Why I swapped my “professional” DSLR camera for the cheapest option available
As anyone who follows us on Facebook will know, I recently purchased a new photographic photography camera system – camera body and lenses.
This wasn’t an “upgrade”, however, and was, in fact, a “downgrade”.
I got myself a Canon 100D, which is the smallest, cheapest, lightest entry-level DSLR on the market today (Canon call it: “for beginners”, well, we will see). Along with the body, I picked up a an entry level 18-55mm f/5.6 lens kit lens, as well as a 55-250mm f/5.6 kit entry level telephoto lens.
Now, you may be wondering why I would make the change from a 5D Mark III DSLR to such a “cheap” and “beginners camera” option.
Well, the reason is that lately a lot of people had been complimenting my images and leaving comments like “wow, your camera is so cool, so professional”, “what camera do you use”, etc.?
This bothered me somewhat because as a teacher I know that, even with the best tools in the world, you won’t take good photographs unless you are competent and skilled and you understand what exactly makes a good photograph.
When teaching my photography courses and workshops in London, I always tell students to focus on the things I am saying, on the topics of the course and not worry about the equipment I’m using, and to make the most of their equipment.
Photography is not about the camera. Having a more expensive camera does not make you a better photographer. To take the best images, you need the skills and knowledge of light, composition, and knowing what to capture and when. Yes, the tool will make a difference (a more expensive camera with higher ISO and a more expensive lens with a larger aperture) in some situations, but again, that is a technical limitation that might be only needed from time to time.
But most most of the time the very small results obtain from different lenses / cameras in photography are indiscernible from one another if not examined under the microscope, at a pixel level of detail, an exaggeration of course.
If you want to take great photographs you need to train your eye to see like the camera so that you can compose an image entirely in your mind (eye) before you ever point the camera at the subject.
Here are some images I have taken with my new, “cheap entry level beginner” camera. I hope they inspire you to get past the idea that the camera is the most important thing in photography and start viewing yourself and your skills and knowledge as the key element!
Having the right photographic equipment may be a prerequisite and paramount sometimes, but it’s not necessarily the end of the world, and it’s not what defines a great photograph, but the skills, and the knowledge of light, composition, and having a great trained “eye” and mind! It is the next 15 cm behind a camera that allows one to “make” to be a good photographer!
Stop pixel peeping and start learning what makes a good photograph!
Ion Paciu is a proactive London based freelance professional photographer and a member of The Royal Photographic Society. He specialises in architecture/cityscape and people / portrait photography. You can find out more about Ion, his work and workshops on his website. This article was also published here and shared with permission.