Is this ridiculous DSLR photography misconception holding you back too? – Photography Rants 😡
Is this ridiculous DSLR photography misconception holding you back too? – Photography Rants 😡

camera check camera rolling
sound check sound rolling broadcast check action hello I’m Karl Taylor welcome to my
studio for another episode of photography rants now talking of
photography rants we didn’t actually have much of a rant last time but I am
going to have one today I can assure you because after last episode a couple of
the comments that were coming in about gear and the usual which camera shall I
get which lens should I get and you know I get it I understand you want to make
the best purchase you want to find the best thing but let’s just let’s touch on
this for a minute okay first of all you are nowhere near as good as you think
you are okay nowhere near not even close to it I’m not as good as I think I am
okay even after twenty plus years in doing photography my photography
actually I think only really improved about 10 years ago when I discovered the
magic secret but you guys you’re all freaking out about d8 this d7 d9 cannon5
this that and the other and you just don’t get it you don’t get it you are
missing the biggest trick of all okay let’s go to my screen please Ben this
photograph that you can see on screen now one of my favorites I shot this in
1991 1991 okay most of you weren’t even born
I’m how old am i how old my 48 I’m 48 years old okay so I’ve been doing this
for a long time that photo was taken on this camera a Canon f1 film camera
that’s right film it uses film that goes in there like that and so an SLR camera
just like this type of camera here except this is digital and this is film
now I shot that picture let’s go back to that picture I shot that picture on film
and that film has been scanned and then
digitized so that we can now obviously show it in a digital format now why will
that while we’re there let’s have a look at some of these I also shot that one on
the same camera that one on the same camera that one on the same camera and
many of these other pictures of my older photojournalism shots I mean these ones
here this is from 1994 this is an another favorite of mine really love
this one 1994 and the quality and the clarity and and the the picture quality
it’s all there everything you need for a good photo is
there from this this camera that costs $200 on eBay now $200 and all I get is
which camera should I get should I get the d8
should I get this should I get the 5d Mark 3 sure I get the 60 sure I get to
70 by what the hell you like ok I really couldn’t give a crap ok the most
important thing is what you do with the knowledge what you do with the
photography now I know what you can say you can you can say right right now
you’re going well look at that Hasselblad set next to you why do you
use that Hasselblad okay it’s about business efficiency I’m gonna come back
to that in a minute let’s finish this talk first okay I use a 5d Mark 3 I’ve
used a 5d Mark 3 for years or for whatever I’d the mark 2 before I’m gonna
come back to why I use that okay the fact of the matter is can you take a
decent picture on another camera that’s less expensive and the answer is yes you
can the problem is so many and it’s not all
of you okay it’s not all of you but so many of you are fixated on needing the
latest tech the latest bit of gear thinking it’s gonna solve your woeful
picture-taking skills because it’s not okay because I could go out with this
camera and because of what I know in here I could deliver the same level of
quality of results that I can on this camera I just can’t do it as efficiently
one because it’s not digital so I can’t see the image instantly two because I
can only get 36 shots on a roll of film three because I have to wait to get the
film processed etc etc but that will not stop me turning out the quality of
result it won’t stop me turning out the same quality of picture this is a manual
focus lens I used manual focus cameras for 15 years
I still focus manually on my cameras at the moment and yet everyone’s worried
about sixty-four focus points or 27 focus zones and three in the corner and
one on the left and one on the right and one at the top one in the middle and do
it does it have simultaneous by focus I corrected whatever crap I have no idea I
don’t even pay any attention to any of that stuff so when people say to me
which camera should I buy I have no idea and I don’t even care all right I do not
care the only thing that actually you should be considering is the lens this
bit is probably the most important part that you stick on this so get a full
frame 35 mil camera of any make any brand any format I don’t care spend your
money on the lenses that’s where the difference is going to be as a matter of
fact when I was shooting photojournalism back on a camera like this that’s the
thing I concentrated on was the lenses and now these old FD lenses right which
are nowhere near as good as even some of the cheaper lenses today they still
delivered these pictures you know these pictures that we’re talking about here
they were delivered on these old FD lenses and they were perfectly capable
of producing the results so stop going on about the gear and get out and start
shooting and start thinking like a photographer start thinking about what
it is to make a great picture what it is to tell a story what it is to create
images through careful composition careful understanding of light careful
understanding of depicting emotion okay that’s what’s gonna get you a great
picture not nerding it around pixel peeping and chimpón at your camera and
you know getting freaked out with dear MV that’s never gonna make you a good
picture okay so now let’s move on to all the people that go okay right I have got
a 5d Mark 3 okay but as I explained to you I shot with
much lower cameras that are still perfectly capable today why do I have a
5d Mark 3 because I’m a professional photographer I have to deliver a job now
most of you that follow us I guess are not professional photographers you are
not having to work as efficiently you’re not having to work in such a way that
you have to deliver things efficiently and if it’s not your job like for
example if you’re not a top chef but you really love cooking if you’re not a top
chef if a top chef has the best ovens the best Hobbs the best pots the boss
the best pans and he’s got loads of them he’s got three ovens he’s got six Hobbs
and he’s got all of that and he’s restaurant because he’s got to deliver
stuff quickly and efficiently to make his business more efficient but you can
still cook the same quality of meal if you have the knowledge you can do it on
your basic oven at home with your basic hob and your basic pots and pans because
you have the knowledge so someone who’s into cooking they don’t go out and kick
their whole kitchen out at home with six ovens and six Hobbs and every single
accessory that a restaurant a restaurant chef would have no they don’t but they
can still do a good job and in the same sense as amateur photographers you don’t
necessarily need to worry about all the super efficiencies you’re being formed
by the camera manufacturers on you need this many pixels you know we’ve gone
from 12 megapixel to 16 to 18 to 22 up to 56 back down to 18 back up to 24 it’s
all over the shop because it’s all marketing it’s all marketing spiel okay
none of you or 90% of you are not gonna make any difference whether you have a
46 megapixel or an 18 megapixel a 22 megapixel because you’re never gonna be
doing much more with your pictures then put them in I stock or selling them at
best on Getty or things like that or producing a few nice prints and you can
do that with an 18 megapixel camera I know
because I used to shoot with one okay so it’s about efficiency I’ve got this
camera for the same reason the chef has got all of the best equipment at his
disposal to make his job easier to do because he’s getting paid for it as a
living their tools so if you take this lovely 50 megapixel Hasselblad camera
this is a tool it’s a tool to do a job for product photography because the
images are being blown up to huge sizes for billboards and ad campaigns and
sometimes the art directors want to crop into the images so it’s a tool for a job
so why would you need to go crazy about gear Envy if you’re not doing it at that
level for that job it’s so often I’m seeing all these questions come in from
photographers and then I look at their portfolios and I think you are just
missing the point you’ve got a good camera already or you can buy that
particular camera and do and spend more money on a lens that will do a better
job and everyone is freaking out all the time and we get lots and lots of
questions about which camera which bit of gear and it’s just driving me nuts
because the reason it drives me nuts is because I know I can go out with this
and if you had what I had in my head in your head you could go out with this and
do exactly the same thing so stop going on about the gear and spend some more
time shooting learning absorbing some knowledge and bettering yourself so that
you actually understand what photography is really about okay
that was a little rant I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts on that
little rant and while we’re waiting for any of those to come in let’s just take
a look seems we were looking at travel photos there some of my old travel
images I found this today this is on the BBC website BBC News website they were
celebrating the best in travel photography it’s a really nice
page there’s some beautiful images here of different people’s travel shots from
all over the world different techniques there we can see with the long exposure
the slow shutter speed some beautiful compositions and juxtaposition and
contrast here with the the red against the blue so some really nice
inspirational images now these guys might have had great gear they might
have had basic gear for all we know some of these shots might have been taken on
an iPhone because it’s about the story it’s about getting the image and getting
the story being in the right place understanding the moment understanding
lighting understanding composition understanding what it takes to make a
good picture that’s what it’s about and okay I know everyone gets obsessed by
gear right I must admit even I do a bit as well
it’s like you see a new lens you think all what can that do but realistically
right I don’t have a 5d Mark for this a 5d Mark 4 I haven’t got a 5d Mark I
don’t need a 5d Mark 4 I’ve still got this 5d Mark 3 I didn’t even buy this 5d
Mark 3 for photography per se because I used mostly that’s blood I bought it
because we wanted it for the video capabilities and now we’ve superseded
the video capabilities on that camera with the sony a7 which has got better
video capabilities so we haven’t bought it from a gear perspective we’ve bought
it from a performance perspective from a commercial perspective from a business
perspective so in terms of gear I only think of it as tools tools to do the job
that will allow me to do my job more efficiently and get paid more
efficiently do work better for clients more efficiently but if you’re not doing
it at that level why are you worrying about it and so concerned about it at
that level ok that’s the main message I want to get
across today is start thinking about the way you think about photography start
thinking about what is in horton an image is it about the latest
badge or the latest number mark version on your camera or is it about thinking
about how you can get the shot what you can do to get the shot or make the shot
or create the shot or how you can put yourself at the right place at the right
time with the right techniques and the right knowledge that is absolutely
crucial that’s absolutely key so right we have talking of knowledge we have
this amazing live show coming up on Tuesday now this young lady shoots with
35 mil cameras basic lighting equipment soft boxes scrims diffusion all sorts of
stuff that you can sort of deal with yourself and she makes these amazing
food pictures because she knows that what she needs to do is concentrate on
the styling on the preparation on building the image building the story
and then just with fairly basic lighting she’s making those amazing pictures and
on Tuesday we’re going to show you exactly how to do it Anna’s going to be
joining me and we’re gonna work through these pictures from scratch preparing
the shots live on Tuesday a live workshop where you can see and I’m
making preparing the food the styling and all the important stuff about what
makes that picture so we look at those pictures is what is it that makes these
pictures it’s not whether it’s a 6d a 7d a d810 a d750 it’s not about that at all
because at that resolution those pictures could have been taken on a
camera from 10 years ago they could be taken on this f1 film camera so it’s
about the knowledge it’s about what do you actually have to do to make the good
picture okay not about the gear it’s about the knowledge so I hope that you
can join me on Tuesday with Anna where we’re going to show you exactly
to create these amazing pictures and they’re the sort of pictures that you
can actually make in your own home so if you’ve get the ingredients together you
follow the instructions that she’s gonna put down for us you could basically get
this stuff get the props learn about her tips for styling and the little food
tricks that she’s going to show us and this is something you could shoot in
your kitchen this is something that you could do yourself and I can guarantee
you could do it probably with the current camera that you have without
worrying about the rest of the gear okay that’s it
that’s the run over for today thank you for joining me
oh actually no there’s one other thing let’s just go and have a look over here
I want to show you all the preparation that we’ve got for this stuff this is
our kitchen so this is where and a little little all this stuff we bout to
start getting all the ingredients cuz we’re doing about seven or eight food
shoots next week for a bunch of new tutorials and Carl Taylor education comm
but one of them is going to go out live on Tuesday for the live show so we’ve
got a Swiss just basically start getting all the stuff ready so you don’t need to
buy this much stuff if you want to do a food shoot this is because we’re doing
eight different styles of food shoots and eight different food shots next week
but one of them is being broadcast live and you’ll see Anna doing the
preparation getting everything ready and us making the picture and it’s about
making the picture no matter what gear you’ve got we’ll be able to show you how
you can make a great picture so I can join us Tuesday the 8th of August that’s
next week next Tuesday for a live photography show on Carl Taylor thanks very much for listening see you you

100 thoughts on “Is this ridiculous DSLR photography misconception holding you back too? – Photography Rants 😡”

  1. Richard Faroni says:

    Absolutely spot on! I've been telling people this for years. Just because you have a big budget it doesn't mean you'll get great results. Buying a new Ferrari doesn't make you an instant Formula 1 professional driver just like owning a Barrett .50 caliber rifle won't make you an instant sniper. You will need professional training to be a great driver, sniper or photographer. When I was in the army I was stationed in Germany, most if not all of the best photos I took were with 2 simple cameras and basic lenses. I carried either or both a Pentax K-1000 and an MX. I used a great little 40mm main lens on the MX known as the "Pancake lens" because it was so thin, along with a belt clip under my coat and it was always ready in a flash. It took some of the best candid shots and was just wide enough for small groups. On the K-1000 (which is a basic student camera body that had just the basics) I had either the 85mm or the 135mm. Never used a zoom back then and it helped me learn the discipline to plan the shots out and crop/compose correctly. Never had the cash as a G.I. back then for the great little 28mm F2 but I still managed to make my landscape and building shots look good. I remember the other guys spending a fortune on really expensive gear like Nikon F series and then they would put on a cheap lens from a discount 3rd party and shoot crappy shots all day and then they would look at my stuff (after giving me a hard time about my "cheap" gear) and they would be blown away. Later when I made sergeant (and more money) I moved up to bigger and better gear. I added some used Hassleblad (500C and 1000F) as well as a Pentax 67 (loved that camera with the 90mm and 165mm leaf shutter lenses) and a fantastic little Fuji folding 75mm 645 format camera that was a real sleeper as it was in a vertical frame format and closed up to less than 1.5 inches thick. It was one of the quietest cameras I've ever used and great for baby photos where keeping quiet is a HUGE plus as well as perfect in a courtroom due to noise limits. The only other camera allowed in a courtroom back then was any M series Leica as they are dead silent. All of the cameras I've listed here had no special electronics at all. Every single one had a basic built in meter and manual speed/aperture settings only. And only one camera (the MX) had an option for a motorized winder. We had to learn a lot back then but it was well worth it because if something failed you knew how to cover for it and make adjustments. Really miss those days as today is all about instant gratification with no work involved. If you really want to get better pick up an old film camera with a good wide, normal and medium telephoto lens (no zooms) and get out there. You will be surprised what you can do if you take the time to learn everything correctly and develop the discipline to get better over time. Best of all, you will attain a great feeling of accomplishment knowing you didn't skip a step or two by relying on the latest technological gadget in the latest camera body or lens. If you don't know where to look for used cameras or reviews just check out this wonderful review site as he covers both digital and film cameras @ I've just used his reviews to build out a great little digital starter kit with 3 lenses and a body for less than $150. Thanks again for a great rant but very informative. I've just subscribed because of this video alone. Well worth a look around. Thanks again.

  2. newbluesky says:

    good teacher

  3. Think Tank says:

    As a 51 yr old just starting out. But as an engineer I've some sense. But u saying ur (rant) as u put it. Was well intended, and well received. Point taken into account.

  4. Yudi Herdiana says:

    Thank you for your rants. It's englighting for me

  5. Sarah Thomson says:

    Good analogy-the chef thing. 🙂 In defense of camera shopping questions.. They are SO expensive for most of us, and there are so many confusing options. Maybe put some blame on the camera manufactures. Additionally, some of us out here are trying to become artists… If I take a beautiful shot, I want the option of being able to blow it up and print it–and I don't want noise in that photo, so higher ISO capabilities are pretty important to me. I do bird photography, too, and need a fast burst rate..

  6. Kevin Bruff says:

    thanks / entertaining … but there is a reason why engineers – create solutions –> to make things better.

  7. Kamal Sinno says:

    Thankyou for such a rant. I am liking and subscribing.

  8. Luis Giordano says:

    You may have the money to buy the best gear, and even learn to use it at it's best… But what makes your pictures good, is your own knowledge, and practice, and that's not something you can just buy, no matter how rich you are

  9. Paul Clark says:

    so to clarify – you prefer the mk III over the IV then 😉 So agree with you – typing this while scanning in images from the eighties I shot on an old AE1..

  10. Nuno Cardoso says:

    This is the best video of yours so far!!!!!!! HAHAHA Well done!

  11. deroniusz says:

    Hi Karl. I know my comment will sink in the pit with another comments, but that is a life;) I know exactly what are you talking about. Many of aspiring photographers are truely "tech geeks" in 99% and photographers in only 1%. I had the same problem some time ago when I catched myself focusing on latest gear but not in photography… Till i found you! Now I am hungry of knowledge how to produce outstanding photography and not what gear to use for it;) I have background in photography, but you can not google me (I have good reason for that). At this moment I have two targets: be the best in 200miles radius (product photography), and take a part in your Live Talk in no more than 2 years from now! I admire your work Karl, you have changed way of my thinking!

  12. Theorn Campbell says:

    I occupy that grey area where I freelance but have other income streams. That's probably why I still slap my plastic canon nifty 50 onto my 5D MKIII sometimes. 🙂 I use what I need and buy only what pays for it self through photography/video.

  13. me you says:

    This video reminded me…..That i forgot where i started..& how i started……and the gear i started with…..i started in 2006 maybe 2007….it was a finepix e550…..i think it goes for 50$ or so now……But back then when i started i new nothing about pixels or DR or what the big deal was about 10mm to 24mm…..all that meant nothing to me…….all that mattered to me at that time….was getting the still frame shot that caught my eye……..and the images i was catching were ( from what i was told ) were amazing!!!

    after watching this video , i think it was maybe 5 mins in or so……i said to myself , Iv forgot about taking the photo….and bin worrying to much about the bells and whistles and not focusing on the photo it self…….As of late iv bin thinking should i get this or maybe i should get that……I believe you called it ( " marketing spill " ) ….You hit the hammer on the nail there!!

    & when i think about how i shoot now? , i'm stopping and checking the photo……..i never did that when i first started…….i just saw what i wanted , and took the photo………now don't get me wrong settings are a huge factor and i get that……But iv lost focus on taking the photo itself and thinking to much on what i think is the best camera or lens or this or that………

    I never really leave comments because most videos are mostly ( from what i noticed ) are trying to sell you this or that because they have bin endorsed in some way…….

    This video here , i got none of that….just str8 black and white this is how it is , take it or leave it.

    Karl is it? , great job on telling it like is , I owe ya one 🙂


  14. Le Plum says:

    I started in 1966 with a Pentax S1A. I am as good as I think I am, probably better! 🙂

  15. McCall Jones III says:

    I recently purchased a super sharp short zoom for $17.

    I shoot professionall and people were stunned and they thought I meant $1700. Nope. $17.

    People kept asking me “what EQUIPMENT do I need to take photos like you?”

    I basically gave pretty close to the same rant you gave here and emphasized shooting EVERY DAY and how the equipment itself is less important than most people want to believe.

  16. PICSBYJLM says:

    The first time I watched this, I thought, WTF is wrong with this guy. After watching this numerous times, it's probably the best advise I found so far. Thanks for the rant.

  17. OKuusava says:

    Great video! Absolutely right! One thing crossed my mind. As pros have to get the pics fast, it can be a bad for learning curve to see the pic just on the same moment. It could be more "efficient" to see it after few days. Then you can see it as outsider -being not on the situation, but merely as a picture. It is easier to see the goods and bads of the pic after some time. And last: digis have today a plenty bad points vs film-cameras we used to have: burning highs, bad viewfinders for manual focus, small viewfinders or not one at all, stupid knobs and rolls, mysterious millionpaged menus…

  18. James Leaburn says:

    Best advice I've heard in a long time.

  19. willramirez75 says:

    Whoa, you’re gonna pop an artery, bro!

  20. Theodore Nelson says:

    You just saved me a lot of money. Appreciate the video and perspective.

  21. Phil Indeblanc says:

    I've got images on multiple billboards…They shrunk the file down to 5mpixels….Why? Viewing distance 🙂
    Great talk. Even expereinced shooters can take a hint and shoot vs gear upgrades. It maybe a good part knowledge, AND vision/intention of end result.

  22. Malcolm Drummond says:

    Thanks for the rant. The guide books and menus on the latest cameras baffle me. My greatest joy is my Leica M9 which I can use exactly like a film camera, including , at times, a hand meter. Others see it and say it lacks so much which is exactly the point. The simplicity equals lack of worry and you are allowed to take pictures where modern huge digital cameras are banned. As you hint , the most important thing about a camera is 6 inches behind it—the picture taker

  23. Bruce Richardson says:


  24. TheScunion says:

    Something Im finding in common with all these elitist photographers is the the fact that you're all a bunch of pretentious, pissed off, snobs. It kills you that an amateur with an iPhone can get just as good, if not better, of a shot as you. Lighten up Francis. If yr such a purist, go back to film. Always wanting to piss on someone's parade.

  25. Barry James says:

    Stop slamming your cameras! It makes me cringe.

  26. Dominic Smith says:

    The best camera and lens are the ones you have with you. No camera, no photograph. Some of my best photographs were taken with a a Praktica MTL3 35mm film camera and a 50mm lens.

  27. Philip McNeill says:

    You know you are talking to amateur photographers but you rant on about the futitity of camera choice, yet you only mention and specifically full frame cameras, never a mention about cropped cameras. When the only marked difference in the result is peripheral allowing scope to crop the image in post production and how the photographer frames the image. Remember I am speaking as an amateur.

  28. ssej llenrad says:

    Great! Now let me ask this. What camera should I get? Nyahahaha

  29. Sbayo9 says:

    Why so many dislikes? You are so right!

  30. will meyers says:

    When you scan full detail of 35mm film it can take 87megapixels most digital dsl sensors are what 24mp now put on a kit lens through the glass your looking at what 8-10mp? That's 1-10th the quality of 35mm scan

  31. Michael Murphy says:

    OMG!! This is me! This is what I've been saying to every Digital, Digital only and wannabe Digital Photographer for 6 years now! The camera doesn't matter, the name on the camera doesn't matter; your skills matter most, your eye, your technique thats what makes or breaks great photos. Finally I am vindicated!

  32. Herman Surkis says:

    Karl, second time seeing this and it is boring….because I 100% agree with you. 🙂
    It usually takes a top earning pro to get this message across. But you are fighting millions of dollars in propaganda putting out the other message. My similar rant last about 30sec with most people. I am old enough to have gotten tired trying to get the point across.

    However I am going to post links to this on my and other web pages.

    And I am reading here all the comments pointing out where a gear upgrade really is important to this particular photographer. Ok, and for me with failing reflexes and eyesight, the best autofocus is important.
    But they are still missing your point. LOLLOL

    If you cannot get a well composed, thoughtful image with a box Brownie, You ain't going to do it with a Blad H5D.
    I have a couple of books of Pinhole Photography, and for landscapes, I will bet the images beat the crap out of 90% of those commenting, including myself. (especially myself)

  33. fotosinet says:

    Hahaha, I just discovered this today on some photography forum. This is hilarious good and true. You could be an extremely good actor too. I am in photography for 12 years, and my last investition in photo equipment was 3 years ago. Because I finally have what I really need for my work and there is no need to buy and try new models just to say I have something new. I always said to my photography friends that my goal is to have cheap, good and functional tools to earn as much as possible with them. I guess too many of them still don't know what I am saying. But yes, they shoot only ocasionally, have latest gear and are not satisfied with 3 pixels on upper left side while composition sucks. 🙂

  34. Ruaan Grobler says:

    Arguments like these seem to be the latest 'Real photographers only use natural light' or 'Real photographers don't use photoshop' replacements.
    I'm not a pro photographer but serious enthusiast, and I've been making images for commercials and film for 15 years (I'm a 3D artist). While solid basics are valuable, I can honestly say that better gear inspires me to work harder to get the most from it. New technologies that come with more expensive bodies allow me to experiment more (for instance the first time I could 'speak' to speedlights or video capability) and the experience becomes richer, since it is my favourite hobby, with better gear. Good coffee tastes better than crap coffee. A nice car drives better than a crap car. The best chef can't make a great meal with horrible ingredients. Content is more important in a photo than anything else, I think. Next comes your artistic work, and finally the technical. But technical capacity can assist creative work greatly. A great shot is a great shot regardless of camera, but a great shot on a great camera becomes a thing that inspires awe in oneself and drives further development.
    This is also the case in 3D. A stronger machine means you can do more in a day, and quality needs time, so stronger machine means higher quality, but only if you are capable.
    If you're shooting with an old camera that misses focus or freezes up, or has a fuzzy viewfinder (I learnt this from buying a used d700 thanks to clips like this…and it was pretty horrible) can stunt your growth because you are distracted by crappy problems, instead of going…'Damn, this camera is great…it's me that sucks. Let me get better.'
    There's also the fact that, as an avid fan of wildlife photography who can't afford wildlife primes, shooting with more megapixels allows me to crop in. The few hundred dollars I spend on the camera over something crappy is substantially cheaper than buying longer lenses. Not the perfect solution, but it helps.
    But your point has many merits. I've, for instance, stopped buying new lenses. I don't throw too much money at my hobby, so I can't afford good new lenses, but I can buy old gems used. I recently bought a used Zeiss 85mm planar…I don't want to put anything else on my camera anymore.
    Make no mistake though…if I won the lotto tonight, I'd be flying to my nearest first world country to find a Phase One or a h6d100c ASAP.
    I love people that keep buying the latest things. Firstly, they fill the 'used' market for people like me. Secondly, they help fund all the amazing toys that people like you make your living off of. Without hobbyists with GAS, you wouldn't have radio trigger, tethering tools, optical stabilisation and such. We would still be stuck in the 90's because I don't think companies make enough money for RnD from only the 'working professionals' since so many get sponsored anyway.
    So I say let us spend our money on gear, and grow our skill to fill the gap our fancy gear creates.
    And I just realised this video is from 2017…I feel so left behind. I'll duck for cover now because I said my d700 was pretty horrible, but when you compare it to what's available today…it really was. I replaced it with a D750 and I've been smiling every day, except I miss the PC sync port.

  35. tom rose says:

    Canon 1D mark ii N. Over 10 years old. "Only" 8.2Mp. Noisy at ISO800+. Yet … the images … are superb. [AND … with the right processing, they can print nicely at surprisingly large sizes: A3, A2 and even bigger!]

  36. Lynn Johnson says:

    Hi Karl, thank you for the rant, it is so encouraging. thank you. Learning = get out there and take photos stop worring about what gear we have.

  37. Dirty South says:

    Love it! dont know how I missed this.

  38. Elias Pap says:

    Great rant! Thanks for sharing.
    I have downsized my pixels and weight from Canon to Fuji,
    Only i can see the slight difference,
    my customers are still as happy as ever.

  39. Corbin Kelly says:

    Awesome job can’t say it any better

  40. Chaz Madge says:

    The F-1 was Canon's professional-grade SLR system not a cheap £200 cheap camera as you are trying to put over,  time to stop watching

  41. Merlin Alfonso says:

    The irony of making this video with top-level expensive gear on the table right in front of you.

  42. Andrew Galloway says:

    True story: In 1988, I was at college taking photography and by chance, I went to the library to research an assignment. While there, I came upon a number of "Photographic Yearbooks" published by the Royal Photographic Society. Big hard covered coffee table books with full page glossy photos, one to a page. I leafed through several of these books and was rightly impressed by many of the images. At the back of the books, they listed all the technical data for each photo (photographers name, country of origin and camera data such as make/model/lens/shutter speed and aperture…you get the idea) There was a gritty black and white street shot that I distinctly remember as being an image that I really liked and when I checked the back of the book to see the technical data, I was blown away to find that the photographer had used a Praktica MTL5 and some unknown eastern European lens to take the picture. It was at that moment that the lightbulb went on in my head. Gear is just a tool, not a skill.

  43. Justin Ward says:

    wow I am so glad I stumbled across this post! I was so close to dropping 5K AUD on a Sony A7iii and accessories to get back into photography as a hobby after my X wife decided 6 years ago that my Canon camera and 4 lenses would be better off living in her new house than mine. I had got trapped in the gear envy.. Thanks Karl, cheers Justin

  44. Terrance Chavis says:

    Love this video. Keep on ranting on subjects like this. This really made me think long and introspectively. it is indeed about the knowledge and not about the gear so much.

  45. Sundip Tailor says:

    Some people just like the gadgets more than the output itself (in this case photography). As an analogy some techies like to write code in certain languages but don't necessarily care about producing software of value. There's nothing wrong with that. If you want to pay for gizmos on your camera, go for it.

  46. Art says:

    What I find funny is that some of my favorite photos that I shot from cameras like my Holga and old 35mm film cameras, well are now basically being re-created in editing software for digital images. They call it Retro filters and some charge $$ for it, yet new gear head photographers are criticizing ME for using ancient gear all the while they are spending thousands to get the same look I get on a $30 all plastic camera. Haha.

  47. Fard Ali says:

    Agreed! I’m doing pretty good with my Nikon D300, Minolta 430si, and my high end compacts..

  48. Alejandro Palencia says:

    Thanks you for your rant lol it was enlightening 👍.

  49. Bill Zidis says:

    This is the thing Karl Teila, Yes most of the photographers they are not as good as they thing but new improved cameras make them better indeed,for example having a new camera with better autofocus makes you instantly better and also more megapixels helps your composition if you know what you're doing…I was using Nikon DSLR for like 10 years and recently I switched to Fuji XT3 and guess what…Focus peaking made me way better and more efficient than before … So is yes , gear does make you better photographer,not unbelievable better but still improves your abilities…Imaging all these kids to try taking photos with a film camera…

  50. Scott Souter says:


  51. Daniyal Ahmad says:

    I agree with him, I have been using crop sensors cams since long. and yes I got similar very good results from D3100, D3200, D3300, D5200, D5300 and D7200. you just got the choose the right lenses

  52. Daniyal Ahmad says:

    I have been complimented a lot. however, with the coworkers, i get less appreciation, because I do not have full frame

  53. Rob Davies says:

    I've always been of the mindset that you should buy the best you can afford and 'future- proof' your hobby. Anyone could take similar photos with a point and shoot camera but they will never produce the high quality results that they might strive for, which can be disheartening and may even convince people that it is their own skills at fault.Simlarly, I could buy the cheapest Rockburn drums (other cheap makes are available), with Stagg (cheapo) cymbals and I can learn to drum…but they're always goin to sound like crap. I defy anyone, of whatever ability, to make them sound comparable to a decent kit.  There will always be a need to compromise.In this way, I would always advise beginner photographers to ask themselves, "Where am I going with this hobby?""Buy once and buy right."  Otherwise it may lead to disappointment and/or a costly upgrade. Knowledge is good but as knowledge improves, so do your expections of yourself.  You start to realise the shortcomings of the kit you're using and the compromises you'll have to make, to get the results that you're actually striving for.I have a Nikon d7100; a lovely camera and I've had some lovely 'hobbyist' results. However, I wouldn't have the confidence to go and 'shoot a wedding' because of its low quality, high ISO performance.  Granted, I could 'take photos at a wedding' but with its low light performance and its CMOS sensor, I would not feel happy producing those results to the happy couple, when they could pay for infinitely higher quality prints, from someone with better kit.

  54. Hugo Revez says:

    This video was amazing I laugh so much 😀 I love photography love absolutly love taking photos and I dont have any fancy camera I only use my cellphone wich is a asus zanphone 4 and my compact camera samsung WB150F. I really love if you take a pick at sme of my photos

  55. MrBooojangles says:

    Woeful photos. 😲 Thanks for boosting our confidence, NOT. 😞 but seriously, it depends on what you're going to do with the images too. If you're going to do weddings and they will get used for big billboards and advertising hoardings, then you need the higher image quality of full frame or the Hassleblad cameras. If your images are never going to be bigger then 12 x 8 inches in size, they will look good from any camera.

  56. Jan Tore Sorensen says:

    Buying gear is much simpler than improving your eye, storytelling ability and reason for shooting images – that's why people are so gear focused.

  57. NitaipadaKamala das says:

    Totally true!!!

  58. Graham Lauder says:

    Personally I love Gear heads. Every time they upgrade to the newest however many Megapixel whizzbang, all-singing, all-dancing, make your coffee Hasselnon A10R triple eye wall to wall frame thingy, it means they're selling a sub 100,000 image, perfectly good Camera, for a 20% of new price, that still makes superb image quality. I agree with Karl, the only new kit I ever bought was Lenses and not one of those being auto focus. Oh and Lighting, because that's what counts. The only real advantage of higher MP sensors is the ability to crop parts out of an image. The Gear head thing hasn't changed since I bought my first SLR 40 odd years ago, this rant has been true for years and ain't just a product of the digital age.

  59. Ray says:

    Yes, skill/artistic ability is paramount. But knowledge is not enough – how do you control dept-of-field, shutter controlled blur, exact point of focus or using hyperfocal distance, etc., with a cellphone or rinky-dink camera? A good photographer with great gear will outshine a good photographer with crap for equipment. Sorry – but thems the fact, Jack!

  60. Robert Jensen says:

    Do I see an old canon F-1 from the 70’s? My first 35mm film camera was the Canon FT (which I still consider ahead of its time what with the QL film loading system, semi-spot meter, cam action lens mount, and aperture ring at the front of the lens, very much like what the newest Canon lenses have). I bought it in 1970 after working all summer saving up for it. Got the 50mm f1.4 and fitted leather case, all for $165. The F-1 came out the next year I think. I sure wanted one but I wanted to add some lenses more.

    I loved Canon F Series cameras …. then they came out with the POS A Series cameras and it wasn’t until they introduced the T90 that I started to like them again.

  61. Robert Jensen says:

    Karl, the Canon F-1 was a modular camera and they made a 250 exposure film back, high speed motor drives, interchangeable viewfinders and a whole lot more for that body.

    Btw, the lens you have on the F-1 is from the period when Canon was making the A Series cameras, not their best years for quality. Try to find the 50mm f1.4 lens, or any lens with the chrome locking ring and aperture control at the front end of the lens.

    Everyone knows that the more wear a lens mount sees the looser it can get. The lens mount I had on my FT had a cam action mount that as it got older would stay just as firmly mounted as it did on day 1, all the changed was you might have to rotate the locking ring a millimeter more than when it was new. I was actually upset when they went to the cheaper design.

  62. AHS Society says:

    Well I am a pro, with 7d and 5d mk4 AND I started on film and we did not complain about kit back then. You bought ISO 100 if you were going to Barbados, iso 400 for UK and you did not know to complain. We did not even have auto focus. And we did not complain it was the way it was. The more features we get the more stupid we become about features.

  63. Henry Adams says:

    A great rant Karl. I, like many on here have fallen victim to the marketing speak of the big manufactures. My best photos have been created on an old Mamiya Universal. The thing is a heavy, clunky, beast of a machine that is a cross between a large and medium format camera. I recently took a photo of the Cheaspeake bay here in the United States, the best shot yet, using slide film. Thinking like a photographer is much more important than focusing on gear. Like Ansel said, realize the image in your head and work backwards, you can't do that if you are focused on gear the entire time.

  64. Rainer Listing says:

    I can understand your frustration at not being able to answer a student's simple question, but your rant is misplaced – it should be aimed at the camera manufacturers. All they need to do is produce an F1 (or Pentax, Exacta, Nikon whatever was around then competing) with a modern sensor instead of film – i.e. minus the 90 focus points, 10 scene settings, wi-fi, video and whatever else doesn't contribute to the image but massively increases the price.

  65. David Bastien-Allard says:

    I worked in a camera store for 7 years, I shoot with a Olympus PEN-F and I love how my clients laugh at my setup, they spend thousands and only consider A7r’s/5dsr’s/1dx/MF… when they never really took a “good” picture or made a single penny from their work…

  66. Chris Khachatourian says:

    I’m starting out and have a crop sensor DSLR that is great but I’m having issues with some lenses just not working great with the crop sensor. Only upgrade I care about is getting a full frame camera and thankfully I love the look of some of the older quality full frame lenses that are very affordable nowadays. So at this point I’m exploring different lenses while I learn how to take photos and trying not to care so much about the latest higher end gear.

    I agree with everything you said and it’s important to keep things in perspective.

  67. mannydeguzmanjartist says:

    5:40 Today's DSLR lacks split prism and microprism focusing of the old film SLR. In the old days of film I could manual focus easily even at night, and that split prism screen would tell me if I'm focused, no issue of back focusing or front focusing whatsoever. Fast forward 2019 I could not focus properly with my degrading eyesight on a viewfinder with just a green light as a focus indicator! So for a user with a poor eyesight like me who wear glasses, focus points and autofocus accuracy in lenses and digital cameras is a must because I heavily rely on them especially in fast action sports moving shots (I shoot fashion shows and pageant events) where even burst mode is mostly hit or miss.

  68. Aaron Lee says:

    Great video! But I think that sometimes gear is essential when trying to get a certain look. Like trying to get an extreme amount of Bokkeh, you definitely need a small(er) aperture lens. Otherwise I do agree that most of the time it takes a great photographer, not a camera, to get a great photo.

  69. Oskar Karlsson says:

    Let’s see if got it right mr Taylor. No gear will ever make me good at [insert activity of choice] if I refuse to practice?

  70. Kustom Kulture says:

    I love this Video!

  71. Rich Barschdorf says:

    My old boss always said get the best glass you can, & focus on what makes a beautiful picture.

  72. Josh F says:

    love this guy's videos – tons of information.

  73. TwistedFirestarter Fire starter says:

    Whilst the central point here is that it's the creative perception of the photographer that actually matters is indeed very true, and excellent pictures can be taken on almost any imaging devise, it is also true that virtually all photographers want to capture with the best possible technical quality equipment that they possibly can.

    This has been universally true since the dawn of the medium and has driven every single technological improvement in both lens and camera bodies and formats. It has of course been mirrored by the modern camera manufacturers who, whilst pushing the tech advancements also take advantage of our thirst for better equipment in equal measure.

    Professional like yourself can preach the mantra of "just go look and shoot and capture the world with whatever camera you like" but look around you and you will mysteriously find you have top end equipment justified by professional workflow or not. The truth is you're always going to invest in the best cameras and lens and upgrade as often as your budget will allow regardless of whether or not the old system still cuts the mustard.

    My advise, as somebody who has been making images professionally for 43 years with everything from 10×8 through all large/medium formats/35mm and digital since it's very inception with the first Kodak DCS "suitcase" DSLR's, right up to the highest resolution digital backs today is this. Grab the best glass and camera system you possible can and don't be afraid to try older film formats. When you pick up a creative tool like a camera, often the camera itself, it's design/format (and even its limitations) can inspire your mood and thinking to release you to make the best photographs ever.

    All Iast week I was shooting with a high end phase one, but this week I am working with a Fugi 6×17 and scanning the trannies on a flextight. A completely different camera and working method, but my mood and focus still remains fresh and creative. I have got award winning results from a simple iPhone and next week l will shoot with a Rolliflex 6×6 and interacting in yet another different and creative way.

  74. Jose Mari Victor Silayan says:

    So which camera should I get?😂

  75. free2danz1960 says:


  76. scorpious1957 says:

    Love your Rant i agree with you about gear (Nikon d80) only question i ask how the hell do you get the confidence nothing else just confidence

  77. Lanceslens says:

    Great video….yeah buy what you can afford that will do the job for your style of photography….I had friends giving me crap when I bought the A7R2 because they don't like mirrorless systems but it has been a good camera body for me and still going strong.

  78. Jakub Zięciak says:

    I can i agree with you. I'm a photo amateur so i don't need this fancy hasselblad of yours. Currently I shot my photos on film and I use for it old cameras(soviet range Finder and soviet TLR, Late minolta film slr and olympus point and shoot slr). All of them are perfect for my use. As most of photographers I love to read about gear and there is a tons of cameras which i want to have because in some way they are awesome. I also think that most of viewers do not give a damn thing about your gear too 😉


  79. Mark Woods says:

    I'm glad you said lenses. My photography took a huge jump when I bought my first L lens. Faster and sharper glass made my previous work look amateurish even though I was still using the same poses, lighting and camera. Otherwise, I think it's a confidence thing. Sometimes, not always, when you take an average photographer and put a pro camera in their hands, suddenly they gain a confidence they never had with their cheap gear and it takes them to a new level. Their perspective changes from I could if I had, to I can because I have. Plus your clients take you more serious. I remember back in the film days I used to have my 2 1/4 format sitting next to my 35mm just so the client would have confidence in me. Especially since I almost always shot 35mm cause it was a lot cheaper. Anyway, good rant.

  80. GLOBETROTTER says:

    The trouble is Karl, that I know I'm better than I think I am. 🙂

  81. Carl Crosby says:


  82. Dave Hammant says:

    Well said. I recently was involved in a workshop overseas – one attendee had gone and bought a top of the range camera in duty free and was unable to understand why his images were not as good as he wanted. You can have the best but if you stick it in auto mode, not understanding what knowledge is needed, your results will disappoint big time. Thanks for making this point!

  83. Burning Experience says:

    Thank you!!!! Knowledge is key not gear!!!! Thanks for the rant!!!

  84. kernel pan1c says:

    I recently signed up to Karl's education website. There's a series on there called "Better Photos With Your Compact Camera". If you're not convinced that he's being honest saying that the camera is more or less irrelevant. Go watch some of those videos. You'll see that it really is him making the pictures and not the camera. On everything except perhaps critical sharpness (which is a lense thing anyway) his pictures on that compact will smoke most of what most amateurs are creating on their DSLRs.

  85. Pixie & Dixie says:

    Amen on that!
    I got a x e2 and vintage lenses , in total I spend £300 , enough to make a brilliant pictures, I don't need anything more gear , now I'm concentrate in practice the knowledge I have and buy a lot of books from my photography heroes and study them . That it! No more gear crap and more study!

  86. William Guan says:

    I agree. I started on a phone. I only invested in a dslr because i had improved enough.

  87. Tony M says:

    Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!!! Yes yes yes! It's not the gear you use, it's what you do with it. Thank you for this!

  88. bobefitz says:

    May I just say, "AMEN".

  89. Seamus Dobbs says:

    ShouLd i get the Canon F1 or the Nikon F3???

  90. Dilliboi Rubirosa says:

    A tad too aggressive for my taste, man. You don’t need to insult your viewers to get your message across. Plus, you are not completely honest, as that F1, in its day, was Canon’s flagship, so the equivalent of a 1D today, and higher echelon than the 5D.

  91. Heinz-Jürgen Hättig says:

    Interesting: a F1 built by Canon. Suppose it's a A1 (F3 at that time by Nikon)

  92. Joshua Bokelman says:

    Thanks for the wake up call!

  93. mikeabcable says:

    Having a hasselblad for an amateur is like a learner driving a Bugatti or F1

  94. Keith Smith says:

    I cannot tell how potent this was for me… made me understand and varify my gut feelings…..haven't picked up a decent camera in fifty + years ….now I'm 69 and about to get a decent camera and lens… You brother ? You have saved me from the noise of the tech ! Thank You !!!!!

  95. planning_with_patches says:

    I got my first camera in 20 years. I picked up a mirrorless based on size. I figure a camera that is more portable will get used more than a larger dslr. I think my photo teacher was annoyed by my camera in a class full of dslr's. But I'm taking it everywhere. Good price and getting used daily.

  96. Ed Voyce says:

    Legend. It’s this type of experience plus no fear (“non-PC”) tutorial that really helps.

  97. John Blunt says:

    Thank you.

  98. Nick Blyth says:

    Finally someone who gets the point. I don’t get paid for photos, I just enjoy photography and taking photos. My kit is basic with a cheap kit lens, 35mm 2.8 EF-S and an 800d. but who cares about the camera. A camera isn’t much good if you have no idea about what you’re doing.

  99. Easy Rider says:

    THANK YOU !!!!! I also am tired of the little snowflakes running around spouting crap about their gear — IT IS THE PICTURES !!!!

  100. Matthew Palmer says:

    I saw a guy the other day in a well know camera shop loading his credit card … my god about £8K when he was finished. He was clearly being guided about what we wanted……. as he didn't seem to know.

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