|added Mon March 07 2005 at 3:20 PM
|This post started out as a comment at NSLog(); and quickly became a rant, so I decided to post it here instead. It is in reply to Ken Rockwell's article entitled Your camera doesn't matter.
He may be right *up to a point*, but the fact of the matter is that you simply can't do some things with a piece of junk camera. You also can't do some things with a good camera, with the wrong equipment.
A couple examples: First of all, using the same body and two different lenses, I made some similar macro shots. The zoom lense could not focus closer than a few inches, and the depth-of-field was mediocre. The macro lens, on the other hand, was able to fill the entire view with an astonishingly tight depth of field (I was going for a nice blurred background *directly* behind my subject). Both were good (not excellent by pro standards) lenses, but they have different advantages/disadvantages.
Mr. Rockwell is correct that I can take *marvelous* pictures with both lenses, but I can *not* take the same picture that I was looking for with the zoom lens.
Another example is if the camera is too automated like a lot of medium-grade digital cameras are now. If you can't adjust at the bare minimum the shutter speed, f-stop, focus/focal point, and possibly the iso, you simply can't take the picture that you, as the photographer, see. Granted, with a fully manual camera, you can take every single picture out of focus just as easily as taking it in focus, but that's for you as the artist to determine. Other stuff such as advanced bracketing techniques may simply be conveniences.
Another flaw in Mr. Rockwell's logic is that whatever we see, the camera sees. This logic is especially flawed in digital photography, where it doesn't matter just what comes through the lens, but how the camera's internal computer captures and interprets what comes through the lens. If your camera only has 2 megapixels, you *can not* make a sharp-looking 1600x1200 background, and you can't make an 8x10 print. If your camera only allows low-quality JPEGs, then you won't get the sharpness and clarity of a RAW image.
Now, I did say that Mr. Rockwell was right to a point. I definitely do not need my new camera to take the pictures that I've taken so far. I could have just as easily taken them on the next model down. I could *not* take any of the pictures with my old camera (too automated, not enough resolution). If I were to hand my camera to a three year old, they're not going to be able to take any picture at all. My hope is that over the next 5 years, I grow into the camera and start to do things with it that I would not be able to do with a cheaper camera.