Does it really matter?

Gerry van der Walt All Authors Leave a Comment

Does it really matter what kind of camera you use?

The reason I ask this question is that I am starting to look at acquiring a new camera for myself.  Maybe not tomorrow or next week but in the nearby future I think it’s time.

Yes, I am and have been a Nikon shooter for a long time.

Does that mean I hate Canon or believe they are inferior and cannot create amazing images?

Absolutely not.

Do I think ‘the debate’ is overrated and tired?

Absolutely!

Would I consider a Canon in stead of a Nikon?

Absolutely.

Some of the new cameras in the Canon range definitely draws my attention but then again, so does some of the new Nikon bodies. In the end the question I need to answer is – does it really matter which camera I use?

Yeah, I know the question has been asked a million times in the past and always lead to very passionate ‘discussions’ as to which brand of camera is better and why.

Once you cut through all the banter and, let’s be honest, fruitless attempts of trying to convince everybody else that your brand is better the question still remains – does it really matter?

Let’s take a different look at this.

Whether you have a 22 Megapixel Canon 5D Mark III or a 36 Megapixel Nikon D800 do you really think that people looking at your images online can tell the difference?

Do you think they really care?

What about a 12 megapixel Nikon D300s?  Would that make a difference to how people see my 800 px at the longest side image on my 500px portfolio?

How many photographers out there only post their images online?

How many of these exact photographers are some of the most vocal in the whole brand debate and bashing of the ‘other’ brand?

Does it not seem exceedingly stupid to actually worry about what camera make and model you are shooting with if you only post online or keep all your images in well organized folders on an external hard drive?

Sharpness, color, megapixels, noise – all of these things mean virtually nothing once you’ve taken the files through Lightroom and post them online at a web only resolution.

If you do prints of your work – which fewer and fewer people are doing – perhaps it would make a difference.

But then again, maybe it won’t.

Unless you are printing absolutely massive billboards all the extra megapixels you paid for is absolutely useless.

For canvas prints, the size that most of us will print, you can get away with a 10 to 12 megapixel camera, no problem, so why pay more for all the extra megapixels if you are not going to use it?

I guess some people will always get some kind of kick from trying to motivate their choice of camera brand but seriously… does it matter?

Really?

Apart from looking around for my next camera – a journey I will be sharing with you as I go –  I have been working on a few limited edition canvas prints and that is pretty much where this blog post stemmed from.

Here are two of the larger prints I have almost wrapped up.

Wildlife Canvas Print - Gerry van der Walt

Wildlife Canvas Print - Gerry van der Walt

What camera was it taken with?

Who cares?

Nobody can tell, even if the wanted to and – the most important thing is – they look great!!

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt

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Comments 0

  1. Andrew

    Well said Gerry , don’t forget some people feel a need to keep up with people who they are inspired by….just because they think it will make them better photographers. I us my brand because it meets my needs and is supported by great people who enjoy photography and service. I must laugh at those most vocal who move from one brand to the next and are outspoken as to the epic nature of the new gear………..but in reality there original brand only included some prosumer lenses and bodies , where now they are using the top of the range gear of the new brand and think that it is a realistic comparison……………..

    I think photographers should spend less time bitching or bragging and get out there and do what the camera’s are designed for , take images……

    Peace n Light

    Da Badger

  2. Mike Blackburn

    You know Gerry, I wish more photographers had your clarity of thought. Your point is very well made as usual. Photography, like all interests/hobbies will eventually develop cults and people will become extremely vocal about their choice of brand. How many of those making the most noise are world class, excellent photographers? I’d venture to say not many. In fact, most of those are probably using medium format cameras. You don’t see huge debates about whether a phase 1 back is better than another digital back.

    Good photographers use their equipment to the best advantage. They don’t have time to debate with other photographers whether their Nikon 800e is better than his canon 5DIII.

    Most of us are heavily invested in the brand we use. For me to change brands would mean a huge outlay on new glass etc. does that mean my 7D is better than @antadelaar’s d7000? No.

    One thing I may take issue with is that you are starting out from the point that it is all about megapixels. I think you could argue for upgrading your body to the newest available because it will allow you to get images that you wouldn’t get with another body. My 350D won’t shoot at 7fps at ISO3200 but my 7D does. Would I get better image quality from a 5DIII? Of course. But ultimately it is about your vision. What is it that David DuChemin says? “Gear is good. Vision is better”

    Thanks for another thought provoking post
    Mike “I wish I had a 5DIIi :-)” Blackburn

  3. Jobus Kotze

    Hi Gerry.
    I wish you had written this article a few years back, the time I was looking for a decent camera. I jumped on the internet reading forums and blogs trying to find out which camera would be the best for me, but also at the same time be an investment for me(they are quite pricey).

    The blame, and rightfully I think, has to be put at the manufacturers doorstep. They are dragging this argument into their brand war and it is here where the uninformed consumers are jumping on their blogs fighting for the cause of the manufacturers.

    Regards

    Jobus
    P.S. Nikon is still the best. 😉

  4. Sushil Chauhan

    I agree with you Gerry. I think we all get tagged along by consumerism! Appreciate what you have & use it to the best of its ability. Great comments from Andrew & Mike too.

    Have a great week!

    Cheers,

    Sushil

  5. Simon

    Agree wholeheartedly, Gerry- but I do believe that generally, the banter is good-natured jibing, much the same as the Land Rover vs Toyota Land Cruiser debates that occur nightly around campfires in the bush! At the end of the day- it’s the operator that makes all the difference, whether behind the wheel, or behind the eye-piece.

    All the best!

    Simon

  6. Marjolein Schat

    Well said!

    My first camera was a gift – film canon rebel. When I upgraded to a digital camera I stuck with Canon because that would allow me to keep and the lenses I had bought for the film camera. Some friends asked why I got a digital Rebel – not as fancy as the other Canon bodies available. I got the rebel because my hands are small and the Rebel body fits in my hands much more comfortably than the fancier bodies.

    I too am in the market for a second body. I will likely stick with canon since my lens collection has grown and I can not afford to replace all of them, but I will likely choose which body based on how well it fits in my hands, how well I can hold it steady, and how compatible it is with my current selection of lenses. Mega Pixel count likely won’t come into the decision making process at all. I do not foresee printing photos poster sized, or anything bigger than 8 x 10. Photos I have made with my now 6.5 year old Rebel have enough resolution for that.

    Plus the best camera to have is the one in your hands when you spot the perfect shot!

  7. Heiko Müller

    Sometimes, equipment matters. I guess many of us know the frustration of not being able to shoot want you want because the equipment on hand will not meet the demands … but it does not matter, who manufactures and sells you this equipment.

    Thanks, Gerry

  8. Delfin Abzueta

    Hi Gerry, I believe that no matter what camera you use, I think the most important thing is to preserve your investment.

    Professional photographers usually make their investment in lenses, not bodies.

    Having said that, if you have spent good money on Nikon lenses, it would be reasonable to update to another Nikon body, the same goes for Canon users.

    Delfin Abzueta
    http://www.flickr.com/delfin_abzueta
    fineartamerica.com/profiles/delfin-abzueta.html

  9. Colin Edwards

    A great and wonderful camera does not make you a great and wonderful photographer – the camera only records what your great and wonderful brain sees. So it is not the box between your hands but the box between your ears that actually makes the great pix.

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