Rant: We Photographers Have Lost Our North, Stop the Endless Gear Debates

by planetMitch4 Comments

Now you’d think that a “gear” site like planet5D wouldn’t have a desire to tell you to stop being a pixel peeper or a gear head, but there’s a lot of validity to this rant that was posted on PetaPixel and I’d just like you to think about it (but don’t stop coming here daily LOL). By the way, I know some of you think of us as only a gear site (I’ve heard you say it) but our main goal is to educate (which often includes gear, but we like to help you learn plenty of other things too!)

But realistically, this isn’t anything new for me. If you have ever listened to one of Deejay’s DSLR FILM NOOB podcasts where I am semi-co-host, you will hear me rant about this quite often actually.

I know it is a lot of fun to talk about new gear and 2 debate which camera is”better” but we all know that the best camera is the one you have (especially if you know how to use it well).

And another thing about reading on online debates about which camera is better, we often learn something new. I know that often I learne something from other people that maybe I was not aware of by reading such debates, But the bashing that happens is not something I'm in favor of either. I wish we could all just get along and learn from each other.

That being said, I happen to love my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and I agree with the author that it does have better dynamic range than previous Canon 5Ds, and maybe it isn't quite as good as Sony or Nikon, but I am happy with what I have and I'm learning how to use it. I am so excited about the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV that I’ve gone into a lot more depth about the menus and features of the camera, and guess what? That’s making me a better photographer/filmmaker. And that’s a good thing!

Rant: We Photographers Have Lost Our North, Stop the Endless Gear Debates


Via PetaPixel:

Here’s the before/after shot I promised yesterday which showcases the not-too-shabby dynamic range and noise control of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. But I don’t want to talk about it any longer. Instead, I’d like to say this.

Endless debates about the dynamic range, noise, pixel counting, brand wars and what-not are misplaced. A waste of breath and energy. We, the photographers, have lost our North.

I am guilty, you’re all guilty. We’ve forgotten the things that really matter in our craft. Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andy Warhol and the living legends like Annie Liebowitz and Sebastião Salgado— who cares which cameras were used to capture their legendary works? NO ONE.

Photography was never and will never be about the silly tools we use. It was and is and always will be about the people that use them. Speaking of which, our cameras today are immeasurably better than anything our peers and pioneers used just a decade ago, let alone 50 years ago.

Have you ever looked at the close-ups of the greatest photos made a few decades ago? The lowest-end phone today takes better photos than some ‘professional’ cameras could 20 years ago. So let’s agree please to stop idolizing the brands and worshipping the technical specs. Let’s celebrate the artists and the art itself instead.

Read full article at PetaPixel “Rant: We Photographers Have Lost Our North, Stop the Endless Gear Debates”

Note: it is our policy to give credit as well as deserved traffic to our news sources – so we don't repost the entire article – sorry, I know you want the juicy bits, but I feel it is only fair that their site get the traffic and besides, you just might make a new friend and find an advertiser that has something you've never seen before

(cover photo credit: snap from PetaPixel)


  1. Even 45 years later, I remember a visiting photographer from National Geographic talking to those of us in the photojournalism program at the University of Missouri. When someone asked his equipment, he said, “When artists get together, they don’t talk about brushes.”

    We do love our gear, but we should think more about photography and how to MAKE better photos.

  2. This might have more credibility if your rants didn’t coincide with “a” Canon “losing” the spec war and when Canon has great/best specs, you praise them for it…

    However, you are correct in that the specs should be about how the equipment enables the photographer to maximize the quality of the photos they take. How much easier the camera and its specs make the process. On the other hand, in this “day and age”, putting multi-year old tech in a new camera and calling it “tried and true”, when there is obviously better and as, or more, reliable tech out there, is just wrong. (Yeah, 5DMkIV, I’m looking at you with your ancient Compact Flash, last generation SD card, and primitive video codec tech. At least you have a touch screen and modern AF now!)

    I don’t mind being a fan of the products you use (hey, I love my Panasonic equipment), but I’m not unreasonable about it. I can see the good in other products and I’m more than willing to call out Panasonic when I think they get something wrong (yeah, I’m looking at you slow firmware updates and way too long wait for the GH5).

    Anyway, I DO understand that this is “planet*5D*”. I just hope you will be honest in your bias and judge the equipment you discuss even-handedly (the same criteria for all manufacturers)…

  3. While you love your Canon’s and while you do sound like a fan boy, you did not get to sickening about it and did mention other cameras at the end of your article. And I do agree with you. More emphasis has to be given on the education of the photographer and best they can use the equipment they own.

    Camera companies used to sell equipment, hardware for making images and all cameras and lenses are capable of great things. But it has become more about specs and testing and testing and testing gear as opposed to getting out of the house and creating great images or learning how to create great images.

  4. I went to RIT in the 60s. In those days you had to shoot advertising and/or product shots with 4×5/8×10 cameras, but I also worked with Leicas, Hasselblad, Mamiyas. Rolleiflex,, Nikon, Minolta. When I went from stills to motion pictures, the same thing, Arriflex, Panavision, Eclair, Bolex and more. I adapted to digital quite early, but the one thing I truly hate is that cameras today seem to be obsolete before you even take them out of the box. All the cameras I mentioned you could take to camera repair outfits and have them for a few more years. Now people mostly talk about how the new one with 2 more megapixels will turn you into a great photographer rather than talking about your vision and talent. I have 2 5DMKIIs and 4 lenses and I don’t plan to buy a new one anytime soon unless I drop them from a 20 story balcony.

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