Changing gear - did it REALLY make any difference?

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#41
Im amazed how much thinking people put into the capabilities of their gear and how little they consider abilities and significance of the 10" behind the viewfinder
What makes you think that they don't also consider abilities/technique? I'm constantly learning, trying to improve technique, understanding of lighting etc etc. Doesn't mean I don't also enjoy the technological side of it and like new toys now and again. I'm sure there are many more like me (y)
 
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#42
Im amazed how much thinking people put into the capabilities of their gear and how little they consider abilities and significance of the 10" behind the viewfinder
But the simple fact is that no matter how good a photographer you may be more is possible with more capable cameras especially if like me you tend to take pictures handheld not on a tripod at ISO 100.

And on the subject of a tripod and ISO 100. When I think back to my Canon DSLR days I thought I had it all, ISO 100? Great ISO 3,200? Unreal... but even so protecting the highlights and lifting the shadows led to a blotchy mess at any ISO. These days I can take technically better pictures at ISO 100 or 3,200 and even go to ISO 25,600 and get useable pictures with a camera that's a fraction of the size of a Canon DSLR. I wont mention my decades with 35mm film and how much things have moved on.

Yup, the photographer matters but assuming the photographer isn't a Voodoo practitioner the same photographer with more capable kit can get better results.
 
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#43
Has anyone changed cameras and been totally amazed at the improvement in their shots?
I used to carry around a couple of DSLRs and mainly did outdoors and landscape.type stuff.

In 2014 on a bit of a whim I bought a Sigma DP3M just to experiment. Within 6 months I was leaving the DSLRs at home most times I went out and I had acquired two more Sigma DPMs for different focal lengths.

Was it an amazing improvement - simple answer no. Complex answer there was a change in my shots that I liked and there was a significant change in my approach. I created fewer images and started printing more. What actually changed? Well the Sigmas are troubling little things that slowed me down - slowing down is sometimes a good thing - they have different strengths and weaknesses - and I started using my brain more. I started concentrating more on them in terms of planning and strategy. Leaving the DSLRs and travelling with three compacts and a little tripod means also means I comfortably walk further (or higher) with them.

I would suggest that you simply challenge yourself using your existing kit - but go out of your comfirt zone.

Or acquire something different as an experiment to see if it works for you or not - for example - if I was going to spend money today I might try a used Fuji X100T or X100F and figure to use it for six months - if it doesn't work out then sell it. You might hate it. You might be indifferent to it. You might love it.

Or spend money on printing or travelling to get shots - or events or a workshop.

If it's a hobby it's about what enjoyment or personal reward you get from the time and money you expend.
 
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#44
Charges have always been seen in my shots, from my first little Sony camera through Nikon DX and FX and now a Pen-F

I think this is partly because of the improvement in tech, as Kipax says. Better lenses and better bodies mean wide exposure opportunities and images in focus.

The Pen-F is different though, it's the firs time that I've bought a camera that doesn't perform better than the one before. That doesn't matter, in that it is the first camera I really want to take with me everywhere - the first since my Olympus XA back in 1980ish. I also take fewer shots with it per trip, which I think means I'm being more selective and thoughtful.
 
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#46
But the simple fact is that no matter how good a photographer you may be more is possible with more capable cameras especially if like me you tend to take pictures handheld not on a tripod at ISO 100.

And on the subject of a tripod and ISO 100. When I think back to my Canon DSLR days I thought I had it all, ISO 100? Great ISO 3,200? Unreal... but even so protecting the highlights and lifting the shadows led to a blotchy mess at any ISO. These days I can take technically better pictures at ISO 100 or 3,200 and even go to ISO 25,600 and get useable pictures with a camera that's a fraction of the size of a Canon DSLR. I wont mention my decades with 35mm film and how much things have moved on.

Yup, the photographer matters but assuming the photographer isn't a Voodoo practitioner the same photographer with more capable kit can get better results.
The D7200 is a very capable camera and for the things mentioned the D500 will do little difference. You can always argue for subjects and types of shooting where speed, af and low light abilities are crucial but I've found in general great pics are not related to type and model of camera.
 
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#47
What makes you think that they don't also consider abilities/technique? I'm constantly learning, trying to improve technique, understanding of lighting etc etc. Doesn't mean I don't also enjoy the technological side of it and like new toys now and again. I'm sure there are many more like me (y)
There is absolutely nothing wrong with liking the toys, I do too.
 
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#49
I have recently bought an Olympus Pen E-PL5 camera which is an addition to my Canon EOS 80D and multitude of film cameras. Yes, it makes a difference as it is smaller (very important when photography is not the main event) and lighter (very important if I want to carry the camera for several hours). Technically, it is not as good as the 80D and I cannot imagine I will use it in my old churches but it is the camera that is with me most of the time.
 
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#50
changing from nikon to fuji meant I did more work prior to exposure, getting more right in camera and spending less time processing.

however upgrading from x-e2 to x-t1 did very little to my output, it's just more pleasurable to use.

unless there is a clear technical upgrade that I can provably require I won't 'upgrade' again.
 
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#51
changing from nikon to fuji meant I did more work prior to exposure, getting more right in camera and spending less time processing.

however upgrading from x-e2 to x-t1 did very little to my output, it's just more pleasurable to use.

unless there is a clear technical upgrade that I can provably require I won't 'upgrade' again.
I agree. Now that I have my X100F and X-Pro2, I cannot forsee much reason to upgrade. I think we have reached a plateau where pure technical IQ cannot be improved for all reasonable purpose, ie, normal size printing and on-line publication. Of course, for people who demand quicker focus for fast-moving objects, or greater light gathering properties, there will still be useful advances. But not for my genres.
 
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#53
The D7200 is a very capable camera and for the things mentioned the D500 will do little difference. You can always argue for subjects and types of shooting where speed, af and low light abilities are crucial but I've found in general great pics are not related to type and model of camera.
Well that's just you and I'm happy for you but that wasn't my point. My point was that with more capable kit more is possible.
 
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#54
Gear has improved massively over recent years.

Photography not so much...

In many ways it’s worse we are drowning in copycat photos, HDR, composites etc
I think it depends on the timescales. If you look at what's possible now compared to what was possible in the days of MF or even AF SLR's, and that wasn't all that long ago, I think it's pretty obvious that it's much easier now for more people to get better results more easily in more situations.
 
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#55
I think it depends on the timescales. If you look at what's possible now compared to what was possible in the days of MF or even AF SLR's, and that wasn't all that long ago, I think it's pretty obvious that it's much easier now for more people to get better results more easily in more situations.
Easier undoubtedly
 

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#56
Gear has improved massively over recent years.
Feels like it is stagnating to me now though.

The 6d MK 1 VS 5 years newer 6D MK 2 illustrates this to me.

5 YEARS and I think I would be fortunate to tell the difference in IQ or ISO performance.
 
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#57
Feels like it is stagnating to me now though.

The 6d MK 1 VS 5 years newer 6D MK 2 illustrates this to me.

5 YEARS and I think I would be fortunate to tell the difference in IQ or ISO performance.
That’s just canon though. (I’m sorry to say but they are stagnating)

Sony are leading the pack by a country mile and Nikon is giving incremental improvements although the D850 was a nice jump.
 
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#58
Gear has improved massively over recent years.

Photography not so much...

In many ways it’s worse we are drowning in copycat photos, HDR, composites etc
Thinking back over the years - then there have always been cliched styles and similar shots - and a 'current fashion' aspect where a style or approach becomes popular.

What I think has changed over the last 20 years is that the number of people being able to join in and produce presentable images of their own has increased.

The technical quality of the kit has improved with digital and pixel peeking meaning that the expecations that amateurs have for lenses has gone up and the manufacturers have raise the bar. The processing facilities available with the likes of DXO, Adobe, Capture One and others means that amateurs have convenient access to post processing firepower that used to only be available to those with a decent darkroom.

If you have more participants producing better stuff then the level at which you consider it to be mediocre rises - and the small proportion of material that really stands out may look smaller.

It may not feel like a golden age to some but I think that it is.
 
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#59
Well that's just you and I'm happy for you but that wasn't my point. My point was that with more capable kit more is possible.
Your point as I read it was more capable kit makes it easier to get certain images, I got that. Mine was that that doesn't automatically result in better images :) technical perfection in itself does not equal a great image and sometimes it seems people get to hung up on the tech.
 
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#61
Just read this thread with interest, I've just purchased a Fuji X-T20 via the classifieds on here and my DSLR kit is now for sale.

The D7200 combined with the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 has been a superb setup producing some of my best images to date, but over the last year or so, I've realised how little I actually take the camera out with me, I have a small child so have to take a backpack full of stuff with me as it is, the thought of putting a heavy camera setup in there too really doesn't appeal any more so for the last couple of months, I've been eyeing up a smaller alternative, my original plan was either a Panasonic GX800 or Fuji X-A10, neither of these have viewfinders and are quite basic and that did appeal to me at first, but the more I thought about it them more I thought I'd miss the EVF and other features I'm used to, so I decided the X-T20 would be the best of both worlds, SLR features, mirrorless size and weight...
 
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#62
There’s too much purchase justification in this thread. People. Buy what you want. That’s it, simples. Don’t feel you have to come onto the internet explaining why you think you should have bought it.

You don’t need to. You don’t have to ;).

No it doesn’t improve any aspect of your photography where it matters. It may make some technical aspects easier if your upgrading from really old kit.

Does a new car make you a better driver? Nope. It may make you feel safer and for a short period you may drive it more;)

Does a new tv make you a better critic? No but for a short while you may watch it more;)

Does a new coffee machine make you a star barista? Nope but for a short while you may drink more coffee!

See a pattern? ;)
 
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#63
There’s too much purchase justification in this thread. People. Buy what you want. That’s it, simples. Don’t feel you have to come onto the internet explaining why you think you should have bought it.

You don’t need to. You don’t have to ;).

No it doesn’t improve any aspect of your photography where it matters. It may make some technical aspects easier if your upgrading from really old kit.

Does a new car make you a better driver? Nope. It may make you feel safer and for a short period you may drive it more;)

Does a new tv make you a better critic? No but for a short while you may watch it more;)

Does a new coffee machine make you a star barista? Nope but for a short while you may drink more coffee!

See a pattern? ;)
Yes the pattern is you're comparing new equipment to self improvement.

The OP did not ask if a new camera would make them a better photographer.. they asked if changing gear made an amazing improvement to anyone's shots.

What you should be asking, does a new coffee machine produce better tasting coffee? - could do !
Does a new TV produce a better image? - could do!

- If you're getting a camera for better AF for shallow DOF action, you'll get more shots in focus

- If you're getting a lighter camera, it can be less tiring to take photos throughout the day - I find taking photos whilst tired from carrying two cameras all day impacts my enthusiasm and creativity

- If you're getting a camera for better IQ then your shots might be less grainy with better colours, it may bring out details in a shot that add to the image

whether the improvement is amazing probably depends on what you went from and to.. and whether that's what you wanted anyway.


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My personal example was shooting a school play rehearsal from around the edge of the stage.

With a Leica M10 + 50mm (not some old crappy camera) - I took my time to compose and get focus, I stopped down the aperture to f4 to help keep up with the action.

With a Sony A9, I shot with a zoom at 2.8 - With eye detection AF, I was able to work much faster, got lots of action shots and expressions which made for a significant improvement to the delivered set.
 
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#64
I found a noticeable difference switching from crop sensor to full frame, the first thing I noticed was that I had shallow depth of field available if I wanted it. So yes, that change of gear did make a difference.
 
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#65
I have a D7200 and shoot a mixture of "things" though it tends to be mainly running events. Looking to "upgrade" to a D500 but can't find £1,500 plus reasons to see where it would make a difference to my images. Hobbyist, no sales involved. Has anyone changed cameras and been totally amazed at the improvement in their shots?
I'm a canon shooter but the gist of what I'm saying remains the same.

Going from crop to full frame made the biggest impression of change for me as far as cameras go.
Totally amazed happened with my first pro grade lens (85mm 1.2 L ii) which is stellar on crop or full frame.

In short, my feelings are go with quality glass every time, and Nikon do have lots of quality glass.
 
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#66
I have a D7200 and shoot a mixture of "things" though it tends to be mainly running events. Looking to "upgrade" to a D500 but can't find £1,500 plus reasons to see where it would make a difference to my images. Hobbyist, no sales involved. Has anyone changed cameras and been totally amazed at the improvement in their shots?
For running events - so moving subject then I'd expect you get to more images you like with a top of the range pro sports camera - certainly was the case when i moved from 7d mkii and 5d mkiii to 1dx cameras - did I get pics I liked with those cameras - yes - do I get more with cameras designed for action - absolutely.
 
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#67
Picking up loads of info from this post. Really appreciate it. A friend shot this last night. SO wish I'd covered that spot. The expression on the guy's face is brilliant.


30425473_10157271486029428_1230605403458195061_o.jpg
 
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#68
Picking up loads of info from this post. Really appreciate it. A friend shot this last night. SO wish I'd covered that spot. The expression on the guy's face is brilliant.


View attachment 124636
You've hit the nail on the head... Photography is being in the right place at the right time.

That picture could have been easily taken with many film cameras or the majority of digital camera made between 2002 & 2018
 
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#69
well ive gone back to just film for now and its made a massive difference to my level of enjoyment. i am thinking about my shots differently and for longer before pressing the button. technically they are probably worse but my comp is better and i am having much more fun, mind you don't know how long it will last
 
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#71
Biggest difference for me too - going from DX to FX (y)
I had the opportunity to try out the A7II and compared og to my A6000 and while its true it gives a bit more detail I was disappointed it wasnt that different.
DOF and high ISO isnt a big deal to me so maybe thats the point im missing
 
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#73
2+years ago i went from canon 70d to nikon d750.
To me the jump was huge, i find canon crop camera level of noise either at high iso or in the shadow to always be a problem. The nikon d750 has never stopped to impressed me. I shoot northern light happy at iso 6400, i have some wildlife shot at iso 6400 too which i am very happy with. Even i have some shot in the 10000iso i am happy with. With the 70d i would have thrown these away. Could i hope for better that the nikon d750 yes! Maybe a joystick for af point, maybe a better af point spread, surely a better autofocus in liveview which really is crap,... But for me there no camera which can offer that without going into crazy money. I was lucky i got the d750 two year ago in new condition for 925£, with the £ collapsing since and without any d760 on the shelves yes, the price seems to have gone up. Never i would have thought a dslr would have kept his value like this! But well someday its value will finally go down!
 
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#74
You've hit the nail on the head... Photography is being in the right place at the right time.

That picture could have been easily taken with many film cameras or the majority of digital camera made between 2002 & 2018
This is partly true.

Equipment does matter. Many photographs we think as iconic would have been impossible with plate cameras and 1 second exposures.
 
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#75
This is partly true.

Equipment does matter. Many photographs we think as iconic would have been impossible with plate cameras and 1 second exposures.
Cell Phone Cameras can make images impossible to do with plate cameras, the result of around 150 years evolution in photographic equipment. I think it's more amazing what can actually be done with very simple gear and how capable even entry level cameras are today.
 
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#76
There’s too much purchase justification in this thread. People. Buy what you want. That’s it, simples. Don’t feel you have to come onto the internet explaining why you think you should have bought it.
eh? Someone asked a question.. we are attempting to answer... Thats how the forum works :)
 
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#78
What makes you think that they don't also consider abilities/technique? I'm constantly learning, trying to improve technique, understanding of lighting etc etc. Doesn't mean I don't also enjoy the technological side of it and like new toys now and again. I'm sure there are many more like me (y)
I’m always learning and trying to improve and this forum has always been helpful even when th questions can seem so simple, people help!

Does decent gear make me a better photographer? Nope. But it all helps.

Low light performance gets me shots much more detailed and cleaner than I could have got before.

The AF speed and tracking allows me to take action better than before.

I’m not saying all my old gear could not get the job done, but my new gear just gives better results and more keepers.

Although the D750 is by new means new anymore!!
 

GTG

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#79
If you use full manual then better bodies certainly make a huge difference.

Auto mode on an expensive body and the benefits of better bodies will mostly be wasted I feel.
 
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#80
If you use full manual then better bodies certainly make a huge difference.

Auto mode on an expensive body and the benefits of better bodies will mostly be wasted I feel.
Why full manual? I shoot aperture priority a lot and get just as good images as full manual without the faff of constantly manually changing settings (y)
 
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