It’s Not About The Camera

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Often times, photographers ask me what I think about upgrading their current lenses or camera bodies. I hear them say things like, “If I get this full frame camera or some expensive lens, it’ll take my work to the next level”. Is it possible that spending that same money elsewhere might give you a better end product at a much lower cost?

To find out, I did a comparison between the Canon 7D with a 50mm 1.8 lens and a 5DMK3 with an 85 1.2L lens. On the one side, we have a typical entry level setup in camera gear costing approximately $800, vs a Lebron James/Kobe Bryant-like setup that’ll set you back around $5,000. I applied the same high quality lighting equipment and post processing techniques to both images to see if there was a clear winner in the end.

The lighting setup I used was simple, but effective. One diffused light (a FlexFlash 200W with a OctoDome: medium attached) and a foam core reflector. Here's a diagram of the setup and results from each of the cameras:

Can you tell which camera was used for which result?

Here's an even simpler setup. It's basically the same setup, but without the foam core reflector. You can do a,lot with one light source so long as it's large and diffused!

So there you have it. Pretty hard to tell the difference between the results of an $800 camera next to that of a $5,000 camera when you're working with good lighting equipment. In today's market, you have to be smart about how you develop your photography business. Focus on getting your lighting down first and the money for expensive camera gear will follow.

To see which image was taken with which camera, click on the links below:

Model in Suit
Model in Sweater


Written and photographed by Miguel Quiles.