Do You Really Need the Latest Camera Gear?

You don't need the latest gear to take great photos. While new equipment can offer advantages, your creativity and technique matter more. This video dives into that notion by sharing a personal journey with both old and new gear.

Coming to you from Albert Dros, this informative video discusses the evolution of his gear. As a Sony Europe Imaging Ambassador, Dros has access to the latest Sony gear, but he emphasizes that he didn't always have this luxury. His high-end gear produces stunning images, but Dros argues that older equipment can be just as effective in the right hands.

Dros begins by showing photos taken with his Panasonic GH2, a 12-year-old camera. Using a 50mm Nikon manual lens with an adapter, he captured striking images despite the camera's small Micro Four Thirds sensor. He also used the GH2’s kit lens to take beautiful shots of the Hong Kong skyline and a classic Venice scene. These examples illustrate that even basic gear can produce impressive results.

He then moves on to the original Sony a7, a game-changer for him. The transition from a Micro Four Thirds to a full frame sensor significantly improved his photography. With the a7, Dros could achieve sharper images and better low-light performance. He highlights photos taken with this camera, including a well-known shot of the Hong Kong skyline and a Dubai cityscape. Both images were captured with budget lenses, yet they remain visually compelling.

Next, Dros discusses his experience with the Sony a7R II. This camera, with its 42-megapixel sensor, represented a significant leap in resolution. He showcases images from San Francisco, France, and Guatemala, demonstrating the camera's dynamic range and detail. However, he notes that despite its impressive specs, the A7R II's small batteries and other limitations make it less ideal by today's standards. The journey continues as the video does, so check it out above for the full rundown from Dros.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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As a camera reviewer, it's been frustrating to see how new camera improvements have only been serving action photographers and videographers. Portrait photographers, landscape photographers, travel photographers, etc., really won't notice much difference between 2017's Sony a7R III or Nikon D850 and any of the latest and greatest cameras.

Literally 7 years with no practical improvements! There's a TON of potential: Lower ISOs for long exposures without ND filters, better dynamic range, lower noise, computational photography, higher megapixels, built-in GPS, faster wireless transfers, (working) automatic transfers to your iPhone, anti-theft, privacy/encryption, user interface, searchable menus, bigger and brighter rear screens, internal memory, cellular connections... there's a LONG list of features many photographers would benefit from, but all we get is higher FPS, faster readout, and smart/AI autofocus.

So yeah, most people really won't benefit much from buying the latest camera because most people dont need super-high FPS, readout speeds or sophisticated subject detection.

I use a Sony A7III as my primary camera and there is nothing newer cameras offer that would give me anything significant over this camera. The main plus is the flip out screen, now pretty much replaced by the video centric full articulating selfie screen amongst the lower end models which is one main frustration I have with newer cameras.

7r3 is much worse for studio photography thar 7-4. There is definitely progress.

How so?

Too often it was not focusing properly with AF-C. And too often clients selected those photos :) I’ve adjusted to that quirk by using AF-S. With 7-4 the problem is gone.

+1 to Eddie, how so? We tested them side-by-side and really couldn't find any noticeable difference. The jump from 45 to 60 megapixels didn't show any improvement in the studio. I suppose the sync speed went from 1/200 to 1/250, which is a bit of a help.

I agree with all. I have been asking for this for a looong time but unfortunately people want more video... or at least that's what we have been told. I haven't updated my cameras since the Canon 1dxm2 came out and have no plan until they let go unless manufacturers decide to sell me a still oriented camera. I think I am very far from being an isolated case. Not that I don't have the budget for the years of saving, I just don't feel they want to listen or may be they don't want my money?

I think it's time for camera manufactures to produce at least one photo-centric camera in their product line that has a large pixel count 60 MP +/-, modern day stacked sensor, improved dynamic range, better autofocus and low light performance. The camera makers are now heavily marketing their "hybrids" (photo/video) but I would hope that they would be offering a high performance product for stills photographers, not social media content creators. Rumors of Nikon's Z7 III sound promising, but it's only a rumor and not very reliable.

60MP with the option to reduce the RAW resolution to 24-26MP so those of us that don't need 60MP wont have to use it if we don't want.

Like Sony a7r4?