Best camera? The one you have
When I was beginning with photography a few years ago I often thought that if my photo had been of poor quality it had been almost always because of poor gear (at that time I used simple Canon 400D with some 18-55 mm kit lens). So throughout the years I kept upgrading my equipment every now and then pursuing some ideal, looking for Holy Grail of photography equipment. Needless to say I didn’t find it. I first switched to Canon 50D because 400D had very low dynamic range and poor high ISO capabilities. Then I switched to 5D MK II because I believed that full-frame is the way to go. But soon after that I switched once again to another beast – 5D MK III because… well, it’s a great camera but I’m not really sure why I upgraded as its predecessor had almost everything I needed at that time. I also kept buying new lenses. And new tripods, new filters, not to mention numerous bags and additional small accesories. And a lot of photo editing software. It all costs money.
Now, I don’t mean I didn’t need any of that equipment, some of it was really helpful and useful for my photography (for instance Canon 24-105 L lens is some amazing piece of equipment I cannot imagine living without). I bought some equipment that allowed me to take better photos. I bought equipment that let me forget about technical limitations or which opened new opportunities in front of me. But with so many changes to my gear I quickly became obsessed with “collecting” it and I started to focus more on the gear itself than my photos. There were some pieces of equipment that weren’t really inevitable for me. I didn’t need them. They couldn’t make my photography better. Yet I got them.
Nowadays I try to limit buying new equipment to only one I really really need. When a thought of getting something new crosses my mind (most commonly it’s a tilt-shift lens 😉 ) I ask myself a question whether I really do need this? Will my photos become better? Will I have more photo opportunities thanks to that? And the answer is most usually – no (when it is yes, I decide to buy). I’m shooting landscapes mainly, and although tilt-shift lens can sometimes be helpful in this kind of photography, wide-angle lens and ultra wide-angle lens is what I really need 99% of time. And I already have them. I also stopped upgrading my cameras. Yeah I’d love to have camera with sensor similar to Nikon D800 or D810… I’m not making huge prints at the moment so I wouldn’t benefit much from 36 megapixels. I usually don’t need to crop my photos extensively neither. Sensor in 5D MK III is really sufficient for me – image quality is better than good (in fact even sensor of 50D is sufficient for me in the majority of case) so I can’t really complain.
As always I’m interested in hearing your opinion about the subject. Did you behave similarly in the past? Or maybe you still do 🙂 ?
Daily photo – View in Tatra Mountains
Below high dynamic range photo was taken in Tatra mountains last year. It was very windy so I didn’t risk setting up my tripod (especially as there wasn’t enough room for that) and went with shooting hand-held.
Finally some EXIF info:
Camera: Canon 5D MK III (read my review here)
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 24 mm
Exposure time: 1/160 s (“middle” exposure)
Number of exposures: 5
E.V. Step: 1.0
Flash used: no
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping, luminosity masking
Software: Magic Lantern, Photomatix Pro 5 (Contrast Optimizer), Lightroom 5.4, Photoshop CC, Topaz Clarity