canon 550d

Don't worry about having the best gear until you REALLY need the best gear.

So yesterday I upgraded my camera kit, going from the Canon 550D (Rebel) to the crazy amazing Nikon D750. The majority of the images I have taken to date were taken on that 550D, its kit lenses and a 50mm. I probably took 40,000+ shots with that little thing... and I loved it. Sure at times (anytime it was even slightly dark) I'd be tearing my hair out, but on the whole that was a great little camera. And you know what, I'm glad I spent that long using that camera and I didn't start off straight away with a pro level camera. It forced me to really nail the shot - I didn't have a huge amount of leeway in post to fix things up. Using such a basic kit forced me to learn light and how to use the light to make great images. This was by far the most valuable learning experience in my photography journey.  

On a number of occasions I would be talking to someone about photography and that they also shot a bit as well. Whenever they would compliment me on my photography is would often be followed by something along the lines of 'You must have a great camera' - then it turns out you are both shooting on a 550D and the exact same kit. It kind of opened up peoples eyes into what was possible if you just put the time in. I love the Henri Cartier-Bresson quote about your first 10,000 images being your worst. Photography really is a long game - it doesn't come instantly. If you have the patience for it, you can do it. Every single time I pick up my camera for a shoot I learn something new and develop my skills further. 

So if you are just starting, stick to your basic kit for as long as you can. Don't become too focused on buying the latest and greatest camera and lenses. Just go and shoot. As much as you possibly can. Honestly, you can create amazing professional quality work with almost any camera at all. Light, composition and your ability to see the shot are far more important than megapixels and the number of autofocus points.  

Now sure, I'm not gonna pretend I'm not over the moon about having the D750. The dynamic range and low light of that thing is actual just plain crazy. It was time though - I had been pushing the 550D to it's absolute limits for a long time. When it's time to upgrade, you'll know it. 

(The cow photo below was taken at 11 or 12 at night. Yes, there is some noise in there but if you consider that I couldn't actually see the cow with my own two eyes it's pretty dang impressive)

D750 Low Light