Tagged: Cannon SX200

Camera or Photographer?

I wrote this article in response to some comments that I have received about my Hawaiian pictures.  Several have indicated that they can’t wait to buy an equally good camera, but is that necessary?

I took the following picture with my K-5 DSLR using the 18-55mm zoom lens.   I took the shot at 180327 … 3 minutes and 27 sec. after 6 pm.  The particulars for this shot were ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/320 sec.

(As with all of the pictures in my blog, you can click on a picture and then click above the picture to see it larger)

Bob, my brother-in-law, was standing right next to me and took the following shot with his Cannon SX200.  He took the shot at about the same time I took the above shot.  The particulars for his shot below were ISO 80, f/4.0, 1/320 sec.

The differences in color are due to the differences in camera sensors, the zoom ratio/composition, the slight time differences (note the different positions of the sun relative to the clouds), and the fact that my shot was taken as a raw file while Bob’s was processed in camera as a jpeg.  Since my picture exists as a raw file I could change the colors, but I didn’t.  My shot is as processed by Light Room software without me doing anything to it other than the original LR conversions.   But the color variations are not the reason for this article.

Note that Bob captured the flock of birds as they flew by.  They were not in my picture nor were they in any of my many pictures taken right before and after Bob took his.  The reason the birds aren’t in my pictures is that I never saw the birds.  Our cameras were not matched to the exact sec. but any slight time differences are not relevant except for the color shift.   I had my eye up to the viewfinder on my camera the entire time while Bob was shooting with his camera at arm’s length which enabled him to stay aware of the surrounding scene outside his LCD viewer.  Throughout the entire time we were standing in the same spot, I never saw the birds.

Which picture do you wish that you had taken?  More than anything, I think that these two pictures show that a more expensive camera isn’t often the advantage that many think it is.  Go back and look at the larger versions of the pictures.  In my case I had spent a lot more for my camera, was lugging around a much larger camera that weighted a lot more, and was consuming many GB of storage on my memory cards since I was shooting raw files.   Did any of this work to my advantage?  Not in this case.

It is the photographer who makes the difference.  It’s his ability to be at the right place at the right time, to be observant, to have an eye for composition, and his ability to capture the decisive moment that makes the difference.