Bad cameras haven’t existed for many years, but poor technique and a lack of knowledge prevails.
We hear statements like, “That camera from (insert company here) is terrible. I tried it, and I couldn’t get a good photo from it, and I’ve been using cameras for decades,” and “Those cameras are terrible in low light; they’re worthless,” all the time, but the fact is that there is no such thing as a bad camera. For over a decade, digital cameras have been capable of producing glorious images. Now, with improved sensor technology, advancements in autofocus systems, and even AI, cameras are more powerful than ever, yet they still get blamed for poor images. Let’s talk about this and why you need to take responsibility for your pictures.
At The Phoblographer, we have been reviewing cameras for close to eleven years–we can honestly say that no manufacturer out there is producing bad cameras. Sure, we may like some cameras better than others, but bad cameras simply don’t exist. We still hear people yelling from the rooftops that small sensor cameras are worthless. And we see people commenting on reviews of expensive gear who proclaim that they have used said camera, and they cannot make good images with it. Here’s the thing; in 2020, if you can’t create beautiful photos with any digital camera that has been released in the last ten years, the camera isn’t the problem. You are.
“If you keep putting technology ahead of technique you will continue to find ‘bad cameras.”Brett Day – Gear Editor
Time and time again, we hear cameras being blamed for poor images. The number of comments we receive that say high ISO performance of X cameras is terrible are too numerous to count. You know what? If you know how to read light, how to position yourself to use whatever light is available, how to use flash, or you understand how to leverage features in your camera like IBIS, you can make great images with any camera. Stop leaning on your camera as a crutch and learn how to play to its strengths. If you can’t do that, the camera isn’t bad, you are.
We also see comments about dynamic range, and how cameras are bad if they don’t offer at least X amount of stops of DR. If you don’t know how to bracket images, or if you don’t have a working knowledge of filters, like polarizers and ND filters, that’s not the fault of the camera. That’s your fault for not addressing your shortcomings as a photographer.
“The camera you use is just a tool: nothing more, nothing less. And we can guarantee that going out and buying the most expensive camera on the market will not improve your images…”Brett Day – Gear Editor
Again, there are no bad cameras out there. Even the most affordable bodies with the smallest sensors can create beautiful images if you know how to get the most out of them. If you don’t, stepping up to a $4,000 camera will not help you. Even the ‘best’ cameras can struggle in many situations without input from the person using it. Am I saying that more feature-packed options aren’t worth it? No, of course not, but if you don’t understand the basics, and if you don’t know the fundamentals of photography, you will continue to struggle. If you keep putting technology ahead of technique, you will continue to find ‘bad cameras.’
Creating great images starts with you, not the camera you own. Your knowledge and your know-how are what matter. The camera you use is just a tool: nothing more, nothing less. And we can guarantee that going out and buying the most expensive camera on the market will not improve your images if you don’t know about the exposure triangle, composition, how to hold a camera correctly, lens choices, and so much more. Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, and company don’t make bad cameras. The only thing that makes them look bad is you.