I'll admit it. The last splash of camera releases had me considering an upgrade. There were lots of seemingly impressive numbers thrown around on a variety of bodies including specs like ISO 204,800, 36MP, 61 point AF, and oh by the way, four thousand dollars. That's where camera envy is interrupted by reality. Let's be serious...
This is all marketing hype.
I grab my Canon 40D, put it into Manual Exposure mode and start creating art. I feel creatively alive, my clients are happy, and best of all, I'm not indoors testing focus charts and comparing specs. Want to talk megapixels? Sure, I've had newspaper editors ask me to downsize files from a 6MP camera because the files were too large. I've also printed massive wall size images for businesses from a 10MP camera by shooting in RAW, properly exposing the scene, using a tripod, and giving a high res file to a pro lab.
Sadly, it seems no camera will ever be good enough for some folks.
The image above was taken on an otherwise uneventful morning. The building's maintenance had just sprayed down the sidewalk to keep it clean, and the sun was bouncing off a building which was being reflected onto the wet pavement. I noticed the patterns of the windows, and stopped a moment to study it closer. A few business people walked out of the subway and into the scene. I shot it, converted to B&W and flipped it upside down. Like it? You can have the same model camera for about five hundred bucks here.
At this point, I'd like to pose a question. If you own a Bentley instead of a Honda, does that make you a better driver? I think we can all agree on the answer. The same is true with photography. Especially at the beginning of your career, it's so important to use your time on mastering exposure, manually. Learn the histogram, white balance, DOF, composition and seeing creatively. Set up a good filing system that will be sustainable, and learn how to edit and resize your images. I know it's not as much fun as drooling over new camera bodies, but that will only distract from your ultimate goal.