“What camera do you use?” “You must have a nice camera.” If I had a nickel each time I heard those phrases… Well, I’d have a lot of nickels. This is a rant many a photographer has had. True, the industry has changed; there are many “Uncle Bob’s” out there with the latest and greatest in photographic technology. However, it has been said time and time again, and I will say it here on my soapbox, gear doesn't matter, especially today.
There have been so many advances in technology in the past decade that it really, really doesn't matter how old a camera is, much less what camera you use. I am fairly certain my days of buying a new camera are over, I will likely only buy older models from now on. Regardless of what you think about ehm… Trump, his official photo was taken with a camera that is over a decade old. The one catch is that it’s a terrible photograph. However, it's terrible due to the exposure and composition, not because of the gear the photographer used. You can see the Trump photo and Obama’s here.
The biggest takeaway from that PetaPixel article is that while the camera used for Trump’s photo is over nearly a decade old, it is still a very, very reliable camera. Point being, even with a great camera and fantastic lens, you can still make a crappy photo…
I shot this palm tree in Okinawa Japan about 14 years ago using a 3 megapixel DSLR. We printed it and it has been hanging on display in our house for the over 10 years. Again, the camera I use should be indifferent to you… I don’t ask the guy cutting down the tree in my yard what chain saw he uses… Even if I bought that same chain saw, I would not become a lumberjack immediately after purchasing it. (are they really called lumberjacks?) To consistently produce great photos, you need one and only one thing: a fundamental understanding of photography, ie, the exposure triangle and rule of thirds. And please keep in mind rules are meant to be broken.
I love being able to help someone new to photography. My official recommendation is to buy into a camera brand, not a specific camera. Buy into a major camera manufacture: Nikon, Canon, FujiFilm. I have shot Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Hasselblad, and Leica. I recommend FujiFilm because of what they are doing across their platform, not because of a specific camera. Or, if you’re undecided about which camera, shoot film, then the camera really, really doesn't matter.
Most importantly, just get out and take photos!