Wow, that’s a great picture, I bet you have a really good camera! Photographers really hate it when someone says that. It seems to imply that the only ingredient in making good photos is having the right gear. It makes about as much sense as saying, “I just read a great book, I bet that author has a really good word processor, or that was a great meal, you must have terrific stove.”
Yes, good tools are important to any professional. But I like to think that good tools are only as good as the professional who uses them. You could hand me Tiger Woods’ golf clubs and I’d still be terrible at the game. Likewise, I imagine Tiger would shoot a great game even with some cheap clubs.
So when people ask me what camera I use I tell them about my Canon 5D Mark II and how I’m lusting after the Mark III. And I may tell them about the back-up 5D and 7D that I also carry. But then I always add the my absolute favorite camera is a little Canon G11. It’s a point and shoot camera that sells for about $500. It’s the one that goes everywhere with me and the one I use most of the time. Naturally, it’s a good quality point and shoot camera that allows me to shoot in the RAW format. For the sake of full disclosure, I need to say that I often add a cheap wide-angle attachment to the front of the camera. I bought it from Amazon for about $40. And I use Photoshop to edit the photos.
It has it’s limitations over a DSLR, such as a much smaller sensor which limits my ability to shoot short depth of field images and the fact the the shutter lags behind and I can’t usually shoot several shots in a row to capture action. But it makes great pictures when used properly.
I often wonder if people can even tell the difference between the photos I make with the camera (the G11) and the ones made with my more expensive camera, which, by-the-way, cost four or fives times as much. For my personal enjoyment and for our family photos I just love having this camera. It’s small enough to go with me everywhere and it is good enough to make exceptional photos. What I’m trying to say is don’t get bogged down my thinking you have to have a top of the line camera and don’t blame your bad photos on the camera. The most important part of making photos in the photographer — YOU. Take time to see the photos before you click, compose the image in the viewfinder and squeeze the shot. Learn the capabilities of whatever camera you have and go for it.
To better illustrate my point about how good a point and shoot camera can be, I’ve put up a gallery of some of the photos I’ve made with my little camera. Now, go out and make some photos.