How To Not Be A Photographer: Better Camera Means Better Photos
I’ve used a lot of camera’s in my time as a photographer, and as a photographer I must admit getting a little to excited whenever I’m holding someone’s $7,000+ DSLR and their $12,000+ range of lenses (I think the excite might be predominantly fear of dropping it, to be honest). WHile the photography side of me gets excited, the techno-geek side of me tends to start comparing it to every other camera I’ve held or seen. You see while I may get excited about using a new camera, I know I need to be wary of it as well. Not out of fear of dropping it, but rather out of fear of it’s abilities. This is because not all cameras are made alike.
If you’ve ever really done your research into camera technical details you may notice several strange things. Many of the more expensive DSLRs often have lower megapixel ratings than the cheaper ones, is often a common thing people notice. Does this mean that the cheaper camera is better? Not usually. Often times the more expensive camera will have a large image sensor, meaning it’s resolution is going to be higher, even with lower megapixels. This is but a single example of the confusion many people face when buying a camera, and also where the idea that the “better” the camera the better the photos comes from. The pretentiousness and know everything attitude most first time buyers have doesn’t help this (face it when you bought your first camera you were a little pretentious about its specs). So does having a “better” camera mean you’ll take better photos? No, it doesn’t, for several reasons.
1) The camera does not dictate the photos.
A high resolution photo that is bad is still worse than a low resolution photo that is good. You are the one who decides what to photograph, not your camera. Just because you bought a $5,000 DSLR does not mean your photos will be good. This is one reason why starting out with a cheap low end DSLR is better than an expensive one. You can learn how to take photos on the cheap one, then upgrade when you are ready for more high quality images. Otherwise you may find yourself wasting money on an expensive camera you may never really use.
2) The Megapixel Myth
I honestly can’t believe this still gets people. The idea that more megapixels is always better is one of the most misconceived ideas in photography. At this point in time megapixels are almost irrelevant to a cameras ability to process high quality images. What makes the biggest difference is the size of your image sensor. You can cram as many mega pixels as you want onto an image sensor, but inevitably the size of the sensor will always dictate the photo’s resolution.
3) Cost vs Quality
Are you planning on printing a huge banner or displaying a photo in Times Square? No? Then stop worrying about this as much. People tend to get the notion that the more expensive a camera is the better it will be. Often times this may be true, but in reality it is almost a mute point for many photographers. Screens only have a certain resolution, most people only want photos up to the 11×16 size, and you can always move closer to a subject, so stop thinking that you need to start out with the greatest camera you can’t afford.