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Old    Joe Umali (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-16-2010, 2:19 PM Reply   
why do photogs think buying a 7d/1dmk4/d3/d700/whatever will make them better photographers?

i'm not a big ken rockwell follower/fan, but here's an interesting article.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm
Old    Randy Scagliotti (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       08-16-2010, 3:33 PM Reply   
Well it didn't help me and I got the photos to prove it

Your right Joe, I do get that all the time when people come up and say " wow that looks like a really expensive camera you got there, I bet it takes great pictures". One of my favorite wake shots was from a couple years ago with a old Nikon d-40 with a cheapo kit lens. Hmmm, maybe I should drag it back out.
Old    Barry Waste (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       08-16-2010, 5:51 PM Reply   
Yeah, same here.. about 4 years ago I went out and got the best lenses I could get and a mediocre body thinking it will make my shots better. I can honestly say that I have only taken a couple shots I'm proud of. I have so much to learn that it seems overwhelming.
That is a good article.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       08-16-2010, 7:47 PM Reply   
I've got a coffee table book - Nat Geo greatest wildlife and nature shots or something to that effect. While all the shots have unbelievable content about 90% of them would be rejected these days because the technical quality of the older film SLRs (mid 80s and before) just wouldn't make it today. Look at any magazine like sports illustrated 20-30 years ago and look how crappy the images look.

Randy I know you're being tongue in cheek with your comment because your shots have gotten much better along with your equipment upgrades. I also know you're putting in the time to learn how to use it as well as computer time and PPing. Joe I would say the same thing about your images, you didn't just pick up any old camera and get those.

I think gear/PPing (and learning to use/do it) is important just as talent is important, no reason to think that one can get by with only one or the other.

And Rockwell just likes to hear himself talk, his whole existence is based around gear, the man is not known at all for his photography.
Old    Joe Umali (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-16-2010, 7:58 PM Reply   
rich, you'd be shocked to hear what i shoot with.
Old    scott clark (snwmot)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-16-2010, 10:21 PM Reply   
well? what do u shoot with?
Old    Rob VLX (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       08-17-2010, 8:51 AM Reply   
I just got back from Deadwood, SD and was shooting indoors in horrible light at ISO3200 and even 6400. What cheap camera can do that? I was using a 5D Mark 2. I had one of the user custom settings set for indoor high-ISO f2.8 and another for outdoors-ISO100 f7.1 in Aperture priority mode. Those user settings on the 5D are money. I agree with Rich. Ken's main business is the website and not his actual photography.
Old    RileyBangerter (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       08-17-2010, 1:25 PM Reply   
I agree about ken rockwell being about the site and not actual photography, but how can you argue with ansel adams?
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       08-17-2010, 7:41 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by steezyshots View Post
but how can you argue with ansel adams?
You can't cause he's dead, but if he was around I probably would!
Old    Randy Scagliotti (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       08-17-2010, 7:46 PM Reply   
^^^ true dat
Old    Joe Umali (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-17-2010, 9:29 PM Reply   
i posted the link more or less for the n00bs. how many n00bs would know the necessity to adjust iso to 3200? the point of posting the link was for n00bs to realize that they need to learn to use their cams, not look for a more advanced/expensive cam to fix their pics.

and no, i'm not using "n00bs" in a derogatory manner.
Old    Joe Umali (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-17-2010, 9:53 PM Reply   
by the way, it was directed at me, too, since every time i shoot, i tell myself that i need a new cam.
Old     (Bakes)      Join Date: Mar 2010       08-17-2010, 10:42 PM Reply   
Yes...it will make you a better photographer. I enjoy shooting with my D700 soooo much. Every time I pick up a light, plasticy entry level camera I just want to put it down. Can the entry level camera's take great pics? Absolutely. Will it's autofocus track a moving object as well as my D700...No way. If you are passionate about photography, get the best gear you can afford and fire away
Old     (Melissa)      Join Date: Mar 2010       08-19-2010, 9:58 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakedad33 View Post
Well it didn't help me and I got the photos to prove it

wow that looks like a really expensive camera you got there, I bet it takes great pictures"
Hahaha, I love when people say that. If only it were that easy...

Any camera, cheap or professional, SLR or disposable, can capture an amazing image. But what matters the most is if the person behind it has the talent, knowledge of equipment and said subject, and skill it takes to properly use their camera and compose a shot.

Sure, everyone gets lucky now and then with a great snapshot, but to continuously capture truly stunning shots, that requires more than just the "best equipment money can buy".

I think its funny....being that this is a wake board forum, I would expect most people here would understand that equipment is NOT what it's all about. Just like a top-of-the-line wake board setup WON'T make a noob instantaneously ride like a professional rider, a top-of-the-line camera setup WON'T make you shoot like Ansel Adams (or Annie Leibovitz.)

Sure, "better" equipment can help you, but if you simply can't do it anyways (photography or wake boarding), then better equipment isn't going to make a lick of difference.

Just my $.02...

Last edited by Melissa; 08-19-2010 at 10:04 AM.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       08-20-2010, 6:52 AM Reply   
Yep but pro WBers, skiers, MXers etc didn't get to their level riding beginner equipment either.

I am personally a bit tired of the "high road", "holier then though" lectures I constantly see being put out there about "talent is all that matters"

If one is trying to accomplish a certain type of photography and their current equipment is holding them back then wanting better equipment and believing it will get them better images is entirely justified.

To be honest I'd rather look at a bad picture that's in focus and exposed properly shot by someone who has taken the time to at least learn how to use their gear then a bad picture that's technically crap taken with a P&S or disposable.

Whether you have talent or not get your wallet out because if you're serious about maximizing your opportunities you're going to need great equipment.

Or save your $, just go out there spend time improving your creativity shooting your cellphone!
Old    Rob VLX (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       08-20-2010, 11:49 AM Reply   
Some of my pro tour shots were shot in the media tower using a 1D M4, Canon 500mm f4, Gitzo CF Tripod and a Wimberley Head. That is some pretty expensive gear. Throw Ansel Adams in the media tower with a Nikon D40 and a kit lens and see if his amazing talent can overcome that gear limitation. The rider will look like a small bug in those pics. Sure, he could wade out to the slider and get cool close-up shots but I could shoot the entire course. For landscape work I kind of agree with Ken. You can set almost any decent camera on a tripod and get nice long exposure landscape shots.

BV5D8277

Last edited by skull; 08-20-2010 at 11:53 AM. Reason: Added Pic
Old    Fernando Enriquez (Tiffanynfern)      Join Date: Mar 2010       08-20-2010, 11:54 AM Reply   
high end cameras dont make you a better photographer, you can use low and mid level dslrs and still get good pics. Although the higher end the lens, the better picture quality you can get
Old    Richard (nauty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       08-20-2010, 12:41 PM Reply   
In some respects a better camera can make you a worse photographer if you don't understand how to use it. Case in point, my wife took some pictures of me wakeboarding with my T1i. I had been very critical of my own picture taking prior to seeing my wife's results... holy crap did she take some horrible pictures!!!! Out of the 600 pictures she took only about 140 of them were in focus and that was using full auto. From now on she gets our old point and shoot Fuji when she feels the need to take some pictures.
Old    Rob VLX (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       08-20-2010, 1:04 PM Reply   
That's funny Richard!!! Did you tell her Ansel Adams is rolling over in his grave checking out her fine work? FYI--- when my wife shoots here is what I do: sit her in the middle of the back seat so she is always the exact same distance from the rider. Set focus to "one shot". Tell her to focus on the rider when they get up and isn't moving then switch then lens to "M" focus and don't touch. Now, every shot will be in focus at least. I also manually set only the center focal point to keep everything simple. Never try to use back-botton focus or anything like that with a beginner!!!!
Old    Ben B (benbuchholz)      Join Date: Oct 2009       08-20-2010, 7:22 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by richd View Post
Yep but pro WBers, skiers, MXers etc didn't get to their level riding beginner equipment either.

I am personally a bit tired of the "high road", "holier then though" lectures I constantly see being put out there about "talent is all that matters"

If one is trying to accomplish a certain type of photography and their current equipment is holding them back then wanting better equipment and believing it will get them better images is entirely justified.

To be honest I'd rather look at a bad picture that's in focus and exposed properly shot by someone who has taken the time to at least learn how to use their gear then a bad picture that's technically crap taken with a P&S or disposable.

Whether you have talent or not get your wallet out because if you're serious about maximizing your opportunities you're going to need great equipment.

Or save your $, just go out there spend time improving your creativity shooting your cellphone!
it gives them the OPPORTUNITY to be a better photographer. But it doesn't automatically make someone a better photographer. Thats what i think the OP was trying to say here.
Sure, it might increase your capabilities (the post about being able to shoot the whole course vs. limited zoom with a D40), but the camera alone, without knowledge, wont make you a better photographer. I can not stand seeing people with 7D's or T2i's, Mk II's, that think just because they have an expensive camera makes them a better photographer. Steps: "Take photo. make black and white. put PikNik vignette around photo. Upload. " is usually how it goes. What makes you a better photographer is your willingness to learn about ISO, f-stop, aperture, all of the technical stuff. Someone with a D40 could easily take better pictures than someone holding a 7D or a 5mk II if they dont know how to use it.. At the end of the day, technical knowledge (and a natural eye for photography) makes you a better photographer. not a $3,000 piece of equipment.
Old    Randy Scagliotti (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       08-20-2010, 7:38 PM Reply   
Well this thread is getting some play I was sort of joking with my earlier post that Rich D called me on (correctly so) There is no question that my shots have improved as I upgrade gear. When I got my 40D it had so many features that my old Nikon didn't even come close, it forced me to learn my camera and how all the functions worked, I shots lots of shots experimenting with all the differant settings. Then Upgraded again to the 7D with even more cool things and repeated that process again. So I guess what I'm trying to convey is, it's not entirely the equipment but what is requaired of you to operate it, they really go hand and hand. Living in the Picific Northwest my wake shooting is limited to about 6 month a year, so last winter I started shooting birds in flight, it was amazing (at least to me) that my keeper rate on wake shots went way up when I started shooting wake again in the spring, If you can track and freeze a bird in flight, shooting a wakeboarder seemed a lot easier. Just an exercise for you winter challanged people like me to try. Anyway I want to thank all the shooters on this board for all the help, encouragement, and support you provided over the last couple of years. Rich D, Walt, Scott A, Rob VLX (great time shooting with you in Texas), Barry Waste, Riley, and Umali for pushing me in his own twisted way .

End of rant,
Old    Mike Parker (roughrivermike)      Join Date: Apr 2006       08-21-2010, 7:18 AM Reply   
I think this whole thread started as a result of my thread "HELP, why do my action photos suck". Joe U started this thread, I think to be helpful. I got a lot of good advise and I am working on my skills. I have been trying many different settings and sometimes they look good and sometimes not. The first word in my thread was HELP and for those who did I am gratefull. I guess if I go ahead and get a 7D then I will be on Ben B's can't stand list, but somehow it wont ruin my day, my hour or even my minute. My feeling is that I can still continue to learn all of the settings and keep progressing with a 7D. If I ever do become a better photog I will then not have to learn a new camera and I can continue to add to my lens'.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       08-21-2010, 9:04 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by skull View Post
Some of my pro tour shots were shot in the media tower using a 1D M4, Canon 500mm f4, Gitzo CF Tripod and a Wimberley Head. That is some pretty expensive gear. Throw Ansel Adams in the media tower with a Nikon D40 and a kit lens and see if his amazing talent can overcome that gear limitation.
And I could hand my MKIV with a long lens to my wife and tell her to blast away at 10 fps at a BIF and I'll guarantee you she'll get more keepers and better quality images then Ansel Adams with a 3 fps P&S at full zoom!

Other then vacation snapshots it's tough for me to think of one aspect of photography that doesn't benefit from better equipment and in many cases can be nearly impossible to accomplish without it.
Old    Joe Umali (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-21-2010, 10:34 AM Reply   
funny how the most offended are seasoned photogs...and canon users.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roughrivermike View Post
I think this whole thread started as a result of my thread "HELP, why do my action photos suck". Joe U started this thread, I think to be helpful.
that's exactly why i started this thread. below is a copy of my post from above that rob and rich seemed to have missed. (maybe i should have copied and pasted the article in here, leaving out the name of the author's name)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dakid View Post
i posted the link more or less for the n00bs. how many n00bs would know the necessity to adjust iso to 3200? the point of posting the link was for n00bs to realize that they need to learn to use their cams, not look for a more advanced/expensive cam to fix their pics.
Quote:
Originally Posted by richd View Post
Yep but pro WBers, skiers, MXers etc didn't get to their level riding beginner equipment either.
but they got to where they're at because of the full understanding of the basics/fundamentals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by richd View Post
I am personally a bit tired of the "high road", "holier then though" lectures
funny you mention that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by richd View Post
blast away at 10 fps at a BIF and I'll guarantee you she'll get more keepers
and that right there is exactly why new photogs think a better camera will help them.

mike, i wasn't trying to be a dick. i really was trying to help. all i'm saying is learn how to use your camera. sure, buying a 7d would be nice and it certainly won't hurt you to get one, but it won't help you if all you do is shoot it auto mode and just "blast away" and hope to get a good shot .

here's another decent article. (note: not once was "get a new camera body" ever suggested)

http://www.cultofmac.com/top-10-came...apher/23651/11

randy, your pics have certainly come a long way! i know i give you guys shiat for posting a bunch of bird pics, but in all honesty, they're all pretty sick! and in your case, afaik, you learned to use your camera first before upgrading.

Last edited by dakid; 08-21-2010 at 10:42 AM.
Old    Ben B (benbuchholz)      Join Date: Oct 2009       08-21-2010, 9:10 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by roughrivermike View Post
I think this whole thread started as a result of my thread "HELP, why do my action photos suck". Joe U started this thread, I think to be helpful. I got a lot of good advise and I am working on my skills. I have been trying many different settings and sometimes they look good and sometimes not. The first word in my thread was HELP and for those who did I am gratefull. I guess if I go ahead and get a 7D then I will be on Ben B's can't stand list, but somehow it wont ruin my day, my hour or even my minute. My feeling is that I can still continue to learn all of the settings and keep progressing with a 7D. If I ever do become a better photog I will then not have to learn a new camera and I can continue to add to my lens'.
Nah you wouldn't be on the list, because from the sounds of it you really want to learn about photography. The people I'm talkin about are people who just buy one, flip it to auto and "blast away at 10fps" . I guess the point I was getting at is that an expensive camera gives u the opportunity to make yourself a better photographer. Doesn't automatically make you one, like some people seem to think. To me, being a good photographer and taking good pictures with a good camera are two complete different things. If someone wants to buy an expensive camera, go for it. I just think its a poor investment if there not willing go learn how to use it. But....that's not my call to make!
Old    Rob VLX (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       08-23-2010, 7:41 AM Reply   
Joe, I am not offended at all man. It is an interesting discussion and I appreciate all opinions. Actually, I think I agree with the premise of the article. Some noob that's only knowledge of photography is using his Blackberry phone isn't going to get better pics if he runs out and buys a 1D Mark IV. I think everyone can agree that there are applications when high-end gear is really needed in conjunction with the camera knowledge on how to operate everything. Interesting though, I think sports and wildlife is the most camera gear demanding. Whereas, in a studio or working with a model I'd much rather have $2500 in lights and modifiers with my Rebel XSi versus a more expensive camera and limited lights. ANY SLR can get spectacular pics shooting at f11 using studio lights IMO. Landscape work is interesting too... Honestly, I think I can get almost the same quality final result using a Rebel XSi and a Tokina 11-16 as I can using my 5D Mark II and the excellent 16-35. It is all about taking a tack sharp shot then using post processing techniques to make a good shot look great. Nothing is going to make a poor hand held landscape shot look brilliant. I also use a Canon SD880 point and shoot for some landscape stuff using a Gorillapod and those pics are pretty amazing too. I guess it is all about getting the most out of what you have then upgrading as you see the need and start experiencing limitations.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       08-26-2010, 9:56 PM Reply   
Rob, what do you need all that lighting for??? can't you just turn up the ISO

Joe, I think you got offended because I didn't agree with your article. A gearhead like myself could never go along with that!

Terry wouldn't try it anyway, she thinks shooting birds is dumb!
Old    Joe Umali (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-26-2010, 10:34 PM Reply   
why would i get offended? i still have a lot to learn before i even consider a new cam. new glass; that's a whole 'nother story!
Old    J Jakober (jjakober)      Join Date: Apr 2002       09-14-2010, 11:39 AM Reply   
I shoot with a lowly 4 year old Olympus E-510. It gets the job done, but I will be upgrading soon.
I want faster more reliable focus.
Better High ISO performance.
Higher frame rate.

So far, the Nikon D7000 sounds like just the ticket of all the new gear being announced. Now if they had just put a tilt/swivel display on that bad boy, it would be perfect!
And since I am lazy and I will need new lenses, I will most likely get a super zoom and slap it on and that will be it, till I can afford better glass.

But I agree, a better camera will not make a ****ty photographer better. I know so many people with killer rigs, and they still shoot in P mode or have no idea all the stuff it can do.
Old    Scott (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       09-15-2010, 10:30 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjakober View Post
So far, the Nikon D7000 sounds like just the ticket of all the new gear being announced. Now if they had just put a tilt/swivel display on that bad boy, it would be perfect!
Canon 60D has very similar specs and it has a swively screen on it. Any reason why you like the D7000 more?
Old    J Jakober (jjakober)      Join Date: Apr 2002       09-16-2010, 9:57 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott_a View Post
Canon 60D has very similar specs and it has a swively screen on it. Any reason why you like the D7000 more?
Just going off the specs, the D7000 has a better focusing(39 VS 9) and metering system, and a greater ISO range. The 60D has better video specs but it doenst auto focus, the D7000 supposedly does. D7000 has better burst speed, and a Magnesium Alloy body with dust and moisture sealing, 60D is plastic body. D7000 Dual SD slots, 100% View finder. 60D 18 megapixels, D7000 16.2. Micro lens adjustment for focus adjustment in the D7000, not in the 60D.

To me it seems like Nikon took the D90 and upgraded it to a more profession level camera, and Canon took the 50D and downgraded it to a more consumer level camera.


What do you guys think?
Old    Scott (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       09-16-2010, 6:31 PM Reply   
Oh wow...I didn't realize that Canon had changed/stripped down the 60D that much. Looks like they're creating more separation between the 60D and 7D. Wonder if Nikon is going to do something similar moving forward w/ their cameras. Hopefully they'll rename some of them so the names are easier to follow (IMO, obviously).

Can't argue w/ your decision. That D7000 sounds like a much better camera. Have you seen the video that Chase Jarvis posted on his site? He had some good things to say about the D7000 after spending a month w/ some prototypes.
Old    Aaron A (AaronATX)      Join Date: Sep 2010       09-27-2010, 12:28 PM Reply   
we used to print 2 page spreads off 4MP D2H's! all this new equipment... i'd use it if i could afford it!! i still rock a D70... bought it new in 2004.. i've shot with all sorts of different gear and nicer stuff definitely opens up new doors (nikon D2's, D3's, canon 1D's, olympus e3/e5, etc.). but all in all i'd say having big bad glass is more important than having a big bad camera.
Old     (Toysrme)      Join Date: Oct 2010       10-25-2010, 5:59 PM Reply   
It helps & it doesn't.
*There are just some things you can't do with a P&S.
*You (should) have the ability to control anything you wish to control.
*While photographers may not use them. The better DSLR's have extremely good automatic modes
None of this means a hill of beans if you're not willing to do what you need to do to get a good photograph. It's not just learning how the camera works. It's everything. Framing the shot. Basic rules f photography. Using the camera's abilities (autmoatic, or manual) correctly. Post production work...
Big expensive DSLR isn't going to make your worse off outside of your wallet. The real question is are you smart, dedicated & can you "do what you want to do" with something far cheaper.

Nice DSLR will help, but certainly wont make up for most user short comings.

Most P&S people don't even know P A S or M. So...
Old    Barry Waste (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-25-2010, 9:30 PM Reply   
A better camera will make your bad pictures look a little better.

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