Really, Nobody Cares What Camera You Use

Really, Nobody Cares What Camera You Use

Quite frankly, neither should you. I understand that we all love our gear and we all have dreams of upgrading and moving on to bigger and better things, but that's not the real point of it all, not really.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing quite like unboxing a new piece of equipment and getting to use it for the very first time. That is a feeling that just never gets old. In fact, I dare say that it's probably one of the most invigorating experiences that a photographer can have. All the excitement and creativity just waiting to be channeled through that brand new camera is always something potent. However, by this point in my career, I have talked with enough photographers who spend more time than they should worrying about the gear they have and the gear they'd like to have. No, I'm not exempt from this either. I read about what gear is available now compared to what I actually own, or I'll read about what's coming out and try to scheme how I can ditch my current setup and move on to the new and shinier pieces of equipment. I found myself in this sort of mental predicament not even a year ago, and what really helped my change my frame of mind came from something one of our editors here at Fstoppers told me. 

I had been, in essence, complaining about the fact that my newer-model camera had died and that I had to fall back on an older piece of gear in order to continue shooting. I was asking for advice from other Fstoppers writers about their thoughts between two different cameras I was interested in buying. Instead of giving me an opinion between the two cameras, the editor simply stated that he couldn't see any problems with my current work (with a 10-year old camera) and suggested that I keep doing what I was doing until I absolutely needed a new camera. It was eye opening, honestly. He was right, I didn't need a new camera; I just wanted one, really.

It was a solid reality check for me to be brought back to reality and realize that it really is all about the person wielding the equipment and not about the gear itself. Are there things I wish I could do with my current camera, that I just simply can't, because it's outside the capabilities of the camera itself? Absolutely. But that doesn't mean I have to just up and buy a new camera. Sure, there's the whole conversation about budgeting and making a smart purchase, but that's not the only thing worth considering. The reality that I was brought back to was this: my current camera works just fine, I'm still able to create images of which I am very proud, and the same people that share the artwork with me (as my audience) appreciates it all the same.

I understand this may all just sound like something someone would say when they simply can't afford a new camera. In the past, you'd probably be right. But honestly, I could go buy a better camera today if I really wanted to. But I really don't need to. When the situation arises where I actually have a legitimate need for a different piece of gear, you better believe I'm going to buy it and love every minute of it. But I really am taking the dose of humility for what it's worth by continuing to see just how good my work can be while shooting with a very old camera. So far, it's an adventure that's paying out quite nicely. I still get to capture what I want to capture, my images still look every bit how I want them to look, and I get to put myself to the test every time I play with a camera that has served me well for years upon years.

Take it for what it's worth; your camera does not define you. You alone get to decide exactly how creative, how dedicated, and how productive you want to be with your own photography. Regardless of what you actually hold in your hands for creating something you intend to share with others, enjoy the fact that you are there, creating, doing what you love.

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80 Comments

Jan Kruize's picture

Mannnnn...... kiss me. The best article i saw in two years in here.

Jeremy Center's picture

I use a black camera because black cameras are the best. Unless you have a silver camera. Then silver is the best.

Adriano Brigante's picture

"...by continuing to see just how good my work can be while shooting with a very old camera."

You're talking about a 10-year old camera, right? One of my main camera is a 87-year old camera and I'm testing a 120-year old camera these days. I guess "very old camera" is a relative notion... :)

Rob Mitchell's picture

Exactly that.

No body really cares what camera you use - but you better have a set of Otus lenses mounted on a sensor with 36+mp and awesome dynamic range. So at the end of the day, you're going to need a D810 or D850.

David Pavlich's picture

If I weren't a member of DPR, I'd probably agree with you, but there are plenty of people that 'care' about what gear one is using. It takes little poking around there to find mirrorless guys trying to shame we dinosaur DSLR users whenever the opportunity arises.

It goes the other way around, but not nearly as much.

Will Murray's picture

These forums are not generalisable to the broader population.

Daniel Medley's picture

I've found that many of the forums on DPR can quickly devolve into pedantic technical or gear minutiae to the point that I want to poke them in the eye and tell them to go take a freaking picture.

But, at the end of the day, the camera or the software one uses matters far less than simply envisioning something, and creating the image that represents it; no matter what is used or how it's used.

Patrick Rosenbalm's picture

I think it's a shame what DPR has become. I'm so fed up with the juvenile behavior and the tolerance for it that I quit visiting DPR and removed my gallery and gear list.

I like Fstoppers and hope it never devolves into that kind of site / mentality.

Rob Mitchell's picture

DPR is the new PetaPixel.

Not to mention the people who buy big cameras because they want to look the part.

David Pavlich's picture

If it's in the budget, doesn't matter why. Heck, if a guy buys a Phase 1 to take pictures of his cat, that's good for Phase 1 and the rest of us to keep Phase 1 in business. ;-)

Motti Bembaron's picture

Nor what lens, lighting system, light modifiers, light stands etc.

Be courteous, take the best photos you can take and deliver on time.

yanpekar's picture

Good article. There is one thing which you probably did not consider (maybe because it was not relevant for you if you had a permanent job). You are talking from the photographer’s perspective rather than from perspective of a potential client. In some places, when you get a brief with requirements from a client, they ask “what equipment do you use?”. Unfortunately, if your answer is “10 years old camera” (anything that may not sound as “professional” in the eyes of the client) or similar, there is a high risk you will not be hired. As simple as that. I am not talking about whether the clients are wrong or right, and whether they should be judging by looking at images you create rather than by gear you use. I am talking about perception the clients get and our ability to be competitive.

Will Murray's picture

I would suggest that the average client would not know that a D3 or D700 were 11 years old.

yanpekar's picture

Depends. Some corporate companies do have people who can tell if a camera was discontinued 10 years ago. I would not make an assumption. I was speaking from experience.

I have been shooting for people, magazines, agencies and corporations for more than 30 years. I have had clients discuss what format I would be using but never what brand or model of camera. I guess they trusted me to make that decision.
The closest was when I assisted a car photographer and the client, one of the old timey Detroit big three required everything to be shot with a 14 inch Commercial Ektar. They determined that their cars looked best with that lens.

yanpekar's picture

Again, no reason to argue. As I mentioned, it does happen in "some places" but not the others. It does happen where I live, - most of corporate events briefs I get have a question "What equipment do you use?". If it does not happen to you or in the city where you live, it does not mean that it does not happen somewhere else.

Will Murray's picture

Try this for assumption; the author shoots landscape.

yanpekar's picture

No reason to argue. I spoke from experience of shooting events for corporate clients. Your comment is not applicable, due to difference in requirements and nature of work.

Will Murray's picture

Wait, the author wrote from his professional point of view, you eqivocate, and now it's "your comment is not applicable"?

Run along, child.

yanpekar's picture

I would appreciate if you would think twice before letting yourself to be rude. It is disgusting when people let themselves to be rude online and say things they would not say face to face. "Your comment is not applicable" means that it is not applicable to the type of photography I do. It does not mean that you are not allowed to make any comments. Give yourself time to think before rushing to reply. Hope it would help you to grow up.

Will Murray's picture

We're not all spineless mewling quims, who are terrified to speak truth to peoples' faces.

Run along, child.

yanpekar's picture

Your behaviour has been reported and is not acceptable. You are not my father, I am not your child. Consider taking some time to learn what "respect" stands for before leaving your house. Or consider staying in your house until you grow up.

Will Murray's picture

Did I hurt your delicate feelings? Are you offended? This is a large part of the problem with the modern world, you morons don't care one iota about starving children, or environmental destruction; but your precious feelings...

The fact that you are upset over being called a child would suggest that you are emotionally stunted.
You are pathetic.

Run along child.

yanpekar's picture

You can keep making yourself look like a fool publicly, if you have (clearly) nothing to do and as long as it makes you happy. I do not care. You may need a psychologist who can help you with your irritation towards this world. Hope you would feel better and more positive, and start enjoying your miserable life.

Will Murray's picture

The fact that you are so determined to be offended, and so determined to keep arguing with me over a trivial slight, would support an inference that YOU are the one in need of therapy.

I cannot help but reflect that your photography is decent, yet your rating is 1.9 - you probably act like this on a regular basis.

Run along child.

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