These Photographers That Tell You That Gear Doesn’t Matter
A great photographer can take an outstanding photo with an iPhone 3G. While a beginner can take the most boring, crooked, blurry shot with a Sony A7RIV.
With that in mind, we can then safely assume that gear doesn’t matter, right?
Well, I don’t think so.
I always find so funny all these Youtube photographers talking about gear all the time, doing reviews of the fanciest new pieces of equipment possible and then conclude their video with something like ‘Gear doesn’t matter, after all, it’s all a matter of what you do with it’. They’re saying that as they’re doing a review of a $2,000 lens mounted on the latest Sony mirrorless full-frame body, timing themselves with several Sony A7SII that are mounted on overpriced tripods.
Of course, they could downgrade their equipment and still produce amazing videos. But if the gear doesn’t matter that much, why do they have all that fancy gear? Wouldn’t it be so much more logical to use regular cameras and mid-range tripods?
The reason why they’re using that costly gear is that it’s more durable, more reliable and it’s overall better comfort when you’re using it. And I totally get it! I have fancy photography equipment because I enjoy the convenience of it.
But these people only talk about quality. A $50 tripod serves the same purpose as a $400 one. However, I’ll be way more confident in that expensive tripod, and it’s probably lighter, less bulky, and overall easier to use. But at the end of the day, they both hold your camera in place. So yeah, gear doesn’t matter: the cheap tripod does the same thing as the expensive one.
These people forgot what it’s like to deal with the entry-level gear. They forgot what it’s like to be a non-reactive camera, or a camera that doesn’t focus well in the dark, or a camera on which you can barely crank up the ISO on because of how noisy your files get.
Would these Youtubers enjoy making videos as much if they were dealing with cheaper pieces of equipment? Would they enjoy the process of editing and color grading a file from an iPhone 6? Well, maybe some would. But I’m pretty sure that most of them would just quit in these conditions.
Having good gear pushes you to create. Because having the right tool for what you are doing, a tool that is reliable, comfortable, and enjoyable to use makes the process of creating fun!
You don’t need the latest mirrorless camera to take pictures on a summer road trip. A way more affordable camera would do. However, I would find it more convenient to use my Sony A7III with a nice small prime lens on it rather than an old point and shoot, or even an old Fuji X100. With my camera, I know that I have a reactive tool, that won’t fail me, that I perfectly know how to use, that has incredible ISO performances, an incredible focus system built-in and a fantastic image quality. But would the pictures from an old Fuji X100 be that bad compared to the ones I would have with my camera? Probably not, and I honestly probably couldn’t tell the difference between the two if I was not directly comparing them, zoomed in on my computer (which is something that absolutely no one does, besides some elitists photographers).
Saying that gear doesn’t matter makes people feel guilty when they buy expensive pieces of equipment. While they shouldn’t! Paying for reliability, comfort and confidence is totally okay and totally worth the money!
Photography is not only about the end result. It’s also about the process. While I enjoy taking images, I don’t think you have to struggle to create one. I don’t think having to struggle with your equipment is fine and acceptable if you want to create images.
If you can afford the comfort: go for it! Don’t feel guilty about investing money in convenience. Enjoying the process of taking pictures will push you to take more and to practice your art. When you invest in fancy equipment you also invest in yourself.
Gear does matter.
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