What makes a photographer great? Is it the camera? Is it the eye and innate skills? YouTube channel ‘Mango Street’ did a fascinating experiment to find out.
In the experiment, they tested whether a pro photographer with amateur equipment would take better photos than an amateur with pro equipment, or vice versa.
The following video shows the two pro photographers using a discontinued AUS$657 (US$500) Canon Rebel T3i with low-end lenses, and a friend with basic camera know-how equipped with a AUS$4,337 (US$3,300) Canon 5D Mark IV with a AUS$2,168 (US$1,650) Canon 35mm f/1.4L II lens.
The result of the shootout? Both actually looked amazing. However, while the images from the amateur looked excellent, the pros had a slight edge with regards to composition, storytelling, and interaction with the model.
“This is not a gear or tech review,” Mango Street told PetaPixel. “We’re not encouraging anyone to trade in their high-end gear for something like a Rebel T3i and kit lens, and we’re obviously not going to trade in our gear any time soon either.
“We just get asked a lot by beginners ‘what camera took that photo?’ and ‘what is the best camera?’ because a lot of beginners assume that ‘good’ gear creates ‘good’ photos,” they added. “Beyond technically sound photos, we want to be inspired and create meaningful, inspiring, and emotional photos that have purpose.
“We feel like that is the most important thing. Gear is secondary to that because anyone can shoot on a high-end camera, but not anyone can create meaningful work. Our intent is to inspire viewers to use the tools they have to make the most meaningful work they can.”