Photography is not about how good the camera is. It's about how good the photographer is.
This has been my belief since I started snapping pictures with a simple film camera when I was in Secondary One.
I didn't realise it then but the pictures I took of my Secondary School are priceless treasures today, especially since CCHMS now looks very different after the numerous 'upgrades' it has gone through.
From that simple film camera, which I believe I still have somewhere, I moved on into the digital age with a digital point-and-shoot camera. At that time, a 2-megapixel camera was about the best that a typical person could get without spending thousands of dollars. That's what I got.
As technology sped forward, cameras became loaded with more and more features as well as more and more megapixels, which, as it turns out, don't really matter when it comes to image quality unless you are printing movie poster sizes.
That's right, all those camera salespeople you've been listening to? They've been selling you what is effectively a useless feature.
I traded up into the prosumer level of cameras in the late 2000s. I got myself a Panasonic FZ28, which resides in my dry cabinet to this day. The reason I didn't go straight into the world of DSLR was that I didn't feel it was necessary to do so and that I didn't have that much disposable income at the time. The image quality of my Panasonic was pretty good as it was, the camera was light and fairly compact, and I was still learning the art.
It was only after a few more years that I felt ready to shoot with a DSLR. By this time, I had learned a few things:
1) To see the shot before making it
2) To follow the rules before breaking them
3) Above all, to be patient
To make use of what I've learned, I bought a second-hand Nikon D90 and have been using it for the past 6 years. In that time, I learned:
4) To work with light before manipulating it
5) To change settings according to the scene
6) To post-process photos without over-processing them
On Friday, after more than 6 years, I made my latest upgrade. I got a second-hand (though still new enough to have more than 10 months of warranty left) Nikon D7500 - a model that was just released in June this year.
In the few days that I've used it, I was able to tell why many people make constant upgrades to their camera bodies. My newest camera made it much easier to capture what I wanted to capture without having to constantly change settings or manipulate light and the surroundings.
That said, an advanced camera can only produce results that are as good as the eye behind it. Without the years of conditioning and training to make better pictures, I would only have a great camera that produced pictures that were a little above average at best.
I still have a long way to go in learning photography and I hope that, some time soon, I'll be able to add another 3 points to the list of things that I've learned.