The best equipment is not always needed
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.
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Photo credits: Gillian Hardy.