment (a Canon 1D X Mark II) and a very cheap point and shoot camera. Of course, to say that gear never matters is a vast oversimplification; there are absolutely situations in which the gear you're using can make the difference between getting the shot you want or not. However, the point is that we often think gear matters more than it does, and that can be detrimental in several ways, first by making us spend more money than we really need to and second (and perhaps more importantly), by making us avoid actively improving our skills to create better images. It's great to see what one can accomplish with a cheap camera and solid fundamentals. Check out the video above to see the full challenge.

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Steve Ridges's picture

Sort of expected a comparison of all the images at the end...and I even stuck through the stupid wedding commercial waiting for it :(.

michael andrew's picture

Pass on this, can’t get that time back.

Chase Wilson's picture

I’m going to start reading the comments before watching any of these videos. This one is a complete waste of time.

Motti Bembaron's picture

That's what I do now too...

David Pavlich's picture

I've been doing this for quite some time. It does help.

Thanks for saving me some time

Mr Hogwallop's picture

The Mango guy actually lead with "this is the same thing we did before" ?


Jeff McCollough's picture

Can't think of what else to film.

Oliver Saillard's picture

I liked the video, but yeah, don't expect any conclusion.

Nicolas KIEFFER's picture

Hmmm, I did not know an amateur photographer would own a 39USD camera... This is not a PRO vs amateur, but a PRO vs. 'I DON'T CARE ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY' camera LOL game.

Jodi Frye's picture

I love the toy camera challenges. There are so many links to them but I like this one. Makes me want to go get a toy camera.

Not really sure what the point of this video was. There was no conclusion as the obvious end statement was tacit: This comparison was not a valid premise to begin with.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Both the pro and the amateur shot some good photos. I don't know what they were trying to prove.

Rafal Wegiel's picture

I was thinking exactly about the same thing ...

Mark Van Noy's picture

What they proved to me was if you have a good model you will get some good pictures. I would love to see them compare a professional with an amateur using an average person as the model. Bringing out the best in someone who generally feels awkward in front of the camera is a real challenge.

imagecolorado's picture

That was a waste of time. How about a male vs female challenge. Or, left handed vs right handed challenge?

Only one thing learned from that video: That cheap camera was terrible beyond what I imagined is possible.