The best equipment is not always needed

Madagascar Baobabs

I have just had my first image reach level four. The surprising thing about this is that is was not taken on a DSLR. It was taken on an old Minolta digital camera, when digital was still quite new and I was trying it out. There is a lot of talk about equipment needed, but I believe the composition is the main thing. I wouldn't change my current DSLR set up, but it is possible to get good results with lesser equipment.

Photo credits: Gillian Hardy.
Gillian Hardy
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  • Flyingdolphin
  • Paignton, United Kingdom
I have been interested in photography since I got my first Canon SLR, too many years ago to think about.
I enjoy working with Dreamstime and always feel honoured when someone chooses to purchase my work. I would love to know what my pictures are being used for.

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February 04, 2014

So right!
1. Creativity
2. Using the "sweet point" of the gear
And of course - always bring a camera of any kind...


January 31, 2014

Yes, you're right...


January 29, 2014

Yes, luck is needed, to be in the right place and the right time, with a camera.
I agree that digital cameras have improved a lot from the beginning, which definitely makes it easier to get the photo, when you are lucky.


January 28, 2014

yes,the best equipment is not always needed but luck.


January 27, 2014

Your photo is amazing, congratulations.

But on another note, digital photography technology is still pretty "new" and the latest gear have affordable options that you could only dream about having not so many years ago.
I used to own a Nikon D300 and several DX lenses until I advised a friend to buy a D3200 with entry level kit lenses for about $650. When I saw her pictures at 100% in my computer, I realized how much technology advanced in a matter of 3-4 years.
Long story short, I sold all my stuff and upgraded to FX format with a D800 and couldn't be happier. The extra "investment" money I spent in the newer camera will be good for at least 5-8 more years.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that, sure I get a kick of rescuing some old photograph taken a long time ago, but compared to the kick I get every time I take a photo now...well, you get the idea.


January 27, 2014

I hear you.
Within microstock, I started with a bridge camera and then moved to micro four thirds. Many will say you need more than what m4/3 has to offer but seems to do just fine for me.
Heck, I've even built a lot of my own accessories from remote switch to light and flash modifiers, softboxes, pano head and so on.
I've purchased 'Low-end' manual flashes and other minor bits of equipment for dirt cheap.
They all do the trick (for me) at a fraction of the cost of top end equipment allowing me to gradually round out my glass collection from microstock earnings.
This leaves me with a lot of gear and possibilities at a reasonable investment.

If your a pro shooting day in and day out with your equipment then yes, near the best equipment, for durability, quality and features, will make your job easier.
Only a few here make enough here to pay for the D800s or Mk3's along with all the high quality glass required for them.

Use what you got.
Build what you can.
Buy only what you actually need and will use.


January 27, 2014

Thanks everyone for your agreement. It seems we all feel the same, that good images can be made on a budget. Although I do sometimes have to admit to a bit lens envy in certain situations.


January 27, 2014

This is a particularly interesting topic when it comes to stock photography. The one gain of better equipment is that you can sell larger sizes, which earns you more revenue in the case of credit sales. For subs, it is irrelevant - you do not make more by selling larger MP files. Dreamstime is one of the few agencies where the buyer can even find out what camera that shot was taken with. Given that most buyers will only ever see a small size comp or thumbnail before purchasing one can almost make the argument that the equipment REALLY doesn't matter. I think it is really hard to justify spending money on equipment for stock, unless you have other uses for the gear. Since YOU drive the content, it is fairly easy to fit within a very limited selection of gear - say a basic zoom and an inexpensive macro lens.

Equipment, in my eyes, is purchased mainly to make your life easier from a workflow perspective, and rarely justifies itself by revenue... I've made a lot more money buying my kids a few balls and photographing the balls than I have by buying any piece of photography equipment! I'm experimenting with light painting right now to get the most out of a $35 LED video light :)


January 26, 2014

That is great. It is encouraging, thanks for sharing.


January 26, 2014

Beautiful photograph!!!

100% agree. Composition is everything. Obviously a high end DSLR is an advantage but if you look around there are some incredible photographs taken with budget cameras.


January 26, 2014

My images here were taken with a Nikon D60 entry level cam. Cheers.


January 26, 2014

I also agree with you. Although I acquired a Zenith SLR way before digital was about I didn't really do anything with it. Now still a novice but enjoying photography much more I do not have a DSLR but a digital compact which is a good few years old now but works well, even if I do not! It's great having the lastest tech but sometimes the basics work just as well. A good eye, attention to detail and some imagination help as well!


January 26, 2014

I agree with you! I am a hobby photographer for six years. Sometimes I am taking pictures of important events and ussualy I made very good pictures! And what... I do it without DSLR.
In stock photography I am novice... But my first sale was a picture shoot on Olympus VG-170 - hahaha this camera costs 89$
It is about your vision. It is about your hands... It is about good timing...
I know a photographer who is working with the EOS 6D and he has a lot of the best lenses, but his pictures suc**


January 26, 2014

Completely agree with you. The up-to-date equipment helps us, but in fact it is not needed in all the cases. For instance, Henri Cartier-Bresson could not even dream about equipment that anybody of us obtain. But nevertheless nobody of us is able to shoot as Bresson did...


January 25, 2014

A beautiful image indeed. i think the best equipment one needs is the eyes...